The Episcopal Church
St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is part of The Episcopal Church which is in turn part of the Anglican Communion worldwide which is a community of worshipping Christians, with more than 70 million members around the world.
Our church is called the Episcopal Church in the USA. The presiding bishop of our church is the Most Rev. Michael Curry. In other countries, the church is known as the Church of England, the Anglican Church, or the Episcopal Church of Scotland. The archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Rev. Justin Welby, is the spiritual head of the world-wide Anglican Communion. There are 2.4 million people who worship in a total of 110 dioceses, throughout the United States, and in Europe, Haiti, Latin America, Micronesia, Taiwan, Puerto Rico, and Navajoland.
The Episcopal Church in the USA is divided into regional groupings called “provinces” of which there are nine which are further divided into “dioceses”. Each diocese has its own bishop (or bishops), who have the overall responsibility for the spiritual well-being and administration of the churches within the area. Our bishop of the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast is the Right Reverend Russell Kendrick.
The Episcopal Church consists of lay persons, deacons, priests and bishops. We consider all baptized Christians to be “ministers” as they share their gifts and talents. However, some members of the church feel called to be ordained as deacons, priests or bishops. In the Episcopal Church, both women and men are eligible for ordination.
The priest serves as a pastor and teacher to members of the church, leads worship, preaches, and supports members of the congregation as they reach out into their community. Our priest the Reverend Jo Popham is our rector.
For more information about The Episcopal Church, visit www.episcopalchurch.org.