What We Believe
We strive to live as earthly examples of God’s love for every human being. Laypeople and clergy work together to care for members, maintain their sanctuaries, and serve their communities. We believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world. We believe God loves you – no exceptions. Our beliefs are based on these sources:
Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer (BCP) is a treasure chest of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations. It is the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.
“It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offense be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire.” (BCP, p. 9)
The Bible is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason. It contains all we need for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end. Approximately 70 percent of the Book of Common Prayer comes directly from the Bible.
“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them.” (BCP, p. 236)
A mini-catechism is used at baptisms and on Easter and other special occasions. The baptismal covenant begins with a question-
and-answer version of the Apostles’ Creed. It adds 5 questions about how we, as Christians, are called to live out our faith.
“Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?” (BCP, p. 292)
Questions and answers in the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 845-862) help teach the foundational truths of Christian faith.
When we say the Apostles’ Creed during baptism, and the Nicene Creed during communion, we affirm our faith in the one God who created, redeemed, and sanctified us. Whether spoken aloud or prayed in silence, the creeds are:
“…statements of our basic beliefs about God.” (BCP, p. 851).
Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the Episcopal Church recognizes other spiritual markers on our faith journey. The Book of Common Prayer includes:
Confirmation (adult affirmation of our baptismal vows), pp. 413-419
Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession), pp. 447-452
Matrimony (Christian marriage), pp. 422-438
Orders (ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop), pp. 510-555
Unction (anointing with oil those who are sick or dying) pp. 453-467
“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace.” (BCP, p. 857)