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The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan is comprised of nearly 8,000 people in 58 diverse communities of faith, including four seasonal chapels, throughout West Michigan. No matter where you live in this region, chances are you'll find an Episcopal church near you, from major urban centers like Grand Rapids to small towns like Northport in the Leelanau Peninsula.

This section can help you understand our mission, vision and values. But feel free to ask questions! To search for a specific item, click here now or click on one of the links in the lower left. If you need further assistance, please call (269) 381-2710. Welcome!


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Top Photo: Courtesy of Keith King,
Traverse City Record-Eagle.

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We're Part of a Worldwide Community of Believers

The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan is part of the Episcopal Church in the United State. Together, we are members of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the third largest Christian communion on Earth with about 80 million active members. (Global Map of Anglican Communion)

You can find Anglican churches on every continent except Antarctica. For example, if you travel to Australia or Argentina, you’ll find an Anglican churches that worship in the same style as your local Episcopal church. (What We Believe)

To learn more about the Episcopal Church in the U.S., please click here now.


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Frequently Asked Questions & Web Videos

You may have heard of the Episcopal Church or driven by a church in your area. But what goes on there? What’s it like inside? What makes the Episcopal Church different? How do ordinary people participate in the life of the church?

To answer these and other common questions, we created this online FAQ in PDF format. Click here now to read these frequently asked questions, which are written in plain language for ordinary people.

To see videos about what it's like to be an Episcopalian, and why people worship with us, please click here now (and make sure your computer's sound is turned on).

   
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Diocesan Accountability Chart

See how our diocese functions, from the Bishop, Standing Committee, Diocesan Council. This flow chart is your visual explanation of who has authority in the diocese, who works together, and how we work toward Christ's mission in Western Michigan.

To view the chart, click here now, or click the photo to the left.


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Pastors in the Episcopal Church are usually called "Priests" or "Rectors." Other clergy include Bishops, Deacons and our Presiding Bishop.

 

Common Terms and Titles in the Episcopal Church

People who attend the Episcopal Church are called "Episcopalians." Episcopal is the adjective for the organization; Episcopalian is the noun for an individual person.

The word "Diocese" (pronounced DY-oh-seas) comes from the Latin and Greek words for "administration." The Episcopal Diocese of Western Michigan is one of 15 Dioceses in the Fifth Province of the U.S. Episcopal Church. (See map) Each Diocese is headed by a Bishop, who reports to our Presiding Bishop at church headquarters in New York.

Within each Diocese are many churches, which we call "parishes."At the local level, there are more than 7,000 Episcopal congregations in the U.S. today. Each parish is lead by an elected vestry or bishop's committee. The head of the worldwide Anglican Communion is the Archbishop of Canterbury in England. However, the Archbishop is not like a "pope," but more of "first among equals." We are not part of the Roman Catholic tradition and we do not report to their leaders.

In the Episcopal traditional, we call our local pastors "Priests" or "Rectors." Subject to the approval of the local Bishop, the vestry of each parish elects a priest, who may work with an Assistant Rector, Deacon and other clergy. To learn more about the Episcopal Church organizational structure in Western Michigan, click here now.

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Our Mission:

Our Mission, rooted in the Episcopal tradition,
is to worship God,
to follow Jesus Christ,
to grow together in the Holy Spirit,
and to serve the world.

Our Vision:

Our Vision is to live our values and be healthy,
mission-focused diverse parishes
with innovative, collaborative engagement at all levels.


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You can Be Yourself Here!

All people are welcome here, regardless
of background or belief. In fact, you do not need to be an Episcopalian to worship at an Episcopal Church. No matter where you are on your spiritual journey toward God, you'll be welcome here. (Frequently Asked Questions)

To learn more, we invite you to visit an Episcopal Church in your area (Parish Map & Locator). Or call the Diocesan office at (269) 381-2710.

 

Our Values: Our Values can be expressed in six basic categories – Transformation of Lives, Service to Others, Active Participation
Acceptance & Respect, Sharing and Engaging Worship. Here's a closer look at each set of Values.

Transformation of Lives Service to Others Active Participation

We Value:

Living our baptismal promises, inspired by the Holy Spirit.
Empowering each other on our spiritual journey with Jesus Christ.
Bringing God into our lives through prayer holy communion, meditation, and action.
Faith formation programs for youth and adults.
Building healthy congregations.

We Value:

A life of service with those in need, as modeled by Jesus Christ.
Participation in local, national, and international ministries.
Participation in local, national, and international ministries.
Promoting justice for all, especially the voiceless and unheard.

We Value:

Participation of youth and adults together in the life of the church.
The active involvement of all congregations in the ministries of The Episcopal Church and our Diocese, with the Bishop as our chief pastor.
Coming together regularly for worship, learning, fellowship, and service.



Acceptance & Respect


Sharing

Engaging Worship

We Value:

Jesus' commandment that we love one another.
The dignity of every human being.
Celebrating, affirming, and including all persons.
A safe, nurturing environment .

We Value:

God's gifts/ grace, and love by being
faithful stewards.
Jesus' example to share abilities, time,
and money beyond ourselves.
Reaching out & accepting all people of faith.
Looking within and beyond our borders to promote reconciliation, acceptance, and respect.

We Value:

Inspirational, scripture-based, Christ-centered worship that draws us closer to God.
Sacred traditions and beauty of our historic worship.
Worship as the expression of our spiritual involvement and growth.

To learn more, we invite you to visit an Episcopal Church in your area (Parish Map & Locator). Or call us at (269) 381-2710.