XXXXXXX, you said: "Being Episcopalian REQUIRES [my emphasis] a high level of literacy and appreciation...." >REQUIRES</b> is prescriptive, not descriptive. It implies that those who do not meet these requirements of literacy and appreciation do not make the grade, aren't as fully Episcopalian. Marginally literate people have skills aplenty to sense unwelcome. If not many marginally literate show up in a parish, it's probably because people in the parish are not actively inviting them or having extended conversations with them when they visit on their own. Many Episcopalians, perhaps the majority, do meet your requirements, but the majority of Episcopalians in my own parish do not, and thousands of other faithful Episcopalians do not. The majority in my parish are the very poor of Newark, and our parish is an Anglo-Catholic place rich in liturgy (our warden has more hymns in the Hymnal than any other living composer; we have a paid men and boys choir.....). I once overheard a few persons in rich suburban parishes suggesting that it's a shame our lovely Upjohn building and the generous endowment the rich of times past gave us is wasted in bringing beauty to the poor, as if only highly literate and privileged people can appreciate such things, as if only they are entitled to them. I realize that you did not say any such thing and would find such notions anathema, but your REQUIRES underwrites that bad ecclesiology. The highly literate and the marginally literate can enjoy each other's company as equals. That's why we have an altar. I hope that's what defines us as Episcopalians. We're going to spend lots of time in heaven with the poor. Jesus said they own the place. We're lucky when they want to spend time with us. Jesus said that if the invited guests don't show up, we should go in the streets and invite others. I wonder how much our numbers will have to dwindle before we get that. Some congregations in my diocese have preferred to close instead. Love, Louie
Please sign my guestbook and view it.
Statistics courtesy of