What We Believe

The Episcopal Church

The Purpose of God

The Holy Scriptures--The Bible

The Role and Ministry of the Church

"If it is your ministry..."

St. Andrew's, Hospitality, and Inclusivity

The Episcopal Church

We are part of the Episcopal Church, participants in the worldwide Anglican Communion. As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ our Lord, and believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We follow the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church (see http://www.episcopalchurch.org/), and we are guided by the pastoral care a leadership of the Bishop of the Diocese of Northwest Texas see (http://www.nwtdiocese.org/). Back to Top

 

The Purpose of God

We believe that God is the creator of Heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. This means that the universe is good, that it is the work of a single loving God who creates, sustains, and directs it. 

When we say that Jesus is the "only Son of God," we mean that Jesus is the only perfect image of the Father, and shows us the nature of God, which is love. By God's own act, God's divine son Jesus received our human nature from the Virgin Mary, his mother. The divine Son became human, so that in him human beings might be adopted as children of God, and be made heirs of God's kingdom. By his obedience, even to suffering and death, Jesus made the offering which we could not make; in him we are freed from the power of sin and reconciled to God. By his resurrection, Jesus overcame death and opened for us the way of eternal life. When we are baptized, we share in the New Covenant and become Living Members of Christ.

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the Trinity, God at work in the world and in the Church even now. The Holy Spirit is revealed in the Old Covenant as the giver of life, the One who spoke through the prophets. The Holy Spirit is revealed as the Lord who leads us into all truth and enables us to grow in the likeness of Christ. We recognize the presence of the Holy Spirit when we confess Jesus Christ as Lord and are brought into love and harmony with God, with ourselves, with our neighbors, and with all creation. 

(Adapted from "The Catechism" of the Episcopal Church. See http://www.bcponline.org/Misc/catechism.htm 

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The Holy Scriptures--The Bible

The Holy Scriptures, commonly called the Bible, are the books of the Old and New Testaments; other books, called the Apocrypha, are often included in the Bible. The Old Testament consists of books written by the people of the Old Covenant, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to show God at work in nature and history. The New Testament consists of books written by the people of the New Covenant, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, to set forth the life and teachings of Jesus and to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom for all people. The Apocrypha is a collection of additional books written by people of the Old Covenant, and used in the Christian Church.

We call the Holy Scriptures the "Word of God" because God inspired their human authors and because God still speaks to us through the Bible. We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.

(Adapted from "The Catechism" of the Episcopal Church. See http://www.bcponline.org/Misc/catechism.htm 

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The Role and Ministry of the Church

We believe that the Church is the Body of which Jesus Christ is the Head and of which all baptized persons are members. The mission of the Church is to restore all people to 
unity with God and each other in Christ. The Church pursues its mission as it prays and 
worships, proclaims the Gospel (the Good News of God's reconciling grace), and promotes justice, peace, and love. 

This ministry is to be carried out by lay people, bishops, priests, and deacons. The purpose of baptism is to be disciples and to carry out this mission of restoring all people to unity with God. Each member should find his or her ministry (or ministries) and help to carry out this call of bringing God's grace and love to God's creation. 

(Adapted from "The Catechism" of the Episcopal Church. See http://www.bcponline.org/Misc/catechism.htm 

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"If it is your ministry..."

One of the most pervasive phrases you will hear at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church is: "If it is your ministry." These five words are some of the most hopeful and theologically empowering words we can use regarding the nature of our place in God's Kingdom. Every time we announce an opportunity to participate in any activity of the church (whether it's a service activity or a small group or a worship service), we add: "please consider joining this 'if it is your ministry' to do so." These words imply, on the one hand, that you have the choice. God asks that we remain in a place of discernment of our time, our talents, and our gifts, and make decisions about whether spending time in this activity or that one is correct for us. On the other hand, the phrase "if it is your ministry" also implies that you do have a ministry. One of these ministries, eventually, will be the one that fits you. At St. Andrew's, we find ourselves to be in the joyful place of considering all that we do ministry. And, we also find ourselves able to comfortably say "that is not my ministry", but "that is!"

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St. Andrew's, Hospitality, and Inclusivity

Because it is the mission of the Church to restore all people to the unity of God, the ministers of St. Andrew's (the laity and the clergy) celebrate all people. Because we believe that a loving God created a universe that is good, and sent his only begotten Son to reconcile all into the full redemption of that goodness, we know that we are not capable of sitting in judgment of each other. We, therefore welcome all people to walk with us. We regularly covenant together before God to "continue in the apostle's teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers." We agree to "persevere in resisting evil," whenever we "fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord." We agree to "proclaim by Word and example the Good News of God in Christ." We agree to "seek to serve Christ in all persons," loving our neighbor as ourselves. And finally, we agree to "strive for justice and peace among all people," and to "respect the dignity of every human being."

When we proclaim this covenant (which is part of our Baptismal vow), we always say that we can only do these things "with God's help." Knowing that God is part of all that we do, we at St. Andrew's strive to make sure that all persons feel welcome and are able to participate and be that which God created them to be, regardless of previous church experiences (or lack thereof), age, gender, sexual orientation, and/or race. Back to Top