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   October 2018   
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What it Means to be an Episcopalian

Below are highlights from the Episcopal Church in Connecticut's website.  Click the titles to be taken to the webpages from which the information originated.  Additional resources can be found at the bottom of this page.

https://www.episcopalct.org/blog/what-does-it-mean-to-participate-in-god-s-mission/

 

What We Believe

 At the center of our beliefs as Episcopalians are the following four tenants, adopted by the House of Bishops at the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral in 1886. 

  • The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments is the revealed Word of God.
  • The Nicene Creed is the sufficient statement of the Christian Faith.
  • The two sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist, ministered with unfailing use of Christ's words of institution and of the elements ordained by Him, are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace.
  • The Historic episcopate, locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into the unity of His Church.

There are many differences of opinion in the Episcopal Church and as a whole, we embrace the questions and strive to stay in community with one another.

  • As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
  • We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.
  • The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity.
  • Our liturgy retains ancient structure and traditions and is celebrated in many languages.
  • Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops.
  • We believe in amendment of life, the forgiveness of sin, and life everlasting.
  • Lay people exercise a vital role in the governance and ministry of our church.
  • Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.
  • We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer.
  • We affirm that committed relationships are lifelong and monogamous. Episcopalians also recognize that there is grace after divorce and do not deny the sacraments to those who have been divorced.
  • We have voted as a Church that access to the discernment process "for any ministry, lay or ordained, cannot be denied because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons."
  • We affirm that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.
  • We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion.
  • All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.

The Five Marks of Mission & the Baptismal Marks of Mission

The Five Marks of Mission

The Five Marks of Mission were developed by the Anglican Consultative Council between 1984 and 1990. (The fourth mark was updated in 2012.) They have won wide acceptance among Anglicans and have given parishes and dioceses around the world a practical and memorable "checklist" for ways of participating in God's mission.

They include:

  • To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
  • To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
  • To respond to human need by loving service
  • To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
  • To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth

See more about the Five Marks on the Anglican Communion page or on The Episcopal Church page.

Five Baptismal Marks of Mission

The Five Baptismal Marks of Mission were created by the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas in October 2012 and shared in his Address to the Annual Convention of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. They combined the Anglican "marks" with the promises of the Baptismal Covenant.

  1. Worship & Prayer: Teaching, baptizing and nurturing new believers
  2. Repentance & Forgiveness: Resisting evil and safeguarding the integrity of creation
  3. Evangelism: Proclaiming the Good News of God in Christ
  4. Service: Responding to human need by loving service
  5. Justice & Peace: Seeking to transform unjust structures of society and challenging violence

God’s Mission

God's mission is the restoration and reconciliation of all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.

God loved into creation - the universe, earth, humanity.
It was diverse, and it was good.
Human sin entered and distorted our relationship with God, one another, and creation.
God yearns to make all whole again. This is God's mission.
God chose and liberated a people, sent the law and the prophets.
God came in Jesus, fully human and fully divine.
In Jesus' life, death and resurrection we are restored to unity with God and each other. 
God sent the Holy Spirit, empowering the Body of Christ.
God co-missions us in baptism to participate in God's mission of restoration and reconciliation.

 

Additional Resources

The Episcopal Church

Episcopal Church in Connecticut

Northwest Region of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut