What's an Episcopalian?
Episcopal. It comes from the Greek word for bishop: episkopos. An Episcopalian is someone who chooses to worship in the Episcopal Church, which is governed and pastored by bishops. The presiding bishop of The Episcopal Church is the Most Rev. Michael Curry, and the bishop of the Diocese of El Camino Real is the Right Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves.
The Episcopal Church
is rooted in the Church of England and to this day Episcopalians are members of the world-wide Anglican Communion, inheriting 2000 years of catholic and apostolic tradition dating from Christ himself. The Anglican Communion is headed spiritually by the Archbishop of Canterbury and has over 80 million members, making it the second largest Christian body in the Western world.
The Episcopal Church in the United States came into existence as an independent denomination after the American Revolution. Today it has about 7,500 congregations and between two and three million members in the United States, and 17 other countries world-wide.
Diocese of El Camino Real
The Most Rev. Michael Curry, celebrates the Holy Eucharist at the Installation of the 27th Presiding Bishop and Primate of The Episcopal Church held at Washington National Cathedral .
In the Episcopal Church, bishops are elected by individual dioceses and are consecrated in the apostolic succession (an unbroken line of Church leadership beginning with the apostles themselves).
St. Francis Episcopal Church is part of the Diocese of El Camino Real. Our diocese encompasses most of coastal central California from Palo Alto to Arroyo Grande, south of San Luis Obispo, a distance of nearly 250 miles. The diocese is bursting with new life under Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves, who was elected in 2007. Bishop Mary possesses abundant strengths including pastoral skills that bind us all together, administrative skills that move us forward and a deep faith that lifts us all closer to God. Recently El Camino Real has entered into relationships with companion dioceses in Gloucester, England and Western Tanganyika in Tanzania, Africa.
El Camino Real is a diverse diocese with churches reflecting the rich cultural variety of California. The diocese is headquartered in Salinas. The diocesan cathedral is Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in downtown San Jose.
For more information visit the diocese’s website: http://realepiscopal.org/
Episcopalians subscribe to the historic Nicene Creed
and the Apostles' Creed
; we consider the Bible to be divinely inspired; and we hold the Eucharist (Communion) to be the central act of Christian worship. The Book of Common Prayer
guides our liturgy in public worship and serves as a major source of unity for Anglicans around the world.
You’ll find that Episcopalians come from all walks of life and are not expected to believe the same things or to approach church in exactly the same way. Episcopalians respect diversity and individuality. We range from liberal to conservative and everything in between. We find our commonality in joining at the Eucharist table, and we ground our faith in scripture, tradition, and reason.
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