The Episcopal Church

 


St. Hilary’s is affiliated with the Episcopal Church in the United States. We are highly influenced by the American Revolution, as our spiritual forefathers and foremothers were English colonists in the between the 1670’s and 1770’s. These days we are home to native born Americans, persons of Caribbean descent, persons from other faith communities, and those who have embraced our faith.

 

What is the Episcopal Church?

The Episcopal Church is diverse.  The congregations and congregants can be evangelistic, charismatic, conservative, Anglo-Catholic, and liberal.  St. Hilary’s is a mixture of all the above.

First and foremost, Episcopalians are Christians. We believe God has created us, we proclaim and follow Jesus Christ as Lord, and we believe that God is active in our day to day lives through the power of the Holy Spirit.

We embrace the church as the body of which Jesus Christ is the head and all baptized people are the members. The Church is a community of faith and shared commitment, not an organization or a club. 

We are part of the Anglican Communion, a fellowship which consists of an estimated 85 million Christians who are members of 45 different independent national churches. All are autonomous and all are in communion with the Church of England.

All Anglican churches are drawn together by a common loyalty to:

• Scripture as the revealed Word of God;

• The historical Creeds of the Church as sufficient statements of Christian belief;

• The celebration of the seven sacraments of the Church with special emphasis on Baptism and Eucharist;

• The apostolic ministry of bishops, priests, and deacons in the life of teaching and service in the Church;

• The use of scripture, Church tradition, and reason in matters of belief and practice.

In worship, Episcopalians sit, kneel, stand, sing, pray aloud and pray silently. Some bow and make the sign of the cross; others don't. We use the Book of Common Prayer, The Hymnal and (in many places) a service bulletin with the liturgy included. These tools are designed to help us worship and pray together, something very important to Anglican Christians.

Episcopal worship calls for the full participation of all the people. The Prayer Book (and the service bulletin) will guide you in what to do, what to say or sing. Our people are friendly and helpful. We have an open communion; those who are Baptized Christians may take Holy Communion.

If you need help during the service, please contact Father Charles Cannon, priest and rector for guidance.