The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia

Who is the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia?

The Episcopal Diocese of Olympia traces its history to the establishment of the Missionary Jurisdiction of the Oregon and Washington Territories in 1853. We are also known as the Episcopal Church in Western Washington. Admitted by General Convention in 1910, the Diocese of Olympia is made up of more than 26,000 Episcopalians in more than 100 worshiping communities through Western Washington. Our geographic area stretches south from Canada to Oregon and west from the foothills of the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific Ocean.

Through worship we:

  • Affirm our faith
  • Pray together
  • Reconcile together
  • Share peace and thanksgiving together
  • Gain strength and renewal through Eucharist
  • Prepare ourselves to minister to the world.

We share hope in God’s incredibly extensive grace to forgive all repentant people.

Our congregations cover a whole range of sizes and stages of development. Several affiliated institutions and numerous outreach and social justice ministries as well as a number of multicultural ministries are supported by the whole diocese.

In union with our Bishop, the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, part of the Jesus Movement, bears witness to God’s redemptive reign and acts out God’s inclusive love, peace, and justice, uniquely living out this call within our specific local communities. We are:

  • Locally Centered: Instead of operating from a “top-down” model that prizes centralized leadership, we believe that each congregation must be free to live out this vision in a way that best meets the unique needs of their specific community.
  • Networked Communities: We believe that our more than 100 worshiping communities are stronger when there are connections that allow our congregations to share stories, resources, challenges, and triumphs with one another.
  • Forming Christian Leaders: We are committed to equipping and empowering a community who is learning, growing, and gathering regularly to proclaim the good news of God as revealed in the life, ministry, and witness of Jesus Christ.
  • Sacrament & Service: We are a liturgical community that is rooted in our common prayer and our celebration of Holy Eucharist, which forms us and prepares us to step beyond our church walls and serve our neighborhoods, our towns and cities, and the world.

Bishop Greg Rickel

The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel was elected bishop on May 12, 2007 and became the eighth Bishop of Olympia in September 2007. He embraces radical hospitality that welcomes all, no matter where they find themselves on their journey of faith. He envisions a church that is a safe and authentic community in which to explore God’s infinite goodness and grace as revealed in the life and continuing revelation of Jesus Christ.

The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion

The Diocese of Olympia is one of 108 dioceses in the 2.4 million member Episcopal Church, and is one of 39 provinces in relationship originating with the 85 million member Anglican Communion, which spans 165 countries worldwide.