What Is an Episcopalian?
Epiphany follows the Episcopalian tradition. One of the best metaphors for the foundations of our tradition is the three-legged stool:
Scripture. We try to live out our faith by using the Bible, but not only the Bible.
Tradition. We honor the way the global Christian Church has done things for its 2,000-year history.
Reason. God gave people reason and intelligence and expects us to use them.
The Episcopal Church is sometimes called a “bridge” church, because of our strong affinity with both Roman Catholic and Protestant churches. We are Christians, followers of Jesus, who we believe is the Son of God. We love to explore the deeper questions of life and faith. We are also deeply respectful of other faiths and committed to interfaith dialogue and witness.
What We Believe
Adapted from “I Am an Episcopalian,” at episcopalchurch.org
As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Our liturgy retains ancient structure and traditions and is celebrated in many languages.
Both men and women, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests, and bishops.
We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.
We believe in amendment of life, the forgiveness of sin, and life everlasting.
Lay people exercise a vital role in the governance and ministry of our church.
Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.
We uphold the Bible and worship with the Book of Common Prayer.
We affirm that committed relationships are lifelong and monogamous. Episcopalians also recognize that there is grace after divorce and do not deny the sacraments to those who have been divorced.
We affirm that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.
We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion.
All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.
What is a Diocese?
A diocese is “a district under the pastoral care of a bishop.” The Episcopal Church in America is organized using this ancient geographic and administrative structure, where each Bishop oversees the churches and the priests in their region. The presiding bishop provides leadership on the national level.
Epiphany Parish is a member of the Diocese of Olympia, which extends from the Canadian border to the Oregon/Washington border and from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascades. Our diocesan bishop is Right Reverend Greg Rickel, and our new presiding bishop, as of July 2015, is the Most Reverend Michael Curry. The Diocese of Spokane is our sister region in Washington.
In a practical sense, for our lives at Epiphany, the diocese forms a community of faith and a web of Episcopal congregations fairly close to home. Members of each of the parishes in the diocese are elected as delegates to represent their congregation at a convention in November. The diocese and its member churches coordinate to provide support to congregations in need, using a budget drawn from assessments from each congregation as well as a robust endowment and other gifts. Epiphany’s delegates are called to consider changes in budgets and canons (the laws that govern the diocese) and to elect diocesan officers and members of governing bodies.
—Jamie Balducci, Diocesan Delegate