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About the Episcopal Church

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.

The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion. Through the church of England, she was the first church in the colonies and was the church home of most of our nation's founders. 

Anglicanism is a way of Christian discipleship that is rooted in ancient Christian practice, scripture and liturgy. It is catholic and reformed. It is a global church. Some notable Anglicans include theologians George Herbert, N.T. Wright, Rowan Williams and CS Lewis, social reformers William Wilberforce and Desmond Tutu, novelists Jane Austen and Madeleine L’Engle, poets John Donne and T.S. Eliot, and multiple U.S. Presidents, such as George Washington, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and George H.W. Bush.

We believe faith involves a measure of reason alongside mysticism. 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 Jesus’ summary of the law: to love God with all of our heart, mind and soul and to love one’s neighbor as oneself is the focus of Christian morality. It is not on laws and restrictions but on a free & mature response to God’s love and in responsibility to our neighbors.

Eucharist, or Communion, the Lord's Super, the Mass, is the primary act of worship in the Episcopal Church​ it is more central to our worship than the music or the sermon. The early Christians devoted themselves to "the apostles' teaching, the fellowship, the prayers, and the breaking of the bread," which is Luke's way of saying Communion, and they did so every time they gathered. Episcopalians believe that Christ is really present in the Eucharist. How this is possible is left undefined.

father

who creates us

son

the Christ who redeems us

from sin & death

holy Spirit

who renews us

as Children of God

We Believe in One 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.