Difference between revisions of "Episcopal Church in the United States of America"

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The '''Episcopal Church in the USA''', abbreviated ECUSA, and also known as the The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, is the American arm of the Worldwide [[Anglican Communion]]. The Church has about 2.5 million members.
 
The '''Episcopal Church in the USA''', abbreviated ECUSA, and also known as the The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, is the American arm of the Worldwide [[Anglican Communion]]. The Church has about 2.5 million members.
  
Worship in the Episcopal Church is according to the [[Book of Common Prayer]], a book of worship services for use in the church.  The current edition was published in 1979.  The previous edition was published in 1928.  Worship styles within the Episcopal Church can range from "high church" (emphasizing ritual, sung liturgy, candles and incense, genuflecting, etc. with services resembling a [[Roman Catholic]] service) to "low church" (emphasizing preaching and personal conversion and eschewing ritual, with services resembling other low church [[Protestantism|Protestant]] denominations).  Many Episcopal churches have a "broad church" stance, meaning they take a middle ground and try to incorporate elements of both high and low church styles.
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Worship in the Episcopal Church is according to the [[Book of Common Prayer]], a book of worship services for use in the church.  The current edition was published in 1979.  The previous edition was published in 1928.  Worship styles within the Episcopal Church can range from "high church" (emphasizing ritual, sung liturgy, candles and incense, genuflecting, etc. with services resembling a [[Roman Catholic]] service) to "low church" (emphasizing preaching and personal conversion and eschewing ritual, with services resembling other low church [[Protestantism|Protestant]] denominations).  Many Episcopal churches have a "broad church" stance, meaning they take a middle ground and try to incorporate elements of both high and low church styles.  The Episcopalians are in communion with the [[Anglican Church]] based in the [[United Kingdom]].
  
 
Episcopal [[theology]] is summarized by the [[Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion]], principally written by [[Thomas Cramner]] and adopted by the Anglican Church in 1563. The influence of the Articles have decreased dramatically over the last few centuries, as the Anglican Communion has gradually moved further away from [[Protestantism]] and closer to [[Catholicism]].
 
Episcopal [[theology]] is summarized by the [[Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion]], principally written by [[Thomas Cramner]] and adopted by the Anglican Church in 1563. The influence of the Articles have decreased dramatically over the last few centuries, as the Anglican Communion has gradually moved further away from [[Protestantism]] and closer to [[Catholicism]].

Revision as of 11:00, April 12, 2008

The Episcopal Church in the USA, abbreviated ECUSA, and also known as the The Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, is the American arm of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. The Church has about 2.5 million members.

Worship in the Episcopal Church is according to the Book of Common Prayer, a book of worship services for use in the church. The current edition was published in 1979. The previous edition was published in 1928. Worship styles within the Episcopal Church can range from "high church" (emphasizing ritual, sung liturgy, candles and incense, genuflecting, etc. with services resembling a Roman Catholic service) to "low church" (emphasizing preaching and personal conversion and eschewing ritual, with services resembling other low church Protestant denominations). Many Episcopal churches have a "broad church" stance, meaning they take a middle ground and try to incorporate elements of both high and low church styles. The Episcopalians are in communion with the Anglican Church based in the United Kingdom.

Episcopal theology is summarized by the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion, principally written by Thomas Cramner and adopted by the Anglican Church in 1563. The influence of the Articles have decreased dramatically over the last few centuries, as the Anglican Communion has gradually moved further away from Protestantism and closer to Catholicism.

The National Cathedral in Washington is an Episcopal church, and is the official seat of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the USA. Twelve of the forty-three Presidents have been Episcopalian, including George Washington, Franklin D. Roosevelt, George H. W. Bush, and Gerald Ford. In addition Thomas Jefferson was raised Episcopalian but later proclaimed deism and no denominational preference, returning to his Episcopalian faith in his later years, while Theodore Roosevelt was raised Dutch Reformed but later became Episcopalian.

Changes made in the church during the 1970s, specifically the ordination of women and the adoption of a new Book of Common Prayer in 1979, led to a movement of breakaway churches called the Continuing Anglican movement.

There is currently a controversy within the Episcopal church about the role of homosexuals within the church. The church was given until September 30, 2007 to determine whether or not it would continue to consecrate homosexuals. The Episcopal church's liberal stance is alienating it from other members of the communion, specifically the churches in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Latin America. Some U.S. Episcopal churches, opposed to the ordination of practicing homosexuals to the priesthood, have chosen to remove themselves from the ECUSA and place themselves under the authority of Anglican churches in Africa or Southeast Asia, thus attempting to remain (unlike those churches in the Continuing Anglican movement) in full communion with the worldwide Anglican Communion. These churches are currently involved in legal struggles with the ECUSA over the fate of their historic church buildings.

Some prominent Episcopalians include: