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10 Things We Wish You Knew about the Episcopal Church Yes, we began in the United States as an outpost of the Church of England.When the American Revolution began, shifting from the Church of England to become the Episcopal Church was no easy choice.Episcopal Churches have long been a welcoming space for recovery groups, and our most recent General Convention re-committed our church to end complicity in issues of substance abuse and employ our church as a community of healing for those in recovery.The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, a global family of national and regional churches with roots in the Church of England. The Archbishop of Canterbury is the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, but each national and regional church is self-governing.So eventually, when the particular blend of Protestantism and Roman Catholicism became official under Elizabeth I, Anglicanism’s ancient middle way finally had room to bloom and grow.We have often heard the joke about where you find four Episcopalians, you will always find a fifth.All of the chores we do to prepare for, participate in, and enjoy together, we try to do to glorify God.
We made national and worldwide headlines a decade ago for consecrating the first openly gay bishop.
Many of the founders and upper crust of our country were Episcopalian, but we are no longer the church of the establishment. While many of us enjoyed watching the royal wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William, recognizing the words of the wedding service as our own, we are also energized by our own Episcopal identity.
Our churches include the National Cathedral in Washington, D. and communities that gather to worship in homes and homeless shelters.
Our Sunday Eucharist is celebrated in over a dozen languages, including Spanish and several Native American languages, and we strive to become a more diverse church. Our outline of faith states, “We understand the meaning of the Bible by the help of the Holy Spirit, who guides the Church in the true interpretation of the Scriptures.” The Bible is the epic, challenging, and life-changing story of God’s relationship with humanity.
A typical Sunday service includes four different readings from Holy Scripture following the lectionary, a guide of biblical readings for Sundays and Holy Days.