The Episcopal Church is descended
from the Church of England, and
through the consecration of bishops, has roots all the way back to Jesus
and his original followers. The Church of
England developed during the 16th century, as it moved away
from being overseen by the Pope but did not reject its Catholic origins.
Thus, the Church of England grew to
be called the via media, or the "middle way," between what
became known as the Protestant churches and the Roman
Catholic Church. In this way, churches in the Anglican
Communion are both Protestant and Catholic, and maintain traditions
found in both of those branches of Christianity.
[The Episcopal Church] started when the United
States started in 1789.
Members of the Church of England started
a new, independent church to go along with their new, independent
country, and it was based on a lot of the same principles. While we are
self-governing, the Episcopal Church
maintains a relationship, based on common faith, traditions, history,
and use of the Book of Common Prayer, with the Church of England and
more than 30 other Anglican churches all over the world. All churches in
this tradition make up the Anglican Communion. SOURCE