In our hearts and minds.
At Saint Barnabas, we’re about Jesus. You’ll often hear us say that “all are welcome.” Why? Because we believe Jesus is in everyone and everything—not just in one story or one experience. Our story at Saint Barnabas stems from the Episcopal Church, the American expression of the Church of England.
The Episcopal Church has many influences, but at our core, we are a people of three things.
Our lives and worship and expression all flow from the Holy Scriptures. We use the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, along with the Book of Common Prayer (scripture reorganized for worship). Every Sunday we read and preach from a 3-year cycle called The Lectionary—it provides a lesson from the Old Testament, the New Testament, the Psalms, and the Gospel every week for three years. That means, if you attended church every Sunday for three years, you’d have heard 99% of the entire Bible.
We are part of the ancient lineage of Christianity. Our worship and prayer life are centered on the traditions of the early Christian church; the current Book of Common Prayer reflects the energy and grace of first-century worship practices, when people first began converting to be followers of Christ. Our leadership model reflects the scriptural example of authority, so the Bishops who lead each geographical region of the church join the apostolic succession: prayer and the Spirit connect each Bishop to the line of apostles anointed by the laying on of hands throughout time.
We do not think the Spirit stopped speaking when our Scriptures ended. We believe that God granted us the gift of reason to see the influence of the Holy Spirit through our own experiences, and through those of the whole communion of Saints (of which we are all a part).
This three-point foundation of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason was first articulated by theologian Richard Hooker. Learn more here. It works well to describe the basic tenets of our faith and our denomination, but it doesn’t fully express the living, breathing, life-giving nature of our beliefs here at Saint Barnabas.
If you want to know what we believe, come pray with us.