About Episcopalians...

First, you should know two things. One, you don't have to figure out Episcopalianism before coming to an Episcopal Church. Many people in Episcopal churches learn as they go! Two, you should know that Episcopalians are a pretty diverse group. A primary value of the Episcopal Church is described in the phrase, "Via Media," meaning "Middle Way". Historically, this used to refer to the balance of Catholic and Protestant elements, but among Episcopal churches today, better describes our efforts to provide a space in which people of widely differing opinions, histories, and practices may find a home. This paragraph from the Episcopal Diocese of Texas describes is a good description of our basic beliefs.

"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."

More specific beliefs about doctrines are decided based on a three-fold balance of tradition, reason, and scripture. Using tradition as a standard doesn't mean, "doing it because it's always been done that way." It means that we recognize that we are a part of a line of believers, stretching back 2000 years. Just as today we face troubles and controversies, our predecessors in the faith faced them, too. They wrote creeds, and composed hyms and prayers. Their work in the past helps inform what we do today. The creeds in particular are important, because they help us to define our most basic beliefs as Christians.

Reason is a gift that allows us grow in our relationship to God -- even through questions and doubts. Reason is used "with God's help" -- an important phrase that you'll hear every week at most Episcopal churches.

The Scripture of the Old and New Testaments of the Bible surround Episcopalian worship. Within an Episcopal service, you will hear the lessons (Readings from Old Testament and the Epistles New Testaments), the Gospel (a reading from Matthew, Mark, Luke or John), the Psalms (poems from the Old Testament) and other prayers. Additionally, two-thirds of our guide to worship, the Book of Common Prayer, comes directly from the Old and New Testaments.

Still want to know more? Click "Links" on the left of the page to find other resources.