The Episcopal Church embraces diversity. All people are welcome because we believe all people are created in the image of God.
We are young and old, male and female, single, married, divorced and widowed, Anglo, African American, Latino, African, Asian, CEO and unemployed, student and teacher, rich and poor, gay and straight. There are no prerequisites in the Episcopal Church … Everyone is welcome and all questions are invited.
What is an Episcopalian?
The word “Episcopal” refers to a church governed by bishops.
Our bishops continue the work of the first apostles in the Church by guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church. Bishops also ordain men and women to continue Christ’s ministry. An Episcopalian is a person who belongs to the Episcopal Church, the branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion in the United States. As Episcopalians, we believe:
- The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments point to and describe the great love that God has for the whole world. The Church continues to interpret the Bible with guidance from the Holy Spirit.
- The Nicene Creed is the basic statement of our belief about God. It was adopted in the 300s by the early church and is said every Sunday in Episcopal and Anglican churches around the United States and world. (http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/creeds):
- The two great sacraments are Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. In Baptism we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and proclaim Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In the Holy Eucharist, the center of our worship life, we remember and participate in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until his coming again by eating and drinking the body and blood of Christ.
How Does the Episcopal Church Differ From Other Denominations?
The Episcopal Church does not exclude or bar people from worship because of their lifestyle or history. We also encourage questions, curiosity, and an authentic search for God. 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 surrounding 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.
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 practices 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.