Our beliefs are founded in scripture, both the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, as well as the life, teachings, and example of the Christ Jesus. Our “faith” is based in the three creeds – the Apostle’s, the Nicene, and the Athanasian. Together they form a foundation of a common faith, belief, and trust.
The term “universal” is often used to refer only to the Church as being one whole complete being, no matter the distance of each individual community, however it also refers to the universality of God’s love and our unity through the Holy Spirit. Jesus taught us to love all people as we ourselves wish to be loved – in essence to accept all people universally in spirit.
We are a part of the “one holy, catholic, and apostolic Church” in the truest sense in that we are universally committed to bring the sacraments to all who are in need. We are a pilgrim church guided by the Spirit and formed by the needs of the People of God.
Though we are catholic, we are not under the authority of the Bishop of Rome and assert our unity with the whole of the Universal Church. Our Community is founded on the teachings of the Christ, Jesus; who guides us to the fullness of communion with one another and the Father through the Sacred Mysteries and life giving Sacraments.
Since we share equally at the table of our Lord, we open ourselves to share communally with other faith communities who espouse the traditions of open celebration of the teachings of our Lord.
Our celebrants may draw from the Book of Common Prayer, the Roman Missal, and the Old Catholic Missal and Ritual based on the needs of the individual faith communities.
As a part of the Catholic tradition, we fully believe that the primary judge for our own actions is the review of the individual conscience. Paul chides us in Romans 14, 10-12:
“Why do you pass judgment on your brother or sister?
Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister?
For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God. For it is written,
‘As I live,’ says the Almighty, ‘every knee shall bow to me,
and every tongue shall give praise to God.’
So then, each of us will be accountable to God alone. Let us therefore no longer pass judgment on one
another, but resolve instead never to put a stumbling-block or hindrance in the way of another.”
God speaks to us – each of us – if we are willing to listen. Just as the Church can decide what it does and does not believe as a whole, so too the individual can decide what they believe as individuals, but none shall be separated from the Sacraments. This is known as, “Reason, Informed By Faith” (book by Richard Gula, Paulist Press), or “informed concience”.