The Episcopal Church
The Episcopal Church is part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church founded by Jesus Christ who commissioned his disciples to go into the world and preach the Gospel. The word episcopal is derived from the greek word for bishop.The Episcopal Church is that community of Christians who trace their roots to English settlers who arrived in America and founded the Church of England congregations. St. Paul’s on the Green was founded by such settlers in 1737.
Episcopalians are under the pastoral guidance and spiritual authority of bishops who continue the ministry of the first Apostles. We call this continuity of spiritual leadership Apostolic Succession, which means that our bishops can trace their succession as far back as the 12 disciples of Jesus.
The General Convention is the legislative body of the Episcopal Church and includes the voices of all orders of ministry: the laity, bishops, priest, and deacons. General Convention meets once every three years to create policies, set priorities, authorize programs, and approve the budget to fund the work of the Episcopal Church around the world. Between General Conventions, the work of the Church is overseen by the Executive Council, an elected body of approximately 40. One of St. Paul’s parishioners is currently serving a 6-year term on the Council as the elected Lay Representative from Province I, which encompasses the 7 dioceses located in New England.
The Anglican Communion
The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide fellowship known as the Anglican Communion whose mother church is the Church of England. There are some 70 million Christians in the Anglican Communion in 28 independent, self-governing, national, and regional churches which include 64,000 congregations in 164 countries and on every continent. The Anglican Church is a multinational, multi-lingual, multiracial fellowship of faith. What is our common thread? It is called the Lambeth Quadrilateral and articulates what makes us members of this one communion:
- The Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the ultimate standard of faith
- The Apostles’ Creed, as the Baptismal Symbol; and the Nicene Creed, as the sufficient statement of the Christian faith
- The two Sacraments ordained by Christ himself Baptism and the Holy Eucharist
- The Historic Episcopate
The Diocese of Connecticut
A diocese is the basic unit of the Episcopal Church. It is headed by a bishop, who may be assisted by bishops suffragan or assistant bishops and it covers a specific geographic region. Our diocesan bishop is the Right Reverend Ian T. Douglas. He is assisted by two bishops suffragan, the Right Reverend James E. Curry and the Right Reverend Laura J. Ahrens. Our diocesan headquarters is located in Hartford, Connecticut. The diocese is governed by representatives of all its 171 congregations serving as delegates to the annual Diocesan Convention and is led by the bishop, a standing committee (the Bishop’s Council of Advice), a diocesan council, and other elected or appointed leaders. Click here to learn more through our Diocesan website.