Episcopal Church of the Advent

The Oasis Missouri Affirmation of Welcome

The Vestry of the Episcopal Church of the Advent on the Eighth day of March, 2004 affirmed:

We believe that all people are worthy of respect and honor, because all are created in the image of God, and all can respond to the love of God.   In our baptismal vows we commit ourselves, with God's help, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, by loving our neighbors as ourselves, respecting the dignity of every human being, and striving for justice and peace among all people.

Yet we see that, in our churches and in society, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people are not always counted among those for whom the Church seeks justice, or grants due respect, as loving and beloved members of the household of God.   We recognize that fear of, and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people is part of an oppressive history within the Church and society, which distorts our relationship with God and with other people, and diminishes the humanity of us all.

Therefore, we feel compelled to make explicit our welcome of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people into the ministries and life of this congregation, incarnating the message, “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.”  We encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people to participate in all aspects of the ministries of this church, by bearing witness to Christ, and fully participating in our life, worship and governance.

Where we see divisions, we will seek, with God's help, to be a people of reconciliation, offering a love that casts out all fear.   Where we see injustice and ignorance, we will offer our ministry of advocacy and education, trusting the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.


  • The duties of the Vestry as defined in the By-laws state, “The Vestry shall also assist the Rector in the proclamation of the Gospel, the public worship of the Congregation, the nurture of persons of all ages, the alleviation of human suffering and the promotion of justice.”
  • The Vestry recognizes that Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience are authoritative in the way the Episcopal Church functions day to day in the search for truth such that:
    • Scripture is the Word of God containing all things necessary to salvation.
    • Tradition guides the Church as we seek the Truth.   The celebration of the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion as well as other sacramental rites such as confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent and unction are integral to our church life and our expression of the Scripture.
    • Reason is a gift given by God that requires us to ask questions.   Reason is to be nurtured and developed in order for good judgments to be made, for faithful interpretation of the Scripture to occur, and to use the spirit wisely.
    • Experience, our religious experience, is how we live our lives in relation to God and the rest of the world.   Experience is how we interact with others.   We have learned in Matthew 25 that Christ is present in those who confront us in their needs.   To experience the world properly, we must use scripture, tradition and reason.
  • The Vestry recognizes that the world we experience, as well as our church, is diverse, and despite that diversity, we worship one God.
  • The Vestry recognizes that by the authority of Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience, and through thoughtful prayer and discussion, we seek to be Christians, knowing and doing the truth.