the Episcopal Church


The Episcopal Church is the United States-based member church of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.

Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising the Church of England and churches which are historically tied to it or hold similar beliefs, worship practices and church structures.

The Anglican Communion is an international association of autonomous churches consisting of the Church of England and national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with it.

What is an Episcopalian? by All Saints Episcopal Church


It is a Christian church divided into nine provinces and has dioceses in the United States, Taiwan, Micronesia, the Caribbean, Central and South America, as well as the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Navajoland Area Mission.

The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe is a jurisdiction of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America which includes all its congregations in continental Europe.

South America is a continent located in the western hemisphere, mostly in the southern hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the northern hemisphere.

The Navajoland Area Mission, also known as the Episcopal Church in Navajoland, is an Area Mission of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

Myth of the Decline of the Episcopal Church, Part One by Danny Schweers


The current presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church is Michael Bruce Curry, the first African American bishop to serve in that position.

A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight.

A presiding bishop is an ecclesiastical position in some denominations of Christianity.


In 2014, the Episcopal Church had 1,956,042 baptized members.


In 2011, it was the nation's 14th largest denomination.


In 2015, Pew Research estimated that 1.2 percent of the adult population in the United States, or 3 million people, self-identify as mainline Episcopalians/Anglicans.


Along with Presbyterians, Episcopalians tend to be considerably wealthier and more educated than most other religious groups in the United States, and are more disproportionately represented in the upper reaches of American business, law, and politics.

A business, also known as an enterprise, company or a firm is an organizational entity involved in the provision of goods and services to consumers.

Law is a system of rules that are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior.

Politics is the process of making decisions applying to all members of each group.


The church was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England, whose clergy are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England.

The American Revolution was a political upheaval that took place between 1765 and 1783 during which colonists in the Thirteen American Colonies rejected the British monarchy and aristocracy, overthrew the authority of Great Britain, and founded the United States of America.

The monarchy of the United Kingdom, commonly referred to as the British monarchy, is the constitutional monarchy of the United Kingdom, its dependencies and its overseas territories.

The Supreme Governor of the Church of England is a title held by the British monarch that signifies titular leadership over the Church of England.


The Episcopal Church describes itself as "Protestant, yet Catholic".

Protestantism is a form of Christian faith and practice which originated with the Protestant Reformation, a movement against what its followers considered to be errors in the Roman Catholic Church.

Catholicism is a term which in its broadest sense refers to the beliefs and practices of Christian denominations that describe themselves as catholic.


The Episcopal Church is an apostolic church, tracing its bishops back to the apostles via holy orders.

In the Christian churches, Holy Orders are ordained ministries such as bishop, priest or deacon.


The Book of Common Prayer, a collection of traditional rites, blessings, liturgies, and prayers used throughout the Anglican Communion, is central to Episcopal worship.

Liturgy, literally "the work of the people", and translated idiomatically as "public service" in secular terms is the customary public worship performed by a religious group, according to its particular beliefs, customs and traditions.

The Book of Common Prayer is the short title of a number of related prayer books used in the Anglican Communion, as well as by the Continuing Anglican, "Anglican realignment" and other Anglican churches.

A rite or ritual is an established, ceremonial, usually religious, act.


The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

A gospel is an account describing the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.


Since the 1960s and 1970s, the church has pursued a decidedly more liberal course.


It has opposed the death penalty and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action.

Affirmative action is the policy of favoring members of a disadvantaged group who currently suffer or historically have suffered from discrimination within a culture.

Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is a government sanctioned practice whereby a person is put to death by the state as a punishment for a crime.


Some of its leaders and priests are known for marching with influential civil rights' demonstrators such as Martin Luther King Jr..

A priest or priestess, is a person authorized to perform the sacred rituals of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and one or more deities.

Martin Luther King Jr. was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the Civil Rights Movement.


The Church calls for the full legal equality of gay and lesbian people, a movement partly inspired by their similar call for racial equality during the mid-1950s.

Gay is a term that primarily refers to a homosexual person or the trait of being homosexual.

LGBT, or GLBT, is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender.


In 2015, the Church's 78th annual General Convention passed resolutions allowing the blessing of same-sex marriages and approved two official liturgies to bless such unions, though they are not yet official rites within the Book of Common Prayer.

Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a socially or ritually recognized union or legal contract between spouses that establishes rights and obligations between them, between them and their children, and between them and their in-laws.

Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is marriage between people of the same sex, either as a secular civil ceremony or in a religious setting.


Due to the complex process of editing or making additions to the Prayer Book, the BCP still describes marriage as being the union of a man and a woman.


The Episcopal Church ordains women and LGBT people to the priesthood, the diaconate, and the episcopate, despite opposition from a number of other member churches of the global Anglican Communion.

Deacon is a ministry in Christian Churches that is generally associated with service of some kind, but which varies among theological and denominational traditions.


In 2003, Gene Robinson was the first openly gay person ordained as a bishop in documented Christian history.

Vicky Gene Robinson is an American retired bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

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