Episcopal Church Beliefs
Two creeds are regularly used in the worship of the Church, the Nicene Creed, during the celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays and appointed feast days, and the Apostles’ Creed, at Daily Morning and Evening Prayer and in the ministration of Holy Baptism. The Nicene Creed also has a particular use in the liturgy for the ordination of a bishop.
During the service, before the prayer of consecration, the Presiding Bishop examines the bishop-elect. The one to be ordained publicly states that he or she will “guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church.” The Examination concludes with the Presiding Bishop calling on the bishop-elect to lead the assembly in proclaiming the Nicene Creed with these words:
…through these promise you have committed yourself to God, to serve his Church in the office of bishop. We therefore call upon you, chosen to be a guardian of the Church’s faith, to lead us in confessing that faith.
The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds are ancient statements of Christian belief. They belong to the wider Christian community across time. They state the core of what the Episcopal Church believes about the plan of God for humankind.
The Episcopal Church and the wider Anglican Communion have an institutional and liturgical unity which, I think most Anglicans would agree, has served the Gospel well. It has also been our tradition to give individuals and parish communities a great deal of freedom to journey in the Spirit. We have a confidence in the faith to give people room to grow. We trust that the Holy Spirit is active in leading all to the truth who is Jesus Christ.
There is nothing wrong, however, and a great deal that is useful about us being upfront and clear about what the core of our beliefs as Episcopalians are. Few are converted by comfortable words. Certainly the men and women who knew Jesus were not converted by any of his words before they met him risen from the dead. It was this encounter with the risen Lord that changed them. It’s the same encounter that continues to give eternal life to people in every place. It is the source of our hope.
There will always be a few folks looking for “Christianity Lite.” I no longer expect a Christmas or an Easter book-selling season to pass without some bishop of our Church questioning publicly the faith in print and on television. I think they are wrong. When all is said and done, the creeds belong to the whole Church. We can trust them.
Words do matter and they can do good and harm. But no words of a faithless person or generation alters God’s plan for his creation. As many before have said, there is in the mind of God a plan to bring all people to himself through eternal life in Jesus Christ his Son.
You and I and the whole world are part of God’s plan. We enter and experience life on God’s terms and the terms of his creation. At the center of the history of creation are not our doubts or hopes but the reality of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God and Son of Mary. Stephen Gerth
PRAYER LIST . . . Your prayers are asked for Gloria, Raymond, Robert, Michael, Eileen, Fred, Jerri, Myra, Sarah, Doreen, Mabel, Marion, Olga, Peter, Betty, Kenneth, Maureen, Marie, Rick, Edgar, John, Joanne, Barbara, Amy and Charles, priest. Pray also for the members of our Armed Forces on active duty, especially Patrick, Edward, Christopher, Andrew, Robert, Joseph, Mark, Ned, David and John . . . GRANT THEM PEACE . . . June 17: 1972 Charles Henry Genet; June 22: 1958 Rachel Reed Todd, 1967 Edith Kellock Brown.
LITURGICAL NOTES . . . The Sunday Proper: Exodus 19:2-8a, Psalm 100, Romans 5:6-11, Matthew 9:35-10:15 . . . Confessions will be heard on Saturday, June 15, and on Saturday, June 22, by Father Gerth . . . NOTES ON MUSIC . . . On Sunday at the Solemn Mass, the prelude will be Prelude on ‘Old 132nd’, Op. 52, No. 2, by Basil Harwood (1859-1949). Harwood was organist of Ely Cathedral and Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford. The postlude will be Prelude on ‘Hyfrydol’ by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). The soloist on Sunday is Mr. Joe Chappell, bass-baritone, and the anthem at Communion is Love bade me welcome from Five Mystical Songs, also by Vaughan Williams.
AROUND THE PARISH . . . Flowers are needed for this Sunday, June 16! Please call the parish office today if you would like to give them . . . Father Smith continues to be on vacation for the month of June . . . Congratulations are in order for Amelia Rochester, who graduated from Saint Catherine's Academy on June 8 and will be attending Northeastern University in the fall . . . Timothy Higdon is working in Miami, Florida, on the Save Dade Campaign (www.savedade.org). to retain Miami-Dade’s Human Rights Ordinance. To contact Timothy, to learn more, to contribute or to help: Timothy@savedade.org . . . John Beddingfield was made a candidate for Holy Orders by the Standing Committee of the Diocese of New York. We look forward to his being ordained deacon in the spring of next year . . . The Board of Trustees meets on Monday, June 17, at 7:00 PM in Saint Benedict’s Study . . . Attendance Sacred Heart 69, Last Sunday 191.
MEET OUR INTERNS . . . This summer four students are here at Saint Mary’s for six weeks as part of a program coordinated through the School of Theology at the University of the South and funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. The program offers college students a chance to help them discern whether they should pursue ordination in the Episcopal Church . . . Charles Jenkins has completed his second year at the University of the South. He is from Saint John’s Church, Johns Island, South Carolina. He very much wanted to spend the summer in a parish different from the one in which he grew up. He is one of the sacristans at the All Saints’ Chapel at Sewanee . . . Dekonti Mends-Cole is a graduate of the University of Miami (Florida). Dekonti was born in Liberia. Her family fled Liberia after the democratic government crumbled under military rule in the early 1980s. She was reared in Kentucky and is now an American citizen. Her home parish is Grace Church, Paducah, Kentucky . . . Jon Owens is a senior at Southwest Oklahoma State University. He is from Oklahoma, sings in a college and church choir, and studying music (among other things). His home parish is Church of the Holy Apostles, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma . . . Ben Skeen is a senior at the University of the South. Like Jon Owens, Ben Skeen is also a singer and was on tour with one of the University of the South choirs before arriving here at Saint Mary’s for the summer program. Ben is from Colorado. His home parish is Saint Michael and All Angel’s Church, Denver.
PARISH FALL RETREAT: "ORDINARY TIME" . . . Save the Date: November 8-11, 2002. Mount Saviour Monastery, near Elmira, New York, is a community of monks who live according to the Rule of Saint Benedict. The community says six daily offices and Mass. Compline includes music for harp. More information on the monastery can be found at: www.msaviour.org. The cost for the retreat is $150, which includes all meals and lodging. Those leaving from New York City can coordinate travel together, leaving Saint Mary's on Friday at noon and returning after lunch on Monday. Those interested should see the brochures in the back of the church or contact Penny Byham for more information. Tentative reservations due by August 1; payment is due by September
1. Please fill out the reservation form in the brochure and give it to an usher or send an e-mail with the information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Calendar of the Week
Sunday The Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Tuesday Bernard Mizeki, Catechist & Martyr
Friday Weekday Abstinence
Saturday Alban, Martyr