Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Attraction of the Episcopal Church, 4

Another young Evangelical, Lindsey Herts, explains why she's attending the Episcopal church. She describes attending church in an unfamiliar city
As we were waiting for the service to begin, the silence of the place washed over me. It gave me permission to lay down my arms and discard any kind of mask I wanted to put on. In a way, it was like the silence stripped me of my false identity, left me naked, and allowed me just to simply be. The silence in each Episcopal service I've attended has affected me in the the same way. ...

Then it came time for Eucharist. We were invited to kneel around the table together while the rector came around and fed us each the bread and wine. Whenever I was kneeling and chewing the piece of bread, I started to tear up because something about this moment just felt right. I thought to myself, "I'm at the same table as the middle aged black man in the nice suit and the older white couple and the homeless guys. We're all kneeling. We're all being fed. We're all eating the same bread and literally drinking from the same cup."

I think that's why I can't manage to pull myself away from the Episcopal church right now. Everything is centered around this one moment where people of all ages, gender identities, races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, political beliefs, and backgrounds are welcome to come to the table and receive the elements. ....

I've started crossing myself, walking the labyrinth at my church, and reading from the book of common prayer when I'm not sure what to pray. The ancient practices and prayers are beginning to slowly but surely draw me back to the heart of the God I fell in love with 7.5 years ago, except in a different manner than I ever would have expected. I'm finding that God is much more inclusive and full of grace than I initially thought.

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