Epiphany can be described as a ‘Three Streams, One River” church. We are formed by and seek to live out the values of three great movements within Christianity:
1. The Evangelical (or reformed) stream.
This stream emphasizes the supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures in faith and life, and the necessity of personal conversion and biblical discipleship. We share its focus on the centrality of the cross of Christ, his atoning death as a substitution for us, and the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. We share its commitment to mission and evangelism seeking to make Disciples who in turn make Disciples.
2. The Charismatic (or pentecostal) stream.
This stream emphasizes the power of the Holy Spirit in the life of the individual believer and the Church. It upholds the role of every believer who serves from a place within the five-fold ministries of Ephesians 4:11, empowered with spiritual gifts (such as healing, wisdom, faith) many of which are listed in Romans 12 and I Corinthians 12, all given for the building up of the church.
3. The Sacramental (or catholic*) stream.
This stream emphasizes the role of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Communion, the Lord’s Supper) in mediating the grace of God. It recognizes that the Holy Spirit has been at work in the church for over 2000 years, giving us a deposit of orthodox faith for our benefit and learning. A sacrament is seen as “an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace”.
We believe that these three great streams ought not to be separated; that together they are greater than the sum of their parts. They form a mighty river – a fuller expression of the body of Christ on earth, the Church.
* “catholic”, with a small ‘c’, is not to be confused with “Roman Catholic”. The term catholic means universal or all-embracing, pointing to the fact that a local church is representative of the global body of Christ as it has existed down through the ages and regardless of denomination.