The Episcopal Church (TEC) is one of the 38 independent churches of the worldwide Anglican Communion that trace their roots to the Church of England. Each of these churches use its own version of the English Book of Common Prayer. The prayer book contains the liturgies for Sunday worship, communion, and baptism, and other services for particular occasions such as marriage and burial. The Episcopal Church uses the Book of Common Prayer, 1979. Our presiding bishop is the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry.
Each of the churches of the Anglican communion is self-governing. The General Convention of TEC meets every three years to approve changes to the church’s canons (laws) and to set policy. The Episcopal Church is organized into one hundred dioceses across the country. Each of these elects its own bishop. St. Stephen’s is part of the Diocese of Indianapolis, which covers south and central Indiana. Our bishop is the Right Reverend Jennifer Baskerville Burrows. (Click here for links to help you learn more about the Episcopal church and its ministries.)
Lay people and clergy actively participate in the liturgy and decision making of the Episcopal church. At St. Stephen’s lay persons read lessons, lead the Prayers of the People, and help administer the elements at communion. Our rector, the Rev. Drew Downs, preaches and officiates at worship services, and our perpetual deacon, the Rev. Deborah Veach helps lead worship and service projects. (Click here for a helpful overview of a deacon’s duties.) An elected vestry of nine parishioners and the rector manage the parish’s business. (Click here for more information about our vestry.)