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(ECUSA) is the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion — a “daughter” of the Church of England.The Anglican Communion is an inheritor of 2000 years of catholic and apostolic tradition dating from Christ himself, rooted in the Church of England.Most parishes probably fall in the middle of the two extremes.Unique to the Episcopal Church and Anglican communion is the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), our worship services in use throughout the communion.Nevertheless, the shape of our liturgy and the components of our Holy Eucharist are the same, and this is what binds us all together.“Anglican” simply means “of England” — the Episcopal Church in the United States, like all Anglican churches worldwide, descend from the Church of the English Reformation, whether through colonial histories or missionary activity.“Episcopos” is the Greek word for “bishop.” Thus “Episcopal” means “governed by bishops.” The Episcopal Church maintains the three-fold order of ministry as handed down by the Apostles; deacons, priests and bishops, in direct descent, via the laying on of hands, from the original Apostles.When the Church of England spread throughout the British Empire, sister churches sprang up.These churches, while autonomous in their governance, are bound together by tradition, Scripture, and the inheritance they have received from the Church of England.

In Greek, the word “Catholic” means “universal.” “Lex Orandi, Lex Credendi,” which in Latin means, “the rule of prayer is the rule of belief.” We find our unity in common prayer, not conformity to a certain set of doctrines.

However, in each self-supporting parishes, they elect a lay governing board or vestry for temporal affairs, which are things like handling the finances of the church.



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