Welcome to Ruge Hall!
We are a campus ministry here at Florida State University comprised of an awesome community of college kids who love Christ, love each other, and love growing. We serve the community by participating in outreach mission trips, involving ourselves in campus activities like Relay for Life, and providing outreach help to others in need in the area. We worship twice a week, on Thursdays and Sundays, and come together to share a meal before each service.
Let's get to some basic questions about us.
1. What is an Episcopalian?
The word "Episcopal" is Greek in origin and comes from the Greek word for Bishop, "episkopos." We call ourselves the Episcopal Church because we are governed by the authority of a Bishop in our Diocese. An Episcopalian, therefore, is one who has been confirmed and chooses to worship in the Episcopal Church, which takes its heritage from the ancient roots of Anglicanism through the Church of England.
2. Is our worship Bible-based?
Yes. The reading of scripture is a vital part of our weekly worship called the Holy Eucharist, which has has two parts to it: the Ministry of the Word, and the Ministry of the Sacrament. In the Ministry of the Word, scripture is read from the Old and the New Testament as well as an appointed Psalm. After listening to these scriptures and allowing God to speak to us through scripture, we then read a passage from one of the four Gospels. This is usually the text on which the Clergy chooses to preach.
If one would attend an Episcopal Church every Sunday for three years, one would have heard almost the entire Bible recited in the services. There are different ideals surrouding what scripture means to each individual person as well: while some choose to read the Bible in a litteral manner, many use scholarship and reason to interpret scriptures. The beautiful thing abut the Episcopal Church is that both approaches are respected and welcomed in our Church. This is not a church where you "check your brain at the door"—instead, you are welcomed and encouraged to challenge your ideals and beliefs to grow in your spiritual journey.
3. What do Episcopalians believe about Jesus?
Episcopalians, like other Christians, see the most perfect representation of God’s Love in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. To us, Jesus is teacher, a priest, a savior, and a friend. We in the Episcopal Church strive to conduct our lives with the teaching of Jesus Christ in mind, and in doing this transform not only ourselves but those in our everyday lives.
4. What are sacraments?
A sacrament is an outward visual sign of inward spiritual grace. The Episcopal Church is sacramental in nature, meaning that we focus on performing these sacraments to attain inward spiritual grace. There are seven sacraments in the Episcopal Church, the most important of which are Baptism and Holy Eucharist (communion). The others are Confirmation (the adult confirmation of baptismal vows), Reconciliation of a Penitent (private confession), Holy Matrimony, Orders (ordination of clergy), and Unction (the anointing of the sick with oil).
5. How do Episcopalians Worship?
The Episcopal Church defines itself as "Protestant, yet Catholic." While the Episcopal Church is generally looked on a Protestant church in the United States, we see ourselves as part of the One, True, Catholic (meaning 'universal') Church, and often sees itsef differently than other Protestant churches. The Episcopal Church prides itself on its ancient roots from the Church of England, and its worship tends to reflect that. We value liturgy, traditional worship, and fine music in the Anglican choral tradition in a way that, when practiced week after week, becomes a 'meditative mantra' of sorts that many find comforting. Many see the weekly liturgy as a dance; once you've learned the steps, it becomes a joy to perform week after week.
That said, at the Episcopal University Center we worship in a variety of ways. On Thursdays after dinner we gather in the Chapel for a student-led Compline service. As someone different leads this sevice every week, it tends to be varied and diverse. Sometimes we will sing contemporary music, while other times we will have candlelit worship with medatative music from Taizé. This is a great way to spiritually charge yourself through the week in an intimate and sacred setting.
On Sundays, we celebrate Holy Eucharist, known more commonly as Communion. All baptized Christians are invited to partake in the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood, allowing us to gain spiritual nourishment; all are welcome to worship. This service is more formal, and we find opportunity to praise God with music and with hymns accompanied by our Schantz pipe organ.
6. Who can Attend?
All are welcome! The ministry of the Episcopal University Center is geared to those students who attend Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College. Our goal is to provide a safe place for these students to explore their relationship with God while attending school, yet all are welcome to attend. Even if you are not a student or you are an alumnus of any of these institutions, we invite you to attend and partake in this vital ministry with us.
If you look long enough anywhere you go in the country, you are bound to come across metal roadsigns pointing you to the nearest Episcopal Church. On these sign is written the single most important thing about us:
The Episcopal Church Welcomes YOU.
Come grow with us.