IS THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH?
The Episcopal Church is the “roomiest”
church in the entire Christendom. It belongs
to the communion of the Anglican Church, a church originating
from the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Gregory in
the 6th century but departed in the 16th century following
the English Reformation.
Some one said that “Episcopal” is “pepsi cola” because “it’s the real thing.” It is the branch of the one, holy, catholic and apostolic church that traces its origin from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Some calls it “modern Catholicism.” Here are some notes:
Both Catholic & Protestant
Historian Norman Pittenger called the The Episcopal Church as “the roomiest church in the entire Christendom” because it is so open and allows for much diversity and plurality in peoples, cultures, language, ethnicities, ideas and ideologies. In the U.S.A., Episcopalians number around 3 million. It belongs to the 72 million worldwide Anglican communion, the majority being Africans, English, Asians and Latin Americans.
The Anglican Church originated from the Roman Catholic Church under Pope Gregory in the 6th century but departed in the 16th century following the great English Reformation. Secular history often associate the Anglican Church with King Henry VIII but the real unifier of the British Reformation was Bishop Thomas Cranmer, archbishop of Canterbury in the 1550’s who authored the Book of Common Prayer.
With its balanced history, the Episcopal Church is not “either or” but “both Catholic (universal) and Protestant (reformed). Its ritual (liturgy) is similar to the Roman Catholic Church; the biblical practice is similar to many Protestant Churches.
The Episcopal Church is not governed by a Pope but by bishops. As a matter of fact the word Episcopal comes from the Greek word “episcopus”, meaning overseer or bishop. The primate of the Church of England is an Archbishop, in the U.S. a Presiding Bishop and in the Philippines, Prime Bishop. In the Episcopal Church, celibacy is voluntary, meaning the clergy can marry and have families. The ECUSA also allows for women ordination.
Gospel & Traditional Sacraments
Like the Roman Church, we have 7 sacraments. Two are Bible sacraments (Baptism and Eucharist) and five are traditional sacraments (Confirmation, Marriage, Ordination, Penance, Unction/Healing/Reconciliation)
We affirm our faith in the words of the Apostles’ Creed or Nicene Creed. We respect other people’s faith while sharing our own faith in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Redeemer..
We are in Concordat with the Philippine Independent Church, with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and other mainline churches. The Episcopal Church is one of the founders of the World Council of Churches (WCC). One of our bishops is leading the quest for United Religious Initiative.
ECUSA & ECP
The Episcopal Church in the United States (ECUSA) is one of the earliest denominations in the U.S. as it came when the Anglican pilgrims established their mission in this country. While it was identified with the Church of England, the Episcopalians were also advocates for freedom and national sovereignty.
Two-thirds of the signers of the American declaration of independence in 1776 were Episcopalians including Thomas Jefferson.
In the Philippines, the Episcopal Church began in 1900 when the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States. American missionaries accompanied the American colonial government. Rather than proselytizing among the Roman Catholics, however, the Episcopal Church (led by Bishop Charles Henry Brent) evangelized the Igorots in the Mountain Provinces, the Chinese in Manila, the Tiruray and other tribes in Mindanao and the American expatriats in Forbes Park.
It established schools, hospitals and churches such as Trinity College of Quezon City, St. Luke’s Medical Center and Cathedral of St. Mary & St. John. In 1960, a Concordat of Full Communion was signed with the Iglesia Filipina Independiente.
The best way to describe the Episcopal Church is that it is a “balanced Church.” We hold the Bible and the Chalice; the Word and Sacraments, Conservatism and Liberalism, Ancient and Modern in healthy balance. There are three pillars or sources of our faith-understanding: (a) Scriptures, (c) Tradition and (c) Reason. Our experience of faith is that the whole Gospel of Christ is like a “diamond with many facets.” Christianity is a living faith that interacts with cultures, proclaims freedom, holds authority and unleashes the power of love and reconciliation.
Holy Child Episcopal Church
Holy Child Church is one of the newest and youngest missions in the ECUSA. While we began as a Filipino-American congregation, we are open to all peoples and races. When we say “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You”, we really mean it. Our vision is to FILAM church that blends the best of Episcopal ethos and theology and the unique Filipino culture and spirituality.
When you join Holy Child, you don’t have to be re-baptized because the Episcopal Church accepts as valid the Baptism of the Roman Catholic Church and the major Protestant denominations.
So welcome…Mabuhay! God loves you and
so do we.