What does it mean to be Episcopalian?

Good Samaritan is an Episcopal Church, one of many Protestant Christian denominations alive in our world and witnessing to the story of God in human history. “Episcopal” describes the way we understand the governance of our communities—meaning the local Bishop and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church are the principal leaders of our church. The Episcopal Church can trace its history back to the Church of England and remains a part of the Anglican Communion—a body within Christianity that encompasses 80 million members in 44 regional and national churches in more than 160 countries.
Episcopalians view the Church’s Scriptures, Tradition, and Reason as the foundation of our expression of Christian life and faith.
  • Scriptures: the story of God told in the Old and New Testaments
  • Tradition: the embodiment of Christian experience, practice, and expression of the Christian faith throughout history
  • Reason: our God-given ability to think critically and take responsibility for our own actions
Since the mid-late 1700s, the Episcopal Church in the United States has occupied a unique position in the landscape of American religious life. Many view the Episcopal Church as living somewhere between Roman Catholic and Protestant traditions. Good Samaritan, and the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, can feel very traditional, but you will find Episcopalians engaging in the social, political, and cultural conversations at every point in modern history as we seek to live out our faith in the world. Today, Episcopalians are on the front lines of such causes as: LGBTQ+ rights, ending systemic racism, and environmental sustainability and the threat of climate change.
For more information about the Episcopal Church, visit episcopalchurch.org.
For more information about the Anglican Communion, visit anglicancommunion.org.
For more information about the Diocese of Olympia, the Episcopal Church in Western Washington, visit ecww.org.