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#myepiscopalidentity

#myepiscopalidentity

Last week we asked what does being Episcopal mean? And we invited you to offer up your own answers.  We had some wonderful responses in the comments of that post.

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

and Brandon offered: 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.

BTW, please use First and Last names when commenting 🙂

And Joe Rawls offered this:

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.

 

And on Facebook we posed the same question, and got lots of excellent responses, including these;

Katrina Soto I see myself as progressing towards being the person Jesus wants me to be. I listen to what Jesus says and ask myself if I am a reflection of His words. Most of the time I fall short; but I am a work in progress, and if I’m getting it right once in a while, then I think I’m on the right track. I see my church as supporting this goal. To me, one of the most important things in the BCP is the promise we make at Baptism to respect the dignity of every human being. That is the crux of what being an Episcopalian is, to me. Respecting people’s dignity means so much. Housing the homeless, feeding the hungry, visiting the shut-in, for a start. And realizing that every person is beloved by God. Every person

Jennifer Smith Dunn My Episcopal identity is wrapped up in the beautiful mystery of faith, listening for and watching where the Holy Spirit takes me. My Good Book points to a larger truth – God still speaks to us today. Are we listening?

and

Derrick Miller The church I see around me is a church that is not afraid and a church that engages with and loves the world around it, a church that is not at war with science and our moment in history. A church that looks forward to a possible future rather than back to a romanticized past

 

Twitter also offered some, such as;

and

While Erin Keniston sent us an email;

My identity as an Episcopalian is so basic to who I am that it goes right down to bedrock. I think of myself as an Episcopalian. The Episcopal church has shaped me in so many ways – the liturgy has shaped my language; the music has shaped my brain; the common Table has informed my conception of what an organized group of communicants should be. I grew up in the Episcopal Church and my dad is an Episcopal priest. I can’t say I “love” the Episcopal Church – it is PART OF ME just like my gender, my nationality, my sense of self.
My identity as an Episcopalian is so intrinsic to who I am that I can’t even imagine being anything else. The social justice currently being debated on the international level makes me worry not one bit. The Church and I match so well – I can’t imagine another organized religious group that could possibly represent my beliefs (or lack of them) better. It’s impossible for me to say whether it’s just a happy accident, or that the Church has formed and shaped me.

 

And some bloggers have also taken time to answer;

Maggie Nancarrow, a self described “Marker Artist, Youth Director and general Smarty Pants” answered the question at her blog where she starts with Christ and scripture – but the big draw is communion;

“I love hearing the stories of the Bible, but communion is why I come to church. It is the promise, every Sunday, that God chooses to become a bit of bread and a drop of wine, so that I may be fed by God Stuff, nourished by God’s own self. It’s crazy. It’s bogus. It’s a little bit cannibalistic. But if you really think about it, it’s supremely radical: that God feeds every person, regardless of race, class, age, or the state of your soul, with not just some useful food, but with the very makeup of the divine itself.”

oh, and also “incense.”

 

Steve Caruso, who blogs at The Thing That is Steve also responded;

What makes me an Episcopalian? It’s in my DNA.

The 8th Sacrament

It’s a long tradition in my family carried by my mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother, and further back my family line. It’s a mantle that I now bear, and by example live and share with my children.

It is a Christian faith that sees the importance of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason – all as equals. It’s a faith that doesn’t make windows into other peoples’ souls. It’s a faith that strives to agree upon matters of importance, but allows a wide range of differing opinions and expressions with everything else. It is a faith that loves music. It’s a faith that recognizes the Creeds, the universal, catholic church, and the unbroken line of Bishops that trace all the way back to Jesus’ Disciples. And it is a faith that shows how the way we pray – together in Common Prayer – also shows the way that we believe. Lex orandi, lex credendi.

 

Of course not everyone’s response was necessarily positive;

there’s this:

but also heartfelt responses, such as this;

“I am, however, troubled by the “my” in the hashtag…
What is troublesome is the word “my” flies in the face of our theological understanding of the faith and what it means to be Church.
The Episcopal Church isn’t “mine” – it is God’s and I am called into it by grace. In the same way, the Sacraments are not “mine” – they are the means of Grace given as gift by Christ to the Church. The Scripture isn’t “mine” – it’s a gathering of holy books belonging to all the faithful through the Church (and 2/3 of it we share with our Jewish sisters and brothers). #myepiscopalidentity is supporting a view of the church as “mine” – a form of religious privatization which makes the individual the focus and locus of the faith and not Christ and the Church.

 

All in all though, its been refreshing to see so many positive and heartfelt responses.  For so many, perhaps even most Episcopalians, our faith and our traditions are treasures of great value and deeply felt.  Do go check out the responses and if you’d like to share your answer, just comment on this post or at Facebook or Twitter, or anywhere else you’d like, just use the hashtag #myepiscopalidentity and maybe send us a note to let us know..

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