What We Believe
Each of these quotes say something about our core beliefs and doctrines.
The Episcopal Church holds the ancient sacraments of the Church in highest regard and we believe that the principle form of Sunday worship is to center around Word (Scripture readings, hymns, and sermon) and Sacrament. In the Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s Supper, and as Holy Communion, Christ commands to us to remember his death, proclaim his resurrection and await his coming in glory through this sacrament. We believe that the Table belongs to the Lord and that he calls all to his Table. Therefore in The Episcopal Church all baptized believers in Jesus are welcome to receive Communion.
(And what is a sacrament? It’s an outward and visible sign or an inward and spiritual grace. For example, the outward sign is the bread and wine, and the inward grace is the true presence of Jesus’s body and blood in the Eucharist.)
There is a saying within The Episcopal Church – “all can, some may, none must”. Outside of the Creeds (Nicene and Apostles) you are essentially on your own to make decisions on social, moral, political, economic and religious principles. While that is freeing and refreshing, it is also chaotic and messy. It also makes more work for you. We are not a church to tell you what to think (outside the basics of the Faith expressed in the historic creeds) nor are we a church to demand you have certain values (outside of the creeds :)) to be a member. What makes us Episcopalians is not that we believe the same things but that we worship and pray together. And that is why our book of worship is called the Book of Common Prayer.
Living into a new way of thinking:
It seems like we like to quote a lot of people…..but….There’s another phrase we use a lot: “lex orandi, lex credendi“. It literally means the law of praying is the law of believing, which generally means that praying shapes believing. We tend to look at most things through the lens of community. We are to read and interpret the Bible in community, we are to worship in community, we are to serve our neighbors in community. Sometimes that means you “fake it till you make it.” In doing the action of loving we can actually learn to love. In doing the action of serving we can actually learn to serve. In doing the action of worship we can actually learn how to worship God: and we LIVE into a new way of THINKING.
Reading the Previous Meeting’s Minutes:
Let’s put it this way: we all have our stupid moments, and we all make mistakes. Also, the human heart has not changed since Adam. We have new toys and mechanics to sow death and destruction as well as life and creation.
“Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 292).
A mini catechism used at baptisms and on Easter and other special occasions, the Baptismal Covenant opens with a question-and-answer version of the statement of faith that is the Apostles’ Creed and adds five questions regarding how we, as Christians, are called to live out our faith.
“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 236).
It is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, containing all things necessary for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end. 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. (See Revised Common Lectionary of readings.)
Book of Common Prayer
“It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offence be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 9).
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. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.
“It is a commentary on the creeds, but is not meant to be a complete statement of belief and practices; rather, it is a point of departure for the teacher” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 844).
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 him you have brought us out of error into truth, out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 368).
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 Creeds are statements of our basic beliefs about God” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 851).
We will always have questions, but in the two foundational statements of faith – the Apostles’ Creed used at baptism, and the Nicene Creed used at communion – we join Christians throughout the ages in affirming our faith in the one God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us.
“Holy Baptism is full initiation by water and the Holy Spirit into Christ’s Body, the Church” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 298).
In the waters of baptism we are reminded that we belong to God and nothing can separate us from the love of God. We also find ourselves part of an extended family, one with Christians throughout the ages and across the world, what we call the “one, holy, catholic [meaning ‘universal’], and apostolic Church.”
The Rite of Holy Baptism can be found on pp. 297-308 of the Book of Common Prayer.
“We thank you … for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 366).
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.
“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 857).
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
These help us to be a sacramental people, seeing God always at work around us.
“Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 833).
The promises we make in our Baptismal Covenant are reminders that we are not yet perfect, that we are called to move deeper in our faith and make a difference in our world. We do so together as the church, always professing that we will indeed live into our baptismal vows as followers of Christ, but always “with God’s help.”
What to Expect
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church is home to a variety of people coming from different church traditions. We encourage you to come exactly as you are. Whether you’re Baptist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal, “Cradle Episcopalian,” or have never been to church before, we hope you will feel at home. You’ll notice some people bow, kneel, and cross themselves. We encourage you to engage the liturgy in a way that is comfortable or familiar to you. If you have any questions about why we do what we are doing, just ask! We would love to talk with you about it.
Who is Saint Andrew?
The New Testament reveals he was St. Peter’s brother. Also, he was the son of Jonah/John, as well as a disciple of John the Baptist.
Andrew immediately recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and quickly introduced his brother to him. Afterward, the two remained Disciples of Christ. The Gospel refers to St. Andrew as one of the Disciples more closely attached to Jesus. He was martyred by crucifixion at Patras in Achea.
Before Peter and Andrew joined Christ in his Ministry, they were both fishermen by trade. Jesus consistently referred to Andrew and Peter as ‘fishers of men’.
Fr. Paul Williams
Fr. Paul Williams was born in High Point, North Carolina, and raised as a Southern Baptist. He sang in the youth choir and was mighty quick in “Sword Drills” and Bible “Memory Work.” He was first introduced to the Episcopal Church as a college student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill at The Chapel of the Cross (which was across the street from his fraternity house, Lambda Chi Alpha) where he found himself using the Book of Common Prayer on late nights after studying. After several years in the corporate travel business in the Southeast, he went through the Ordination Discernment Process in the Diocese of Atlanta from his home parish of All Saints, Atlanta. He then attended The General Theological Seminary in New York City (where Bishop Breidenthal was one of his professors) and graduated in 1996. He was first called to serve at the Church of Holy Trinity in New York City from 1996-2001, and then at Christ Episcopal Church in Bloomfield/Glen Ridge, New Jersey from 2001-2006. After spending a 2-year sabbatical in Switzerland with his partner who took an overseas assignment in a Swiss bank, he joined us here at St. Andrew’s in June of 2008.
Fr. Paul is an avid runner and has completed 13 marathons: Columbus (3x) , Air Force (Dayton), Indianapolis, Chicago, New York (3x), Berlin, Zurich, and Milan (Italy), and several half-marathons. Outside of Larry his fav people are their two dogs Hobbes and Cooper, each of whom is an adorable rescue mutt. The family claim is that his brother John met Billy Graham and Johnny Cash at his fraternity house (SAE) at Furman. Well, that and the fact that Larry and he met Patricia Rutledge (Keeping Up Appearances, BBC) after a play outside of London.
Music, Family, Youth, and Children Minister
Michael Tigner and Matt McDermott
Michael Tigner is a postulant of the Diocese of Southern Ohio and a student at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He is completing his first year of studies in partial completion of a master of divinity degree. Michael is pursuing ordination to the priesthood. Michael is married with four children.
Matt McDermott is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is entering his second year at Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Matt is working on his Master of Divinity, and discerning ordination in the Episcopal Church. In his spare time Matt enjoys reading, playing Ultimate Frisbee, and board games.
St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church
8630 Refugee Road
Pickerington, OH 43147
Church Office Phone
Church Office Hours
Sunday: 7:00 AM – 1:30 PM
Monday – Thursday: 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Friday – Saturday: Closed