Adult conversion to faith in the Episcopal Church

Religion has an article this morning about a woman’s adult journey to finding Jesus in the Episcopal Church in San Francisco:

Link: My daily bread | Salon Life.

My first year at St. Gregory’s [Episcopal Church] would begin, and end, with questions. Now I understand that questions are at the heart of faith, and that certainties about God can flicker on and off, no matter what you think you know. But back then, I thought “believers” were people who knew exactly what they believed and had nailed all the answers.

My first set of questions was very basic. I covertly studied the faces of people at St. Gregory’s when they took the bread, trying to guess what they were feeling, but I was too proud and too timid to ask either priests or congregants the beginner’s queries: Why do you cross yourselves? What are the candles for? How do you pray? And, more seriously: Do you really believe this stuff?

For my part, I can report to you all that this woman’s journey isn’t an isolated event. We’re seeing many new faces here at the Cathedral in Phoenix. The ushers are telling me that most of the new people coming in the doors are young women in their twenties who come for a few weeks and then are be joined by their significant other (mostly boyfriends but occasionally girlfriends). I had the honor of baptizing one such young woman recently. Her boyfriend joined her in church the next weekend.

My experience isn’t unique to Phoenix. I was watching the same thing happen in Bethlehem. The most gratifying experience I had in my last couple of years there was witnessing students that I was teaching in physics or astronomy class starting to come to Sunday worship – and often being baptized as a result.

For people who say the Episcopal Church is not able to be an evangelizing influence in society today – this is evidence, albeit anecdotal, that demonstrates the opposite.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...


  1. I found this blog by following a link on the “Take This Bread” chapter on As I read your post (after I had written my own for, I realized you are Trinity Cathedral. I attended there a few times when I was in a long trial in Phoenix. What a wonderful place. I hope to visit there again one day, but in the meanwhile, I shall visit this blog.

  2. Rodney says

    Sara is a friend of mine and I can only say that she is one of the most amazing human beings I’ve ever known. The Light shines through her in ways that are undeniable. And the book is a must read for every parish in the US.

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