What is The Episcopal Church?

 
 

The Episcopal Church strives to combine many of the ancient traditions and structures from the Roman Catholic Church while encouraging more intellectual freedom typical in churches born from the Protestant Reformation.  It is considered a “middle way” between these two forms of Christianity. We attract people who grew up in all different traditions or no tradition at all; people with a wide range of religious knowledge; and people who express their faith in a variety of ways.  

Our current Presiding Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, calls us “the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”  In other words, we are one branch of this larger Christian movement rooted in the way of Jesus, the One who taught us to love God, one another and the whole earth. 

A Few Highlights of our Faith 

  • We are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • We believe God speaks to us through the Bible, through Church Tradition, and through human reason.  

  • We see no inherent contradictions between faith and science as each of them seeks to answer different kinds of questions about the universe.

  • We believe in amendment of life, the forgiveness of sin, and life everlasting.

  • We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.

  • The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.  While it was born in England in the 1500’s, it traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity.

  • Our services come primarily from the Book of Common Prayer, a text which dates to Shakespeare’s time and which has been updated many times.

  • Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.  Children are allowed to receive communion at any age (see further explanation at the bottom of this page).

  • We are a fully inclusive parish and welcome members of the LGBTQ community into all areas of parish life.

  • We affirm that committed relationships are lifelong and monogamous.  The rector of Christ Church has been authorized by the leadership of the parish to perform same sex marriages.

  • Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops and are encouraged to marry and have families.

  • We give lots of authority in the church to lay people.  For example, lay people play a pivotal role in electing their bishop.

  • We recognize that there is grace after divorce and do not deny the sacraments to those who have been divorced.  We allow divorce and remarriage under consent and guidance of clergy.

  • We affirm that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.  We allow family planning including contraceptives.

  • We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our political, philosophical, and lifestyle differences. We strive to always put the work of love before uniformity of opinion.

 
 
God, with each other and with the earth.  Bishop Michael Curry – Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church

God, with each other and with the earth. Bishop Michael Curry – Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church