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The Episcopal Church

About The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church is many things: a denomination, a church, a movement, a community, a conduit for transformation of lives and communities in the name of Jesus Christ. Locally we are congregations of faithful souls seeking to know Jesus and to offer ourselves in service to God’s vision of a renewed humanity. Globally we are a constituent church of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide fellowship of churches that trace their history to the time of the apostles through our common ancestor and sibling church, the Church of England. Guided by and grounded in Holy Scripture, we are led by lay and ordained leaders alike, and find our unity in our bishops, who are the historic overseers of the church catholic.

Our church is “catholic” because we understand ourselves to be in continuity with the church universal, which exists today and was organically united in the early centuries following Jesus’ ministry. We ascribe to the creeds and doctrines which are common to the Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox churches, and many of the Protestant churches of today.

About our Worship

We are a liturgical church. Our worship almost always includes singing, sermons, prayer, lessons from scripture, and communion. You will find prescribed patterns of prayer, posture, and actions that might feel very foreign or very comfortable depending upon your background. Our worship is shaped by the patterns of worship that have been practiced by Christians for centuries, some of which find their origins in the worship of the ancient Hebrews. Our worship is governed by the Book of Common Prayer, a book identified as our church’s unique contribution to the texts of Christian worship and which offers rich resources for worship in a variety of circumstances, individual and corporate.

The implications of our worship are important. We believe that our primary work as Christians is the worship of God. That means that we bring an approach of prayer and worship to our everyday lives as much as we do on Sunday morning, and that the messages conveyed by our worship shape our responses to the world around us, be it at home with our loved ones or in our communities with strangers. We are called in our worship to be faithful witnesses to the way of life embodied by Jesus Christ.

About our Common Life

We are a church dedicated to representing Christ in this world and to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ. We do this through prayer and worship, sharing of the Gospel, and by promoting and acting in justice, peace, and love.

About our Structures

The Episcopal Church is one of thirty-eight members of the worldwide Anglican Communion. We are made up of dioceses located in the United States, Taiwan, Micronesia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, and Europe as well as within the Navajo Area Mission.

Our current presiding bishop is the Most. Rev. Michael Curry, the first African American presiding bishop in the Episcopal Church.