SALT LAKE CITY — The day The Right Rev. Daniel Sylvester Tuttle of New York state, the Episcopal Church's newly appointed missionary bishop of Montana, Idaho and Utah, arrived in Salt Lake City the summer of 1867, he wrote the following in his journal:
"Having spent a whole week in the mail coach from Denver, we arrived safely at Salt Lake City. Laus Deo (Praise (be) to God).
"In the evening, I preached at Independence Hall. The Revs. and Msgrs. Goddard, Miller Foote and Haskins were present."
His trip by stage coach came after riding cross-country from the East Coast to Denver by train.
Within five years of his arrival, the Episcopal Church started the first non-Mormon school in Utah, commenced construction of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark and launched St. Mark's Hospital.
Throughout his years as bishop, The Right Rev. Tuttle was on the road, traveling by horse and buggy to the far reaches of Montana and Idaho to minister to the needs of Episcopalians there, each baptism, wedding and funeral carefully logged in his meticulously neat handwritten journal.
Fast forward to 2015. The Right Rev. Scott Hayashi is the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Utah, consecrated Nov. 6, 2010.
The diocese no longer owns schools or a hospital — it was sold in 1987 — but its outreach is felt in other significant ways.
It houses hundreds of low-income seniors and people with disabilities at one of the five Housing and Urban Development-subsidized complexes it owns in Salt Lake, Davis, Weber and Box Elder counties.
It nurtures the minds, bodies and souls of inner-city youth in Ogden through its Youth Impact program.
It distributes food and personal care items to thousands of needy people from Hildegarde’s Pantry, at 231 E. 100 South in Salt Lake City.
The primary responsibility of the Episcopal Church in Utah is to minister to the spiritual needs of some 5,000 followers in the state, Hayashi said.
The Episcopal Church in Utah focuses on individuals' relationships with God, the church, the larger community and the world.
As the diocese website states, "Whoever you are, wherever you come from, you are welcome among us."
The Episcopal Church was the second faith group to establish a presence in Utah, after The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Within days of his arrival to Utah, Bishop Tuttle met with then-LDS Church President Brigham Young.
"On July 9, 1867, Tuttle called on Brigham Young, in the company of George Foote and Warren Hussey, a recently arrived business entrepreneur and Episcopal lay leader. Earlier Hussey said Young was tired of the abuse heaped on the Latter-day Saints, and welcomed Episcopalians who 'are men of education and better sense; they are gentlemen and any gentleman is welcome here, no matter what his creed,'" Frederick Quinn wrote in his book, "Building the 'Fellowship of Faith,' A History of the Episcopal Church in Utah, 1867-1996."
Despite their different beliefs and practices, Bishop Tuttle apparently maintained a professional relationship with the early LDS Church because President Young was the single largest donor toward construction of the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, said diocese spokesman Craig Wirth.
The cathedral was occupied in May 1871. It is the oldest continuously used worship building in Utah and the third oldest Episcopal cathedral in the United States.
In its early days in Utah, the Episcopal Church worked predominantly in communities populated by railroad workers and miners. Many of those parishes remain, as does St. Elizabeth's Episcopal Church in Whiterocks, Uintah County, which has a long-standing relationship with the Ute tribe.
The proceeds of the sale of St. Mark's Hospital were placed in a trust. While the Bureau of Indian Affairs covers some medical costs of tribal members who are part of the Whiterocks parish, the diocese helps with expenses, too, Wirth said.
Throughout its history in Utah, the Episocopal Church has consistently led out on political issues and social justice causes, whether it was Bishop Otis Charles' staunch opposition to the U.S. Air Force's plan to place MX missiles in 7,000 silos in western Utah and eastern Nevada or Bishop Hayashi's recent lobbying efforts urging Medicaid reform in Utah and to curb gun violence nationwide.
The Right Rev. Paul Jones, bishop of Utah's diocese, was a socialist and outspoken pacifist, often speaking out against World War I. In the spring of 1918, he yielded to growing presure to step down as bishop, although the Episcopal Church later named a saint day in his honor.
While the Episcopal Church's beliefs differ from those of many other major faiths in Utah, most churches work well together on interfaith activities.
"The need to work for the common good is more important than the need to be right," Bishop Hayashi said.
During the Episcopal Church's upcoming General Convention in Utah, spouses of bishops, clergy and lay leaders will conduct a service project at the LDS Church's Welfare Square. The LDS Church will provide transportation, tours, foodstuffs and training on its canning process. All food that is canned will be donated to Episcopal food banks.
Also during the convention, the Episcopal Diocese of Utah will host "The Utah Showcase" at the Salt Lake Tabernacle on July 1. The 90-minute event will feature the state's many faiths and cultures. Wirth said the LDS Church offered the Tabernacle as a venue for the event because of its proximity to the Salt Palace Convention Center. The evening's events will also feature a performance by a Tabernacle organist.
Interestingly, the original Tabernacle was the venue of the first Anglican Episcopal service held by a traveling priest shortly after it was built in the 1850s, Wirth said.
Bishop Hayashi said for the immediate future of the Episcopal Church in Utah, he believes the church will continue to forge bonds with other faiths on issues of common concern and advocate on issues of social justice.
The Episcopal Church's upcoming General Convention will highlight the denomination's long-standing worship traditions and theology. But it is also a dynamic church that is increasingly diverse and democratic and that makes thoughtful and prayerful change to its practices and policies, Bishop Hayashi said. It is both "ancient and modern," he said.
"I think it is one of our great strengths."
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