The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the churches around the world that trace their roots to the Church of England. The member churches have no direct authority over one another, and The Archbishop of Canterbury, the head of the Church of England, is respected as the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, but does not have direct authority over any church outside of England.
While Episcopalians can worship in many different ways, the church is a liturgical church, in which worshipers follow a formal structure or traditional order of worship. The Book of Common Prayer, first written in the sixteenth century, while having undergone many revisions, is the basis for most Episcopal services. Even with a diversity of worship styles, the Holy Eucharist, or Communion service, always has the same components and order.
The Episcopal Church strives to live by the message of Christ, in which there are no outcasts and all are welcome. Walking a middle way between Roman Catholicism and Protestant traditions, we are a sacramental and worship-oriented church that promotes thoughtful debate about what God is calling us to do and be, as followers of Christ.