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What does it mean to be Episcopalian?

As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Moreover, being Episcopalian means we are much larger than our individual congregations. St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Culpeper is one of many Episcopal Churches throughout the Americas and abroad. Being an Episcopalian also means we are under the oversight of a Bishop. As an Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Virginia we are under the authority of the Rt. Rev. Shannon Johnston, Bishop of the Diocese of Virginia and we are in communion with over 80 million Anglican Christians worldwide who share in the rich and varied heritage of the Anglican tradition.

What does it mean to be Episcopalian in the Anglican tradition?

Practically, the Episcopal Church is rooted in the ancient faith and practice of the first century church and developed in the 16th century English Reformation and spread to the United States with the first settlers at Jamestown, Virginia. This means that Anglicanism has been proclaiming the Gospel and making disciples for over 500 years and the Episcopal Church within that tradition has been doing it since the very beginning of United States history. There is much room for diversity of practice and opinion within the Anglican tradition and the Episcopal Church, but one of the elements that you will find in every Episcopal Church is a rich worship experience. We embrace an interactive liturgy with emphasis on Bible preaching and on the Sacraments instituted by Jesus himself: Baptism and Communion (or the Lord’s Supper). 

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