Saturday, July 13, 2013
Who Are The Episcopal Church?
From The Diocese of Texas: http://www.epicenter.org/the-episcopal-faith/episcopal-faith/episcopal-beliefs/
The Episcopal Church celebrates diversity. We are young and old, male and female, gay and straight, single, married, divorced and widowed, Anglo, African American, Latino, African, Asian, CEO and unemployed, student and teacher, rich and poor. We worship together, study and ask questions as we move more deeply into the mystery of God.
We honor tradition and strive to live by the example of Jesus Christ, welcoming the stranger and the outcast, helping our neighbors and offering love and forgiveness. We want our communities to be better because The Episcopal Church is here.
We are known for our engaging and beautiful worship services. For those who have grown up Roman Catholic, the service, known as the Mass, Eucharist or Holy Communion, will be very familiar. For those of reformed tradition or no religious tradition at all, we think you may find a spiritual home in a church that respects its tradition and maintains its sense of awe and wonder at the power and mystery of God. Some services are more contemporary, some more traditional but all follow the same form found in the Book of Common Prayer.
There are no prerequisites in the Episcopal Church … Everyone is welcome.
We walk the "middle way" between Protestant and catholic traditions. We often talk about the Episcopal Church as following the “via media” or middle way in our theology and discussions because we believe that, whether or not we agree on a particular topic, we all are children beloved by God and we can have thoughtful and respectful discussions.
The Episcopal Church has between 2-3 million members in about 7,500 congregations in the United States, the Virgin Islands, Haiti, Europe and other areas in North America. In the Diocese of Texas (one of six dioceses in the state), we have more than 75,000 members in 153 congregations. We also have 17 college ministries, 67 schools, numerous social service agencies and clinics and more than 1000 ministries that reach out to help make our communities better and more caring places to live. We are part of the global Anglican Communion, which has 70 million followers.