We Believe . . .
We believe that the church does not exist to tell people what to believe.
The church exists to manifest in whom they are to believe.
Are you looking for a Church:
- that is clear about the Christian faith
- that is not preoccupied with secondary issues
- that stands in the rich tradition of Christian worship
- that encourages people to grow in the faith that they profess
- that believes we ought to live so as to make a difference in the world ?
If you are looking for such a church, then the Episcopal Church is for you.
We welcome you and invite you into this faith and fellowship of Jesus Christ.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH in the United States of America . . .
We are part of the world wide Anglican Communion which has approximately seventy million members. We claim to be both catholic — that is, true to the historic and apostolic faith; and protestant — that is, truly reformed and evangelical. The only required confession of faith is the Apostle's Creed (which is our baptismal creed) and Nicene Creeds which we share with all of Christendom. Our profession of faith is in Holy Baptism and our central act of worship is the Holy Eucharist, also known as Holy Communion. These are the two great Sacraments of the Church, given by Christ as a sure and certain means by which we receive his grace.
Since we belong to the historic and apostolic faith, we embrace the other sacramental rites of the Church. They are confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent, and unction. Because we are a global church we cannot be parochial or isolationist. Our unity of worship allows for variations which serve to remind us of the universal nature of the Church. Thus, we celebrate our diversity and tolerance is viewed not as an excuse or a sign of weakness, but as our strength.
THE LITURGY of the Church is expressed as the "act of the people" in a worshipping community.
We worship in accordance with the Book of Common Prayer (BCP) and sing hymns from three different hymnals authorized by the Standing Liturgical Commission. Both the Book of Common Prayer and the hymnals are set forward by authority of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. At our Services you will find Prayer Books and Hymnals in the pews.
To help you through the service, our bulletin each Sunday has the complete service written in large font for your convienence. Regardless of your denominational membership, all are invited to receive communion at our table.
IN OUR WORSHIP, we are united with past, present, and future generations of Christians.
Our worship experience is carried out with a view to the glorification of God, not for our entertainment; thus, Episcopalians are not spectators but participants in worship. Not only do we express ourselves in word but also in gesture. Generally we kneel to pray, we stand to praise, and sit to be instructed. All other devotional gestures are optional and purely personal. Please feel free to do what feels comfortable in our service.
For Episcopalians, worship is the most important thing we do, and ultimately this reality should characterize all that we do in every area of our life.
WE BELIEVE THAT GOD IS KNOWABLE
You can know, experience and have a relationship with God. We believe that all of creation is good. God created each element of his creation and said, "It is good." Jesus said, "the Kingdom of God is in your midst." We can be a part of it now. Therefore we embrace all of life and believe life is to be celebrated. We also refuse to divide the world into the physical and the spiritual. We believe that God is in all that we do and that living a spiritual life is 24 - 7 affair.
Salvation is not a merit badge to be earned, but a process — a journey to be lived.
WE ARE LOVED
We are never in a position of not being loved by God. When we come together to worship, we come together to celebrate that love, not to get something that is absent to us. The problem humanity faces is not the Lord's presence to us, but rather our presence to God. This is what any sacramental celebration tries to overcome — not God's distance from us, because there is none, but rather our distance from God and our unawareness of the love that is already there for us.
WE ARE IDEALISTS
We take words like peacemaker, mercy, grace, equality, and so forth seriously. We strive to incarnate those words into this universe. We believe in living into the ideals of Jesus and forgiving ourselves and others when we fail to do so.
We are content to LIVE WITH QUESTIONS
Ours is a "seeker-friendly" church where we believe God will meet us wherever we are on our spiritual journey. We do not believe that we have to have an answer for everything. We have an intense respect for thoughtful holiness. We resist giving people simple answers to complex questions. We do not see ourselves in opposition to any field of inquiry, but in concert with it.
We are a people of COMMON PRAYER
The spiritual journey is a communal activity. When we ask a person to walk the way of Jesus, we are asking her to do so in the company of fellow travelers. The people of God who we call the Church are here to strengthen and encourage one another in our spiritual life.
We do this when we come together for our common act of worship and learning. We do this when we care for one another in both the good times and the bad with our ministries of presence, prayer, and kindness. We do this when we work together to alleviate the suffering of those who are oppressed in mind, body, or spirit. And we do this when we invite others to join us on our journey.
When we come together as the Church in large or small groups, we are strengthened and encouraged by God and by one another.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH is a church that meets people wherever they are on their spiritual journey. We are an inclusive church that resists classifying or categorizing the people of God.