What does it mean to “be the church” today? For us at St. Thomas’ Parish, a progressive Episcopal Church at Dupont Circle, we believe it simply means being a community that is constantly learning to put into practice the two basic teachings of Jesus: ▪ Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. ▪ Love your neighbor as yourself. We try to live out these two “Great Commandments” through:
- Being a community of worship and formation: We practice a rhythm of worship that includes Word (prayer, scripture, preaching) and Sacrament (Baptism and Holy Communion). We are committed to the education and formation of people of all ages who want to learn more about how to live as Christians today.
- Being a community of reconciliation: The radical hospitality of God that invites all to the table for Holy Communion also draws us toward personal wholeness and integrity. Likewise God draws together, or reconciles, what is broken and binds us into a community of respect, care, and love for one another.
- Being a community of justice: Loving God also means loving our neighbors as ourselves by serving—our parish, our neighborhood, our community, and the world around us. It means being committed to justice for all of God’s creation. “Being the Church” means practicing discipleship by following the example and teachings of Jesus. “Being the church” also means learning how to tell others of what we have discovered and how it may change their lives and change our world: sharing the good news or gospel, while at the same time respecting and learning about the faith traditions and beliefs of others. “Being the church” varies from congregation to congregation, despite the fact that all of us are on the same journey together with a common goal, learning to be all that God has created us to be, and with a common need: forgiveness and reconciliation when we falter along the way. We invite you to join us at St. Thomas’ Parish as part of this Christian community as we learn to live with love for God and for one another.
—Nancy Lee Jose, Rector