The Episcopal Church in Connecticut

As an Episcopal Church we are part of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (Link: Diocese of Connecticut). The Bishop of Ct. is the Rt. Rev. Dr. Ian Douglas. Our Suffragan (assisting) Bishop is The Rt. Rev. Dr. Laura Ahrens. We are part of the national ECUSA, Episcopal Church USA. Our leader is the “Presiding Bishop”, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, whose authority is persuasive not binding. The Episcopal Church is part of a world-wide connection of national churches called the Anglican Communion (Anglican refers to “English”, the historic starting place for all these churches). The pastor of our church is Dave Carter whose title is “Rector” an old English term for the priest-in-charge of a parish. It’s also important to note that the “Doctrine” of the Episcopal Church is very loosely defined as expressed in our Prayer Book (for instance in the Nicene Creed) and in the practice of our members (the priesthood of all believers) rather than in a separate codified text.

Anglicanism is a term used to designate all the churches around the world that stay “in-communion” with the Church of England, the original Anglican Church. All such national bodies were once formed by transplanted English speakers but have now found their own identities, styles and to some extent somewhat differing theologies. The Bishops of all these churches try to remain in conversation, meeting every 10 years at Lambeth in England. Each national church is autonomous and there is no final commanding jurisdiction. Even the Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, is a figure-head for the international church and has only persuasive authority. This “openness” allows us to stay in a mutual, learning conversation about God’s work.