About the Diocese
The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real is a place of rich diversity and wonderful opportunity. Our identity is founded upon faithful pilgrimage, which means that we travel light, stay in balance, and have the courage to be lost. While this overall concept was designed pre-COVID, we have found that the pandemic blessed us with uncertainty and a call to live our pilgrimage faithfully in ways that are practical and real.
When you look at our diocesan branding, you will see that the scallop shell figures prominently. The scallop shell is a symbol of pilgrimage and a symbol of baptism. At baptism, the scallop shell is used to scoop water from the font and pour it over the head of the candidate for baptism. The scallop shell then represents our ongoing life journey as we live into our Baptismal Covenant.
Three lessons of pilgrimage are: travel light, stay in balance, and have the courage to be lost. “Travel light” is the opportunity to explore what we really need to “Be Church.” During COVID, this revealed itself to be a cell phone or a computer, as we gathered from our homes to engage in Bible Study, Education Series, Pastoral Care, and various liturgies. In fact, we need very little other than ourselves, because we ARE the church. We know that our structures (buildings and polity) exist to support the mission and ministry of the church that we are called to be.
“Stay in Balance” is the ongoing opportunity to balance tradition with innovation. In El Camino Real, we pride ourselves on our ability to move forward quickly, yet not at the expense of our valued Episcopal traditions. We worship in four languages and in many forms, yet our orders of service are clearly Episcopal. Additionally, our desire to move forward—whether it be program or use of our facilities—is accomplished well when we also consider our history. An offshoot of the Diocese of California, our “Little Brown Book” is the journey of our foundation as a Diocese and gives a lot of insight into our desire to balance our past with future possibility.
Being lost takes courage, and as faithful people we live into the uncertainty of what God has in mind for us. “Have the Courage to be Lost” acknowledges that living into our Baptismal Covenant is a daily way of being, and we meet that with confidence that God guides our every step. We know that plans go awry, yet that does not stop our movement forward. We trust that we have everything we need, and that God is in charge.
El Camino Real is our home, and it is the rich mission field that God has entrusted to us. We are blessed to be called to serve in this diocese, a place of innovation, tradition and deep faith.
Find an Episcopal church near you
To find a church in your area, scroll through the listings below or use the Search box to enter a city, zip, street name or church name.
Founded in 1980, El Camino Real was originally part of the Diocese of California. We are named after the Spanish colonial road from Mexico City to Oregon.Read More »
The Right Rev. Lucinda Beth Ashby was ordained and consecrated on January 11, 2020, at Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Saratoga, California. She is the fourth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real, and the second woman bishop to succeed a woman bishop in the history of the Episcopal Church.Meet Bishop Lucinda »
Diocesan staff is here to help support you in your ministry.Meet Our Staff »
Deaneries are regional groupings of parishes in the diocese established by the Diocesan Constitution and Canons. One of their key functions is to elect regional representatives to various diocesan bodies.Read More »
Help the diocese continue its community ministries and realize our vision for the future.
Mission Opportunity Grants
The Mission Opportunity Grant (MOG) is a program created by the Board of Trustees (BOT) and managed by the Mission Commission.
Managed by the Missional Grants Committee, this diocesan program is designed to assist congregations in expanding their missional efforts in the areas of church growth, diversification, and reinforcement.Read More »
The Episcopal Diocese of El Camino Real
B.V. Sargent House
154 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA 93901
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
PO Box 689
Salinas, CA 93902
Phone: (831) 394-4465
Email: [email protected]