Our Traditions

Visitors to this web page may be curious about the Episcopal Church. If so, here’s a start.

The Episcopal Church in the United States is part of the world-wide Anglican Communion. Our history is related to the growth of the Christian church in England. The term “Episcopal” means “bishops,” and refers to our form of governance.

The Marks of the Church

  • One
  • Holy
  • Catholic
  • Apostolic

The Church strives to be one with all creation, all people, and all beliefs and ethnic backgrounds.

The Church strives to be holy, a sacred place where all are welcome to explore faith in a spiritually safe environment.

The Church is Catholic, in that the faith that we profess is good for all persons, in any life situation, and in any place in one’s pilgrimage.

The Church is Apostolic, following the tradition begun by Jesus’ apostles, and continues to the present day into the future.

 

This author has seen a plaque outside the oldest church in Britain, St. Martin’s, Canterbury. That plaque reads…

We do not have all the answers. We are on a spiritual journey. We look to Scripture, reason and tradition to help us on our way. Whoever you are, we offer you a space to draw nearer to God and walk with us.

May the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist become such a place for you.

September

This month in the natural world finds us continuing a season of sunshine, warm temperatures, and, where we live, long though shortening hours of daylight.

This month has also been a time of returning to school and work. Our world has been made very different by the pandemic of Covid-19, especially pointed this year by the absence of returning students, faculty, and administrators to our neighbor the Oregon Episcopal School. The head of school and trustees have chosen to postpone the traditional start of in place school until the threat of viral infection has consistently decreased. Education goes on, as does worship, though in a distant fashion. We pray for the day that it will be safe to return to classroom, chapel, and corporate worship.

There are three major holy days in the church’s calendar in September.

On the 14th, we honor Holy Cross Day. The cross is the central symbol of our Christian faith. Jesus was executed by the occupying Roman authorities for the felony conviction of treason against the emperor. The cross occupies a central place in every Christian church. An old hymn sings

In the cross of Christ I glory.

An instrument of cruel execution becomes for us the window to salvation.

On September 21st, we honor St. Matthew, Apostle and Evangelist. Matthew earned his living as a tax collector, an upopular person then (and now). His conversion to Christ directed him to write one of the biblical gospels. That book was written to Jesus’ own people, the people of the Hebrew nation.

September 29th honors St. Michael and All Angels. There was a war in heaven, pitting Michael against satan. Michael won. The Christian Bible names three angels, but there are countless angels. Some people of faith believe that they have a very special, very personal guardian angel.

We’ll not be gathering in the church for these services this month due to the social distancing required in the virus pandemic. Our absence from church building does not mean that the faith is absent.

Many of our services and activities continue via social media and Zoom. If you would like to be added to the email list announcing these services and events, you can request such to sjb@oes.org.