Essential to our common faith is the belief that Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, is our Lord and Savior. He lived as dynamic teacher, a compassionate healer, and a spirit-filled prophet. He died on the cross, and God raised him to new life to bring that new life to all people.
We hold to essentials of the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed: the Incarnation (that Jesus was the Son of God who came into the world and lived a human life) and the Trinity (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three “persons” or expressions). We further believe that the Bible is the revealed word of God, which speaks to us in our own time and place, and which may be interpreted through the use of tradition and reason.
The Episcopal Church allows for a broad spectrum of understanding, opinion, and expression. We are a liturgical church grounded in Scripture, tradition and experience and worship and know Christ’s presence in our lives in many different ways. The Episcopal/Anglican tradition is distinctive in that it finds its unity and identity in its worship, and it is here, in talking to and with God, that we express what we believe about God. Therefore, the sources of our written theology are in our books of worship, namely the Book of Common Prayer and the Hymnal.
These things and characteristics define us as Episcopalians
Jesus – we are shaped by Christ in our relationship to God and others.
Biblical – we use the Bible to help us make sense of the world.
Open– we are democrats, republicans, libertarians and socialists.
Bishops – we are governed by bishops – that’s what the word Episcopalian (derived from the Greek) means.
Historical – it’s complicated. Ask a church nerd or
Eucharistic – we share bread and wine in worship to celebrate the gift of Jesus.
Spiritual – we trust the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Global – we are in fellowship with other Episcopalians across the world (in most countries we are called Anglican).
Liturgical – we follow patterns and seasons of prayer using the Book of Common Prayer
Active– we help the disadvantaged and work for justice through systemic change for people and the earth.
Deacons and Priests – we are led by women and men; single and married; gay, straight and transgendered pastors.
To learn more about Episcopal beliefs, visit The Episcopal Church Visitor Center and peruse “An Outline of Faith” (commonly called the Catechism) from the Book of Common Prayer.