About Us

The Episcopal Church Center has been a part of the University of Miami since 1953.  Our current chapel was constructed from 1958-1960 and was designed by Marion Manley, the first woman architect in the State of Florida.  The UM/Canterbury Preschool, located on our site, serves the children of UM faculty, employees, and students. 

As an Episcopal Chapel, the center of our worship life is the celebration of the Eucharist (communion).  The flow of our service is very similar to what one would find in a Roman Catholic or a Lutheran Church.  The mission of the Chapel is to serve the University of Miami community.  A small local congregation also worships at the Chapel.  Typically, our local folks worship here on Sunday mornings (8AM & 10AM) and students worship here on Sunday nights (6PM).  However, students are welcome whenever they wish to come.

The Episcopal Church is a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion.  Our roots are in The Church of England.  While our history is complex, a good summary of where we fit within wider Christianity would be to say that our expression of Christianity is Catholic, Protestant, and Celtic.  Christianity came to Great Britain very early, perhaps as early as the Second Century AD.  As the Roman Empire faced mounting threats from many quarters, they found that their armies were too thinly spread out.  Abandoning Great Britain happened early in the process of retrenchment of Roman forces.  Christianity in Britain and Ireland developed largely independently of Christianity on the Continent. In 597, when Pope Gregory the Great sent St. Augustine to Christianize the Britons, Augustine was surprised to find that there were already Christians there.  Beginning with Augustine's tenure as the first Archbishop of Canterbury, a sometimes tense amalgamation of Roman and indigenous Celtic Christian traditions took place over several centuries.  For example, Celtic priests were married, sometimes women were in charge of mixed monasteries of men and women, etc.  In time Roman ways prevailed, but since the Sixteenth Century Reformation the Church in England was free once again to find its own way.  We've had married priests since the 1540's, and we've had women priests since the 1970's.  Anglicans have been worshiping in English since the 1540's.  Scripture, Tradition, and Reason are the three pillars that uphold our faith.

Our goal is to promote the Gospel (literally "Good News") in all its breadth.  However, because so much of the continued bigotry toward the LGBTQ community comes from the wider Church (meaning across many denominations), we feel a particular calling to serve the LGBTQ community on our campus.  For about 40 years the Episcopal Church wrestled with how to assimilate LGBTQ members into the life of our Church, and we have come to a place where we ordain LGBTQ priests and bishops and, more recently, where we can offer sacramental marriage for same sex couples.  We did not arrive at where we are easily.  We have lost members over this issue, but we've gained some as well.  We believe that this stance is God's will, that it is a Gospel imperative, and it is a theological position, not a case of being politically correct.  It is worth noting that The Episcopal Church is not the only denomination to have come to this conclusion.  The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, The United Church of Christ (Congregationalists), and others now hold similar stances.  While the Episcopal Church is not alone in embracing the LGBTQ community, this is something that sets us apart from perhaps the majority of American Christianity.

If you would like to know more about our liturgy, click on the page "About Our Worship."

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