All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church. By all, we mean ALL, no exceptions. We believe in “radical welcome.” As a body, Church of the Nativity is fully loyal to and supportive of the Episcopal Church.
Church of the Nativity is a parish of the Diocese of North Carolina, one of 109 dioceses in 16 nations and three regions of the Episcopal Church. The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity. The Church has members in the United States, as well as in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Venezuela, and the Virgin Islands. Our liturgy retains ancient structure and traditions, and is celebrated in many languages.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is elected by all Bishops for a term of nine years. In 2015, The Most. Rev. Michael B. Curry was elected the 27th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He is the first African-American to be a Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church. He had served for the previous 13 years as our beloved Bishop of North Carolina. He is chief pastor to the Episcopal Church’s 2.4 million members in 16 countries and 109 dioceses.
In a given area, parishes and missions make up a diocese, headed by a bishop. All clergy and lay delegates from all congregations meet annually in convention to conduct the business of the diocese. The convention elects the Bishop to serve until death or retirement. The Diocese of North Carolina is now in the midst of a search for the next Bishop to head the Diocese. For more information about our Diocese, go to http://www.episdionc.org/.
Bishops are elected by clergy and lay delegates at a Diocese Convention and must be approved by all Bishops of the Episcopal Church before being installed. Each self-supporting congregation (parish) elects its lay governing board (Vestry) for temporal affairs and its rector as spiritual leader. Congregations that are not self-supporting (missions) are directed by the bishop of the area.
The Episcopal Church website glossary defines the sources of authority as a balance between scripture, tradition, and reason. These three are characterized as a “three-legged stool” which will topple if any one overbalances the other. It also notes “The Anglican balancing of the sources of authority…has been associated with the Anglican affinity for seeking the mean between extremes and living the via media. It has also been associated with the Anglican willingness to tolerate and comprehend opposing viewpoints instead of imposing tests of orthodoxy or resorting to heresy trials.”
Go to www.espiscopalchurch.org for a fuller explanation.