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Who We Are
We value friendliness and hospitality… and we see ourselves as more than just a welcoming group, organization, or place. We are a sacred, diverse community of believers gathered around God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. If we are members of anything, we are members of the Body of Christ in the world…We are not a club.
We are a church without walls…While our home base is a small campus on Second Street in Newport, Vermont where we strive to welcome all who venture through our doors, we also dream of becoming more and more a church without walls. We are called not only to share God’s gifts—including God’s Table—with those who come to us but also to celebrate God’s grace and goodness in ever-widening circles as we reach out in service and share our hope and belief in the "already/not yet" of God's Kingdom…We are not a building.
We embrace God in all people…We believe no matter where we go God is already there; already at work in our lives and in our neighbors’ lives (from Second Street to Uganda), and that God completes this work not from above, but from beside through human hands and hearts: Ours. We serve joyfully and humbly in God’s mission in the world…We do not presume to bring God to others.
It is bigger than us…Saint Mark’s is a local expression of The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont; we participate in the mission of the Church—namely, to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ—as we live and love and learn “in the kingdom, for The Kingdom”…We are not alone.
We are changing…Saint Mark’s is not stuck in the past, but rather a living community that in this changed and changing world seeks ever to be renewed through the scripture and traditions of our Christian faith while serving the spiritual needs of those around us in the here and now. We take Scripture seriously, have an abiding love for The Book of Common Prayer—and listen carefully for where else God is still speaking to us today. We seek to cultivate a climate of worship that enables all people to say “Yes!” to the astounding love of God…We are not a relic.
We challenge one another with openness…We recognize our ultimate unity in Christ even as we hold different beliefs. We seek not to deny difference, but celebrate unity in diversity as essential to our belief in and strengthening of the complex, sometimes seemingly contradictory Body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:12-31). We believe unity in diversity is a powerful witness to the hurting world around us…We do not always agree with one another.
We are risk-takers…We believe what we pray: that we do not come to God’s Table “for solace only, and not for strength; for pardon only, and not for renewal” (Eucharistic Prayer C, BCP, p.372). We support each other in discerning our own spiritual calling and ministry, value the inherent priesthood of all in our Baptismal Covenant, and confidently strive to fulfill our individual and corporate callings…We are not passive.
God is not finished with us yet…We walk together on a life-long pilgrimage of transforming ourselves to become more and more Christ-like. We do this through thought and deed, prayer and laughter, singing and silence—and by sharing stories, bread, faith and all that God has so graciously given us…We are not perfect.