The Episcopal Church

 

 

 

Queen Elizabeth I of England

The Episcopal Church is the American province of the Anglican Communion, a worldwide body of over 70 million Christians who trace their origins to the Church of England. Many claim the Church of England was begun so King Henry VIII could divorce Catherine of Aragon to marry Anne Boleyn.† In actuality, Henry and his Parliament began the break with Rome largely in response to the world-wide protestant movement.† They sought a way of worshipping that was stripped of what they had come to believe were unnecessary trappings.† At the same time, a spirit of nationalism was rising in England which led them to seek a more autonomous expression of faith, one that was governed locally and not in Rome.† Elizabeth I fleshed out what Church of England worship would look like, crafting a blend of protestant theology with a more formal, liturgical worship style.† She wanted the Church of England to unite Catholics and Protestants in their worship of the one true God.

 

The Episcopal Church continues to be a place where people from all different Christian backgrounds can comfortably come together and worship God.† Our core beliefs are found in the Nicene Creed, the statement of faith agreed upon by church leaders in the fourth century.† We believe that the Bible is the Word of God and contains all things necessary to salvation.† We also believe that God still speaks and acts in the world, and we seek to engage our reason in study and prayer as a way to experience God.

 

Our worship each week is according to the Book of Common Prayer.† This rich document provides us with† outlines for corporate worship as well as private devotions and is full of eloquent prayers.† Our primary Sunday service is the Eucharist, the sharing of Holy Communion or the Lordís Supper.† In this weekly sacrament we receive Christís forgiveness and are empowered to serve him in the world.† Our scripture readings in worship follow the Revised Common Lectionary.

 

 

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