The Episcopal Church of the United States of America is descended from the Church of England. In 1559 during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I religious disputes endangered the stability of England. An agreement known as the Elizabethan settlement laid out a middle way or “via media” between Roman Catholicism and Puritanism. Continuing to the present day Episcopal Church, the “via media” has its foundation in scripture, tradition, and reason. It is characterized by uniformity in worship with acceptance of a wide range of theological understanding.
We are an inclusive church. We encourage women to participate fully in the life of the church, in all aspects of lay ministry, in leadership and as clergy. We include people of all ages, races, ethnic or regional background, sexual orientation or gender identity. Our diverse membership comes together in Christ through our worship and common prayer. Today as then, faithful Christians of differing traditions can find a home in the Episcopal Church.
We are a liturgical church. The word “liturgy” comes from Greek words for “people” and “work”. It is associated with the pattern or order of our public worship and our daily life of service. We use The Book of Common Prayer which contains many of our services including Holy Eucharist or Holy Communion, Morning and Evening Prayer and Holy Baptism. Our services are rich with scriptural texts, religious symbolism, ceremony, participation in communal prayer and sacraments.