What Is An Episcopalian?
An Episcopalian is a person who belongs to the Episcopal Church, a branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which is composed of provincial Churches that recognize the spiritual leadership of the Archbishop of Canterbury, but are otherwise independent in governance. Episcopal refers to government by bishops, and Anglican means of England.
We are governed by bishops who oversee the Church in particular geographic areas known as dioceses, which are a confederation of equals. St. John Divine is a parish in the Diocese of Southwest Florida, which is the south western part of the state. Because of this autonomy, there is a great variety of styles of worship among Episcopal Churches, but we are held together by basic beliefs:
The Bible as a basis of our faith
The Nicene and Apostles’ Creeds, basic statements of Christian belief
Recognition of the sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion
The historic episcopate, which is what we call the continuation of the line of bishops since the time of Christ
It is important to note, however, that Episcopalians focus less on belief than we do on practice. Within our various churches there are many disagreements and arguments on a number of issues. What holds us together is our common worship; coming together to read scripture, to pray, and to partake in the sacraments.
Everyone is welcome in the Episcopal Church. We encourage you to experience our worship service with us and welcome all questions about our beliefs.