What is #myepiscopalidentity?

In light of the ongoing debates within the Anglican Communion, we’ve been wondering how Episcopalians understand their identity as Episcopalians.  So, we thought we’d just ask.  You can submit a regular submission for publication or write a post on your own blog or tumblr or add a photo to Instagram or maybe even make a new Pinterest board or whatever.  Just use the hashtag #myepiscopalidentity and send us a Facebook message, Tweet or email (newsteam@episcopalcafe.com) to give us a heads up.  We’ll share as many as we can and we look forward to hearing from you!

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  1. Mary Beth Wright

    I was born and raised in the Episcopal church. I believe I have
    not considered myself as a strong and active Episcopalian, since
    for the past twelve years, I no longer drive and have had to depend on someone to take me to church. (I was in a big car
    accident that has made my right leg permanently disabled) I have also fallen twice and have had a broken tibia. Therefore inhibiting me to attend church on a regular basis for the past six years. But I always persevere and always return to The Cathedral of St. James in South Bend,IN.

    • Pat Hardy

      Mary Beth, God certainly understands your difficulty in physically attending church. To be a faithful child of Christmas does not require physical attendance. Ask your priest if you can receive home communion and visits. The important thing is your continued relationship with God.

  2. Rodney

    The church of my youth became the church of my dreams — love, joy, and peace. For all

  3. David Wynne

    Eucharist, BCP, three legs, via media, live and let live in community of believers.

  4. Bob Coghill

    I am one of those ecumenical Episcopalians. I attend church Sundays and on Saint days and Wednesday meetings. I have been a S.S. teacher and lay positions in worship. I am going thru a period of discernment. I am a Liberal.
    I spent 10 years at an ELCA Lutheran in my 40s.
    Also, lived in a small village and the Catholics were the only sacremental church, so attended w/o taking sacrament.
    I am now a member of an Episcopal church and a really liberal Methodist church.

  5. Anthony Clavier

    I was baptized as a baby, in the Church of England. I’ve exercised my priesthood in TEC for the past fifteen years. I have family in the Church of the Province of the West Indies. I have family in the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church in Wales. I consider myself to be Merely Anglican.

  6. God took on flesh in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, who rose bodily from the dead and remains present for us in the Eucharist. He wants us to unite with him. I do this through the BCP, the Creeds, private prayer and Biblical pondering, reading theology, and various forms of social outreach. TEC is very much a mixed bag but it’s my community.

  7. Anthony Christiansen

    Catholic, reformed, intelligent, inclusive, willing to question itself and therefore, by definition, not infallible. A Church where the Christ who is proclaimed would recognize himself.

  8. Brandon

    Grew up in the Baptist Church, I was baptized as an Episcopalian at the young age of 30. Gay but actually libertarian in my politics. The Episcopal Church for me is a place where difference in opinions is literally welcomed. Get a room full of Episcopalians together and we are not all going to agree on everything. However, our disagreements don’t make us any less Episcopalian or Christian and I love to acknowledge this.

  9. I am a five generation Episcopalian and two members of my family were clergy as I am. I value the middle road through catholic orthodox and Protestantism that I find in the 1979 prayer book although I was brought up on the more penitential 1928 BCP/ I cherish the combination of liturgy sacraments etc. in my worship. I also value the TEC polity, have been active in GC and count clergy and bishops among family friends. My grandchildren make it 7 generations.

  10. Lloyd Spiegel

    I was baptized Roman Catholic to my Roman Catholic mom and Lutheran father. My dad, God bless him, had a disagreement with the Priest in our parish over tithing and there was this beautiful, old Episcopal church right in town. I was confirmed Episcopal. Over the years I have disagreed with TEC on a variety of things and have left the church on a couple of occasions. But I have always consider it my church, where I belong. I have come to believe the most important things we are called to do are not who is marrying who, or if my Priest is a gay woman or is trans-gendered. We have a much higher purpose with or without the Anglican Communion, with or without the support of GAFCON, the Global South or the ACNA. I have actually become an Eucharistic Minister in my Parish. I am where I belong, where I feel God has called me to be.

  11. Joan Gundersen

    I am a 7th generation Episcopalian who researches the history of the Church, especially the roles of women. None of my family are or have been clergy, but we helped found at least 2 parishes. I cherish the breadth of a church whose members included both early feminists and anti-feminists, abolitionists and slave owners, industrialists and socialists, a church that blends Protestant and catholic traditions, fights over worship traditions BECAUSE worship is what holds us together, not a long set of doctrines, gives people room to think, and searches for the middle way.

  12. Yvonne Finne

    I was raised Southern Baptist and lived for quite a while in a Baptist Children’s Home. I became Episcopalian in 1985 with the birth of our son. Since then I have grown into a vocal supporter of the New Testament covenant, a Cursillista, a mentor through EfM, and a member of whatever singing group is available to me. I consider myself a person with fiercely examined faith that has become very stark, in that I believe in a minimalist approach to church decor, prayers, teachings and worship. I do recognize that statement leaves one wondering. For example, I find myself “put off” by large floral arrangements; I wish the money had spent on education or outreach, even if it’s in the budget. For me that is a distracting and an unnecessary adornment. I’m lucky to have found a wonderful parish where no seems to mind.

  13. Nancy C Lea

    I am still a strong Episcopalian but feel very let-down by my parish “family” in the way I was forgotten after a series of injuries left me with no choice but to stay near home most of the time…my name has been on the prayer list for 5 years now, yet nobody calls or comes by. It’s very disheartening..very different from my NEW YORK parish when I had gotten mugged and could hardly stop the parade of visitors and helpers! I still love my church and look forward to getting back into more regular attendance, but, the hurt, and sense of not “belonging” is hard to deal with.

    • Leslie Marshall

      I’m praying for you Nancy, my heart goes out to you.

      “LORD, may those who fear you rejoice when they see me, for I have put my hope in your Word…May your unfailing love be my comfort according to your promise to your servant. Let your compassion come to me, that I may live, for your law is my delight….preserve my life according to your love.” from Psalm 119.

      love, leslie.

  14. Finley Morton

    At age 14, I became unhappy with the teachings of the church that I was in. I checked out five books from the library and studied for six months. I was confirmed in St. Mark’s in Beaumont Texas by Bishop John Hines. I joined the choir and now, 62 years later sing at St. Martin’s in Houston.

  15. Christopher Stephen Jenks, BSG

    I was raised in the Episcopal Church in the 1960s. My dad was a priest and served as vicar of St. Peter’s Chelsea in NYC, just up the street from the General Seminary. I attended St. Luke’s School in Greenwich Village, which was operated by St. Luke’s Chapel of Trinity Parish (now the Church of St. Luke-in-the-Fields) where I sang on Sundays in the boys’ choir. I remained actively involved in the church through college, and in 1987 I was admitted to the Brotherhood of St. Gregory. For the past 20+ years I have lived and worked with men who are mentally ill and dealing with substance abuse as the primary way I live out my apostolate.

    I guess I could best categorize myself as “Progressive Anglo-Catholic.” I am quite traditional when it comes to the most basic doctrines of Christianity (I recite the Nicene Creed without crossing my fingers). I much prefer traditionally structured liturgies and I’m suspicious with liturgical innovation that too often comes across as gimmicky. However I am very progressive when it comes to social issues, such as same-sex marriage, and I hold political views that could best be described as Christian Socialist. I believe these views are in accord with gospel values.

  16. Identity –
    1. The way we worship: Book of Common Prayer, Ancient rites & rituals, sacraments, the use of music/hymnody, art, etc… all that draw us in and closer to God.
    2. The way we are governed: Bishops, Priests, Deacons, Laypeople. Keeping the scriptural orders of ministry and teaching handed down by the apostles.
    3. The way we engage theology: scripture, tradition, and reason.

  17. Baptized EC, worship in the ACNA, middle of road between Anglo-Catholic & evangelical/Puritan

  18. Gregory Orloff

    For me, the beauty of Episcopal identity is found in how it seeks to love God and neighbor in Christ Jesus through the inspiring values of the Baptismal Covenant, the fourfold ministry of the Church (lay people, deacons, presbyters and bishops), the liturgical finesse of the Book of Common Prayer, and a healthy aversion to triumphalism that makes generous room for asking questions, admitting mistakes, asking forgiveness and correcting course. Those traits keep me coming back to my local Episcopal church.

  19. Justin Ivatts

    As someone who was born, baptized, confirmed and spent my first twenty seven years in the Church of England but have recently been ordained in the Episcopal Church I regard my Anglican identity as very important.

  20. Cynthia Katsarelis

    On my Dad’s side my grandparents arrived in the 1910’s and I was raised Greek Orthodox. On my mother’s side we settled Virginia and my ninth great grandfather was on the founding vestry of Bruton Church, Williamsburg.

    Most of all, I love the sacraments that bring the real presence of Jesus to us each Sunday, and that are outward signs of inward Grace. I love the fellowship around that, as well as a Baptismal Covenant that requires us to love our neighbors as ourselves, seek Christ in all people, and work for justice and dignity of all people. I love a theology that recognizes each person as created in the Image of God and the radical implications of that in a hurting world. I love how TEC discerns revelation through the diverse voices of the many, rather that the few in the status quo.

    I love worshiping in my travels, in Haiti, the UK, and Europe where the prayers, the breaking of the bread, and the creeds are recognizable, as are many of the hymns. What unites is us is far stronger than what divides us, sadly, this fact is lost on many “leaders,” but not the people.

  21. Anne Bay

    Enjoyed reading all the sharings. My mother and dad both became Episcopalians while attending the University of Kansas and they were active in the Canterbury Club. My dad was a Presbyterian all through high school and my mother came from a long and historically pioneering Methodist Minister in Kansas. They were both extremely bright-Phi Beta Kappa, etc. and felt they had found where they wanted to be. My dad eventually-after he served in W.W.2 overseas-became a priest in 1948-the year I was born. I have always been extremely proud to be an Episcopalian and will always be so. The church has gone through a lot of ups and downs, changes and discussions since I was born, and no doubt will continue to do so. I hope so. A church that digs its heels in the dirt and refuses to change -discuss-listen to new scientific discoveries-open to new information on human physiology, climate, research findings, etc. etc. is not one I would want to belong to! Change is the key word for the universe. My mother said she wanted to belong to the Episcopal Church because its where you were encouraged to use your brain! I couldn’t say it better. The amount of ignorance in the evangelical parts of religion scares the “heck” out of me and a lot of young people I know. Like the new Canadian Premier said when he was questioned why his cabinet was so diverse-ie. women, LGBT, etc., he simply said “It’s 2016!” And so it is. But the world has changed a lot from when I was little, and most of the young people I know don’t have any religious affiliation with any organized church. I think the future will be one of finding one’s own spirituality, not what I grew up in, and that’s fine with me. Being flexible, open spiritually seeking, is a good way to go. Rigidity is a killer!

  22. JC Fisher

    Where I meet Jesus, where I eat Jesus! Since birth, and going strong 54 years now…

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