It's difficult to sum up in a few words something so profound that it permeates every aspect of your life. St. Francis, like much of the Episcopal Church, has always defied description. When you visit on a Sunday you will find elements that are both Catholic and Protestant, both liberal and conservative. At the same time, we join together to love one another just as Christ has loved us.
That being said, there are several fundamental doctrines that St. Francis upholds. These doctrines are best seen in the historic creeds. The oldest of these is the Apostles' Creed which forms the minimum set of beliefs for the Christian faith. This creed affirms that there is One God who exists as three persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. It affirms that God created Heaven and the earth. It proclaims that Jesus Christ was born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, rose from the dead, and one day will come again. It affirms that the Holy Spirit continues to work through the Church, that we receive forgiveness for our sins, and that one day we will have everlasting life (Book of Common Prayer p. 96). Everytime a new Christian is baptized the whole community affirms these truths.
Our beliefs drive our worship, and conversely, our worship demonstrates what we believe. Each Sunday at St. Francis we do two things without fail: we hear the Word of God proclaimed and we respond to the Word of God. Sometimes this response involves a new believer's baptism. It includes sharing of the Lord's Body and Blood in the Eucharist, confessing our sins and receiving forgiveness, and sharing the Peace of God with one another. As Episcopalians, we feel that God works in our midst through both Word and Sacraments, and that each of these is an outward sign of something happening deep within our souls.
But to truly understand what we believe, it's best to come and experience it for yourself. Both when we get together for Sunday worship, and as we go about our lives throughout the week, we do our best to be the kind of people God wants us to be, and to exemplify the notion of a "Beloved Community."
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7 NRSV)
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