St. Philips is a place where God and God’s people invite you to God’s Table and ours! Every Sunday morning, we gather to worship God in Word and Sacrament. What do Word and Sacrament mean?
Word: We read and hear portions of the Bible so we better understand the story of God’s people. We listen to a sermon, so that we better understand how our own stories as human beings fit into the larger story of God’s people. We pray together. We sing hymns from different cultural traditions. So that’s the Word part.
Sacrament: This is a sign. A symbol. Something we do as human beings that points to something greater than ourselves. After we have focused on God’s Word in the Bible, we have Holy Communion: we eat blessed bread and we drink blessed wine and we remember how Jesus of Nazareth welcomed people to the table in God’s name. And we believe that Jesus is present in, and through, the sharing of bread and wine.
At St. Philip’s, we are Christians, meaning that we follow the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, whom we believe to be God’s Son.
We are Anglicans and Episcopalians as well. What does it mean to be those things? First of all, if you know anything about math (and I am math-challenged, so this will be simple!), you have sets and you have subsets. The Episcopal Church is the American subset of the Anglican Communion, so you will only find The Episcopal Church in the United States. However, you will find Anglican churches all over the globe. This is a very simple explanation. If you want to know even more, you can click here. Finally, if you are one of those people who want a big, involved explanation, visit the Anglican Communion website.
You may have heard a lot of press lately about all the divisions among churches, dioceses (that’s the basic unit which contains a number of churches or parishes), provinces and countries in the Anglican Communion. It’s true. We’re having what you might call A Family Fight. And you know what that means. Some not-so-nice stuff is being thrown back and forth amongst us, and obviously we do not all agree on who should be sitting at the Family Dinner Table. But so far, most of the family is still sitting at the table, and most of the family is still speaking to each other, even if we’re not talking a lot.
St. Philip’s believes that everyone is welcome at the Family Dinner Table, because frankly, it is not our table. It’s God’s Table. And you would have to find some real proof for the rector that Jesus of Nazareth turned anyone away from his table, or that there was someone’s table where he did not sit and eat and drink. Except maybe the people who thought they knew the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth. So whoever you are, you’re welcome at our Table, whatever your culture or race or marital status or sexual orientation or age. If you haven’t been baptized, we’ll baptize you (if that is what you want!) If you haven’t been confirmed, we can arrange that with Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde. Or if you have been confirmed in a liturgical tradition, Bishop Budde can receive you, recognizing that you’ve already been confirmed.
So come and check out these Anglicans/Episcopalians on Main Street in Laurel. You may discover that you’ve found a church family.