What is #myepiscopalidentity?

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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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Christopher Stephen Jenks, BSG
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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.

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Finley Morton
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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.

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Nancy C Lea
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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.

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Leslie Marshall
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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.

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Yvonne Finne
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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.

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Joan Gundersen
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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.

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