Welcome from the Presiding Bishop

Anglicans usually refer to Pentecost as 'Whitsunday' as a reminder of the fact that in the early church it was a popular day for baptisms.  The old Whitsunday Vigil contained an extended series of prophecies, followed by a litany and culminating in one of the two great Baptismal services of the year.  Back in the early days of English Christianity, the church would be well sprinkled with the white - 'hvit - whit' - robes of the newly Baptized.  This perhaps caught the popular mind more than the proper use of the feast, which was to commemorate the descent of the Holy Ghost, from the Father, through the Son, on the fiftieth day following the Resurrection.

 

Being a bit old-fashioned, I like the King James version of St John's Gospel, which refers to the Holy Ghost as the 'Comforter.'  In the seventeenth century this word retained something of its original meaning 'to strengthen' - which seems curiously appropriate for "that spirit of truth which is meant to guide us into all Truth."  It is rather a pity that many of those who are quick to co-opt the Holy Ghost to support their views are folks who have very little use for Scripture.  The Holy Spirit guided the hands of the prophets, patriarchs, law-givers, and Apostles as they recorded God's revelation of Himself to humanity in the Scriptures, and the same Holy Ghost guides us into all truth in maintaining, fostering and spreading that same Revelation today.

 

We live in a deeply fractured and divided world; one that is in need of hope and salvation.  As Christians, we believe that God had saved humanity through His Son Jesus Christ, who was truly human, and truly divine, and was offered as the one perfect sacrifice upon the Cross.  In Christ God has called for Himself a people, who have been delivered from sin and death through Christ, and enjoy, through faith and baptism, the gift of eternal hope.  That hope is available to all those who have been called through the Lord Jesus Christ, and call on Him with true and faithful hearts. 

 

The United Episcopal Church exists to feed the faithful, recall the wandering, and summon those who wait for God's call.  We believe in the inerrancy of God's Word, and that it is the sole foundation for Christian teaching.  The Bible contains the God's revelation of Himself to humanity and is valid for all time to all peoples.  To help us remember what the Bible says about God, we hold to the three ancient Creeds - the Apostles', the Nicene, and the Athanasian, which date to between the second and fifth centuries and are summaries of the Bible's teaching about Christ.  We also retain a great reverence for the Early Fathers, and Ecumenical Councils of the undivided Church as guides to the meaning of the Bible to the Early Christian Church, and in doing this we find a large area of common ground with both the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches.   

 

However, the United Episcopal Church is also a 'church of the Reformation.'  We retain the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion of 1563 as a witness to the great truths of the Reformation, especially Justification by Grace through Faith only, and the sufficiency of Holy Scripture in doctrinal matters.  Our Liturgy - way of worship - the 'Book of Common Prayer' is based upon ancient sources, but was reformed at the Reformation to eliminate superstitions, and to make the church service more 'user friendly.'

 

The Bible also provides us with a pattern for our daily lives.  Rather than follow the tyranny of moral relativism, the UECNA prefers to uphold a Biblical, Christian, pattern of morality as the best hope for a stable society and for the happiness of the individual.  We take seriously the words of the Lord Jesus when He declared Himself to be 'the Way, the Truth, and the Life.'  

 

I invite you to explore our website, find out a little more about our church, and if you feel yourself moved to join us, see if there is a congregation near you, or contact the Archbishop's Office about the possibility of initiating new work in your area.

Last I would like to add that we firmly believe that the best way for the Church to advance the Christian Faith is to abstain from ecclesiastic politics, and to devote all our energy to preaching the Gospel of Christ, and celebrating the sacraments of our Redemption. Our mission as the Church is to point always beyond ourselves and towards our Saviour preaching the Gospel of God's Love in Christ for humanity.

 

In Christ,

+Peter D Robinson,

Presiding Bishop of the United Episcopal Church of North America,

Missionary Bishop of the West.