What do we believe in The Episcopal Church?
We believe in a radical welcome. Wherever you are and wherever you find yourself on the journey of faith, you are welcome at both of the Episcopal Churches of Shenandoah County. We are an open and inclusive church community and welcome people of every age, class, race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnic orientation, physical condition or religious background to fully participate in worship and fellowship.
Statement of Faith
The Episcopal Church’s most basic statement of faith is this: we believe in the Holy Trinity. Our list of absolute points of faith are largely shared with almost every other Christian tradition:
- There is one God, the Holy Trinity (“three and yet one”).
- The First Person of the Trinity, traditionally called “Father,” created all things at the beginning of time.
- Jesus Christ, who was both human and divine, was and is the Son of God, Second Person of the Trinity, and our Savior.
- The Holy Scriptures (the Bible) were 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.
Scripture, Tradition, and Reason
Descended from the Anglican Church of England, The Episcopal Church and its members approach faith through a lens of scripture, tradition, and reason. We follow what is known as the via media or “middle way” between Protestant and Roman Catholic doctrine and traditions: that is both Catholic and reformed.
Our faith community wrestles with questions of faith, and in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition, we often arrive at conclusions which may be different than those of other members within our community. Unlike other religious traditions, The Episcopal Church has never been governed by one founding theologian; what has bound us together is our common prayer life and a community formed by the sacraments (see below).
We place great emphasis on the Great Commandment to love God and neighbor fully, and to live out the promises of the Baptismal Covenant. At every baptism, and other occasions throughout the liturgical year, particularly at Easter, we are asked to state that by word and example, we will proclaim the Good News of God in Christ; that we will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving [our] neighbors as [ourself]; and that we will strive for justice and peace, and respect the dignity of every human being.
The two great sacraments are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist (also known as Holy Communion). Other sacramental rites are confirmation, ordination, marriage, reconciliation of a penitent and anointing of the sick.
The Episcopal Churches of Shenandoah County 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. We seek to provide a vision of community in an inclusive climate of mutual love and service.
Click this link for Glossary of Episcopal Terms.