About the Episcopal Church

 

St. John’s is a part of the Episcopal Church and the broader Anglican Communion, comprised of more than 80 million members in more than 160 countries.

A distinctive feature of the Episcopal Church (and its heritage in the Anglican Church of England) is that we are a very broad church. We’re often described as the “Big Tent” that spans a wide spectrum of people. Historically, this was a way of including both Catholics and Protestants in one comprehensive, national church. In our generation and context, it means that there is room in its pews for persons of every race and background, liberal and conservative, old and young, gay and straight. We like it that way. Jesus told his disciples that the world would know the love of God through the unity of the church (John 17:20-24). We have come to learn that unity is not so much a thing of absolute uniformity on every topic as it is a shared life and worship which is guided by the love of God and neighbor.

Our worship is rooted in a tradition we call, “Common Prayer.” It has developed over the centuries, but remains firmly anchored in the most ancient liturgical practices known to the church. So, come and worship with us. If you find you can meaningfully participate in our distinctive pattern of common prayer, then you will fit in – wherever you’re coming from.

Episcopalians recognize the authority of scripture and Church tradition, but also make ample room for individual reason. We encourage honest inquiry and recognize that the journey of faith will certainly involve seasons of doubt and questioning. Along the way, our way of worship invites you into the steady rhythm and support of the church through the centuries.

We are bound together through grace and a common commitment to our “baptismal covenant” which affirms a fundamental Trinitarian understanding of God that has been handed down to us through the words of the Apostles’ Creed, a commitment to live out our faith with integrity, and “to seek and serve Christ in all persons….and to strive for justice and peace among all people, respecting the dignity of every human being.”

To learn more about the Episcopal Church, its history, governing structure, sacraments, beliefs, development in the United States, or just to see if the Episcopal Church would be a good fit for you,  take a look at the Diocese of Olympia website or the Episcopal Church in America’s general site. We hope to see you at St. John’s very soon!