Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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What we believe

What We Believe

Church of the Spirit is part of the Episcopal Church of the USA, which grew out of the Church of England in colonial times.  What do Episcopalians believe?  The following is a short discussion, but for more detailed information on the Episcopal Church and what Episcopalians believe, please see https://www.episcopalchurch.org/what-we-believe.

Our Episcopal identity is based upon what we call “the three-legged stool” of the Bible, tradition and reason.  We read and reflect on the Bible as part of every worship service.  Tradition informs much of our worship practice; we use prayers that are recent and some that are centuries old.  Our Book of Common Prayer, which contains the words of our worship, our prayers, the Psalms, and many other resources, is based upon the first version written by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer in 1549.  

The third leg, reason, is another essential part of being an Episcopalian.  Our church does not specify exactly how we are to understand and interpret the Bible and tradition.  We are encouraged to ask questions about our faith, and together with our clergy to find answers.  So there is great variety in the ways we Episcopalians understand the broad outlines of our Christian faith (as expressed in the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds, and in our catechism in the BCP).  

We believe this variety of understanding is a strength.  God is much bigger than humans’ comprehension, but when we join together in worship and in conversation, we gain more depth of understanding than each of us would attain alone.   

We are a church for people who welcome open inquiry and time-tested wisdom, Bible-based preaching and study, and community based on mutual respect and the desire to make the world a better place, as Jesus asked us to do.  We welcome you, no matter who you are or where you come from.  

In the name of Jesus, we invite you to come and see!