Our mission statement
St. Benedict’s is an inclusive Christian community that celebrates the divine in all beings, and inspires spiritual growth through joyful sacramental worship, loving service, creative expression, thoughtful inquiry and commitment to social justice.
Our inclusivity statement
The people of St. Benedict’s are called to share God’s love as we minister with and to all persons in Los Osos and beyond, providing worship, nurture, fellowship, and service. Our welcome knows no boundaries of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, economic condition, physical or mental ability. We embrace and seek to preserve the beautiful, amazing diversity of God’s creation. We cooperate in ministry with other local churches and groups of God’s people as we participate in the worldwide mission of Christ.
Each Sunday we meet for worship at 10:30. Many Sundays there is also a more meditative 8:00am service. We call the these communion services Eucharist, which comes from the Greek for Thanksgiving.
During the first part of the service we hear the word of God through Bible readings and a sermon. We always strive to make our sermons a form of worship that honors the heart as well as the mind, with a lively awareness of our long Christian tradition, a vital connection to the present, and a hopeful openness to the future.
The second half of the service is devoted to giving thanks and remembering the source of our redemption in the life-giving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, as we celebrate Holy Communion together.
Just as our church building and land reflect the beauty and history of our area, so we use physical reality to glorify God in worship: bread, wine, candles, special vestments, and—of course—music.
We believe that Christian community is also formed by a prayerful approach to learning together.
Our adult education programs are always open to everyone. We seek to understand the challenges of our time as they relate to our deepening awareness of Christ’s message in a rapidly changing world. Recent discussion themes have includes: “Laudato Si” and “Medical Ethics” as well as more experiential workshops such as “Lectio Divina” and “Art and Meditation”. Please see the Hollister Institute page for more information.
Service and Social Justice
Service to the larger community is one of St. Benedict’s core values. Our church and property—our daily presence in Los Osos– is an invitation to investigate the Christian vision of life.
St. Benedict’s also reaches out through specific community activities: our thrift store (the “Abundance Shop” on 9th Street) provides inexpensive clothing and useful items to the public as well as providing a resource for recycling unwanted clothing and household items. In addition we regularly provide lunch and donate useful everyday items for the homeless and hungry at the Prado Day Care Center.
Through supporting national programs which provide relief to those in need, such as “Bread for the World” and “The Heifer Project”, we reach out to the world beyond Los Osos.
Our hope is that as we finish our building it will become an increasingly useful resource for the community and community groups of all kinds.
People of Faith for Justice provides a way for us to work with those from other congregations. St Benedict’s is delighted to be actively involved in working for social justice through this local coalition.
In a rapidly changing world we appreciate the need to provide a basic atmosphere of caring and continuity. Friendships rapidly build between church members as they work and play together. Fellowship hour after every Sunday Eucharist is a good time to meet new people and enjoy one another’s company.
St Benedict’s is known as a place for good food and good conversation. In addition to the Tuesday evening Vespers service and pot-luck dinner, we take opportunities throughout the year to gather in each other’s homes for fun and for study, and to celebrate together birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and other milestones in each other’s lives.
We aim to support one another in times of adversity by providing practical assistance with hospital visits, hot food to help in a crisis and personal and spiritual support.
Spirituality might be called the attitude that directs every action towards an awareness of the presence of God. In that sense, we try to make spirituality the essence of everything we do at St. Benedict’s rather than identify it as a specific kind or number of activities. Nevertheless, whether it’s worship, education, outreach, or just community fun, if this attitude of attentiveness to God is to prevail, we acknowledge the need to provide specific times and events for this inner focusing to clarify and deepen. One such event is our annual retreat, which provides a complete change of scene where parishioners can immerse themselves in a prolonged period of individual and group inner work.
Spirituality at St. Benedict’s also means an adventurous openness to finding how God is at work in the complexities of contemporary life and its issues. It basically means a commitment to finding a place where the heart and the mind can hear God’s voice and embody it, first, within our own community, and then carry it into the world of daily life.
When we say that everyone is welcome to worship at St Benedict’s, we mean it. As an inclusive, welcoming faith community we invite and welcome individuals and families regardless of age, ethnicity, physical challenges, nationality, sexual orientation or gender preference. Although we are a predominately Anglo community several of our members are fluent Spanish-speakers and we long to have enough others to create a Spanish-speaking service.
St Benedict’s is a long-time supporter of the full inclusion of gay and lesbian Christians in every order (lay, deacon, priest, bishop) and every sacrament and rite of the church.