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The Larger Church

Church of Our Saviour is part of the Diocese of Chicago which includes more than 30,000 Episcopalians in 122 congregations spread across 21 counties in northern and west central Illinois. The bishop of our diocese is the Right Reverend Paula E. Clark who was elected on December 12, 2020 and ordained and consecrated on September 17, 2022 as the thirteenth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago. She is the first Black person and the first woman to hold the position.


The Rt. Rev. Paula E. Clark

Clark, who previously served as canon to the ordinary and chief of staff in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, was chosen unanimously on the fourth ballot in an election conducted on Zoom from a slate originally composed of four candidates. She received 229 clergy votes and 284 lay votes.

Clark was baptized into the Episcopal Church at age 10 by Bishop John Walker, the first Black dean of Washington National Cathedral and first Black bishop of the Diocese of Washington. She received her undergraduate education at Brown University and earned a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of California, Berkeley.

Before entering the seminary, Clark served as public information officer for the Office of the Mayor and the District of Columbia’s Board of Parole for nine years and spent five

years as director of human resources and administration for an engineering and consulting firm in the District.​In 2004, she received a Master of Divinity degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia, and served at St. Patrick’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D. C. and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Beltsville, Maryland, before joining the staff of Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde. Her work for the diocese focused initially on clergy development and multicultural and justice issues.


​The bishop describes herself as “the proud matriarch of our blended family of five adult children and seven grandchildren.” Her beloved husband, Andrew McLean, died in 2021.

Christ-centered, inclusive, sustained by prayer and committed to service, the Diocese of Chicago devotes itself to three simple goals: Grow the Church. Form the faithful. Change the world.​


Rooted in the church’s Anglo-Catholic tradition, we are strengthened by a diversity of cultural, liturgical and theological expression. Our diocese is known for its emphasis on leadership and congregational development.


Our commitment to social witness and community service is expressed through the work of Episcopal Charities and Community Services, and a variety of diocesan and parish-based initiatives.​


St. James Cathedral, Chicago

We are proud to be one of the 111 domestic and overseas dioceses comprising The Episcopal Church, one of the 42 member churches, or provinces, of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The Diocesan offices are located at 65 E. Huron and our diocesan 'mother church' is Saint James Cathedral located in downtown Chicago. 

What is an Episcopalian?

The Episcopal church was organized after the American Revolution, when it became separate from the Church of England, whose clergy are required to swear allegiance to the British monarch as Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The Episcopal Church describes itself as "Protestant, yet catholic" and asserts apostolic succession, tracing its bishops back to the first Apostles. 

The Episcopal Church has members in the United States and the territory of Puerto Rico; and also in Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Venezuela, Curacao, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Haiti, Honduras, Micronesia, Taiwan, and the Virgin Islands. The Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and traces its heritage to the beginnings of Christianity.

  • As Episcopalians, we are followers of Jesus Christ, our Lord, and we believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

  • We strive to love our neighbors as ourselves and respect the dignity of every person.

  • Our liturgy retains ancient structure and traditions and is celebrated in many languages.

  • All persons, including those who are married, are eligible for ordination as deacons, priests and bishops, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.


  • We believe in amendment of life, the forgiveness of sin, and life everlasting.

  • Lay people exercise a vital role in the governance and ministry of our church.

  • Holy Communion may be received by all baptized Christians, not only members of the Episcopal Church.


  • We affirm that issues such as birth control are matters of personal informed conscience.

  • We celebrate our unity in Christ while honoring our differences, always putting the work of love before uniformity of opinion.


  • All are welcome to find a spiritual home in the Episcopal Church.



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