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The Episcopal Church



Foreign missionary work, which in obedience to the direct command of Christ has always been an obligation of the whole church, began in the Episcopal Church about 1835, and missionary bishops, clergy, lay men and women, doctors, and teachers have worked in many countries, building up churches to be left eventually to the supervision of indigenous clergy and teachers.

The Episcopal Church's missionary work at home and abroad and its national social service and religious education are organized as departments of an executive council with headquarters at the Episcopal Church Center, 815 Second Avenue, New York, NY 10017. The executive council, with the presiding bishop as its head, is elected at the triennial meeting of the General Convention, and has charge of the unification, development, and promotion of the missionary, educational, and social work of the church between meetings of the General Convention.

Faith and Practice

The Episcopal Church is both catholic and prot-estant; it is also both conservative and liberal. The Book of Common Prayer, "the greatest book in English excepting only the Bible," guides worship people hold informal services in church and parish house and home.

In its teaching, the Episcopal Church trusts the guiding wisdom of the Holy Spirit. It does not say to its children, "You must conform," but rather, "For the sake of your richest and fullest development, you will wish to be guided by the church's wisdom." It also provides supernatural strength and life through the sacraments to help in that obedience.

Believing that the Christian life should nei¬ther neglect nor over-emphasize any one aspect of Christian teaching, the Episcopal Church, through the Prayer Book, observes the Christian year, calling attention in turn to each of the great events of our Lord's life and to his teachings. It is a Bible-reading church. In its most frequently used services three scripture portions are read. Much of the Prayer Book is drawn directly from scripture.

Believing that the assured results of true scholarship can never run counter to true religion, the Episcopal Church welcomes every honest endeavor of science and learning.

The source and the meaning of all beauty are in Jesus Christ himself. The church therefore welcomes every art and makes its services as beautiful as possible to honor his glory.

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Thirty-seventh Printing



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