David Simmons: Why am I an Episcopalian?

General Convention / Religion

David has posted an essay today that echos a similar sentiment to what I just posted earlier this morning.

“A large portion of the reason for me is because our denomination historically refuses to play the cultural games others have been drawn into. The Episcopal Church is drastically worship-centered. This goes all the way back to the ‘Elizabethan Compromise’ in the Church of England in which unity in worship was considered more important than conformity in belief. This idea was codified in the ‘Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral’ (BCP 876) which set out the basics of a generous, creedal orthodoxy which could be affirmed by a wide variety of Christians of good faith.

As I became a member of the church, I noticed how diverse it was. We had Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Anglo-Catholics and liturgical Protestants. We had people of color in a culture where Sunday was still the most segregated day of the week. Any conversation in the parish hall that touched on religion was bound to bring up differences. In fact, if one had only come to the coffee hour, one might conclude that this was some sort of interdenominational gathering. But on Sunday mornings, we worshipped together as a family. While I could look at other churches in our town and pin exactly where the members of that church would live and how they would vote, our Episcopal church could not be so categorized. Five hundred years after the Elizabethan Compromise, our church still found its unity in the community-building mystery of worship, rather than in politics or intellectual assent to set principles. It was that vision of the Episcopal Church that I fell in love with – Christ-centered, faithful in worship, diverse in belief, and tolerant of difference. In a culture that tended to force churches to take set identities, we steadfastly refused and instead centered ourself on worship of the living God.”

There’s more to his essay – but this is my favorite bit. You should follow the link below and read the whole thing.

Read the full article here.

The Author

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