What we believe

Our beliefs are “generously orthodox.” We are “orthodox” in that the Gospel we preach falls in line with ancient Christian proclamations concerning the good news of Jesus Christ and the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. At the same time, we are “generous” in that we interpret these beliefs in a way that is relevant, inclusive, and life-giving. Finally, we look for ways that our affirmation of Christ bears witness to whatever is beautiful, good, and true in our world.

Taken together, this means that we believe that we are called to avoid drawing lines that shut others out but to build relationships that welcome anyone and everyone who wants to walk with us. This also means that we preach a Gospel that does not fall into the political divisions and polarizations that we are experiencing in our wider culture.

Indeed, one of the more remarkable things about our church is that there is a remarkable diversity of beliefs, stories, and people here. We believe that the love we share in this diverse community bears witness to the love of Jesus Christ, which embraces all.

More about the foundation of our generous orthodoxy appears below.

We believe Jesus Christ is the incarnate “Son of God” (Mark 1:1), who is the “Word of God” full of grace and truth (John 1:14). We believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior.

Through his life on earth and his death on the cross, he has offered a perfect sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10), given us victory over the power of sin and death (1 Corinthians 15:55-57), and reconciled us with God (2 Corinthians 5:18-19). Jesus’ crucifixion summarizes the point of his life, which was to reveal God’s infinite love for us (Romans 5:6-8). This love is victorious, because Jesus’s death was vindicated by the resurrection of his physical body three days later (1 Corinthians 15:20-23).

By walking in Jesus’ footsteps and following the pattern of his life — each in our own way as individuals and as a community —  we make his love our own. By receiving the forgiveness Jesus offers for our sins, we receive Jesus’ love for us as sheer grace and gift. There is nothing we can do to inherit or earn the love of God. This love unites us to Christ and to each other (Galatians 3:27-28).

We believe in the Holy Spirit as the breath of God, who was present with God at the creation of the world (Genesis 1:2). This same Spirit indwells us as the “Spirit of Truth” who bears witness to God the Father and his Son, Jesus (John 15:26). The Holy Spirit gives us the power to preach, to pray, and to minister in the Name of Christ (Acts 2:4). The presence of the Holy Spirit within us gives us the power to love and forgive with the same love and forgiveness that Jesus shows to us (John 19:22-23; Romans 5:5).

We believe in one God who has been revealed as a Trinity of Persons — known to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Each of these persons is truly God — Jesus is God, the Holy Spirit is God, and the Father is God. The Trinity reveals that God is love and calls us to love (1 John 4:7-8). In addition to these revealed names, we employ metaphors and even use other names for God so long as these help us step into the mystery of this love as we find it in our world.

We believe that God’s triunity is made known to us through God’s threefold presence and blessing as we bear witness and make disciples in the name of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-20). This means that we cannot speak of Jesus except by the power of the Holy Spirit, through whom God is always already active in the world. We also believe that God is “in” us — that we are truly alive in Christ through the indwelling power of the Holy Spirit, thanks be to God.

We believe that God’s triunity provides us with a witness of the perfect love we are called as Christians to show one another and our world (John 17:21-23). We experience this perfect love as comfort, as challenge, as a goal in our own interpersonal relations — no matter how intimate or expanded, how personal or political. When we fail to live up to the demands of this love in our own lives, we also experience this love as grace and promise.

We believe that we have been called to live together as Christ’s mystical body. The name we give to his community is the “Church,” a term that is based on a Greek word in the New Testament for a “gathering” (ekklesia) or of people in a public place (Ephesians 1:22). The church is the place where our common life in Christ (koinonia) is fully and visibly realized in our love for one another and for the world, in our prayers and preaching of God’s Word,  and in our participation in two sacraments Jesus gave to us — Baptism and the Eucharist (Acts 2:42-47).

Sacraments bear witness in visible, material, and tangible ways to God’s work in us and in our world through the Holy Spirit. They are more than symbols or reminders but powerfully re-present the presence of Christ among us. By them, we are given our true identity. With them, we are alive in Christ. Through them, we are joined to Christ and one another. They reveal to us what we truly are.

Baptism is a sacrament of water and Spirit that celebrates our participation in Jesus’ own death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-10). Baptism also celebrates our self-dedication — the deliberate turning away from evil, sin, and death and toward God’s love, forgiveness (Acts 8:30-38).

The Eucharist originated as the Passover meal that Jesus celebrated with his disciples on the night before he died (Matthew 26:26-30; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:14-23). By giving them bread and wine as his “Body” and “Blood,” Jesus assured them of his presence in a new, life-giving way. This living presence is the abundant power of his resurrection and reconciliation which is revealed even in the midst of his betrayal and death (John 6:53-58). By participating in this sacred meal of bread and wine, which is to us Christ’s body and blood, we see ourselves as members of the same body (1 Corinthians 10:16-17).

We are a community of Christian people from diverse backgrounds gathering around God’s table in communion. We seek to be an inviting, inclusive and welcoming community. We extend an invitation to you to come with us and explore what God is doing in your life. Our interpretation of these guiding beliefs are inclusive and life-giving, and we look for ways that our affirmation of Christianity bears witness to whatever  is beautiful, good, and true in our world. There is a place for you here at God’s table.

The Episcopal Church has a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women and men 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.

Finally, the focus of our life together is to participate in God’s larger mission in our world. We do this by bearing witness to God’s kingdom values and making disciples so that the Gospel is preached to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8; Acts 13:47).

Our mission is not something that happens “outside” the walls of our church, but something which enables us to receive fully the gift of God in our life together as the body of Christ. Our mission is therefore to find, and lift up, where God is already present and already at work in our world.

Our Fourfold Vision

God has called us to live according to a fourfold vision: Meeting Jesus, Finding Joy, Sharing Beauty, and Serving Others.

We firmly believe that each needs the other to be truly fulfilled:

  • We meet Jesus when we discover the joy that meeting him brings, the beauty he reveals, and the ways we are called to serve others as he does.
  • We find true joy when we meet Jesusexperience beauty, and find the perfect freedom there is in joyfully serving others.
  • We share in beauty when we see all the ways meeting Jesusfinding joy, and serving others bring out what is truly beautiful in ourselves and others.
  • We truly serve others when our service reveals joy, beauty, and Jesus. For Jesus is the model of all loving serviceliberating joy, and transfiguring beauty.

Our Values

  • Joyful: Celebrate in our vibrant fellowship in the life we share.
  • Rooted: Encourage a spiritual life that makes time for prayer and worship.
  • Faithful: Offer opportunities for education, transformation, and ministry to all age groups.
  • Loving: Engage in abundant and meaningful mission and outreach.
  • Collaborative: Work together and include others.
  • Reconciling: Work for justice and peace among all people.
  • Transparent: Be open about what we are doing, and what is happening.
  • Welcoming: Provide inclusive hospitality and loving pastoral care.
  • Empowering: Lift up diverse ministries and courageous Christian leadership.
  • Generous: Advance our mission by practicing Christ-centered stewardship and giving.