St. Aidan's Episcopal Church
Christ's Beacon for all seeking God. 

St. Aidan's is an open and inclusive member of The Episcopal Church. We welcome all who desire a deeper relationship with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We are celebrating 50 years of service to God's people in the heart of the King's Grant area of Virginia Beach on Edinburgh Drive between N. Lynnhaven and King's Grant Road.

3201 Edinburgh Dr.

Virginia Beach, VA 23452
757-340-6459

SUNDAY

Summer Worship

Begins June 18

One Service @ 9:30 a.m.

The Rev. Mark Wilkinson, Rector

The Rev. Dana Vanvliet-Pullin, Deacon

Click on the FaithStreet link below for secure online donations.

 

 

BELIEVE OUT LOUD

St. Aidan's Vestry Approves Same Sex Marriage

Do You Believe Out Loud?
What does it mean to “believe out loud”?  What does it mean to be a “welcoming church”?   First, Believe Out Loud is an inter-denominational online network that provides support to Welcoming programs such as Integrity USA.  Integrity USA coordinates Episcopal Welcoming Congregational programs throughout the country.  There are local chapters nation-wide, and our local chapter meets in quarterly at Eastern Shore Chapel.  They work both within the church to assist congregations in becoming more welcoming as well as conducting outreach to persons who may feel ostracized from God and the church due to their sexual orientation.
Second, the Episcopal Church is not unique in this mission of outreach and inclusivity. The Institute for Welcoming Resources is a task force comprised of dozens of denominations, from Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist, to Disciples of Christ, and Mennonite, to name a few.  So, with such a wide ranging group of churches, I chose to utilize the “Building an Inclusive Church” toolkit to assist us on our own journey.  
To ‘believe out loud’ means that we would be a welcoming church – we would accept all whom God has created, respecting the dignity of every human being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  This should not sound foreign to those of you who have been worshiping with us for a few years.  For those of you who are new to St. Aidan’s this is part of our first core value.  If our first core value is to be welcoming, why not ‘believe out loud’ about this core value?  Wouldn’t we welcome anyone regardless of race to worship with us?  What about their previous religious background (or lack of one too), would we really care?  We welcome you to worship at St. Aidan’s if you are Republican, Democrat, Socialist, or Libertarian, or had never voted in your life.  We welcome veterans, active duty and retirees from all branches of the military, and all those who never served in the military.  Sometimes those distinctions appear meaningless, so why bother mentioning them?  Well, for some those labels mean a lot.  That ‘label’ is a part of who they are and for which they stand.
Finally, what about other distinctions between people?  What about distinctions that some people feel uncomfortable discussing?  Would we welcome anyone who has an addiction or were homeless?  What if that person is twice divorced? Perhaps they are gay or not even sure what is their sexual orientation?  How about someone who is disabled or has different abilities from your own?  Are they welcome?  Are some welcomed but others you’re not too sure about?  These questions are trying to be examined by a core group at St. Aidan’s.  Through the use of the toolkit, and the hard work of your fellow parishioners, we have taken this issue head-on, and we welcome you to reach out to us if you would like to know more or discuss your thoughts on being a welcoming church that Believes Out Loud.
Monica Flynn
Sue Boze, Irv Wells, and Peter Dempse

On Tuesday December 16, 2015 the vestry and rector of St. Aidan's completed the process required by the Diocese of Southern Virginia in regards to same sex marriage. St. Aidan's is now an affirming congregation. This means that the rector is permitted to perform same sex marriages in the church. The parish took a long and careful look at this and felt it was time to move forward in response to the General Convention's approval of these rites last summer. 

WHAT IS A BELIEVE OUT LOUD CONGREGATION?

What does it mean to “believe out loud”?  What does it mean to be a “welcoming church”?  First, Believe Out Loud is an inter-denominational online network that provides support to Welcoming programs such as Integrity USA. Integrity USA coordinates Episcopal Welcoming Congregational programs throughout the country. They work both within the church to assist congregations in becoming more welcoming as well as conducting outreach to persons who may feel ostracized from God and the church due to their sexual orientation.

Second, the Episcopal Church is not unique in this mission of outreach and inclusivity. The Institute for Welcoming Resources is a task force comprised of dozens of denominations, from Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, and Methodist, to Disciples of Christ, and Mennonite, to name a few.  So, with such a wide ranging group of churches, I chose to utilize the “Building an Inclusive Church” toolkit to assist us on our own journey.  

To ‘believe out loud’ means that we are a welcoming church – we accept all whom God has created, respecting the dignity of every human being and loving our neighbors as ourselves.  This should not sound foreign to those of you who have been worshiping with us for a few years.  For those of you who are new to St. Aidan’s this is part of our first core value.  If our first core value is to be welcoming, why not ‘believe out loud’ about this core value?  Wouldn’t we welcome anyone regardless of race to worship with us?  What about their previous religious background (or lack of one too), would we really care?  We welcome you to worship at St. Aidan’s if you are Republican, Democrat, Socialist, or Libertarian, or had never voted in your life.  We welcome veterans, active duty and retirees from all branches of the military, and all those who never served in the military. In short we welcome all to God's table.