“The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.”
Those words are on signs in large cities and small towns across the United States – in almost every place there is an Episcopal Church. At St. Mark’s, this is especially true, as we do our best to practice a concept called Radical Welcome. That means we welcome and make space here for YOU, whatever your ethnic background, religious tradition, age, gender or sexual orientation may be.
We describe our faith as based on three legs of a stool: Faith, Tradition and Reason. Episcopalians are known for having a variety of opinions and lively dialogues, but we come together in the liturgy as one community of the faithful.
Background on The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are a Protestant denomination influenced by the Reformation, yet our worship and doctrine come from the historic Christian church.
We are proud of the leadership role the Anglican Church took in translating the Bible into English – the King James version. Like other Reformation-based denominations, we believe that the Bible and our services should be conducted in the language of the worshipers. Anglicans, including Episcopalians, use The Book of Common Prayer for our services, prayers and beliefs.
The Nicene Creed, written in the 4th century, is our statement of faith:
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.
The Episcopal Church embraces diversity
We have ordained people of many races and ethnicities, women, and gay people as priests and bishops. These choices each have put us at odds with some in the greater Anglican community; however, we believe that God can call any one of us to ministry and our dialogue within Anglicanism continues.