CalEpiscopal is a campus outreach of the Episcopal Church to UC Berkeley. That probably clears up nothing. The Episcopal Church is both traditional and progressive. Its roots go back through the Church of England. Episcopal comes from the Greek word for overseer or bishop and means that we use bishops for our governance.
But the bishops aren’t there to tell you what to think. Unlike many church practices, with us you might find it hard to discover a simple answer, there is no one book, no one human authority or source. Being a person of faith, being a person of justice, being a human being fully alive: this takes effort, it takes passion and a commitment to listening even when it seems like all you hear is silence.
What does it mean to be traditional and progressive? We are a Catholic church, we maintain ancient ritual as an important part of experiencing God in community. The ritual is not about an emotional experience (though that might happen) , it is about preparing yourself to know and experience God. That is the tradition. But we also believe that what some people decided hundreds of years ago does not necessarily mean that it is the way it always has to be. We use the holy scriptures of the church, tradition as we receive it, and our own wisdom (wisdom means a participation of our brain with the divine Wisdom of God) in understanding how we live today. The Episcopal Church has upheld the importance of women’s ordination for over 40 years and has added to that the full inclusion of LGBT persons into the marriage, the priesthood and as bishops.
At CalEpiscopal you are welcome to join us for our worship offerings and to discover if our tradition might speak to you.