Who We Are/What We Believe

1D Bruce's-St John's in bloom-1St. John’s Church (Episcopal) is a vibrant and inclusive Christian congregation in the village of Larchmont, N.Y. We are dedicated to creating community both within and outside of our walls through worship, religious education, volunteering, philanthropy, and fellowship.

As an Episcopal congregation, we come together each week for a celebration of Holy Eucharist (also called Communion, the Lord’s Supper, or Mass), the central act of worship for Christians throughout the ages and across the globe. Everything we do flows from worship, including service to our community and the world, Christian education for children, teens, and adults, and occasions for parish fellowship. As an Episcopal community, we are diverse in our individual religious, social and political views, but we are united in rejoicing in God’s great love for us all, and in seeking to love God and our neighbor, following the path that Jesus sets before us.

The Episcopal Church is a church in the liturgical tradition, meaning that we worship according to an order of service of written prayers. Our services come from the Book of Common Prayer (often referred to simply as “the Prayer Book”), which traces its roots to the English Reformation (though the basic outline of the various services dates back to much earlier Christian worship and much of the language is taken directly from scripture).

Visitors to churches often ask, “What do you believe?” We are diverse in our views, but our central focus is knowing God as God is revealed in Jesus of Nazareth. We learn about God in Christ through the scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, through the tradition of the church, and through our human reason and experience.

As Episcopalians in the Anglican heritage, we do not pretend that there are simple answers to questions that have long burdened the mind of humankind—questions about who God is, why God allows suffering, and so many others—but we do say that we can know God, and learn about the character and the will of God through the life and work of Jesus Christ. Jesus teaches us to love God, ourselves, and one another. He calls us to turn away from the path of envy, resentment, violence, fear, and hatred to one of nonviolence, trust, and compassion. We come together as a church to support one another in becoming disciples of the way of life that Jesus shows us.

The Episcopal Church, which has parishes in 17 different countries, is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion family of churches. Within the Episcopal Church, we are a parish of the Diocese of New York, whose cathedral (central church) is the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan.