A Little More Episcopal History
The word “Episcopal” refers to government by bishops. The historic episcopate continues the work of the first apostles in the Church, guarding the faith, unity and discipline of the Church, and ordaining men and women to continue Christ’s ministry.
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. 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.
The Nicene Creed is the basic statement of our belief about God. It was adopted in the 300s by the early church founders and is said every Sunday in Episcopal and Anglican churches around the United States and world, including Puerto Rico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, Curacao, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Taiwan and the Virgin Islands.
The two great sacraments of the Gospel, given by Christ to the Church, are Baptism and the Holy Eucharist. In Baptism we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and adopt Jesus as our Lord and Savior. In the Holy Eucharist, the center of our worship life, we remember and participate in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ until his coming again.
In the Diocese of Tennessee, we have more than 16,000 members in 45 congregations. We also have numerous social service agencies that reach out to help make our communities better and more caring places to live. We honor tradition and strive to live by the example of Jesus Christ, welcoming the stranger and the outcast, helping our neighbors and offering love and forgiveness. We want our communities to be better because The Episcopal Church is here.