The beginnings of the Church of England,, from which The Episcopal Church derives, date to at least the second century, when merchants and other travelers first brought Christianity to England. It is customary to regard St. Augustine of Canterbury’s mission to England in 597 as marking the formal beginning of the church under papal authority, as it was to be throughout the Middle Ages.
In its modern form, the church dates from the English Reformation of the 16th century, when royal supremacy was established and the authority of the papacy was repudiated. With the advent of British colonization, the Church of England was established on every continent. In time, these churches gained their independence, but retained connections with the mother church in the Anglican Communion.
The Episcopal Church takes reading the Bible very seriously. Approximately 70% of the Book of Common Prayer comes directly from the Bible, and Episcopalians read more Holy Scripture in Sunday worship than almost any other denomination in Christianity.
Offered in a question-and-answer format, the Catechism found in the back of the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 845-862) helps teach the foundational truths of the Christian faith.
In the waters of baptism we are lovingly adopted by God into God’s family, which we call the Church, and given God’s own life to share and reminded that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ.
Besides baptism and the Eucharist (Holy Communion), the church recognizes other spiritual markers in our journey of faith. These include:
- Confirmation (the adult affirmation of our baptismal vows), pp. 413-419, Book of Common Prayer
- Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession), pp. 447-452, Book of Common Prayer
- Matrimony (Christian marriage), pp. 422-438, Book of Common Prayer
- Orders (ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop), pp. 510-555, Book of Common Prayer
- Unction (anointing with oil those who are sick or dying) pp. 453-467, Book of Common Prayer
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, and both our worship and our mission are in Christ’s name. In Jesus, we find that the nature of God is love, and through baptism, we share in his victory over sin and death.
The Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity.
The Five Marks of Mission
The Mission of the Church Is the Mission of Christ
- To proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom
- To teach, baptize and nurture new believers
- To respond to human need by loving service
- To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
- To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth
It goes by several names: Holy Communion, the Eucharist (which literally means “thanksgiving”), mass. But whatever it’s called, this is the family meal for Christians and a foretaste of the heavenly banquet. As such, all persons who have been baptized, and are therefore part of the extended family that is the Church, are welcome to receive the bread and wine, and be in communion with God and each other.
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The Vestry is extremely excited to announce that we have found an exciting new priest, The Reverend Patrick Bush! We are all very excited for you to meet him. He will be joining us starting April 1st. More information will be forthcoming on his plans and arrival. In the meantime, here is a little bit about him and his family we would like to share.
Fr. Patrick is currently the Associate Rector at Galilee Church in Virginia Beach, VA. Before seminary, Fr. Patrick worked as an engineer for ten years. He graduated from the University of Hartford with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2000 and studied at St. Joseph’s College as a graduate student in education from 2004-2005. Fr. Patrick and his wife Nicole have been married since 2001 and have twin boys, Robert and Jacob. Nicole has worked as a biomedical engineer in product development and Regulatory Assurance. Robert and Jacob both enjoy playing soccer, the outdoors and reading. Robert enjoys playing the viola and trumpet, and Jacob enjoys playing the cello and singing in the school choir. Fr. Patrick and his family moved to Virginia Beach from Trinity Church in Tarrifville, Connecticut where he served as an Assistant Rector from 2014 to 2017 after graduating from the Virginia Theological Seminary. Fr. Patrick has a heart for pastoral care, teaching, preaching and youth ministry. Whether it’s Confirmation class, Adult and Youth programs, First Communion Class, or just having fun, Fr. Patrick challenges each person to see God in the everyday moments. In his spare time, he enjoys woodworking, reading and the outdoors.
–Father Bill retired at the end of November, 2019 after 28 years at The Church of St. Andrew the Apostle.