Episcopalians are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and we consider ourselves a part of the church catholic: that is one faithful expression of the Christian Church. The following are some distinctive themes of the Episcopal Church. We share many of these with our sisters and brothers in other Christian traditions. We do not have all the answers, but we are open to exploring the questions – and to faithfully acting out of our trust in God.
God Loves Everyone: Episcopalians believe that in Jesus Christ God reveals that God loves everyone and is committed to reconciling all things to God and all people to each other.
How We Read the Bible: Episcopalians read the Bible and study it using the latest biblical scholarship. We believe that the best way to respect the Bible is to read each story in its own cultural and historical context.
Open-minded: Episcopalians are people of a questioning faith. God’s love is so certain that we can ask questions without fear. We find wisdom in many traditions, including science, and encourage people to listen to each other and to bring their honest questions to their spiritual life.
Sacramental: Episcopalians experience Christ’s presence in Baptism and the Eucharist (Lord’s Supper). In the strength of Christ’s presence revealed in these sacraments we are empowered to take part in God’s healing of the world.
Incarnational: Episcopalians emphasize the incarnation, God’s entry into human life and history. The word incarnation means “in flesh” or “embodied,” that is, that God is embodied in Jesus and therefore human beings and the created world are good.
Mystery: Episcopalians are not “black and white” thinkers, but instead affirm the depth of experience. We embrace complexity and ambiguity in many aspects of human life and in the spiritual journey.
Communal: For Episcopalians, communal prayer comes before and shapes personal prayer. Prayer is seen as an activity that connects us to God and to all others. Communal prayer is a part of daily, weekly and yearly rhythms and both surrounds and informs community gatherings and meetings in which decisions are made.
Intuitive: Episcopalians are at home in the world of image, symbol, myth, ritual, and the arts. Very few Episcopalians write systematic theologies. Instead we are writers, poets, pastors, and musicians.
Beauty: Episcopalians believe that beauty is a doorway to truth and goodness and that beauty is a doorway to God.
Moderate: Episcopalians avoid extremes, believing that a godly life is one that is disciplined, balanced and temperate.
Naturalistic: Episcopalians have a reverence for nature and its rhythms. We believe in working to protect the natural world and its creatures.
Political Engagement: Episcopalians believe that Christian life has political implications and that civic life is both a legitimate and important place for Christian faith to be expressed – without claiming to have the only faithful perspective. Anglicans are willing to take risks when called to confront injustice or oppression. Desmond Tutu, for instance, is a Bishop in the Anglican Church.