What We Believe
What We Believe
We Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God, a single God who exists in a Trinity of Persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe that the core teachings of the church are those summarized by the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world. We believe that the Father forgives us our sins and that the Spirit enables us to live lives that are more faithful and merciful, making us instruments of God’s grace and justice in the world. The shape of the baptized life is found in the Baptismal Covenant .
We believe that God calls all people into a deeper relationship with God and one another in Christ. This means that both women and men serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation.
We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.
Here are some more details on who we are and what we believe:
We believe that the books of the Bible are the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures—including urging the church to repent and change when we’ve understood Scripture wrongly! We affirm the best of Biblical scholarship should be brought to bear on the interpretation of Scripture.
We believe the Book of Common Prayer is the best symbol of our unity as Anglicans, demonstrating that we are united by our worship of Jesus and not by our agreement on all points of belief. The prayer book is a treasure chest, full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer. The prayer book, most recently revised in 1979, contains our liturgies, our prayers, our theological documents, and much, much more. If you’d like a copy, please contact our rector. Father Cramer loves to give them away!
We believe in the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist and their role in mediating God’s grace. As Anglicans, we recognize the sacraments as “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace.” (The Book of Common Prayer, p. 857) Holy Baptism and the Eucharist are the two great sacraments given by Christ to his Church. Holy Baptism uses water as an outward and visible sign which unites us with Christ in his death and resurrection, and brings us birth into the church, forgiveness of sins, and new life in the Holy Spirit. Holy Eucharist (also known as the Mass, Divine Liturgy, and or Holy Communion) uses bread and wine, given and received according to Christ’s command, as the outward and visible sign for the Body and Blood of Christ, which we truly receive by faith.
We believe in other sacramental markers and gifts of grace in the Christian life. Confirmation and Reception is the adult affirmation of our baptismal vows with prayers from a bishop. Reconciliation of a Penitent is a place of absolute privacy where we confess our sins to God in the presence of a priest and receive counsel and, if we are penitent, absolution. Marriage is the union of two people into a life-long relationship, as they make their vows before God and the Church and receive the grace and blessing of God to help them fulfill their vows. Sometimes the life-long union falls apart and in those instances the church should be a place of mercy and where new life can be found. Holy Orders set apart Christians for distinct ministries as deacons, priests, or bishops. Finally, unction is anointing with oil for prayers of healing of mind, body, and soul—knowing that “healing” is not the same as “cure.” Unction is also the rite we use when a person is near death, so that God might give them the final healing of return to him.
We believe our heritage and connections as Anglicans are important to our identity and way of life. As constituent members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England, and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world.
Interested in finding out more? Click here to read “An Outline of the Faith” from our Book of Common Prayer. The Episcopal Church’s website also has a section sharing more about what we, as Episcopalians, believe. You can explore that here. And, of course, the best way to learn more about what we believe is to come and worship with us!