In the middle of Downtown Miami and Edgewater sits an architectural masterpiece. This building is filled with endless stories of faith and struggles that make it very special to the community. I was intrigued by this Cathedral, as a Miami native, I had to pay a visit.
I walked in, through its carved noisy old oak doors, the Reverend in duty greeted me, and I boldly asked for a tour of the premises.
Trinity Episcopal Cathedral is a Miami landmark, a National Historic Place, and the oldest church in its original city limits back in 1896. The design of the Cathedral was inspired by the Roman Catholic Church of St. Gilles, in southern France. Its walls display Romanesque, Byzantine, and Italianate elements of architecture to give the building its Mediterranean appeal. It is a work of art!
I was clueless about the Episcopal Church, so I asked the Reverend to share about the way they teach the Christian faith.
Episcopalian Core Values
The Episcopal Church has called itself “the middle way between Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions”.
Episcopalians believe in
- The Sacraments of Baptism, Eucharist, Confirmation, Marriage, Reconciliation, Orders, and Unction are essential to gain salvation. These are the same as the Catholic sacraments.
- Bishops represent the Apostles of Jesus Christ and make decisions for all the dioceses they serve.
- All clergy are allowed to get married.
- The Book of Common Prayer is the roadmap to the Christian life and it represents the unity of the church and what they believe in. In the back of the book is their Catechism.
- The Bible King James version or The historic bible of the Episcopal church.
- The Creed is the same as the Catholic church’s creed.
- A Christian community of inclusion, challenge, healing, and compassion, welcoming, and engaging the faithful in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ.
Inclusion: “God Loves You, No Exceptions”
When the Reverend shared what he meant by being an “inclusive denomination”, I was taken aback. I had never heard of an official Christian community that openly accepted homosexual relationships.
As of this last decade, the Episcopal Church in America approved the ordination of women as bishops and have accepted same-sex marriage. Their official statement says …”Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation.”
This progressive way of thinking has gained them a lot of new converts, but more conservative Episcopalians have left the church, said the Reverend. The Episcopalian dioceses that have agreed with this change in their doctrine welcome with open arms those who feel rejected from the love of God because of their sexual orientation.
My curiosity took me into an unexpected journey. I am glad I finally accepted the invitation that the Cathedral had been extending through its captivating beauty. Trinity Episcopal Cathedral welcomes its faithful and visitors all year round to worship God in the middle of Miami’s fast and fun life.