In the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (the Mass) and in other prayer services, Episcopalians and Anglicans stand and affirm our faith in the Nicene and Apostle’s Creeds. These two ancient statements of faith declare the core mysteries which our church has been affirming, and trying to understand, since the Resurrection of Christ.
At the heart of both of our creeds is the life of Jesus Christ. As Christians we believe that Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet and teacher that was put to death by the Roman authorities, miraculously rose from the grave three days later. The Resurrection of Jesus confirmed for his loyal followers that he was no ordinary prophet, but was in fact the son of God and the Messiah. Our lives as Christians are centered around this proclamation: that Jesus Christ, the son of God, died and rose again.
As Anglicans in the catholic tradition, we believe in the power of tradition to transform and shape our lives. Our worship and our theology were not created by one individual, or even a single generation, but are the result of centuries of Christ’s followers striving to live out their faith. We believe that the Holy Scriptures (or the Bible) is the divinely-inspired record of God’s faithful people. It is, for us, a record of God’s abiding love for a broken and sinful world. We believe that the Christ we follow becomes truly present to us through his body and blood: the bread and the wine that are offered at the altar, and we maintain that this great sacrament, instituted by Christ himself, must be celebrated with the utmost dignity and respect. We believe that by sharing in Christ’s death, through baptism and partaking of his body and blood in Holy Communion, that we will also share in his resurrection from the dead. Our lives are meant to be lived as citizens of the Kingdom of God, which begins in this world but doesn’t end in this world.
While we maintain the authority of the historic creeds of the Church and the Church’s Holy Scriptures, we also recognize that there is a diversity of opinion on how some of these are to be interpreted. While the Bible preserves for us the tale of God’s saving love, and how God’s people have responded to that love, it does not always directly answer every question we may have about daily living. In fact, sometimes the Bible creates even more questions. Anglicans have long since recognized that it is possible for people of sincere faith to sincerely disagree on some issues.
In our parish, as in many Anglican parishes, you will find people with different opinions about politics, gender, and sexuality. You will find people of different races, economic backgrounds, sexual orientations and political stripes. Our approach as a church is not to settle every dispute or to answer every question, but to focus on that which unifies us and ultimately saves us: the life of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.