St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church: Our Beliefs, Journey, Vision, Mission, Strategies, and Values
As Jesus called St. Andrew to “follow me, and I will make you fish for people” (Mark 1:17), so Jesus calls us to invite people into God’s family and serve the world with God’s love. The name “Andrew” comes from a root meaning “strong” and “brave.” Therefore we, his spiritual descendants, courageously answer God’s call as a proud congregation of the Episcopal Church.
What Is the Episcopal Church, and What Do Episcopalians Believe?
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion – 70 million members in 164 nations who trace their spiritual ancestry to the Church of England. We affirm the councils of ancient Christianity and root our faith in the claims of the Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds. We worship using both ancient and modern texts found in the Book of Common Prayer, and we observe the historic seven sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Matrimony, Reconciliation of a Penitent, Unction (anointing for healing), and Ordination. We welcome all baptized people to receive Holy Communion, regardless of age or denominational background. We affirm that God is revealed to us through the “three-legged stool” of Scripture, tradition, and reason:
· We believe Holy Scripture is the living Word of God, written by divinely inspired human authors and interpreted across the ages through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
· We believe Christian tradition connects us with believers across the Church’s 2,000-year history and offers us deep insights such as the Creeds, many of the sacraments, the Church’s worship life, and Christian theology.
· We believe our reason is a gift from God, the capacity with which we make decisions about how to use Scripture and tradition in our lives.
As Episcopalians, we use these blessings of Scripture, tradition, and reason to live our faith actively, promising at Baptism that we will gather for worship regularly, resist evil, proclaim Good News in word and deed, seek and serve Christ in all people, and strive for justice and peace.
St. Andrew’s began as an Episcopal mission congregation in 1913, when the Brookside neighborhood was just taking shape. Our first building was constructed at the corner of Meyer Boulevard and Wornall Road in 1923, and the parish grew consistently through the Depression, World War II, and Baby Boom eras. St. Andrew’s became well-known, both as a place for vigorous proclamation of the Gospel and as a place for social connection in a day when large, affluent Episcopal parishes were considered “the country club at prayer.”
Today, our social make-up is more diverse, reflecting the demographics of our Brookside neighborhood and the Episcopal Church’s core value that all are welcome – no exceptions. The warmth of our welcome is one way we continue to proclaim Good News joyfully, both in word and in deed. Our parish believes deeply in the inclusiveness of the Episcopal Church’s “big tent” – that, while we may differ about political perspectives or theological claims, we gather as God’s family around God’s table to share the communion of authentic fellowship, as well as the Communion of Christ’s Body and Blood. We also believe deeply in proclaiming Good News in action, serving those who have the least, both here in Kansas City and at our mission school in Haiti.
As we enter into our second century, we are thankful for our history, which we honor through the transcendent beauty of our worship space and in liturgy that glorifies God in the rich tradition of the Episcopal Church. But we also know we are disciples following Jesus into the rapidly changing future being revealed in our neighborhood, our city, and our world.
St. Andrew’s is a spiritual home to all, inspiring us to shine Christ’s light into our families, our city, and our world.
Praising, learning, and sharing God’s love.
· Glorifying God with the richness of Episcopal worship.
· Gathering in joyful Christian fellowship.
· Forming young and old into followers of Jesus.
· Inviting and welcoming all.
· Serving and caring for people near and far.
· Authenticity. We relate to each other forthrightly and directly.
· Collaboration. We practice mutual decision-making with high levels of input and communication among different individuals.
· Connection with our neighborhood. We see ourselves as an integral part of the Brookside neighborhood and seek to foster its well-being.
· Empowerment. We entrust groups (such as parish commissions) with responsibility to plan and execute projects that accomplish larger parish goals.
· Excellence. We believe that revealing the kingdom of God demands the very best work the family of God can offer.
· Inclusivity (the Big Tent). We welcome all, seek unity in diversity, and believe that the contributions of “all sorts and conditions” of people help us better know the mind of God.
· Integrity. We carry out our ministries with honesty and a commitment to kingdom values.
· Service. We believe we are called not simply to believe in Christ but also to serve Christ in our parish family and in our world.
· Stewardship. We gratefully acknowledge that everything we have comes from God and that God entrusts us with its management and care.
· Transparency. We carry out our ministries in a spirit of openness and mutual accountability.