09 July 2006

My Opinion

I was born an American, but I, as an adult, choose to be an Episcopalian. I grew up in a Baptist congregation, but the balance of the three legged stool, the beauty of the liturgy, the poetic language of the Book of Common Prayer, the encouragement to use the mind one had been given by God, the rhythmic cycle of the church year, the unbroken chain of the Apostolic Succession, and the richness of our Anglican traditions drew me in. From the first Episcopal service I attended at Grace, Astoria, I knew I had found my spiritual home. I remember being impressed in Confirmation class when I learned that the Episcopal Church had even remained united throughout the war that was civil in name only. I knew I wanted to be part of a church where we value our relationships in Christ over the issues that divide us.

Furthermore I would like to point out that in the 25th Chapter of Matthew, when our Lord separates the sheep from the goats, His main concern seems to be about how the different groups treated “the least of these.” We are told “Come, you that are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave Me food, I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed Me, I was naked and you gave Me clothing, I was sick and you took care of Me, I was in prison and you visited Me.”

At this point in history we have the ability to eradicate extreme poverty. I was very proud to be an Episcopalian when I heard that our General Convention had adopted the Millennium Development Goals as a major mission priority. Every three seconds a child dies from poverty related causes, every eight seconds the death is from water borne causes. Three hundred die during the average Sunday sermon. That’s way more than the number of people who belong to the same parish as I do. These children are dying and all y’all are talking about who gets to wear which pointy hats? Children are dying without the chance to grow up and become contributing members of the Kingdom of God here on earth. Many are dying without ever hearing the Good News of the Gospel of Christ. We need to let God decide who gets to wear which pointy hats and stop telling God who God can and can’t call. We need to remember the words of Archbishop William Temple, who said, "The church is the only institution that exists for the benefit of those who are not its members."

It is the job of the Holy Spirit to separate the wheat from the tares. It is our job to be like the sheep mentioned in Matthew 25.

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Blogger Catherine + said...

Your opinion is a fine one writing_here, and I was warmed by your words and thoughts. Thank you so much. At some point in the near future I would like to quote your first paragraph and then link to site for the remainder. I think this message needs to be told over an over again, in as many places as possible.

Let me know, ok?



Blogger writing_here said...



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