The core tenet of our belief as Episcopalians answers both questions at once. That is that we are all saved, not by virtue of our saying so, or by the good works we do, but by the grace of God in the saving work of Christ Jesus, who came not to save a few individuals, but rather to save the world. He has called us as Christians to be “his hands and heart in the world,” as it says in the Celtic blessing, through the power of the Holy Trinity.
Our motto could be, “Don’t worry. Get busy!” Don’t worry, but rather offer prayers of praise and thanksgiving for the saving work of God in Christ. Get busy in doing the work that God is calling us to do. The rest is in God’s hands.
Our Anglican identity is marked by this strong communal aspect. As we heard in Eucharistic prayer C this past Sunday, “Deliver us from the presumption of coming to this Table for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal. Let the grace of this Holy Communion make us one body, one spirit in Christ, that we may worthily serve the world in his name.”
We understand ourselves to be connected, one to another, by virtue of being part of the Body of Christ. We pray together in common prayer. We also discern together, as we are doing in the rector’s search process. We govern ourselves by taking council together, in Vestry meetings as well as church conventions.
We promise in our baptismal vows to “continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.” Our faith journey unfolds in the context of care, concern and respect for one another. Even praying alone in our room, we are connected to the prayers of all the faithful.
We are one body because we share one bread, one cup. Risen Lord, be known to us in the breaking of the Bread. Alleluia!