There are a lot of these lists going around, but in light of the current sanctions imposed by the Anglican Communion against The Episcopal Church, I felt it was time to throw my #EpiscopalPride out there.
Why I am sticking with a church the Anglican Communion is afraid of:
- I can be who I am, openly, and expect full inclusion in the life of the church – that means female or male or trans*, gay or straight or queer, black or white or tan, democrat or republican or libertarian, old or young or middle-aged, famous or not, etc.
- I can be ordained as a deacon, priest, bishop, or presiding bishop as a female. And I can be ordained and have a husband or wife. And sex. And children.
- I know I can find comfort in the liturgy at any Episcopal service I attend. It’s the same every week. I can follow the service in any language and know what’s being said. It’s predictable. Did someone say BCP?
- We are adaptive to the changes of the modern world and take prayerful action to be part of today, not yesterday. We are constantly considering the scriptures as they relate to the world today so we can remain relevant.
- We allow room for embracing beliefs and practices of different religions and cultures. My faith is stronger because of this. The Episcopal Church does not close its doors or punish and condemn its members for appreciating a range of beliefs and ideas. In fact, I think one of our strengths is our collaborative spirit.
- I’m encouraged to question anything, knowing that chances are I’ll then be able to engage in a loving, powerful conversation where both I and my priest/friend/bishop/committee will learn more about our own faith journeys.
- Our governing structure is largely democratic. Lay people’s votes carry the same weight as those by clergy, with one exception for bishops – but all political changes are debated and voted on by many committees as well as by both laypeople/clergy and bishops before becoming church law.
- We don’t operate as a church that requires a middle-person between people and God. We don’t like hierarchy in that way. We trust people to have an open relationship with and to be able to communicate freely with God without an intermediary.
- We’re a missionary church in everything we do, by definition and official corporate title. And our job is not to convert people to think like us – that’s not our interpretation of being evangelists. We show the love of Jesus with no strings attached because that’s what the gospel is. That’s what we are called to do – love.
- We really know how to hug. Have you hugged an Episcopalian today?