This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Going to church the Episcopalian way

(I thought it would be interesting to use Sundays to focus on Rensselaer's churches and to see how many Sundays I can go before I run out of material. Indiana is richly endowed with religious denominations, with influences from North and South, East and West. This is part of that series of posts.)

Saint Peter's Episcopal Church is located on Melville Street just south of Grace Street. According to the Church Services Directory published in the Rensselaer Republican, the pastor is Susan Blubaugh. Sunday morning Holy Communion is at 10:00, and there are other meetings and services.
The local church is part of the diocese of Northern Indiana, with the bishop heading the diocese located in South Bend. Although the local church does not have a website, the diocese does, and the diocese is part of the larger Episcopal Church.

Here is a bit of background information from the website of the Episcopal Church.
During the Reformation in the 16th Century, Henry VIII declared the Church of England independent of the Roman Catholic Church with himself as its head. It was the result of many factors, some political and some theological, but it has given rise to a distinct form of Christianity, known as Anglicanism.

The Episcopal Church is a member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the churches around the world that trace their roots to the Church of England, and maintain a “communion” with it, hence the name “Anglican.” Other members of the Communion include the Anglican Church of Canada and the Anglican Church of Nigeria. In fact, most Anglicans now live in Africa.

While there are other churches that call themselves “Anglican,” only one Church in any country can be considered “in full communion” with the Church of England, and the Episcopal Church is the American member of the Communion.
The religion map at Valparaiso shows that the Episcopal Church is strongest on the east coast and in the upper Midwest. The Wikipedia entry provides additional information.

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