What We Believe
The Word, or the Holy Scriptures, commonly called the Bible, are books of the Jewish and Christian communities (the Old and New Testaments). We call the Holy Scriptures the Word of God because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit who guides the Church in the interpretation of the Scriptures. Historical context and an understanding of traditions and literary style help us to interpret scripture. We look at scripture through the lens of who we know God to be. Our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry likes to say “If it’s not about Love it’s not about God.”
The Episcopal Church is a “trinitarian” church. We believe that there is one God, consisting of three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, or Creator, Redeemer, Sustainer. The Nicene and Apostles’ creeds are historic statements of our basic beliefs about God.
The Episcopal Church is a “sacramental” church. The sacraments are outward and visible signs of an inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace. We further understand that there are two great sacraments: Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church. The Holy Eucharist, the sharing of consecrated bread and wine, is reception of the spiritual Body and Blood of Christ given and received in faith. The Episcopal Church also recognizes other sacramental rites which include confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony (regardless of gender), reconciliation of a penitent, and unction (anointing the sick with oil and/or laying on of hands).