We are part of The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts which is made up of 180 congregations in eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the islands, and with them, “We seek to be Christ’s presence in the world as we answer God’s urgent call together.” [source]
Episcopal comes from a Greek word meaning “bishop” or “overseer” and refers to the fact that our church is under the authority of the Bishop of Massachusetts, The Right Reverend Alan M. Gates
The Diocese of Massachusetts was organized in 1784. Samuel Seabury, the first American Bishop was consecrated by bishops of the Scottish Episcopal Church as the Bishop for New England and New York in 1784. This was five years before The Episcopal Church was officially formed in 1789. The Diocese of Western Massachusetts, formed in 1901, has jurisdiction over the western part of the state.
Both diocese in Massachusetts are part of Province One of the Episcopal Church which is made up of diocese in New England (Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Western Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut). “Province 1, which is one of the nine geographical gatherings of dioceses within the Episcopal Church, exists to support the body of Christ. The Mission of Province 1 is to further the work of and deepen relationships in the Episcopal Church in New England. The Province accomplishes this by coordinating the interdependent ministries of its seven dioceses in a spirit of mutual responsibility.” [source]
All Saints Parish, The Diocese of Massachusetts, and Province One are all part of The Episcopal Church, and constituent members of the Anglican Communion. “We are descendants of and partners with the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church, and are part of the third largest group of Christians in the world.
We believe in following the teachings of Jesus Christ, whose life, death, and resurrection saved the world.
We have a legacy of inclusion, aspiring to tell and exemplify God’s love for every human being; women and men serve as bishops, priests, and deacons in our church. Laypeople and clergy cooperate as leaders at all levels of our church. Leadership is a gift from God, and can be expressed by all people in our church, regardless of sexual identity or orientation.*
We believe that God loves you – no exceptions.” [source]
*Episcopal Church Canons (the laws that govern us) state: “No one shall be denied rights, status or access to an equal place in the life, worship, and governance of this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, disabilities or age, except as otherwise specified by Canons.” [source]