THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church (Chief Pastor), The Most Reverend Michael Curry talks about the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement.
WHAT IS THE JESUS MOVEMENT?
The Jesus Movement is the ongoing community of people who center their lives on Jesus and following him into loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, each other and creation.
Together, we follow Jesus as we love God with our whole heart, soul and mind and love our neighbors as ourselves (Matthew 22:36-40), and restore each other and all of creation to unity with God in Christ (BCP, p. 855).
Jesus launched this movement when he welcomed the first disciples to follow his loving, liberating, life-giving Way. Today, we participate in his movement with our whole lives: our prayer, worship, teaching, preaching, gathering, healing, action, family, work, play and rest.
In all things, we seek to be loving, liberating and life-giving—just like the God who formed all things in love; liberates us all from prisons of mind, body and spirit; and gives life so we can participate in the resurrection and healing of God’s world.
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH
The Episcopal Church is the American based branch of the Anglican Communion, a global network of churches joined together by common worship and historical unity with the Archbishop of Canterbury. The Episcopal Church has over 7400 congregations in 109 dioceses plus three regional areas in 16 countries with 2.2 million members. The Episcopal Church has members in the United States, as well as in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, the Virgin Islands, and the Convocation of Churches in Europe.
The General Convention, comprised of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, is the governing and legislative body of the Episcopal Church. The Presiding Bishop is the Chief Pastor and Primate of the Church. The current Presiding Bishop is The The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry. Curry was elected Presiding Bishop at the 2015 General Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah.
THE EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF LOS ANGELES
S. Bede's Episcopal Church is a congregation in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. The Diocese is comprised of over 55,000 Episcopalians in 135 congregations, 35 schools, and 18 major institutions, spanning all of Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties, and part of Riverside County.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE DID THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH COME FROM?
The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, derived from the Church of England, and share traditions of faith and order as outlined in its Book of Common Prayer. Before the American Revolution, we were known as the Church of England in America. After the Revolution, we became the Episcopal Church – a self-governing faith community affiliated with the worldwide Anglican tradition. The word "Anglican" means in the tradition of the Church of England. Today, more than 80 million people worldwide are part of the Anglican faith tradition: every continent except Antarctica has Anglican churches today.
DOES THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH REPORT TO THE POPE?
No. The head of the worldwide Anglican tradition is the Archbishop of Canterbury (ABC) in England. The ABC serves as the spiritual head of the Anglican Church. Unlike the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the Archbishop serves only as a leader and guide and does not make rules or laws for the church to follow. The Episcopal Church is the term we use for that branch of the Anglican union located in the United States.
ARE WOMEN ALLOWED TO SERVE AS PRIESTS IN THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH?
Yes. Women serve as priests, deacons, bishops, and in many other positions in the Episcopal Church today.
ARE EPISCOPAL PRIESTS ALLOWED TO MARRY AND HAVE CHILDREN?
Yes. Absolutely. It's a personal decision whether to marry and have children.
DOES THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH ALLOW GAY, LESBIAN, TRANSGENDER PERSONS TO PARTICIPATE?
Absolutely! All of God's children are welcome to fully participate in the Episcopal Church and answer God's call to service in a wide variety of roles and missions. All are warmly welcomed here at St. Bede's and are invited to fully participate in the church's life.
DOES THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH PERFORM SAME-SEX MARRIAGES?
Yes. The Episcopal Church codified theological support for same-sex marriage by two decisions at the General Convention in 2015. The first formally approved gender-neutral and same-sex marriage ceremonies. At the same time, the second changed the current marriage "canons" to allow clergy to officiate same-sex marriages using either a marriage rite from the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer or a "trial" liturgy.
WILL THE CLERGY OR ANYONE ELSE IN AUTHORITY TELL US HOW TO THINK, HOW TO ACT, OR HOW TO VOTE?
Absolutely not. In the Episcopal Church, we know that every journey toward God is unique and highly personal. You will not be forced to think a certain way or "get in line" with everyone else. You are welcome to bring and share your questions, doubts, hopes, and dreams. You will be encouraged to think for yourself and seek guidance from God through prayer, worship, meditation, reading, and any other method that works for you. Each of us is precious to God, and we all find God in different ways.
WHAT IS BAPTISM?
Holy Baptism is the initiation rite of the church. If you are of age to speak for yourself and have never been baptized, Pastor Ryan would gratefully prepare you for baptism in the church. Baptisms are typically held several times per year during the Sunday services. In the Episcopal Church, we do baptism children, including infants. For more information on baptism, please speak to Pastor Ryan.