What We Believe
As a community of believers in Jesus Christ, we seek to fulfill our Baptismal Covenant.
We believe that God calls us to provide for the spiritual needs of all people. We strive for lifelong Christian growth through worship, education, fellowship, outreach, stewardship and witness.
What is an Episcopalian?
An Episcopalian is a person who belongs to the Episcopal Church, a branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is composed of those national Churches that recognize the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Episcopal refers to government by bishops, and Anglican means of England.
We are governed by bishops who oversee the Church in particular geographic areas known as dioceses, which are a confederation of equals. St. James is a parish in the Diocese of Michigan. Because of this autonomy, there is a great variety of styles of worship among Episcopal Churches, but we are held together by basic beliefs:
The Holy Scriptures are the revealed word of God, which inspired the human authors.
The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds are the basic statements of our belief about God.
Baptism and the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) are the two great sacraments given by Christ to the Church. We are born into God’s family through Baptism and brought to the risen Christ through Holy Eucharist.
The Historic Episcopate is the continuity of the line of bishops since the time of Christ, which allows dioceses and parishes to adapt to the local needs of the people.
We walk the “middle way”, via media, between Protestant and Catholic traditions. Our strength lies in the balance of three pillars, sometimes referred to as a three-legged stool:
Scripture: the basis of our faith upon which our worship services in the Book of Common Prayer are grounded
Reason: our intellect is a gift from God to interpret Scripture and to hear the different voices of faith, science, art, culture and public life
- Tradition: we share a living faith that stretches back two millennia. Our tradition has been one of people respecting different points of view and diversity who come together in common prayer and communion with each other
Everyone is welcome in the Episcopal Church. We encourage you to experience our worship service with us and welcome all questions about our beliefs.