The Episcopal Church is sometimes called a “bridge” church, because of our strong affinities with both Roman Catholic and other Protestant churches and our respect for all faith traditions. Our worship consists of music, prayers, readings from Scripture and a sermon, followed by what we call the celebration of Holy Communion, a sacred act of remembering and re-living Jesus’ last meal with his disciples. Our worship is traditional in many ways, and quite innovative in others. It’s that combination of tradition and innovation that gives the Episcopal Church its distinct feel. We love to explore the deeper questions of life and faith, in the context of that deeper grounding.
We are Christians, followers of Jesus, who we believe to be the Son of God.
We are also deeply respectful toward other faiths and committed to inter-faith dialogue and witness. While we feel called to follow Jesus, we don’t presume that all people are called to the same path.
We are people of the Book. The Bible is our sacred text and story. But we also acknowledge that the Bible is an ancient human document, full of all the contradictions and inconsistencies of humanity. We seek in Scripture spiritual inspiration, historical grounding for our faith, the teachings of Jesus and of the Hebrew prophets before him, and guidance for our own life of prayer and service.
We are people of community and of communion. For Episcopalians, our gathering in community and our common prayers are priceless. We don’t need to agree with one another about matters of faith, but we are called to pray together, with and for one another. We believe, as Jesus taught, that when two or three of us are gathered, he is in our midst, and we need the diversity of human community to embody God’s dream. At St. John’s, we practice open communion—all who worship with us are welcome to participate in the sharing of bread and wine.
We are people of deep questioning and curiosity. We love the rituals of worship, and the open-mindedness of spiritual exploration. We are committed to reaching out, beyond the Church, to seek and serve Christ in all persons.
Christianity is a way of life; and in the words of Marcus Borg, “Practice is about living the Christian way.” To be sure, there are many “practices” that define Christianity, some that we do together, in community; others we do in the privacy of our homes and hearts. Spiritual practices teach us to pay attention to God in daily life; they help shape our character, they feed our souls, and move us in ways of compassion and justice.
All we do at St. John’s is in service to the practice of Christian life. Here are a few suggestions for Christian practice by yourself or with others.