If you asked us to sum up in a few words what we believe, we might choose Jesus’ Summary of the Law, found in Matthew chapter 22, verses 37-40: ““You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” We hear those words at the beginning of almost every Sunday morning service at St. David’s.
We also recite together the Nicene Creed, or sometimes the Apostles’ Creed, two of the ancient summaries of the Church’s doctrine. While we hope that everyone will come to believe in our understanding of God, belief or agreement with our doctrine is not required to be a part of our community. Even in the midst of the literal fires of the Reformation, Queen Elizabeth I of England is supposed to have said “I have no desire to make windows into men’s souls.” Part of our inheritance from the Church of England, an established church in which all citizens are entitled to participate to some degree regardless of what they believe, is a natural inclusiveness and comprehensiveness that focuses more on how we live together rather than what we believe. This is not to say that belief is unimportant. We teach that Jesus is the Son of God, and we proclaim Christ crucified and resurrected. But respecting our shared dignity as children of God, we welcome into our community people who believe every word of the Nicene Creed, none of it, and some of it, and people of other faiths who have found St. David’s to be a hospitable place to be. We welcome everyone who wants to love God and their neighbor.
You can learn more about what The Episcopal Church believes here.