Who are Episcopalians? What do we believe?

We are Christians.
  • We follow the teachings of Jesus, the Christ.
  • We believe God has provided the world with many spiritual paths. Of those paths, we have chosen to follow Jesus who is the path of wisdom and the teacher of how to live in the world and in the presence of God.
We are both Catholic and Protestant.
  • We trace our roots to the reformation of the English church in the early 1500's. The reformers translated the Bible and the Prayer Book into the language of the people, thereby entrusting us with a responsibility to hear, read, study, and take to heart the Bible and the Prayer Book.
  • While the Church of England separated from the Roman Catholic Church, it maintained many of the Catholic traditions, especially in worship.
We search for truth via scripture, tradition and reason.
  • We seek answers to questions of faith by searching the Holy Scripture.
  • We also look for guidance from the traditional teachings of the Church fathers and mothers who struggled with many of our same questions.
  • God has given us the ability to reason as we engage our questions about the Holy Scripture and Church Tradition. Our reason is influenced by both our mind and heart.
We are a bible church, but we are not biblical literalists.
  • A minimum of 2-3 readings from the Holy Scripture are proclaimed at every Episcopal worship service.
  • Episcopalians are encouraged to read the scripture every day. Our tradition of reading and praying through the Bible every year is called the Daily Office. This spiritual practice dates to the early church. We are also encouraged to join a bible study group.
  • We are not biblical literalists. In our study, we engage the scripture at three levels:
    1. The Story in its historical context;
    2. How the Story was heard by the faith community to whom it was written; and
    3. How the Story speaks to us today. Without understanding the historical context in which the Story was written, we believe we can misinterpret or even miss a very important teaching.
We are a sacramental church.
  • From the Catholic tradition, we retained the belief that our life as a faith community is centered around the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Communion).
  • We also have continued the tradition of the other sacraments of Confirmation, Unction (Healing), Marriage, Reconciliation, and Holy Orders.
We are lay ministers, deacons, priests, and bishops.
  • We believe all followers of Jesus are called to serve Christ in the world.
    1. Lay ministers take the teachings of Jesus into their workplaces, their homes and their communities.
    2. Deacons are the voice calling us into a life of serving the poor and those at the margins of society.
    3. Priests are to teach and preach the Bible and celebrate the sacraments.
    4. Bishops are the overseers of a cluster of churches. Our Bishop leads all the churches in Arizona.
Our mission is to bring about the Kingdom of God on this earth.
Our Lord proclaimed the words of the prophet Isaiah,
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."(LK4:18-19)
As His body in the world, we dedicate our lives to this mission.
We are members of the worldwide Anglican communion.
  • We are in communion with Anglican churches throughout the world. We share the belief that:
    1. The Holy Scriptures contain all that is necessary for a life with God;
    2. The Apostle's Creed and the Nicene Creed are the beginning place for understanding the Christian faith;
    3. The sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist (communion) were established by Jesus;
    4. The continuation of the line of bishops are to be the overseers of the Church (known as The Historic Episcopate).
e-mail the office or webmaster.
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Quick Find

St. Peter's Episcopal Church

400 S. Old Litchfield Road
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340
P: (623) 935-3279
F: (623) 239-3304