Founded in 1785, the Diocese of Virginia is framed by the James River to the south, the Potomac River to the north, the Chesapeake Bay to the east and the Virginia/West Virginia state line to the west. The diocese is divided into 15 geographic regions, each of which has a dean (a clergyperson), a president (a layperson) and a regional council. Trinity is a member congregation of Region III.
For more information on the leadership and ministries of The Diocese of Virginia, click www.thediocese.net.
The Episcopal Church (TEC)
Episcopal parishes across the United States and in the countries of Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Haiti, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and the Panama Canal fall under the authority, leadership and governance of The Episcopal Church.
TEC provides the following summary of how we all work and fit together:
The Episcopal Church is made up of between two and three million worshipers in about 7500 congregations across the United States and a few related dioceses outside the US.
The basic unit of ministry in the Episcopal Church is the ‘diocese,’ or a region of a reasonable number of Episcopalians. Each diocese is presided over by a “diocesan bishop” who may have help from a variety of other kinds of bishops, depending on the circumstances.
“The Episcopal Church is governed by a Constitution and a set of laws (known as ‘canons’) which it establishes for itself by Convention, but the diocesan bishop is the ecclesiastical (or ‘church’) authority in his or her particular diocese. The bishops of the Episcopal Church have no jurisdiction outside of their dioceses, so they meet together twice per year to pray and make decisions about the life of the Church. Every nine years, the Church elects a ‘Presiding Bishop’ who represents the Episcopal Church in the Anglican Communion and “presides” over meetings of the bishops, known as the ‘House of Bishops.’
“Every three years, delegations (or ‘deputations’) from all the dioceses, along with the House of Bishops, gather to worship and pass legislation for the Church. This General Convention is where broad decisions are made about policy and worship, as well as revitalizing the Christian community for ministry ‘back home.’”
For more information about The Episcopal Church, visit www.ecusa.org.
The Anglican Communion
As an Episcopal Church, Trinity’s relationship to the larger church extends beyond the Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church.
Trinity belongs to a family of churches called Anglican that all trace their beginnings back to the Church of England and their allegiance to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Like all Anglican churches, the Episcopal Church of which Trinity is a part is distinguished by its standing in both Protestant and Catholic traditions, its insistence that people be able to worship in their first language, our use of a Book of Common Prayer, and our reliance on Scripture, Tradition, and Reason in interpreting God’s Word.
Within the Communion of Anglican churches, there are nearly 70 million members in 37 self-governing Member Churches or Provinces in more than 160 countries.
If you have been looking for an Anglican church in this country, you have found one.