Who We Are?

The Episcopal Church is: Part of God’s One, Holy Church in the whole World! The name of our church comes from the Greek word Episcopos which means “bishop” or “overseer.” The leaders of our church are called bishops and we are called Episcopalians. All Episcopalians have bishops.

What do we believe?

Three important things show us the way to understand our God and our world:

The Bible
We believe that God and God’s people can speak to us through the Bible. All the things we need for a good life are in there.

Our Tradition
We are a church with many old stories. Some of these stories connect us to Jesus and the things he taught us. Some of the stories help us understand what other people think about God and Jesus.

The Episcopal Church does not have a human-made set of rules for being God’s people.

We believe that in our life with God we should use our minds – we should think about the Bible, tradition and our own experience. The Church is the people of God. The church is not a building where people go to worship God. The church is all of God’s people. God’s people work in the world to help other people know about God’s love for all people. All of God’s people do God’s work.

Some people are chosen to be leaders in the church. These people receive special training and education. They are “ordained.” This means they have been chosen by God and by the church to lead. They are called deacons, priests, and bishops. Other people do God’s work every day in everything they do. They are baptized. This means that they are part of God’s great family that we call the church.

The Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.

Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 358