This past Sunday, I invited us to reflect together on a question that Bishop Mariann recently posted on her blog: “Why are you a Christian?” I loved hearing many of your responses as I passed the microphone around from person to person at each of the four services. Many of you responded by saying that you are a Christian because you were raised in church. Others said that it was the teachings of Jesus that resonated and drew you in. And still others indicated that you had had a close encounter with God along the way which fuels your sense of deep connection to Christ.
It’s good from time to time to ask the most basic questions about the things that we do. Asking the question “Why?” about even the most obvious things can often be illuminating and thought-provoking. Another such question for us is “Why the Episcopal Church?” There are many choices of denominations out there, so why did you choose the Episcopal Church? I am sure that each of us has our own individual answer to this question, and I’m sure that if we had a chance to hear each others’ responses, we would begin to notice some common threads in our answers. These common threads – the things we experience collectively, but perhaps can’t explain – are most likely the things that make the Episcopal Church unique, and why you find that this particular tradition works for you.
If you’ve been in the Episcopal Church for a long time, or you’re just becoming familiar with it, and you’ve experienced something powerful in this tradition that works for you, but are not sure whether or not you can specifically name what that is or where it comes from, then perhaps it might be time to take the next step in learning more about the history and evolution of our denomination.
Starting this Sunday, and for three consecutive Sundays at 10 am in the lounge, St. John’s is providing an introductory class to the Episcopal Church. This class is meant for long-time parishioners as well new arrivals to the St. John’s as a way of deepening your appreciation for the history, polity, and spirituality of the Episcopal Church in general and St. John’s in particular. It may be time for you to take the next step in your journey with the Episcopal Church, and I believe that this class will deepen your appreciation and love for it. Click here if you plan to attend the class.
Grace and Peace,