WHAT WE BELIEVE
"The Anglican Communion has no peculiar thought, practice, creed or confession of its own. It has only the Catholic Faith of the ancient Catholic Church, as preserved in the Catholic Creeds and maintained in the Catholic and Apostolic constitution of Christ's Church from the beginning." —The Most Rev. Geoffrey Fisher, 99th Archbishop of Canterbury
Trinity Church: An Episcopal Community
Trinity Church is a parish within the Episcopal Church, a Church within the Anglican Communion, which is itself a body of churches within the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church that traces our lineage back to the apostles and Jesus Christ himself. The word "episcopal" comes from the Greek episkopos, meaning bishops, who are the successors to the apostles and keep us united to this ancient lineage. Our only statements of faith are the Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed.
The Episcopal Church strives to live by the message of Christ, in which there are no outcasts and all are welcome. Walking a middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestant traditions, we are a sacramental and worship-oriented church that promotes thoughtful debate about what God is calling us to do and be, as followers of Christ.
The Episcopal Church, having its roots in the Church of England, is also an Anglican Church. Like all Anglican churches, the Episcopal Church is distinguished by the following characteristics:
PROTESTANT, YET CATHOLIC
As a "Reformed Catholic" Church, the Episcopal Church stands squarely in the Reformed, or Protestant, tradition and yet we consider ourselves to be equally directly descended from the early Church as the Roman Catholic or Eastern Orthodox churches. As Anglicans, we profess the one "catholic faith," as summarized in the Creeds, and have maintained the historic apostolic succession of bishops reaching back to the early Church.
While we worship in ways similar to the Roman Catholic tradition, particularly in the celebration of the Holy Mass or Eucharist, we do not recognize a single ecclesiastical authority, such as the Pope. The Episcopal Church is often referred to as the "middle way," since it contains elements of both the Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.
We believe in the two “great” sacraments – Holy Baptism administered once to each person either in their infancy or later in life, and the Holy Eucharist (Communion). Other sacraments of our Church are Confession, Ordination, Anointing or Unction (administration to the sick), Confirmation, and Holy Matrimony.
The Sacraments are "outward and visible signs of inward and invisible grace," meaning that in these rites, we experience a particular encounter with God and receive particular blessings that are unique to these moments. The grace we receive in the Sacraments sustains us in our lives as Christians and empowers us for the work to which we are called by God.
The Book of Common Prayer is the prayer book of the Episcopal Church and contains the format for how we conduct our worship services. Drawn from the earliest practices of Christian worship, worship in the Episcopal Church ranges from the very plain to the very splendid. Episcopalians worship the Lord in private and in community, most importantly in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, or the Mass, which is the "source and summit of Christian life." The congregation actively participates in worship by reading Scripture, helping administer the Sacraments and saying prayers together.
The liturgy reminds us of God's constant presence and love for us, and helps to shape our lives that we may live them out faithfully in response to that love. Thus, our worship equips us and sustains us for the work that God sends us out to do in the world.
We believe God’s love and grace are the rightful possession of all people. We believe that God best expressed His love and grace by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to live among us in flesh and bone (the Incarnation). Therefore Episcopalians believe that God’s love and grace are best experienced, encountered, and expressed in and through Christ’s Body, the Church. Thus we welcome everyone from the youngest to the oldest, regardless of race, ethnicity, age, ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation, and invite them to be a part of our community.