Our Episcopal Tradition

In the Episcopal Church we believe that our habitual participation in a community’s worship life shapes our faith,

our individual and communal identity and how we are disposed to act in the world. In other words,

we Episcopalians are convinced that the life of prayer shapes the life of believing and behaving.


When we gather together in the name of Jesus, we worship according to the Book of Common Prayer.

The common word of the book expresses our most deeply held beliefs, keeps us connected to the

timeless elements of Christian tradition, and allows us to participate as more than just listeners.

We are Christians.

We celebrate our place in the worldwide Christian movement that has its foundation in the person of Jesus Christ and that has been carried forward through the centuries by apostles, martyrs, bishops, priests, deacons, and lay persons of all ages and races. We share with other Christians the key elements of Scripture, Creeds, Sacraments, and the Historic Episcopate, and count ourselves part of the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.

We are Anglicans.

We were born out of the Church of England, with roots extending back to the earliest days of Christianity, with a spirituality that was shaped by monastic, celtic, and Roman traditions, and with a Reformation emphasis on Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. We are part of the Anglican Communion, with over 70 million Anglicans in 38 national churches or provinces, all linked directly to the English Church and its head, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is not “an Anglican Pope” but rather the living symbol of unity between the member churches. For more on the Anglican Communion, go to www.aco.org.

We are Episcopalians.

We are part of the missionary movement in these former British colonies that after the American Revolution was incorporated as “The Foreign and Domestic Missionary Society of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.” With over 2.5 million members in every state of the Union, we are a national church in full communion both with other Anglican churches and with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We are an extended family that adopts easily, as our familiar blue, red, and white signs proclaim: “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!”  For more on the Episcopal Church, go to www.episcopalchurch.org

We are the Diocese of Arizona.

We constitute one section, or diocese, of the national Episcopal Church, under the visionary and pastoral leadership of its Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Kirk Stevan Smith. With 60 congregations, several excellent primary schools, youth groups, and three college chaplaincies—with a focus on church growth and development, on Spanish-speaking and Native American ministries, and on welcoming the newcomer—we are a vibrant group of believers making a difference in countless ways throughout the state.  For more on the Church in Arizona, www.azdiocese.org