What We Believe

A Statement of Belief for St. James’ Episcopal Church

Mesilla Park, N.M.

Original:  Approved by the vestry on November 24, 2009
Revised:  Approved by the vestry on January 8, 2019
“We Episcopalians believe in a loving, liberating, and life-giving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. As constituent members of the Anglican Communion in the United States, we are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church and are part of the third-largest group of Christians in the world. . . . We believe God loves you—no exceptions.”  (From The Episcopal Church website, “What We Believe” (www.episcopalchurch.org.)


At St. James’:

  • We affirm the Anglican (English) three-source model of theology: Scripture, Tradition, and Reason, Richard Hooker, Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity.
  • We believe that the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and contain “all things necessary for salvation,” 39 Articles, Book of Common Prayer (BCP), Historical Documents 868.
  • We affirm the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed as basic statements of Christian belief, BCP 53-54 and 326-327.
In keeping with the teaching of the Reformation, we believe:

  • That as Christians we are simultaneously justified before God, and yet are also sinners in need of redemption.
  • That we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and not by our own effort (Ephesians 2:8).
  • That the love of God and the atoning work of the cross reaches out to all people (1 John 2:1-2).
  • We believe in the Trinity of God—one in substance and three in Persons, as expressed in the historic creeds of the Church.
  • That, in accordance with the creeds, Jesus Christ was and is fully God and fully human, that he lived a sinless life, died, and was physically resurrected.
  • That Holy Baptism and the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) are the 2 Great Sacraments of the Church, BCP Catechism, 858
In keeping with our Anglican (Church of England) heritage, we uphold:

  • 5 other sacramental rites that evolved in the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, which include: confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent (confession), and unction (oil of healing).
  • The Episcopal Book of Common Prayer as our basic standard and guide for worship, with other rites and ceremonies authorized by the Church.

For a fuller explanation of What We Believe in the Episcopal Church, see www.episcopalchurch.org.