What’s Episcopalian?

What is the Episcopal Church?

“Episcopal” means we are governed by bishops and organized into dioceses. The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 163 countries.

What do Episcopalians Believe?

Like all churches, we are often asked, “What do you believe?” A short answer might be to say that we believe in God, in Jesus Christ the Son of God, and in the Holy Spirit.

You might ask, however, “don’t ALL Christians believe those things?”  People often want to know specifics.  That is not how The Episcopal Church tends to approach faith and belief.

Our list of “non-negotiable” points are very few, and largely shared with most every other Christian tradition. Those relatively few points are:

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  • There is one God, who is a Trinity of Persons.
  • The First Person of the Trinity, traditionally called “Father,” created all things at the beginning of time.
  • The very human Jesus Christ, also was and is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Trinity, and our Savior.
  • The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) are the revealed word of God, written by human beings under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is the Third Person of the Trinity. The Bible contains all things necessary for salvation.

Certainly, there is more to be said about God and Jesus. Many denominations or church traditions take very specific stances on issues, but The Episcopal Church is not bound together by a shared position on academic theological questions or by tests of doctrine. We are bound together by our love of God in Christ Jesus, by our shared traditions and experiences of God in the worship and the life of the community.

That is not to say that Episcopalians don’t believe specific or particular things. It is just that each member of our community is able to think for herself or himself, to wrestle with doubt and the questions of faith, and to arrive at conclusions which may be somewhat different than those of other members within the community.

Faith is not a set of words- it can’t be written down in some medieval manuscript or linked to from Facebook. Our faith is a living faith, and our church is a community, not an idea. The only way to know what Episcopalians believe is to come and see for yourself. We invite you to worship with us, pray with us, and sing with us at the table of the Lord.