What distinguishes the Episcopal Church from other Christian denominations?

The Episcopal Church in America comes from a tradition, Anglicanism, that marks a middle way between the Reformed Protestant and Roman Catholic traditions. While it continues to use many elements of Catholic liturgy, the Church of England long ago rejected the authority of the pope and of a central authority over the beliefs of worshipers in favor of a questing belief that values reason and tradition as well as Scripture. Today, the sister churches of the Anglican Communion number some eighty million worshipers, many of them in countries south of the equator, where Anglicanism is thriving.

The Episcopal Church has been a powerful force among American churches in promoting peace and justice work, at times losing members and donations for its principled stands for the poor and minority populations. Many Episcopal churches and individual worshipers are deeply involved in social justice work, helping the homeless and addicted and contributing to disaster relief.

The Episcopal Church now represents a body of worshipers who are extremely diverse in terms of their theological, cultural, and political beliefs. Evangelical, liberal, and Anglo-Catholic Episcopalians may differ on such currently challenging issues as immigration reform and gun regulation, but they find common ground in the Biblically based Book of Common Prayer