About the Episcopal Church in the Bay AreaOur Mission:
Embodied Justice | Church Vitality | Rooted Spirituality | Transparent and Accountable Leadership | Inclusive Community
Visiting Diocesan House
About the Episcopal Church in the Bay Area/Diocese of California (DioCal)
The Episcopal Church in the Bay Area serves a diverse community of faith encompassing the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Approximately 24,000 people form 75 congregations, which are organized into six deaneries (a geographical group of congregations). The Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, and Southern Alameda deaneries cover their respective counties; the Peninsula Deanery consists of all of San Mateo County and a small portion of Santa Clara County.
Our congregations spread the Gospel in many languages. Congregations offering Spanish-language services include St. James, Oakland; La Santísima Trinidad, Richmond; El Buen Pastor, Belmont; and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, San Francisco. Our Saviour, Oakland; True Sunshine, San Francisco; and Church of the Incarnation, San Francisco serve Chinese-speaking congregants; Christ Church-Sei Ko Kai, San Francisco, serves Japanese-Americans; Holy Child and St. Martin’s, Daly City is a congregation offering Asian-American and Filipino ministry; and St. Peter’s, Redwood City, serves the Fijian community.
Our congregations embrace a variety of worship styles. Church of the Advent, San Francisco, offers mass in the Anglo-Catholic tradition. At St. Gregory of Nyssa, San Francisco, congregants dance from one end of the church to the other. St. Clement’s, Berkeley, worships with the 1928 Prayer Book, while St. Augustine’s, Oakland, rejoices in the traditions of African-American music. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the use of video streaming technology in our congregations. You can find a variety of online worship services, Bible Studies, and other programs in the churches of our diocese.
Our Vision is to be the Beloved Community! We do this through our five Beloved Community principles: Embodied Justice, Church Vitality, Rooted Spirituality, Transparent and Accountable Leadership, and Inclusive Community. Read more about the Beloved Community visioning priniciples below.
The Beloved Community, like the Kingdom of God Jesus references in the gospels, is something we catch glimpses of here and now!
More on the Beloved Community
Embodied Justice, like being a Christian, is a way of living rather than a series of actions. Embodied justice is an awareness of how our decisions impact others, and how our decisions are a part of our striving for justice and peace among all people, and respecting the dignity of every human being. To embody justice we must be aware of our immediate surroundings and situations as well as in our communities, our state, our country, and our planet. In addition to impacting our decisions personally, embodying justice leads us to advocate on behalf of the voiceless to work for a just, beloved community. We embody justice by intentionally working against discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or age; standing in solidarity with the poor and marginalized; and caring for God’s creation with reverence.
Rooted Spirituality reminds Christians that they are not only Christian on Sunday morning but also all the time, and that following Christ extends into all portions of their lives. Those whose spirituality is rooted engage their Christianity in their day-to-day habits and behaviors, and are comfortable proclaiming by word and example the Good News of God in Christ. Rooted spirituality builds a network of resources for prayer, study, support and nurturing. A rooted spirituality is one that is deep and holds the truths of the Good News close at hand even in the midst of life’s difficulties. Through vital education and renewal ministries, communities of Christian discipleship, and formation in the Episcopal tradition with informed respect for other traditions all root spirituality.
Inclusive Community requires asking the question “Who is not at this table with us?” particularly looking at our every day lives and at the neighborhood around our churches. More than seeking a marginalized or underrepresented demographic, inclusive community invites all people to come and feast at the table. Inclusive communities have leadership composed of people from all walks of life. Rather than tolerating diversity, inclusive community celebrates diversity as a gift created by God in whose image we are all made. Inclusive community incorporates all people without regard to race, class, gender, sexual orientation or disability, including meaningful participation of all ages — children, youth, and elders; and being attentive to the prophetic voices among us.
Church Vitality requires moving from maintaining our established and set structures to creating communities that are growing and thriving. Growing based solely on numbers is hardly an indication of vitality; when churches are vital they are places that grow members’ spirituality as they work to be disciples of Jesus. Vital churches are also those that engage not only themselves, but make a difference in their surrounding community. Church vitality in the beloved community needs the community to be vital. It encourages evangelism, growth, and new expressions of church, and adopts missional practices of worship and outreach. Vital churches collaborate between one another and express creativity and joy in the proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Transparent and Accountable Leadership
Transparent and Accountable Leadership models how Christians are to live their lives — as Jesus says in John 3, doing what is true in the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God. Transparent leadership is clear about how decisions are made and seeks to make processes more opened than closed. Accountable leadership values the discernment that happens in community and is open to hearing and acting on feedback. Transparent and accountable leadership build beloved community by not keeping secrets while motivated by fear, but sharing what is good and from God.