Explore The Episcopal Church

“The Episcopal Church offers a thoughtful approach to religion. It believes faith involves a measure of reason as well as emotion. Its doctrine is designed to point out, not dictate, the response to God's continuing revelation. The focus is on God's love and the invitation to respond in mature freedom, in thanksgiving, and in loving devotion. Basic beliefs are expressed in the Book of Common Prayer and especially in the Catechism.

The Episcopal Church teaches that morality is positive, rather than negative. It is rooted in Jesus' summary of the law: 'to love God with heart, mind and soul and to love one's neighbor as oneself." The focus of Christian morality is not on laws and restrictions but on free and mature response to God's love and in responsibility to our neighbors.”

These words come from the Web site of St. Luke’s on the Lake Church in Austin, Texas, which has one of the best Newcomers’ pages in the Church. It includes this summary of what Episcopalians believe.

“Episcopalians believe in One God,
• the Father who creates us and things,
• the Son who redeems us from sin and death
• the Holy Spirit who renews us as the Children of God.

Episcopalians believe the Holy Scriptures to be the Word of God and to contain all things necessary for salvation. We believe God inspired human authors and continues to speak to us through the Bible.

Episcopalians affirm that salvation is the end of our separation from God and the beginning of a new relationship with God and one another. The Apostles' and Nicene Creeds are basic statements of our beliefs in God.”

The Episcopal Church has more than 2.4 million members in 7,679 congregations in 110 dioceses situated in 16 countries. It is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, with 77 million members in 166 countries.

To learn more about the Church, visit its Web site, especially its newspaper and Visitors’ Center; watch a film about several Episcopalians in the Diocese of Washington or read the brochures produced by the Diocese of Texas, especially the one on the "three-legged stool" of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.

There is an Episcopal Church near you.


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