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Being An Episcopalian at Iona-Hope
We are an incarnational people whose lives have been transformed through the redeeming gift of Jesus. It is our task to be about the work of making God's love known through Jesus. We are reminded each week, through the liturgy and the gospel, of God's saving work among us. By gathering around the table each week, we reconnect ourselves as members of the Body of Christ and celebrate our common life together as a faith community. Each celebration of the Eucharist makes the sacred story come alive over and over again.
We are a story-formed people. The church year moves us through the stories of God's redeeming care, from the incarnation through the day of Pentecost. The hearing of these stories attunes us to God's time and empowers us to be a part of God's continuing work in and through God's creation.
As Episcopalians, we believe that the scriptures are a record of God's self-disclosure to us and that they are to be taken as a whole. We contend that the Scriptures were intended to be interpreted and reinterpreted over and over again in the light of contemporary knowledge and experience within a believing and worshiping community open to the leading of God's spirit into new truth." Consequently, reason plays a significant role in how we, as God's people, communicate God's revelation. Tradition's role is to "guard and give witness to the scriptures, especially through worship, and thereby provide an ongoing resource for discerning the mind and will of God.
As Episcopalians, we believe that God has given us scripture as a tool for our reconciliation with God and that also being given intelligence along with life experiences, we are to "sort out our own understanding of it as it relates to our own lives." In addition the traditions of the church in interpreting scripture connect all generations of believers together and give us a starting point for our own understanding."
Iona-Hope is part of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. The Rt. Rev. Douglas Scharf. Read about the Diocese at www.EpiscopalSWFL.org
Excerpts are from John H. Westerhoff's A people Called Episcopalians, Atlanta, Georgia:
St. Lukes's Episcopal Church, 1998 and from the ECUSA website.
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