What is the Episcopal Church?
- The Episcopal Church of Minnesota is a ‘diocese’ of The Episcopal Church. It is over 150 years old and comprised of 108 churches and 2 cathedrals.
- The leader and pastor of The Episcopal Church of Minnesota is The Right Reverend Brian N. Prior, IX Bishop of Minnesota.
- He was ordained and consecrated on February 13, 2010.
- The Episcopal Church is one of 38 member provinces of the worldwide
- The Episcopal Church has 2.5 million worshippers in 120 dioceses across the United States and abroad.
- The pastor and leader of the Episcopal Church is the Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Doctor Katharine Jefferts Schori. She is the first worman to lead the Episcopal Church.
- The Anglican Communion is made up of 77 million members in 500 dioceses
in 164 countries.
- The members of the Anglican Communion are joined together by choice, but they have no direct authority over one another.
- The spiritual head of the Anglican Communion is the Right Reverend Justin Welby, 105th Archbishop of Canterbury and Primate of the Church of England.
The Episcopal Church traces its origins back to the Church of England, which was created by King Henry VIII in the midst of violent religious disagreements of the 16th century. During the Reformation and following several disagreements with the pope, King Henry VIII cut ties with the Roman Catholic Church and declared himself the head of the newly independent Church of England, also known as the Anglican Church which spread through colonization. After the American Revolution, the Anglican congregations in the United States reorganized themselves and created a new church. The word “Episcopal” was chosen to emphasize the historic ministry of bishops, priests and deacons.
The Book of Common Prayer is unique to Anglicanism and contains a collection of worship services, Psalms, prayers and thanksgivings and an Outline of Faith. It is a guidebook for worship compiled by Thomas Cranmer in the 16th century, though it has undergone several revisions. The present prayer book was published in 1979.