About the Episcopal Church

Welcome to the Episcopal Church—a community of faith that seeks to respond to the Gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed. The Episcopal Church is the Province of the Anglican Communion in the United States, Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe.

As of 2010, it is a church of over 2 million baptized members, making it the fifteenth largest Christian denomination in the U.S. In keeping with Anglican tradition and theology, the Episcopal Church considers itself "Protestant, yet Catholic."  We hope you join us!


The Episcopal Church was organized shortly after the American Revolution when it was forced to separate from the Church of England, as the Church of England clergy were required to swear allegiance to the British monarch. It became, in the words of the 1990 report of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Group on the Episcopate, "the first Anglican Province outside the British Isles." Today, the Episcopal Church is divided into nine provinces and has dioceses outside the U.S. in Taiwan, Central and South America, the Caribbean and Europe. The Episcopal Diocese of the Virgin Islands encompasses both American and British territory.


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The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late nineteenth century. Since the 1960s and 1970s, it has opposed the death penalty and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action. Some of its leaders and priests marched with civil rights demonstrators.

The Episcopal Church ordains women to the priesthood as well as the diaconate and the episcopate.  


As a religious body, we serve at the mercy of God and we all have to strive to become stronger in our faith. The Gospel is not an easy thing to live out and if we believe that the Christian faith is simply a border-less and easy access to fellowship of nice people then we are missing the message that Jesus died on the cross to teach us.

Our church community includes individuals from vastly different points of view on a number of topics, including politics. This is part of what makes us a robust, diverse community.

Each of these differing views is welcome within the context of a Christian community striving to live out Christ's teachings. 

At the same time, we appreciate the regular reminders to speak out against injustice. This is what Christ has called us to do. Radical inclusion and speaking out against injustice are hallmarks of Christ's teachings.

We are called by God to continue this tradition. We hope you will feel both a firm sense of welcome and a challenge to follow Christ more closely each time you come to Mass, no matter what your political views may be.

As a reminder to all who come through our doors we have included an outline of our Christian faith as seen through our particular Episcopal tradition.

Our Baptismal Covenant  Grounds our Faith

We will continue in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers.

We will persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever we fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.

We will proclaim the Good News of God in Christ by word and example.

We will seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

We will strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.
(Book of Common Prayer p. 304-305)

Our Baptismal Covenant is expressed in our church by resolutions of the Episcopal Church.  Resolutions of the Episcopal Church are approved by majorities of bishops, priests, deacons and lay persons from across our church during the Church triennal conventions.

● The Episcopal Church stands for laws which combat gun violence (2015-C005, 2000-D004, 2000-B007, 1976-C056)
● The Episcopal Church supports immigrants and refugees, including becoming a sanctuary church (2018-C009; reaffirming 2015-D057).
● The Episcopal Church supports a pathway to citizenship for “dreamers.” (2009-B006).
● The Episcopal Church supports LGBTQAI persons by adding sexual orientation to the non-discrimination canons in 1994 (1994-D007), and gender identity and gender expression in 2012 (2012-D002, 2012-D019 ).
● The Episcopal Church supports efforts to assist LGBT youth against bullying (1994-C026, 2012-D022) and stands against all conversion therapy (2015-D028).
● The Episcopal Church supports same sex marriages. ( 2015-A054, 2018-B012)
● The Episcopal Church works to change public policy to help the poor and hungry (2015-D015) and specifically to repair the social safety net. ( 2018-C014)
● The Episcopal Church opposes the death penalty (1979-D004,2015-D025)
● The Episcopal Church recognizes the racial and gender bias of our mass incarceration system, and seeks public policies which end it (2015-A011, 2018-C004)
● The Episcopal Church stands against racial injustice (2015-A182)
● The Episcopal Church supports efforts to stop human trafficking (2018-C013, 2000-A057)
● The Episcopal Church acknowledges that in this country it is the legal right of every woman to have a medically safe abortion and further opposes abortion “as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection, or any reason of mere convenience.” (1994-A054)
● The Episcopal Church opposes all violence based on gender (2012-A139)
● The Episcopal Church affirms that war as a method of settling international disputes is incompatible with the Gospel, and urges its people to study just war theory. (2003-C033)
● The Episcopal Church affirms that Global Warming threatens the future of God’s good creation, and the effects of Global Warming disproportionately hurt the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable in the United States and around the world. The Episcopal Church at every level support efforts that seek to reduce Global Warming, including national and international legislation that increase the supply of clean energy and reduce consumption of fossil fuels. (2006-B002)

In the Episcopal Church we follow the leadership of our diocesan bishop, Rt. Reverend Lawrence Provenzano. Hence the term "episcopate" in our name.

The Presiding Bishop of the American Episcopal Church, Most Reverend Michael Curry, has issued the following statement:

"Too often, we have been passive in the face of injustice, bigotry, and oppression.

We confess our complicity in political and religious systems that have perpetuated injustice over many generations.

We confess that fear and the desire to keep the peace has often led us to issue statements rather than the harder task of working for a more just and equitable society.

As Christians we are called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ with clarity and conviction, particularly as that Gospel compels us to work alongside those in every faith tradition to confront forces which threaten the lives and safety of the most vulnerable.

As a people committed to the incarnation of God in the human body of Jesus Christ and the mystical body of the gathered community, we affirm that our very bodies must serve the cause of healing, love and justice.

We believe in the goodness and holiness of the human body in all of its varied and diverse forms. We renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God.

Therefore we commit:
● To protect and defend the human dignity of immigrants, refugees, and those who fear deportation. Our churches will be sanctuaries for those whose safety and security is threatened;
● To stand and work with those whose race or religion is threatened by the vitriolic and violent language and action of white supremacy in American society;
● To confront bigotry, fear, ignorance and hatred whenever and wherever we encounter it. We will not be silent or passive in the face of language that harms the children of God;
● To protect the physical, psychological, and spiritual safety of women, people of sexual and gender diversity, the elderly and the physically impaired;
● To pray for our president and elected leaders and hold them accountable to the principles of justice as found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We believe that together we can foster a world of justice, love and the mercy of God. We commit to this work and we invite those who would do likewise to join us in the work ahead."

At St. Philip's Church we affirm and support these statements of inclusion and the seeking of God’s justice. All are welcome to join us in this journey of faith. 

© 2021 St. Philip's Episcopal Church
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