Who is welcome at St. Thomas Episcopal Church?
Do you want the short answer? Everybody! Whoever you are. Wherever you come from. You are welcome here!
What do Episcopalians believe about the Bible?
We believe that the Bible is the word of God. And, we believe in taking it very seriously. But, to Episcopalians, taking the Bible seriously does not mean taking every word literally. We recognize that the Bible contains many different kinds of writing: poetry, letters, stories, and so much more. At St. Thomas, we hear the Bible read in worship every week and contemplate together about what the stories we are hearing mean. We offer regular Bible studies to help us grow in our relationship with God and with the text.
Additionally, the Bible is not the only thing that shapes our faith and beliefs. We place into conversation with Scripture the words of Christian thinkers and writers throughout history and our own ability, shaped by the Holy Spirit, to think and reason.
How do Episcopalians worship?
Our worship is structured according to The Book of Common Prayer. It’s called “common prayer” because throughout the Episcopal Church we share a common experience of worship. The first Book of Common Prayer was compiled way back in the 16th Century. Since then, it has undergone many revisions. Yet, its original purpose remains the same: to be a centralized source for worship, prayers and instruction.
Our present prayer book was published in 1979. Since that time, many other worship resources have been produced that may be used to enrich our worship. At St. Thomas, the rich language of the Book of Common Prayer is the primary resource that shapes our worship.
Do you want to know a little more?
The Episcopal Church is a community of 2.2 million members in 110 dioceses in the Americas and abroad. St. Thomas is one of the member congregations of the Diocese of Virginia – a geographic area stretching from northern Richmond to Northern Virginia, and from Charlottesville, north to the West Virginia border.
If you want to know more – check out the website for The Episcopal Church at https://www.episcopalchurch.org/what-we-believe.