What is Anglicanism? It’s the middle way, a crossroads of the Christian faith…
It’s Catholic..it’s Protestant. It’s conservative..it’s liberal. It’s ancient…it’s modern. It seeks to integrate faith and reason.
In the Episcopal Church we seek to offer a thoughtful approach to Christianity. Ours is a “middle road.” Over the years we have repeatedly discovered that the answer to most questions lies somewhere in-between. That’s why Episcopalians have embraced the phrase “via media” or middle way.
We believe faith involves a measure of reason as well as mysticism and faith. Our doctrine is designed to point out, not dictate, the response to God’s continuing revelation, a revealing that comes from a variety of sources—ancient scripture, prophets, artists, scientists and philosophers.
Our ultimate focus is on God’s love for us and our mature, free response, best expressed in love of neighbor. Our basic, historic beliefs are expressed in the Book of Common Prayer and especially in its Catechism. And Episcopalians generally believe that Truth is derived through an on-going interaction of scripture, tradition and reason, what we call the “three-legged stool.”
The Episcopal Church teaches that morality is positive, rather than negative. It is rooted in Jesus’ summary of the law: to love God with heart, mind and soul and to love one’s neighbor as oneself. The focus of Christian morality is not on laws and restrictions but on free and mature response to God’s love and in responsibility to our neighbors.
Episcopalians believe in One God,
- the God who creates us,
- the Christ who redeems us from sin and death
- the Holy Spirit who renews us as the Children of God.
Episcopalians believe the Holy Scriptures to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary for salvation. We believe God inspired human authors and continues to speak to us through the Scriptures in relationship to other means (reason, tradition, human sciences). We believe all truth is God’s truth. Episcopalians affirm that salvation is the end of our separation from God and the beginning of a new relationship with God and one another. The Apostles’ and Nicene Creeds are basic statements of our beliefs in God.
The Episcopal Church has more than 2.4 million members in 7,679 congregations in 110 dioceses situated in 16 countries. It is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian body in the world with 77 million members in 166 countries.
To learn more about our Church, visit its Web site, especially its newspaper and Media Center; watch various short-films about Episcopal Life. Come see what its like. It’s ancient, its modern, it embraces the mystery of God. Episcopal Church USA.