The Episcopal Church has a traditional set of beliefs as expressed in liturgy, but we know that whenever three or four Episcopalians gather together there will be at least five opinions on any topic. We do not expect – or want – every person in our church to hold the exact same beliefs.
EVERYONE is welcome! What holds Episcopalians together as a Christian family of God is WORSHIP rather than belief. We gather together, whether conservative or liberal, rich or poor, male or female, gay or straight, sure of ourselves or doubtful, old or young, in order to praise God, to sing, to pray, to hear the Scripture, and to receive the refreshment of bread and wine.
This church does not offer easy answers to life’s most pressing problems. We ask questions more often than we provide answers. We explore the paradoxes and contradictions found in the Scripture using all the resources at hand – current scholarship, reason, and our own experiences in life. We honor the tradition handed down to us from 2000 years of church history, but we also believe that the Holy Spirit is still active in our midst and may still lead us to new understandings of God’s will for the world.
The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, which means our worship is formalized. The worship leaders usually wear vestments; we use candles, art, music, prayer, and sometimes incense to enhance the worship experience. We use different colors for different seasons of the church year. We often do things in much the same way over and over — that is, our main worship service has a given form, but within that form great variety is possible.
The Episcopal Church is a descendant of the Roman Catholic Church via the Church of England. We are still a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, a linking of Anglican (English) churches all over the world. The Anglican Communion is led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, but unlike the Roman Catholic Pope, he has influence, but no authority in any province of the Communion except England.