St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Beliefs

Beliefs

As Episcopalians, we “believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world. We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women, men, [and non-binary people] serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our Church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our Church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation” (from episcopalchurch.org).

Here at St. Paul’s we welcome all people to come to Sunday morning worship and to all of our services. You are welcome here regardless of your race, country of origin, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, ability, or citizenship status (just to name a few!). We look forward to getting to know you and sharing the unique community that is St. Paul’s with you.

We accept that the Christian Bible contains all things necessary for Salvation. Although we most often read from the New Revised Standard Version, many translations are authorized and we encourage everyone to engage in thoughtful Biblical study that includes examining multiple translations, various points of view, and the writings of theologians from many different eras of history. The vast majority of our communal time together is marked by the words of Holy Scripture — beyond the four readings nearly every Sunday (First Testament lesson, Psalm, Second Testament epistle lesson, and Gospel lesson), many of the prayers we regularly say come directly from the Bible.

The Episcopal Church’s Book of Common Prayer contains the prayers, Psalms (from the Bible, but with a uniquely Anglican translation), canticles (ancient hymns), and all the texts of the liturgies (worship services) we commonly do. The Book of Common Prayer also contains our Church’s catechism (a set of questions and answers that help to lay the very base-level groundwork of what we believe as a Church). A further wealth of information, prayers, and gorgeous language await all who are willing to spend some time with this special book.

As Episcopalians, “we will always have questions; but, in the two foundational statements of faith – the Apostles’ Creed used at Baptism, and the Nicene Creed used at Communion – we join Christians throughout the ages in affirming our faith in the one God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us” (from Core Beliefs and Doctrines).

We encourage all who are called by the Holy Spirit to discern and then be Baptized. Baptism is full initiation into the Church. “In the waters of Baptism, we are reminded that we belong to God and nothing can separate us from the love of God. We also find ourselves part of an extended family, one with Christians throughout the ages and across the world, what we call the ‘one, holy, catholic [meaning universal], and apostolic Church'” (from Core Beliefs and Doctrines). All Baptized Christians are welcome to receive Holy Communion (also known as Eucharist) whenever we gather as a community for that most holy Sacrament.

In addition to Baptism and Eucharist, the Church acknowledges other “outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p857).