How We believe 

We believe in one God, of many revelations, grounded—in the tradition—as "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." God always exceeds our ability to define and name. God is always more. We believe through our worship of God in Christ and through our service among others, striving to let God's love, compassion, and justice be revealed in what we do and say.

 

That's a short summary, here's another; they may be enough to pique your interest, because we don't talk as much about "what" we believe as "how" we believe. We strive to be doers of the word, rather than merely hearers, or spouters (James 1.22). But if you'd like a few more words ... we believe God is the ground and movement of being, the divine parechoresis. "God is Love" (1 John 4:8). God is beyond our knowing and yet, like the blind men and the elephant we have incomplete glimpses of God in our own experiences as humans, as part of God's creation. As Christians, we encounter God in the "fully human, fully divine" person of Jesus. 

So you poke around on this site and see some of the things that we do and some of the ways that we do it. 

 

 

Guided by Baptismal Theology

Episcopalians are not required to assent to a canon of dogma, a set of doctrines, or sign a formal Confession; rather, we live striving to fulfill our Baptismal vows (from The Book of Common Prayer, 1979).

Q: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?
A: I do.

Q: Do you put your whole trust in his grace and love?
A: I do.

Q: Do you promise to follow and obey him as your Lord?
A: I do.     

At least five times a year, we renew our Baptismal promises:

Q: Will you continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?
A: I will, with God's help.

Q: Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?
A: I will with God's help.

Q: Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?
A: I will with God's help.

Q: Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
A: I will with God's help.

Q: Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?
A: I will with God's help.    

But not everyone is there yet, and that's alright. We are here to share our stories and companion one another right where we are in our journey along the Jesus Way.

Learning to live in love

When Jesus taught about the primary commandment by which Christians live, he didn't say, "You shall believe that a particular set of statements about God is true"; rather, Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Matt. 22:37; Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27).

When many Episcopalians say, "I believe in Jesus," or "I believe in God," or "I believe in the Holy Spirit," we mean we have confidence in Jesus, we trust God, and we devote ourselves to the work of the Holy Spirit. Or we mean we're striving to do these things, "with God's help"—we may not be there yet. And we don't mean that we all believe exactly the same thing about Jesus.

The words believe and belove have the same root which means to hold dear or to give one's self to. When we say we believe in God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit, it means we hold God dear, we are loyal to Jesus, we want to live in relationship with the Holy Spirit—not that we give intellectual assent to a statement or set of statements about the Trinitarian God.

As followers of Jesus, as walkers in The Way of Jesus, we strive, with God's help, to work toward constructing Christ's Beloved Community through values that we believe were important to Jesus on this earth: values such as loving, welcoming, healing, sharing, giving, blessing, forgiving, and reconciling. 

"Is there a place for me?"

If you are hungry for hope in your life, if you want to let go of fear, if you long for a deeper relationship with God, with other people, and with all of God's good creation, we invite you to come and worship with us, come to the sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, come into this community of those who long for a deeper experience of God, and a more loving, trusting relationship with others. Come, it is Christ who is calling.  

You will learn the most about how we believe by first worshiping with us. How we together serve others, how we engage our questions together, and how we companion one another on the journey, also shape who we are—and we are grounded in the sacraments of Baptism and the Holy Eucharist.

We are a community growing in grace and striving to share God's perfect, life-giving love with all creation.

Here is a reflection by a person who came to the Episcopal Church as his chosen denomination—he offers some of the "why's" of that decision. And here is a somewhat light-hearted reflection on Episcopal identity by an Episcopal priest.

Come and see.

The way of Jesus is thus not a set of beliefs about Jesus. That people ever thought it was is strange, when we think about it — as if one entered new life by believing certain things to be true, or as if the only people who can be saved are those who know the word "Jesus." Thinking that way virtually amounts to salvation by syllables.     

~Marcus J. Borg, "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally"