The Episcopal Church in West Tennessee is a welcoming community of believers with many voices, yet one faith in Jesus Christ, united in the Book of Common Prayer, nurtured by the sacraments and empowered by the Word of God for our ministry in the world.
The Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee is the diocese of the Episcopal Church that geographically coincides with the political region known as the Grand Division of West Tennessee. The geographic range of the Diocese of West Tennessee was originally part of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, which was partitioned into three separate dioceses during 1982–1985. Phoebe A. Roaf is the current Bishop of West Tennessee.
The diocesan motto, Ubique Inter Flumina, means “everywhere between the rivers”, referring to the Tennessee and Mississippi rivers, which bracket West Tennessee on two sides. This echoes the original motto of the old state-wide Diocese, which was Usque ad Flumen, meaning “even unto the river,” referring to the Mississippi River.
What We Believe
As Episcopalians, we believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.
We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.
The Episcopal Church embraces a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; people of all genders and sexual orientations serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy work together in leadership and governance.
Core to our Beliefs:
“It is a most invaluable part of that blessed ‘liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free,’ that in his worship different forms and usages may without offense be allowed, provided the substance of the Faith be kept entire” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 9).
The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure chest full of devotional and teaching resources for individuals and congregations, but it is also the primary symbol of our unity. We, who are many and diverse, come together in Christ through our worship, our common prayer.
“Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 236).
The Bible is our foundation, understood through tradition and reason, containing all things necessary for salvation. Our worship is filled with Scripture from beginning to end. Approximately 70% of the Book of Common Prayer comes directly from the Bible.
“Do you reaffirm your renunciation of evil and renew your commitment to Jesus Christ?” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 292).
A mini-catechism used at baptisms and on Easter and other special occasions, the baptismal covenant opens with a question-and-answer version of the statement of faith that is the Apostles’ Creed and adds five questions regarding how we, as Christians, are called to live out our faith.
Offered in a question-and-answer format, the catechism found in the back of the Book of Common Prayer (pp. 845-862) helps teach the foundational truths of the Christian faith.
“The Creeds are statements of our basic beliefs about God” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 851).
In the two foundational statements of faith—the Apostles’ Creed used at baptism, and the Nicene Creed used at communion—we join Christians throughout the ages in affirming our faith in the one God who created us, redeemed us, and sanctifies us.
“Sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 857).
Found in the Book of Common Prayer, these include:
- Confirmation (the adult affirmation of our baptismal vows), pp. 413-419
- Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession), pp. 447-452
- Matrimony (Christian marriage), pp. 422-438
- Orders (ordination to deacon, priest, or bishop), pp. 510-555
- Unction (anointing with oil those who are sick or dying) pp. 453-467