Welcome to our website!
Here you will see into our community: what’s going on here; what we do together; what we care about; how we hear – and tell - the Good News of Jesus Christ. In sum, who we are, for Christ’s sake.
God loves you. No exceptions. Individually and collectively, we do our best to live by this truth and its companion: You are welcome here, no matter who you are. After all, we believe that we are called to live our lives in love as Jesus did. We also know that sometimes we succeed and sometimes we fall short. But love always wins. God’s love abides and is stronger than any fear, any sorrow, any sin.
Come and walk with us – in this virtual community, on our Facebook page, or in real time and real life at the edge of Washington Park, on Wayne Street, in Sandusky, Ohio.
in the Chapel
in the Chapel
in the Church
"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You," is not just a slogan,
it’s who we seek to be and the witness we seek to make, following the way of Jesus.
[November 14, 2016] Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry has issued the following statement:
Last week I shared what I pray was a reconciling post-election message to our church, reminding us that 'we will all live together as fellow Americans, as citizens.' Today I want to remind us that during moments of transition, during moments of tension, it is important to affirm our core identity and values as followers of Jesus in the Episcopal Anglican way.
Jesus once declared, in the language of the Hebrew prophets, that God's "house shall be a house of prayer for all nations" (Mk 11:17). He invited and welcomed all who would follow saying, "come to me all who are weary and are carrying heavy burdens" (Mt. 11:28).
We therefore assert and we believe that "the Episcopal Church welcomes you" – all of you, not as merely a church slogan, but as a reflection of what we believe Jesus teaches us and at the core of the movement he began in the first century. The Episcopal Church welcomes all. All of us!
As the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement today, we Episcopalians are committed, as our Prayer Book teaches to honor the covenant and promises we made in Holy Baptism: To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ; To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves; to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being.
As Christians, we believe that all humans are created in God’s image and equal before God – those who may be rejoicing as well as those who may be in sorrow.
As a Church, seeking to follow the way of Jesus, who taught us, "you shall love your neighbor as yourself," (Mt. 22:39) and to "do to others as you would have them do to you" (Mt. 7:12), we maintain our longstanding commitment to support and welcome refugees and immigrants, and to stand with those who live in our midst without documentation. We reaffirm that like all people LGBT persons are entitled to full civil rights and protection under the law. We reaffirm and renew the principles of inclusion and the protection of the civil rights of all persons with disabilities. We commit to the honor and dignity of women and speak out against sexual or gender-based violence. We express solidarity with and honor the Indigenous Peoples of the world. We affirm the right to freedom of religious expression and vibrant presence of different religious communities, especially our Muslim sisters and brothers. We acknowledge our responsibility in stewardship of creation and all that God has given into our hands. We do so because God is the Creator. We are all God's children, created equally in God's image. And if we are God's children we are all brothers and sisters.
"The Episcopal Church Welcomes You," is not just a slogan, it’s who we seek to be and the witness we seek to make, following the way of Jesus.
Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael B. Curry
The Episcopal Church
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July 21, 2016
Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,
Paris last November. Brussels airport in April. Orlando in June. Baton Rouge. Minneapolis. Dallas. Nice. In our own country and abroad, the list of violent killings seems endless. Many go by almost unnoticed. On the evening of July 2nd in Baghdad, for instance, as Muslim families gathered to break Ramadan fast, one suicide car bomb killed more than 200 men, women, and children.
Some of these are acts of terrorism, some reflect deep racial disparities in our society and a continuing racism in our culture, some reveal a societal breakdown of trust. The sniper-style murder of five police officers as they protected protesters and calmly kept the peace in Dallas and the ambush of officers in Baton Rouge that killed three were as unimaginable and horrifying as the live-streamed killing of Philando Castile in a suburban Minnesota traffic stop.
The current volume and degree of violence produce both an emotional burden of fear and a spiritual burden of doubt. We wonder: Can we be safe anywhere? What could happen at the conventions in Cleveland this week and in Philadelphia the following week? Where is God in all of this? Is there any "good" upon which we can ever rely?
It is important that we talk and pray about these things in church. Both consciously and unconsciously, we are carrying them around with us all the time. The names of towns where people no different from us live and work and raise their families - Sandy Hook, San Bernardino, Columbine - forever trigger traumatic images of bloodshed and heartache. There is no vacation from this burden; wherever we go, we take it with us. And if we are not bringing these emotional and spiritual burdens to church, then we are not bringing our whole selves to church. We need a time to hold them in our collective hearts and to place them in God's hands, if only for that hour, and to recognize that we are not alone.
The power of evil, of course, wants us to feel helpless, because then we will be vulnerable to its ways. It wants us to feel isolated, from each other and from God, because that is the only way it wins.
Helplessness makes us susceptible to violence and to the excessive exercise of power, ourselves. Witness the colossal arming of the American public with both legal and illegal firearms. The United States has 113 guns for every 100 Americans. Even as a gun owner myself, I find this a shocking figure. It is the highest guns-per-capita ratio in the world, and it goes up every day.
Helplessness leads to the demonization of those who are different, to ostracizing the other. It results in the dehumanization of everyone, victims and perpetrators alike, and to the general devaluing of all life.
And helplessness leads us to a paralyzing cultural disrespect of one another, as seen in the contemptuous tone of campaign rhetoric in our own country, and globally in the xenophobic tendency of protectionist populism.
But we are not helpless. Our help is in a God who is greater than all this. As the 124th Psalm proclaims, "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth." And it is in church and in our prayer lives that we connect with that help.
In worship and in prayer we are reminded that we are not helpless, but are beloved of God, and in being loved by the divine without condition, we are empowered to love in response. In Matthew 5 Jesus says, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven." To be children of God means to be godly, to be invulnerable to the power of evil. Praying for our enemies is not about condoning their actions, it is about emboldening ourselves to resist participating in them. In the words of St. Paul's letter to the church at Rome, it emboldens us to "cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light."
The armor of light is not a garment of passivity. It is the uniform of advocacy, justice, compassion, accountability, and truth. And it is anything but helpless. This is what Jesus offers and demands of us, whether we come to church seeking it or not - the companionship and hope of a loving and just God who empowers us to be the very body of Christ, the human manifestation of divine love in our perilous but not helpless time.
So when we pray for that peace that passes all understanding, let us do so with a bold hope and a willingness to go to whatever length it takes to achieve it. That is what our savior Jesus did; that is what it will take for us to be his body today. No matter who you are or how you got here, no matter how great is your conviction of inadequacy or guilt or shame, no matter what you think of yourself or what you fear others might think of you, you are exactly what God needs to heal the world, not because of who you are, but because of who God is.
In the face of even the greatest evil, we are not helpless. "Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth."
May God clothe you in the armor of light, empower you to be healers of this broken world, and keep you safe.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Hollingsworth, Jr.
Bishop of Ohio
Ever wished you could - just once - read the Bible all the way through? Have you tried before, only to get bogged down in the “begats” or lost in the letters? The Bible Challenge provides a way for entire communities to read the whole Bible in 52 weeks - and we’re going to give it a try this year! Beginning today, the beginning of Advent, we have posted the day’s readings on our Facebook page. Every day but Sunday the readings are listed and anyone who wishes can add a comment, or “like” the page. (Sundays are tagged for hearing Scripture in church) For those who do not use Facebook, we are providing the list of readings (see below). Paper copies will be provided upon request. Need a Bible? We have those, too!
You can go to http://www.biblestudytools.com/ to access these readings.