The Episcopal Church is a member of the world-wide Anglican Communion, with 70 million members in 164 countries. We are a community of Christians bound together by our belief that Holy Scripture contains the very core of all Christian faith and thought, by the many ancient and modern stories that connect us to Jesus and his teachings, and by discovering daily God's hope and call to us through our life together.
We are a church which believes that God has taken human flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. We believe that God continues to bring people into the Body of Christ, which is the church, through sacraments. The sacraments are outward and visible signs of inward and spiritual grace, given by Christ as sure and certain means by which we receive that grace.
We hold that Jesus instituted two primary sacraments: Baptism and Holy Communion. We also hold that there are five other sacramental signs: Confirmation, Reconciliation, Anointing of the Sick, Marriage, and Ordination.
An individual becomes part of the Church through the sacrament of baptism by water. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that through baptism we are united with God. The Episcopal Church believes that through baptism—in any Christian denomination—we become brothers and sisters in God's family. Our church baptizes persons of any age. A period of preparation precedes Baptism.
In our worship service, we celebrate God with us through water, bread and wine. Jesus shared bread and wine with his first followers and is with us today in this family meal we call Holy Communion. Through it we receive the forgiveness of our sins and a strengthening of our union with God and one another as we remember Christ's life, death and resurrection.
Jesus welcomes everyone to his table and so we offer everyone, without exception, the bread and wine, which are Christ's body and blood. We also offer consecrated grape juice for those persons who do not drink wine.
The Episcopal Church believes that through baptism—in any Christian denomination—we become brothers and sisters in God's family. Episcopalians therefore welcome and encourage all those who have been baptized, in whatever church to join us in taking communion.