Holy Cross is part of the Episcopal Church, which is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion. Like Roman Catholics, we have sacraments, bishops and priests, the Eucharist on Sunday, and many other traditional elements. On the other hand, we have no centralized authority like the Pope, women share equally in all roles in the church (including bishop and priest), clergy may marry (our vicar has a wife and two grown children), and there is in general great leeway for individual beliefs and interpretations.
Most members of Holy Cross did not grow up as Episcopalians. Some choose to be formally confirmed or received by the bishop, but others do not. Any baptized person who wishes to join the parish is a full, voting member. Many in our pews, however, retain their formal affiliations with the denominations from which they come. The Episcopal Church does not believe it is the “only church” or that its members are “saved” and others (even non-Christians) are “damned.” We believe that salvation belongs to God and that Jesus asks us first and foremost to look to our own souls, not to judge others. The great Catholic theologian Karl Rahner put it this way: “God has some whom the Church has not; the Church has some whom God has not.”
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