What we think . . .
When denominations form they can choose two methods. One way is by blending all the differences among the people into one (sort of like V-8 juice is a mixture of many vegetables pureed into a single liquid) or the other is by creating unity within diversity, kind of like making a stew with chunks of vegetables that preserve their own texture. I know I prefer stew with its richness of integral pieces and that is one of the distinctive aspects of the Episcopal Church.
We are first of all Christian, basing our worship and ethics on the premise and belief that Jesus is God’s Son and Lord of the Church. We are a creedal church which means we affirm the creeds handed down through the ages in Christian history. We are especially biblical: we hear four lessons from Holy Scripture each Sunday, our prayers are drawn from passages in scripture and our understanding of Christian discernment is based on scripture plus tradition (teachings and practices upheld by the church since its beginning) and thirdly reason (the God-given ability to think about our experience of God and to apply wisdom and common sense to our decisions and actions as a Christian). Besides it was our parent church that gave the world the first English bible!
We are comprehensive; our doors are wide and welcoming. We are both Catholic and Protestant in our formation. Roman Catholics will find our worship service very familiar as we chiefly celebrate the eucharist or communion each week. Protestants will recognize our emphasis on scripture readings and the importance of preaching as hallmarks of our worship. John Westerhoff says, “Anglican temperament is comprehensive, ambiguous, open-minded, intuitive, aesthetic, moderate, naturalistic, historical and political.” We don’t claim to know more than we do; we seek to learn and grow day by day and find truth in the gathered community of seekers rather than in the unified voice of likeminded people.
Our goal here is “to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds and bodies” through beautiful worship, daily prayer and deep commitment to service. We endeavor “to love our neighbors as ourselves” by respecting the dignity of every person, working to better the lives of others and by making decisions that honor God and all people. We hold up a broad umbrella for all to stand and weather both rain and sunshine huddled together underneath.
To learn more, come on in!