What is the Episcopal Church and what do Episcopalians believe? The Episcopal Church, USA (ECUSA) is the official organization of the Anglican Communion in the United States. Most of the earliest colonists to America were Anglican Puritans and the Anglican Church became the established church of Virginia, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia during the colonial period. After the American Revolution, the Anglican Church in America formed an independent body in 1789 and called it the Protestant Episcopal Church. On the website, the ECUSA is described as a “middle way between Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions.” Like the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church upholds the sacraments as essential to salvation, and like Protestant churches, it denies the supremacy of the Pope as the vicar of Christ on earth.
The word “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word that is usually translated “bishop” and points to the church’s understanding that a bishop is the primary shepherd of the church. Under the Episcopal form of government, the bishop’s authority is equal to that of the Apostles and follows a line of succession by the laying on of hands in ordination. Priests come under the authority of the bishops and are responsible for the teaching and administration of the local churches. Throughout the history of the ECUSA, their doctrine and practice have been generally in line with that of the Anglican Church.
What Do Episcopalians Believe? We believe there is One God who creates all things, redeems us from sin and death and renews us as the Children of God. As Episcopalians we promise to follow Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. We believe the mission of our church is restoration of all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.
The above information was gathered from Episconet.
To read more about what Episcopalians believe click here.
The Visitors' Center at the national website for the Episcopal Church is a good place to learn about the episcopal tradition. There you will find an introduction to the Episcopal Church and its ways.
While intended to introduce the Episcopal Church to those unfamiliar with its beliefs and traditions, this site will also be of interest to persons presently attending an Episcopal Church. It can serve as a nice refresher for why we do ...what we do.
To learn more about what to expect when you visit an Episcopal church click here.