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.

December

ADVENT

The month of December marks a new season in our church’s calendar. It also marks the beginning of a new season in our cycle of scripture lessons, Year C for our Sunday services, and Year Two for daily morning and evening prayer. By having three years to hear and read scripture, we can truly cover most of the Old and New Testaments.

The season of Advent lasts four Sundays immediately preceding Christmas Day. A feature in the church is the Advent Wreath, showing three blue candles and one rose candle as a kind of countdown toward Christmas, when the colored candles will be replaced by white ones, and we welcome the Christ child, and the word of God becoming human.

The theme of Advent is not only the preparation for the coming of Christ, but also having us to be mindful of the second coming of Christ as judge on the last day of life as we know it.

Our church is to some extent counter cultural. As the merchants around us open early and stay open late, urging us to buy yet another item, we treasure the quiet of Advent to prepare ourselves better for the beautiful gift of Chrismas.

CHRISTMAS

Christmas is a time for rejoicing in family gatherings, feasting if not on roast goose as in folklore, then some other roast. The season properly has us mindful of the incarnation, wherein the gospel of John proclaims that the word became flesh and dwelt among us. The season begins on Christmas Eve, December 24, and goes to the eve of the Day of Epiphany, or January 6. 

This is a month of joy and gladness, but is also a time of sadness for those who have lost loved ones, and is a time of noting our world whose people and nations are divided. May the new year bring us joy as we look forward.

 

Many of our services and activities continue via social media and Zoom, though the church is now open for in person worship on Sundays, 8am and 10am, and Wednesdays, 11am. If you would like to be added to the email list announcing these services and events, you can request such by visiting the Contact Us page.