Note: since publishing this post, I have left the Church. Here is why: Ableism Killed My Christianity.
I encourage you to read it, as it overshadows this ‘top ten’ list.
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?
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10 thoughts on “Ten Reasons I Am Proud to Be An Episcopalian”
One of my main reasons for loving the Episcpal Church is that we do not define sin in the same light as so many other denominations do. For instance our church does not consider consumption of alcohol to be a sin. For me, though it is. I cannot handle alcohol and have been in AA for many years. Therefore I will not sin by drinking?
Father Ed Gustafson aka el video sacradote fao.
I like the Episcopal Church for many reasons. I believe most of what is in the liturgy and I also know that if I question some portion that’s OK. I love the music and can feel the sense of love.
You put an asterisk next to trans in #1, but then there is no explanation later on.. I’m wondering what that might have been?!?
The asterisk signifies that it could be transgender or transsexual.
I am proud to be Episcopalian as well, one reason being we are inclusive. We are an embracing, accepting and forgiving bunch, and in so being, are called on to bear witness to our faith. It is honorable and right to welcome same gender couples into our congregations and worship. But we also must include in the same way, those within our faith that do not believe in same gender marriages, (old school Episcopalians if you will) or those who are more literally grounded in Biblical teaching. In there lies the issue at hand.
Nowhere that I know of in the Bible are same sex relations sanctioned, quite the contrary. However, applying Christ’s teachings with reason to our society today, I think most Episcopalians would view the issue as an opportunity to compassionately deal with this topic, while recognizing that we are not always of one mind. It is that very diversity that makes our Church so embracing, making room for all with respect, acceptance and love.
It is not solely the majority of Anglican Primates, but many Episcopalians feel there is a distinction between the ‘blessing of same-sex unions’ and the ‘sacrament of holy matrimony’. Honoring and recognizing these differences in no way diminishes the power of it; it strengthens it.
This debate over same-sex marriage (distinct from the blessing of unions) will likely continue for the next three years and beyond in the Anglican council and here at home; these sanctions are not a good thing but the discussion of how to deal with the issue is.
Through this process, we as Episcopalians can demonstrate to the Anglican community, what it truly means to love our neighbors as ourselves and, at the same time, living out our diversity in faith … I think we are called to do both.
I stumbled onto your blog via someone’s Facebook post. I love this. If I may comment, however, I have an issue with the phrasing of #4. Are we adaptable to remain relevant? I like being adaptable not to be relevant but to follow Jesus when time and circumstances change. I support inclusivity because I feel Jesus would, not because we want to be relevant. Does that make sense (no guarantee since I just woke up;). Anyway, keep up the good work.
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Thank you Reverend Run, I really appreciate your insightful comment and I think we are on the same page regarding our believe in learning what it means to follow Jesus when time and circumstances change – in so many words this is indeed one of the definitions of remaining relevant, in my opinion. I can see where my phrasing could be developed and interpreted from any angle. Since I just woke up myself, I look forward to revisiting your comment and #4 from a more awake brain where I can meditate prayerfully about it. Thanks!
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I’m with you on all but #4. I get the values of comfort and universality. And in my church (St Mark’s in DC) we vary our liturgy to keep ourselves engaged. And thanks for the list. Rm
Thank you so much for reminding me x
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