101 Reasons To Be Episcopalian

101 Reasons To Be Episcopalian

by Louie Crew (Compiler)


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"The Episcopal Church is a secret too well kept, " says compiler Louie Crew. "Many are starved for what we experience daily and too easily take for granted." With these words, Crew invited thousands of people online to participate in creating a list of reasons to be Episcopalian. Portions of that list, and many additional contributions, fill this charming, pocket-sized celebration of the Episcopal Church.

These 101 thoughtful, poignant, and sometimes humorous responses not only entertain but also teach about the Church's gifts. From the beauty of its prayer and liturgy, to its inclusiveness, and its reliance on Scripture, tradition, and reason in balance with one another, there is much to celebrate in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition.

101 Reasons To Be Episcopalian makes the perfect gift for confirmands, newcomers, and anyone interested in dialogue about why we are Episcopalians.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780819219251
Publisher: Church Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 04/02/2003
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 917,714
Product dimensions: 4.00(w) x 5.90(h) x 0.40(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Louie Crew

Morehouse Publishing

Copyright © 2003 Louie Crew
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-8192-1925-1

Chapter One

1 "[W]hen Anglicanism is at its best, its liturgy, its poetry, its music and its life can create a world of wonder in which it is very easy to fall in love with God."

Urban T. Holmes, III

2 From Smells and bells to speaking in tongues—we have it all.

Sheena A. Lawrence Diocese of Atlanta

3 I became an Episcopalian because of an invitation in a Sunday bulletin: "All baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord's Table." The state of my life, my marriage, my lostness didn't matter. I responded to a community's magnanimity of spirit. Through them I learned of God's abiding love affair with us through the Risen Christ in whom we live and move and have our being.

The Rev. Jessica A. Hatch Diocese of Utah

4 "We have a faith not afraid to reason and reason not ashamed to adore." —The Late Rt. Rev. Daniel Sylvester Tuttle

The Rev. W. Lee Shaw Diocese of Utah

5 The seasons are color coded.

Bungee Bynum Diocese of Lexington

6 The Episcopal Church enables me to worship God with my mind. It doesn't install an idol like the Bible or the Pope as the source of ultimate authority. It has lived in the tension between ancient truth and living history and has evolved into something fragile but beautiful, something that is worthy of being defended as it becomes a sign of the inclusive Kingdom of God.

The Rt. Rev. John S. Spong Diocese of Newark

7 Episcopalians see reality as existing in the tensions of paradox, ambiguity, and diversity.

Richard C. Milhon Diocese of Kansas

8 I'm glad to be a member of the Episcopal Church because it's evangelical, catholic, pentecostal, and liberal. It is evangelical because it glories in the cross of Jesus Christ as salvation for all people. It's catholic in that it is a church that lives as resurrection people beyond the blight and bondage of death. We're pentecostal because we trust in the supernatural empowerment of the Holy Spirit. And we're liberal because we yearn for the Kingdom of God in the world as it is in heaven and labor in the hope that will make it so.

Bishop Alden Hathaway Pittsburgh, retired Diocese of Florida

9 Anglicans do good deeds to increase under-standing of God, not out of fear or to earn admission to heaven.

Robert L. Neal III Diocese of Chicago

10 Asking questions about our faith is expected. In the Episcopal Church, God doesn't get upset if I wonder why some things are as they are. And God doesn't get upset if I suggest that some things should not continue as they are.

La Reverenda Martha Sylvia Ovalle Vasquez Diocese of Delaware

11 At our best, Episcopalians can respectfully disagree about a great many things—and still break bread together.

Barbara Tensen Ross Diocese or Oregon

12 I'm an Episcopalian because of the incredibly profound understanding of authority in the Anglican Communion. The three-legged stool—with its stout legs of Scripture, tradition, and reason, supported by (but also firmly joined by) the seat of our experience and prayer—is perhaps Anglicanism's most glorious contribution to theology.

Paul M. Johns Diocese of Olympia

13 We believe that love without justice is cheap sentimentality.

Carter Heyward Diocese of Massachusetts

14 My four-year-old son has attended the Episcopal Church since birth. He sings the Alleluia from the fraction anthem as easily as the theme from "Blue's Clues."

The Rev. Rachel Endicott Diocese of Olympia

15 When asked if he was saved, Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple replied, "I have been saved, I am being saved, I hope to be saved." That understanding of faith, hope, and humility reinforces me as an Episcopalian/Anglican.

Dean George L. W. Werner Diocese of Pittsburgh

16 We do not give simple answers to complex questions. Instead, we offer tools that help people develop a sustaining faith.

B. Lance Moody Diocese of Oklahoma

17 My mind is Protestant and my spirit is liturgical. Where other than to the Book of Common Prayer can my worship go and still have both be happy?

Phyllis Tickle Diocese of West Tennessee

18 Ours is not just a checkbook ministry. Episcopalians roll up their sleeves and help.

Agnes L. Haviland-Moore Diocese of Connecticut

19 We have full-bodied worship: bow, kneel, sit, stand, kneel, hug, walk, and sometimes even raise your hands, cry, laugh, sing, shout, whisper, smell, taste, feel, touch, hold, see, and behold and on and on.

The Very Rev. Marilyn J. Engstrom Diocese of Wyoming

20 Where the road to Easter is never a short cut, but you always get there.

The Rev. Dr. Barbara T. Cheney Diocese of Connecticut

21 Pregnant priests! Celebrating!

The Rev. Deborah Galante Seles Diocese of Chicago

22 I love Anglicanism for its basic humanity, its sense of decency and order, its freedom of thought and its insistence on the corpus of faith, "those things necessary unto salvation." I love it for its tradition and for the women and men of faith who have been lights of the generations in whose company we worship. I love it for its quirkiness, its untidiness, its comprehensiveness and for its ability to receive, accept, alter or jettison new things, while being always merely and astoundingly the Church.

Father Tony Clavier Diocese of South Dakota

23 It's a church where you can come in without leaving your brain at the door and then have the opportunity to love all of those who man-aged to come in with their "wrong" ideas.

The Rt. Rev. Leo Frade, D.D. Diocese of Southeast Florida

24 We Belong before we believe.

Joanna Wragg Diocese of Southeast Florida

25 Where faith is God's gift to us, not our gift to God.

Louie Crew Diocese of Newark

26 Like Catholic and Orthodox Christians, Episcopalians are in touch with the ancient voices and aesthetic and spiritual practices of the Christian tradition. We are united by a common liturgy and by the Book of Common Prayer. And so long as we do the liturgy right, we are orthodox, and thus permitted a broad range of theological opinions. With its riches of liturgy, prayer, and music, it is for me a sacrament of the sacred, and it feels like home.

Marcus J. Borg Diocese of Oregon

27 No matter where in the world I attend an Episcopal/Anglican church, I am always home.

Joan Carr Diocese of British Columbia

28 We have the liturgical beauty of the Catholics combined with the local authority of the Southern Baptists.

Cynthia McLeod Diocese of East Tennessee

29 The signs that say, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You" mean it.

Nick Humez Diocese of Newark

30 The Episcopal Church is a place where bishops are people too, and some of them know it. Many even have spouses to remind them.

Linda M. Maloney Diocese of Minnesota

31 The Book of Commom Prayer allows a degree of uniformity in prayer while leaving room for the diversity of cultures, languages and liturgical styles.

The Very Rev. David G. Bollinger Diocese of Central New York

32 The Episcopal Church taught me that Jesus came to challenge, not just comfort; to over-turn, not maintain; to love, not judge; to include, not cast aside.

The Rev. Canon Elizabeth R. Geitz Diocese of New Jersey

33 Episeopalians try to love with the heart of Christ, think with the mind of Christ, and act as if we were the body of Christ.

Prof. Willis H. A. Moore Diocese of Hawaii

34 I spent Good Friday with the folks at St. Paul's Chapel. There I talked with a young firefighter who has been volunteering at Ground Zero for several months. In the midst of his sharing he said: "If it weren't for this place, I wouldn't be able to smile."

Sharon Moon Diocese of Washington

35 Because it's one religion where laughing at our own absurdities is a basic spiritual discipline and we're invited to rejoice in how much we have still to learn of God instead of how much we know.

L. William Countryman Diocese of California

36 I love Anglicanism because the most stable seat, on rough ground, is a three- legged stool.

The Rev. Selwyn Swift St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Suffolk, England

37 Our eighth Sacrament: Fellowship and Good Food.

Amada Demers Diocese of Texas

38 Our theology is an art form, not a law book.

Paul Gibson Diocese of Toronto

39 From Miami to Manchester, from Lima to London, from Brisbane to Birmingham, Singapore to San Francisco, I can go to church and fit right in.

John F. Schwaller Diocese of Minnesota

40 I am an Episcopalian because it is the one form of the tradition that enables me to still call myself a Christian. It allows me to think and to feel deeply in a life that is grounded in tradition and yet is always open to change. I sometimes think of Anglicanism as the Zen Buddhism of the West. I love it because schism is a greater sin than heresy. I would much rather be with someone who loved me than with someone who could define love.

Alan Jones Diocese of California

41 Where else can you be considered a "young person" until you are 40 years old?

Lesley M. Adams Diocese of Rochester

42 We honor tradition but do not fossilize it.

Lee Canipe Diocese of Virginia

43 We welcome the faithful, the seeker, and the doubter.

Diana Smith Diocese of Washington

44 We promise to welcome you in Christ's name. We will honor the gifts you bring. We will invite you into our community, or wish you well if you choose another path.

Dorothy Isabel Crocker Huron, Canada

45 We celebrate a Christmas Season and not just a Christmas Day.

The Rt. Rev. Jack M. McKelvey Diocese of Rochester

46 Where God's unconditional love for all of us is celebrated every day.

Sen. Marge Kilkelly Diocese of Maine

47 In the Episcopal Church doubt is so okay that we name some parishes "St. Thomas."

Louie Crew Diocese of Newark

48 Being an Intelligent, strong woman is not a drawback in the Episcopal Church.

Cynthia Jo Mahaffey Diocese of Ohio

49 Episcopalians may spend a lot of time arguing with each other about important matters inside and outside the church. And often the arguments are very public. Sometimes they go on for years and seem to reach no definite resolution. But Episcopalians are confident that in and through this kind of engagement with each other, they will come closer to understanding what God is up to and who God wants them, as a church, to be.

Ellen K. Wondra Diocese of Rochester

50 As an Anglican I can be myself. I can be authentic and feel accepted and respected.

Glauco Soares de Lima Bishop Primate of Brazil

51 Where the priesthood of all believers has a goodly chance of including everyone, including people of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and abilities.

The Rev. Dr. Barbara T. Cheney Diocese of Connecticut

52 This the only church that is as lovingly loony as your family.

Mary L. Lyons Diocese of Olympia

53 Prayer that is time tested.

Cynthia McLeod Diocese of East Tennessee

54 Tired of hell fire and brimstone? Try incense.

Louie Crew Diocese of Newark

55 Another reason to be Episcopalian is that the altar is not fenced. In my days as a Presbyterian "seeker" I frequently attended both Roman Catholic and Episcopal liturgies: at the former I was explicitly refused communion; at the latter I was welcome to receive. As Woody Allen didn't quite say, I wouldn't want to belong to a club that wouldn't take me as a non-member.

Deborah Smith Douglas Diocese of The Rio Grande

56 I like being an Episcopalian because I can be a mystic without anybody noticing.

Suzanne Guthrie Diocese of New York

57 Anglicans can imagine the past and remember the future.

The Rev. Nayan McNeill, Ph.D. Diocese of El Camino Real

58 We proudly wear ribbons of so many different colors.

Mary Jane Herron Diocese of Newark

59 Two millennia of faith; four centuries of liturgy; comrades worldwide traveling in love the journey to God we each tread alone.

Peter Berry Diocese of Bristol, England

60 The hymn; "One was a doctor and one was a queen and one was a shepherdess on the green and one was a soldier and one was a priest and one was slain by a fierce wild beast."

The Very Rev. Marilyn J. Engstrom Diocese of Wyoming

61 Mystery arid clarity co-exist here.

Alex H. MacDonell Diocese of New Jersey

62 Despite or perhaps even precisely because of our present disagreements in the Episcopal Church I am reminded that God calls us all together because we aren't whole without each other.

Nancy A. G. Vogele Diocese of Vermont

63 My favorite reason for being an Episcopalian is the coherence of scripture, tradition and reason/experience as basic tenets of our belief. I appreciate our melding of church and world, sacred and secular, soul and body, sophistication and simplicity, literary and non-verbal, seriousness and nonchalance, holiness and ordinariness, indeed, our being deeply rooted in the Incarnation.

The Rev. Malcolm Boyd Diocese of Los Angeles

64 God loves yon, and there's not a thing you can do to change that.

The Rev. Tom Van Culin Diocese of Hawaii

65 We find our unity in shared worship, not in enforced agreement.

Lou Poulain Diocese of El Camino Real

66 We leave neither our minds, nor our hearts, nor our bodies at the church door.

Larry Graham Diocese of Atlanta

67 Episcopalians believe in moderation in all things, including moderation.

Sheena A. Lawrence Diocese of Atlanta

68 I love our church because we don't think unity means uniformity.

Barbara Cawthorne Crafton Diocese of New York

69 Hooker's Eucharistic theology in 30 seconds: It's about us becoming the Body of Christ, the presence of Christ in the assembled community. For real.

The Rev. Deborah Galante Seles Diocese of Chicago

70 In the Episcopal Church you will be treated as an adult, and the child in you will be welcomed.

Alex H. MacDonell Diocese of New Jersey

71 Our roots in the past bear fruit in the present.

Alice Haugen Diocese of Iowa

72 Christ has no hands on earth but ours. We need you to help us bless the world.

Meg Carter Diocese of California


Excerpted from 101 REASONS to be EPISCOPALIAN by Louie Crew Copyright © 2003 by Louie Crew. Excerpted by permission of Morehouse Publishing. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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