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Be glad you are an Episcopalian!
Writing in Anglican Theology and Pastoral Care fifteen years ago, Bishop
Richard Grein noted that 58% of all Anglican adults in the USA have
belonged to another denomination earlier. For the last 10 years I have
been asking for a show of hands in Episcopal congregations all over the
USA, and I have never seen as few as 58%. Speaking at two radically
different parishes in our diocese in this month, I noted that the response
was closer to 95% in one and 80% in the other.
I can't speak for why the others left to join Episcopal Churches, but in
my own case I was quite conscious that I was joining a church where I
would no longer have to hang up my mind on the hat rack when I entered. I
keep all my diplomas and awards in the closet, but I have always kept on
my wall the framed certificate of my confirmation at St. Peter's in Rome
[Georgia] on October 29, 1961 at the age of 24.
The Episcopal Church is a more welcome haven for people than many of us
realize, and we have an obligation to speak that welcome boldly. I am
surprised beyond measure that over 500 persons are visiting my website
every day, and each week dozens send me messages asking where they can
find a safe church in their area. I am finding it almost impossible to
respond to all of the queries and often ask friends to help me.
I believe that the Episcopal Church everywhere should take out ads in
local papers welcoming those now ready to flee churches promoting
exclusion and comforting those who are called to remain as witnesses in
hostile territory. What a treat to be able to say on the radio, TV, in
cyberspace and everywhere: God loves absolutely everybody! The Episcopal
Church welcomes you!
Louie Crew, Chair, Diocese of Newark Deputation to GC2000
377 S. Harrison St., 12D, East Orange, NJ 07018-1225. 973-395-1068
http://newark.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/rel.html Anglican Pages
There are 41 days left until General Convention.
The forgotten but first commandment: Love God with you Mind!