The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church, USA (abbreviated TEC) began its life as the Church of England in the American colonies.  After the War of Independence, the Church organized with its own constitution in 1789., but maintained its connection to the Church of England, giving birth to the Anglican Communion. The word “episcopal” means “concerning or having bishops.”

The Wikipedia entry is a good source of information about the history of the Episcopal Church and its place within American Christianity.

The Anglican Communion

The Anglican Communion refers to those Churches (called Provinces) throughout the world that are descendants of or sister churches of the Church of England.  The 38 Provinces of the Anglican Communion are in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury and are in full communion with one another (meaning they recognize each others’ ordained ministers and sacraments).  One of the best sources of information about the Anglican Communion is Anglicans Online.

The Diocese of Missouri

The Episcopal Church is organized into 113 dioceses, each presided over by a bishop as the chief pastor.  The Diocese of Missouri covers the eastern half of the state.  St. Louis is the see of the Diocese of Missouri, and Christ Church Cathedral is the bishop’s primary Church, though the bishop visits all the churches of the diocese on a regular basis, and presides and preaches at services at each visitation.