Monday, March 24, 2014

Why I am Episcopalian - the Elevator Pitch

Ever walked into a place you’d never been and felt at home almost immediately?  I did the first time I entered an Episcopal church and it changed me for life.
Why was it so great? From the opening procession with the cross in front to the recessional again following that cross it was an exercise for all my senses. I heard and read prayers and liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer. I spoke to, shook hands with and occasionally hugged my neighbors. I smelled the beeswax and incense. I tasted the Body and Blood of Christ in the bread and wine of the Eucharist. It involved my whole body and spirit.

There was a wealth of scripture, three or four different texts every week, not just a single text for the sermon. The BCP is rich with scripture in which the whole assembly participates. Episcopalians take the Bible very seriously, just not necessarily literally.

The Episcopal Church encourages me to not just sit and listen but to engage with scripture, tradition and the community of the church plus my reason and experience to know what I believe, why I believe it and how to share it. It encourages me to be like the Samaritan woman at the well, running to tell everyone some good news. It encourages me to go out and serve others in Christ’s name and for his sake.

And it reminds me that I am not just some wretched hopeless sinner but God’s beloved child.

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