About the Faith
Our Faith is based on Jesus Christ, who in many ways revealed to us the Father, the Creator of all, and the Lord God of the Universe. Jesus showed us that we are not just part of this evolving creation, but loved by God. We are expected to live in a relationship of love and joy with the Father, for the Father loves us, and wants us to be part of His purpose for this Universe. He has given us the freedom to love, to live in His presence, and in a relationship of love with all others.
We however, because of selfishness, have turned away from the Father, desiring only our own will, when we want it, no matter how much it may hurt others or the creation. This is called sin, and it is a rejection of the love of God. God in His love allows us to be as selfish as we wish, but not in His presence. When we sin, we turn our backs on God, and separate ourselves from Him. That sin also separates us from becoming part of the purpose of God for this universe, thus making our lives pointless and short. We live now in such a world --- evil in part, pleasant in part, but pointless --- it is a prison of our own making.
But God has never stopped loving us. Using His Spirit, he inspired men and women around the world to reach for Him, for Meaning, for Understanding --- and this has resulted in world religions --- every culture has produced its own religion based on its partial understanding of God. Of all these religions, the one that understood the best about God was Judaism; so He worked with their prophets, priests, and leaders to grow that understanding, until a point was reached that would allow God to reach out to us, to come to us, and to be understood. At that point in time, God entered our world, the world of humanity, and in the power of the Holy Spirit, took our flesh and was born among us --- we called Him Jesus.
In Jesus, the Father was trying to reveal Himself to us. We could for the first time, see what God was like --- not physically of course --- but in His love, His caring, His healing, His truth. And then Jesus did something unimaginable --- he took the punishment for our sins (our selfishness) onto His own shoulders, and died on the Cross with it. We call that day, Good Friday (or God's Friday).
To prove that His sacrifice on our behalf was real, and not just the suicide of a very good person, Jesus was raised to life again on the Third Day. We call it Easter Day --- the Day of the Resurrection. And with that event, everything changed. It proved that:
1) God really loves us (the crucifix is the world's greatest symbol of love), and
2) that we can be forgiven, and
3) that there is life beyond this life, and
4) that we can rejoin the Father in His Plan and Purpose to create a great loving society right here on earth (to be called the Kingdom of God).
In order to accomplish all this, Jesus founded a Church, with His disciples (now to be called Apostles) empowered by the Holy Spirit as the first Bishops of that Church. He gave it a perfect way to Worship Him --- the Eucharist, the Mass, whatever word you like to use. He gave it authority to spread the Good News everywhere, to Heal, to Forgive, and to Bless. By Baptism and Faith, we are joined to Christ, and begin our journey together with Him. We call that one Church founded by Jesus, the Holy Catholic Church, and Episcopalians are part of that Catholic Church, together with our fellow Anglicans in the world, about 80 million strong. The 7 Sacraments of the Church are channels of His Grace (power) to all Christians, power that is available to change us and to change the world. Our Destiny here is to build the Kingdom of God, and at the same time to be so changed bit by bit that we reach the stage of being completely changed into what God intended us to be --- which is called "becoming a Saint". That is the destiny of every Christian --- and why we struggle each day to grow into a little reflection of Jesus himself. It is a slow process, that is totally dependent on God's Grace and our renewed will to walk with Jesus.
The Sacraments are channels of God's power to us, guaranteed. Baptism, Confirmation,Eucharist,Confession, Unction, Ordination, Marriage. Read more about them in the Article named: Sacraments.
To assist in our understanding of God, the Church gathered a number of writings into one book, which we call the Bible. The Bible is not infallible, because it was written by imperfect people at a particular time in history, but now interpreted by the Church empowered by the Holy Spirit, it is the best tool we have to understand God, and His Will and His Love.
We, the baptised and believing people gathered together under the patronage of Sts Peter and Paul (called in short form, Sts.Peter and Paul Church), invite you to come and journey with us, to offer the Holy Sacrifice of Christ on Sunday with us, to learn and grow with us, and to do what we can to bring the Kingdom of God into El Centro, California. We journey with Jesus, and would love to have you walk with us. God bless and keep you.