The word “episcopal”
is an old Greek word for bishop. Bishops oversee Episcopal Churches in a geographic area known as a diocese. St. Luke's Church belongs to the Diocese of Western North Carolina, located in Asheville, under Bishop José McLoughlin.
Together we strive to:
Walk in the Way of Jesus
Widen the Walls by welcoming all people – no exceptions
Wake up the World to the grace and mercy of God.
Being an Episcopalian means being a a part of 2.2 million members of the world-wide Anglican Communion by virtue of our roots in the Church of England. It means:
Loving Jesus and following his teachings by welcoming the stranger and the outcast, offering love and forgiveness to all;
Gathering around the Lord’s table as a symbol of our unity;
Promising to love our neighbors as ourselves, and uphold the dignity of every human being – no exceptions;
Celebrating a diversity of people and worship styles even as we all utilize a similar form of worship set out in the Book of Common Prayer;
Striving to be a faith community that respects our religious tradition while also embracing a profound sense of awe and wonder in the mystery of God;
Practicing “via media” – or middle way – in all that we do because we believe that, regardless of our views on particular topics, everyone is beloved by God and Jesus calls us to demonstrate respect and care in our deliberations.
Believing the Holy Scriptures are the revealed word of God, which inspired the human authors of the Scripture, and which is interpreted by the Church under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
In the words of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Michael B. Curry: “Jesus came and started a movement and we are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus movement.”
The Book of Common Prayer
is a permanent feature of Episcopal worship and a key source for its doctrine. The Book of Common Prayer is loved for the beauty of its language and its services are widely used.
Originally collected, edited, and at least partially written by English Reformer Thomas Cranmer, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Book of Common Prayer was the first prayer book to include liturgical services published in English. The book includes written prayers, of course, but also much more: catechisms, the “daily office” (essentially a thrice-daily Bible reading program), collects (short prayers to be recited at certain points in the service), full orders of service for important occasions such as holidays and baptisms, a psalter (the biblical psalms arranged for a monthly reading), and a lectionary (a list of readings).
The original 1549 version of the Book of Common Prayer was completed under King Edward VI of England. The current book, and the one we use at St. Luke's, is the 1979 edition. Copies are in all the pews for your use during worship.