The Episcopal Church began as the American Colonial branch of the Church of England. It is now an autonomous province of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Anglican Communion has spread well beyond its English roots, with about 70-80 million members in countries circling the globe from 38 provinces. The word “Episcopal” comes from the Greek word episkopos, which means “overseer” or bishop. We are a branch of Christianity, guided by our bishops, and served by our priests and deacons who support the work and witness of the majority of our ministers, the baptized members of our church.
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.
We are diverse. Episcopalians are black, white, Asian, Latino, Native American, Caribbean, and more. We are young and old, poor and rich, from every background and walk of life. We try to reflect the diversity of the communities in which our congregations are located. Even though we are not there yet, we do strive to be welcoming communities of faith, sharing the love of God with all.
We may be firm in our faith or constantly questioning. We find our unity, not in a common consensus on all matters, but in a common journey toward God through the worship and ministry of our churches. What ties us together is our belief in the love of God, as found in Jesus.
Jesus taught us to love God and love our neighbors (Matt. 22:37-40). In Jesus, we have found forgiveness for sins, which are the ways in which we fall short of the mark set by God. We seek to live into that forgiveness we have been given by being open and loving communities of faith. It’s a lofty goal, and when we fall short, we still have the love of God supporting us as we attempt to change to be more Christ like in our words and actions – with God’s help!
About 250 persons call St. Luke’s their home church and on any given Sunday, about 100 persons of all ages join together for worship. Three Sundays of the month we lead services in assisted living and skilled care homes; on third Sundays of the month we support a street ministry in downtown Richmond, The Gathering Place, worshiping with them and bringing lunch. https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=668909719894781&set=vb.127911287327963&&theater