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What We Believe

You may have heard that Episcopalians can believe anything they like - this is not true. While the Episcopal Church is very diverse and many people, some from a variety of other Christian traditions, find the Episcopal Church is wide enough for them to be comfortable, we do have a core set of beliefs:

  • We believe Jesus is the Son of God, was born of the Virgin Mary, was crucified, died, and rose from the dead, and will come again to judge the living and the dead.
  • We believe in the Holy Trinity - God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
  • We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be the inspired Word of God.

Our Beliefs are based on three sources: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.

Scripture - Scripture is the inspired word of God contained in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. The Old Testament contains the story of God's relationship with the Chosen people, the Jews. The New Testament contains the teachings of Jesus the Christ, stories about His birth, life and death, and stories about the beginning of the Church.

Tradition - Over the last two thousand years, Christians have developed many traditions which guide our beliefs. These traditions are based on the writings and teachings of the Apostles, the works of the early Fathers of the Church, and the Councils of the Church. In addition, our traditions are also informed by our Jewish roots. The traditions of Christianity help guide is today in our interpretation of Scripture, and in our prayer and worship.

Reason - In order to understand God's Word and what it means to us today, each Christian must use his or her intelligence and experiences, or reason.

The tenants of our faith are laid out in the following documents:

  • The Outline of Faith, or Catechism, in the Book of Common Prayer - our beliefs in Question and Answer form
  • Creedal Statements - ancient and universal statements of Christian faith - the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed are used by us, and many other Christian churches, in regular worship services. While not used in daily worship, the Athanasian Creed is another important Creed that outlines our beliefs.
  • The 39 Articles of Religion – as adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1801
  • Also of interest is the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral - the general ecumenical principles of Anglicans - adopted by the Anglican Communion in 1870

 

 

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