Episcopal DNA

How we believe

Love God. Love your neighbor. Change the world.

How we think about ourselves

He died to take away your sins

We have a deep respect for the intellect. Serious thinkers such as David Souter, Sandra Day O'Connor, and Thurgood Marshall (all Supreme Court Justices) as well as writers such as C.S. Lewis, John Steinbeck, and Madeline L'Engle have been part of our tradition. Other famous Episcopalians who made things happen include Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, Bob Dole, Molly Ivins, Margaret Mead, and Walter Cronkite. Our typical approach to "doing theology" has been described as a Three-Legged Stool, where Scripture, Tradition, and Intellect all work together to lead us to a conclusion.

Our worship tends toward the deep and profound. Our Book of Common Prayer has been developing for centuries, and our hymn-writing tradition includes giants such as Isaac Watts, John Newton, Charles Wesley, and Ralph Vaughn Williams.

Though the clergy/laity distinction might lead one to think the priest does everything, we are actually a very democratic church. Our Vestry is elected from the congregation, and makes most of the decisions about daily operation of the parish. Larger policy decisions for the Episcopal Church as a whole are made through a process of representative democracy. Even our bishops are elected.

We also have a sense of humor about ourselves, whether it's the Robin Williams Top Ten Reasons (which you can buy on a coffee cup or T-Shirt at the National Cathedral), or an ongoing stream of Episcopalian Memes. Serious-minded is not the same as grim, and some of the most relaxed, welcoming times you will experience are our coffee hours and our Winter Convocations.

Top 10 Reasons for Being an Episcopalian (According to Robin Williams)

  1. No snake handling.
  2. You can believe in dinosaurs.
  3. Male and female, God created them; male and female, we ordain them.
  4. You don't have to check your brains at the door.
  5. Pew aerobics.
  6. Church year is color coded!
  7. Free wine on Sunday.
  8. All of the pageantry, none of the guilt.
  9. You don't have to know how to swim to get baptized.
  10. And the number one reason: No matter what you believe, there's bound to be at least one other Episcopalian who agrees with you.