At times the Episcopal Church can seem a bit confusing: we are Catholic yet Protestant, we are orthodox yet welcome everyone, we love questions and new ways of thinking, and yet we are guided in all things by ancient Holy Scripture and the teachings of the Apostles.
We trace our origins back through the founding of the Episcopal Church in the American Revolution, through the birth of Anglicanism in the 16th century English Reformation, and even further back to the Church of the Apostles. We strive in all things to cling to the faith that the Lord Jesus taught to Matthew and John, to Peter and Mary, and which has been faithfully handed down from generation to generation in the Church.
We believe in one God who is three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We believe that more than two-thousand years ago, God the Son was born as a helpless baby to a poor Jewish family in Palestine, and that in Him was revealed both the fullness of God and the fullness of what it is to be human. We believe that he lived a life of perfect love, holiness and prayer; that he was jailed, beaten, humiliated, and ultimately executed on a cross. That Jesus, God the Son, the source of life itself, actually died: that the light of the world entered into the darkness of death.
We believe that death itself was killed when it came into contact with the fullness of life, and that those who are joined to the Lord Jesus in baptism are freed from death forever — that death literally has no hold on human nature now that Christ is risen from the dead.
We believe that after the resurrection, Christ continued his life of goodness and love, teaching His followers for another 40 days, and then bodily rose into Heaven. That now Jesus Christ, the fullness of humanity and the fullness of divinity, reigns at the right hand of God the Father. That a human body, what’s more a wounded human body, is at the heart of the life of God.
We believe that at the end of time, Jesus Christ will return and that there will be a new creation: a new Heaven and a new Earth in which there will be no injustice, no violence, no cruelty, no evil, no disease, no death. That, for all of those who accept this new, eternal life, all manner of things shall be well: that forever growing into the greater and greater peace, goodness, light, and joy of God will be the eternal reality of every person, animal, and of all Creation.
We Episcopalians try to live every day as though we already lived in the new creation: we strive to focus all of ourselves on God — to be constantly aware of His life-giving presence. We strive to be oases of peace to others, oases of kindness and love and joy. We strive to be upright, selfless, and good -- and we are dismal failures at it.
We try and we mess up every single day, and we constantly seek God’s healing forgiveness to try again, and this we do through the grace of God’s Word and Sacraments. This is what our communal life as Episcopalians is all about.
There is a lot more to be said about who we are and what we believe, so if you’d like to know more, why not come pay us a visit? We’d love to meet you!
Fr. Bertie Pearson
Rector of Grace