New to the Episcopal Faith?
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion with approximately 70 million members in 163 countries. We are a community of Christians united by our belief in Sacred Scripture that contains the very essence of the Christian faith. Through ancient stories, as well as modern ones, they are stories that connect us with Jesus and his teachings.
Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world. We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.
Lay people (non-clergy or non-ordained) 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 sexual identity or orientation.
We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.
HOW WE WORSHIP
While every church varies in its worship style, we praise and are united by a common prayer book. All Episcopal services, whatever their style, vary from spoken or sung ceremonies and follow The Book of Common Prayer. This style goes back to the first prayer book of the English Church produced in 1549, after it broke with Rome.
The services involve the participation of the congregation and follow almost exactly the same essential forms. This means that on any Sunday a person can go to any church (and with small local variations, any Anglican church in the world) and participate in a worship service.
HOW WE CELEBRATE
The celebration of the presence of God in our worship service takes place through water, bread and wine. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us through water that we are united with God. We call this baptism. The Episcopal Church believes that by baptism in any Christian domination we become brothers and sisters in the family of God.
Jesus shared the bread and wine with his first followers and is with us today in this family meal we call Holy Communion. Through it we receive the forgiveness of our sins and a strengthening of our union with God and with others as it reminds us of the life, death and resurrection of Christ. Any baptized person is welcome and encouraged to share in this meal!
We believe that there is a God who creates all things, surrenders us from sin and death and renews us as the Sons of God.
Episcopalians commit ourselves to follow Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. We believe that the mission of our church is the restoration of all people to unity with God and each one of us in Christ. We enrich ourselves with your presence.
As you continue your journey, please remember that our church is a place of rest, restoration and reunion. If you are looking for a place to worship frequently, every once in a while, or can only join us once, we welcome you!
THE COMMON PRAYER
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. 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.
The word "Creed" comes from the Latin word "credo" which means "I believe." Creeds are statements that contain a summary of our fundamental beliefs. In the Episcopal Church we recite both creeds in the liturgy, that of the Apostles and the Nicene.
Why recite the Creeds? Because we are a community of faith, we openly declare our beliefs and in this way we join Christians in the past, present and future.
About The Apostle's Creed
The Apostles' Creed dates back to the early years of the Christian Church and was used as a declaration of faith in Baptism. The Apostles' Creed is included in the Daily Morning services and the Daily Evening Prayer that can be used in the church or in private worship. You can find it in The Book of Common Prayer on pages 53, 66, 96 and 120 within those different services.
[ View Apostle's Creed ]
About the Nicene Creed
The Nicene Creed was written in the year 325 by bishops from the beginning, gathered in Nicaea (now Turkey). It is a statement that summarizes the Christian faith and is recited in unison during the services of the Holy Eucharist (the recreation of the Lord's Supper). It can be found on pages 326 and 358 of The Book of Common Prayer. The Nicene Creed we believe in one God, Father All-powerful, creator of heaven and earth, of all that is visible and invisible.
[ View Nicene Creed ]