We are Episcopalians
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ and believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We strive to affirm our faith through communal worship and prayer; to resist evil and temptation, and when we fail, to ask for forgiveness and return to the Lord; to proclaim by word and deed the Good News of God in Christ; to seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves; to stand up for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.
The Episcopal Church welcomes men and women to be ordained as bishops, priests, and deacons, and its laity—that is, non-ordained persons—exercise vital leadership roles in the governance and ministry of the Church.
We Search for Truth via Scripture, Tradition, and Reason
While we—like all Christians—acknowledge the Bible (or the Holy Scriptures) as the Word of God, we do not interpret the Bible literally. We explore and analyze scripture in the context of history and seek to interpret God’s word in scripture for our own day.
For two thousand years Christianity has amassed experiences of God and ways of following Jesus which remain critical to our understanding of our faith and the practice of our beliefs. Traditions connect us with past generations and give us a starting point for our own faith and practice in the present day.
We believe that the ability to Reason is a gift from God. Reason accumulates through our experience in the material world and our growing understanding of natural laws that science with its empirical and logical methods demonstrates. Reason, as a complement to Scripture and Tradition, leads us to seek answers to our own questions of God and to grow spiritually in God’s love.
We Come Together as a Faith Community
We unite in worship to acknowledge the holiness of God, to hear God’s Word, to offer prayer and to celebrate God’s presence among us.
The service follows an order found in our worship book called the Book of Common Prayer, two-thirds of which is scriptural. Every worship service includes the reading of Holy Scripture from the Old and New Testaments. Many of our prayers and hymns are filled with scripture. The Book of Common Prayer includes a variety of ancient and modern prayers and worship services for occasions when the whole community gathers and for individual use. The Book of Common Prayer allows everyone to participate, reminding us that each person is an important part of the worship experience, whether the service is a celebration or a solemn occasion.
All baptized Christians, regardless of denomination and tradition, are welcome to receive the Eucharist at Grace-St. Paul’s.
All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.
We Respect Differences of Opinion and We Celebrate Human Diversity
We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion. We believe that our faith journey lasts a lifetime, and that there will be questions and doubts along the way. We welcome thoughtful questions and debate and we always try to provide a loving and accepting environment in which we all can explore and deepen our faith.
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 assert that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.
We are young and old, male and female, gay and straight, single, married, divorced and widowed, Anglo, African American, Latino, African, Asian, executive and unemployed, student and teacher, rich and poor. We worship together, learn together, toil together occasionally, and ask questions as we move more deeply into the mystery of God.
The Welcoming Congregations Statement of Affirmation
“As a welcoming congregation, we are committed to inviting and to supporting all people to worship and to become part of our parish family, including those who feel excluded because of their sexual orientation or identity, and are seeking a safe, comfortable and affirming spiritual home.” The Oasis Ministry of the Diocese of New Jersey
Still have questions? You are invited to contact the Grace-St. Paul’s Parish Office to speak to a member of clergy at (609) 586-6004.