Saint David’s is a reconciling, affirming, and inclusive Christian community striving through worship, love, and service to welcome all people just as God created you.

No matter your step on the journey or place in the story: our welcome knows no boundaries of sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, economic condition, physical or mental ability, or age.

We believe that God delights in the diversity of creation and so do we!

 

SUNDAY SERVICES – 8 am & 10:30 am (with 9:30 am Sunday School)

The Bible

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be  written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Collects: Contemporary, Book of Common Prayer, 236)

The Bible takes central place in our shared life of faith. We believe that the whole Bible, the Old and New Testaments, are a record of God’s self-revelation to humanity. They are a sacred narrative, revealing God’s work in creation and God’s plan of salvation, particularly in and through God’s son, Jesus Christ.

The following seven principles might help understand how Episcopalians “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” the Scriputres.

Seven principles for reading the bible…00

1. The Holy Scriptures are inspired by the Holy Spirit and written by human persons.

The Holy Scriptures are called “the Word of God” because we believe them to have been inspired by God – literally: “God-breathed,” such that the Scriptures share something of the divine life itself. That said, we do not hold that God dictated the words but rather used human authors, each with unique cultural and historic conditions and cognitive function.

2. The Holy Scriptures are the primary constitutional text of the Church.

The Scriptures provide the primary basis and guiding principles for our common life with God. They are the instrument of the Church’s shared communion in Jesus Christ through the Apostolic succession (i.e. the passing on the stories, teachings and wisdom of Christ). Because of this, we believe the Scriptures to “contain all things necessary to salvation” (Book of Common Prayer, 526) and give them a place of primacy in the determination of doctrine and morals.

3. The Scriptures are the written witness to salvatoin history that culminates in the paschal mystery of the incarnate Word, Jesus Christ crucified and risen.

From the beginning, the Church has interpreted the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) as a witness to salvation history and its fulfillment in Jesus Christ. Thus, the interpretative key to understanding the Scriptures (Old and New Testaments) is the revelation of God in the Incarnate Word, Jesus the Christ.

4. Just as Holy Scripture narrates God’s self self-revelation in salvation history, it also narrates the manifold human responses to it.

God’s unchanging purpose to redeem is fulfilled through a divine plan respectful of human freedom. The Scriptures reveal a divine plan that adapts to changing historical, cultural, and individual experience. In the Scriptures, the Church seeks an ever-deepening understanding of the divine plan and of the practices and means whereby seekers may respond and walk in the way of Christ.

5. Faithful interpretation of the Holy Scriptures requires the Church.

Because the Holy Scriptures both flow from and constitute the Church itself, we cannot know them nor properly interpret them apart from their being woven from and into the fabric of the Church. This means that we ought not interpret the Scriptures apart from what is known as the “Apostolic Tradition,” the teachings of the Apostles as they have been taught and passed down. Such Apostolic teaching takes many forms but is found most authoritatively in the Creeds and Councils of the Church.

6. Faithful interpretation of the Holy Scriptures requires the use of our reason.

The Church must make use of  “memory, reason, and skill” in finding the sense of the scriptural text. Since the sacred text and the authors who wrote it do not live in a vacuum, interpretation must make used of historical, scientific, and sociological tools, among others.

7. Ultimately, the Church’s aim with Sacred Scripture is to seek its present significance in light of the whole history of salvation.

Chief among the guiding principles by which we interpret the sacred story is the congruence of its interpretation with the Great Commandment:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” (Luke 10:27)

and the Great Commission:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

 

“So let us knock at the very beautiful paradise of the Scriptures, the fragrant, most sweet and lovely paradise that fills our ears with the varied songs of inspired birds, that touches our heart, comforting it when grieving, calming it when angry, and filling it with everlasting joy, and that lifts our minds onto the back of the sacred dove, gleaming with gold and most brilliant, who bears us with his most bright wings to the only-begotten Son and heir of the husbandman of the spiritual vineyard and through Him on to the Father of lights.” (Saint John of Damascus, 7th/8th c. AD)

Saint David’s Episcopal Church

145 East Edgewood Drive

Lakeland, Florida  33803

863.686.4143

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