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WHAT DO EPISCOPALIANS BELIEVE?

A starting point for understanding what Episcopalians believe is with a verse of scripture most Christian Americans memorized as children – John 3:16. "For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, to the extent that all who believe in him," [as the Savior of the world] "might inherit eternal life." This God is the creator of the world and of all people, who are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26). A simple statement of the New Testament is so fundamental to our faith: "God is love" (1 John 4:7). In the mystery of the Incarnation or "the Word [becoming] flesh" (John 1:14), the otherwise invisible God, demonstrated this incredible love for all people through Jesus, the Savior of the world. The gift of love is God’s most powerful creation action!

Jesus declared he was the Messiah and the Savior for whom his Jewish brothers and sisters had long awaited. He gave "the Great Commandment," based upon the love of God: "Hear O, Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength; and love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all of the Law and the Prophets" [of the Old Testament] (Matthew 22:39).

The only commandment of the New Covenant that Jesus issued to his disciples, the Apostles, was in the form of a "New Commandment," that is, "Love one another" (John 13:34).

In addition to possessing a Bible-based faith or belief system, Episcopalians also use the Creeds of the Church – both the Apostles’ and the Nicene Creeds – as the orthodox statements of faith, which were inherited from the Early Church.

Salvation is an act of Grace, and one begins a new life of grace with the sacrament of Holy Baptism. And through the presence of the Holy Spirit in baptism, one is born anew and is fully initiated into the Body of Christ, the Church. Though the Episcopal Church recognizes many sacramental rites (also received from the Early Church tradition) all baptized persons receive the Holy Eucharist (or Communion) on a regular basis as spiritual nourishment and a reminder of God’s grace through Jesus Christ.

Basically stated, an Episcopal Church 1) believes the Bible, the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, to be the Word of God and contain all things necessary for salvation; 2) uses the Nicene Creed of the Church as a statement of orthodox faith; 3) administers the "Great Sacraments of the Gospels" – Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist (Communion); and 4) recognizes the unbroken apostolic succession through the history and lineage of her Bishops. (Adapted from the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral of – page 877of The Book of Common Prayer).

St. Francis Episcopal Church
P.O. Box 11406
503 Forest Hill Dr.
Goldsboro, NC 27532
Voice: 919-735-9845
Fax: 919-735-9893
E-mail:
parish@stfrancisgoldsboro.org
Our church is completely
handicapped accessible.

The Reverend Marcia McRae, Priest-in-Charge,
may be reached by e-mail at parish@stfrancisgoldsboro.org or call the Parish Office.

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