Read it all and see what you think.
This made me LOL:
[i]The Episcopal Church has between 2-3 million members[/i]
There’s a *million people* between that 2 and 3. It’s not quite the same as saying, “We have between 30 and 40 people at the Sunday service.”
Still, 2,000,001 is certainly between 2 and 3 million.
I think this statement is fine as far as it goes. There is nothing mis-stated, other than noted by #1, and it is a generic statement about TEC. However, the back story on TEC, which we all know, is really the part they left out.
The Episcopal Church celebrates diversity.
The Roman Catholic Church has diversity.
There. I said it.
[blockquote]We are known for our engaging and beautiful worship services. For those who have grown up Roman Catholic, the service, known as the Mass, Eucharist or Holy Communion, will be very familiar. For those of reformed tradition or no religious tradition at all, we think you may find a spiritual home in a church that respects its tradition and maintains its sense of awe and wonder at the power and mystery of God. Some services are more contemporary, some more traditional but all follow the same form found in the Book of Common Prayer.
There are no prerequisites in the Episcopal Church â€¦ Everyone is welcome.[/blockquote]
I’ve noticed that “diverse” Episcopal Churches where “everyone is welcome” always goes out of its way to describe their “beautiful and engaging worship services” as if it’s an amenity offered by a hotel. Forget the substance and reasoning behind it all. No, it’s so that the worshiper can have a “spiritual home.”
Nice. But it lost me around here:
[blockquote] The Episcopal Church celebrates diversity. [/blockquote]
It seems to go on to say that Episcopalians like to talk a lot but we’re still trying to figure out what we wrote on the first part of this webpage.
Others may find issue with the chicken/egg debate about General Convention dictating to diocese.
A couple of things.
[i]Each bishop and diocese, operating through an annual council, determine the character of life and work in that diocese within a set of general decisions made by a triennial General Convention of The Episcopal Church as a whole. These decisions are formalized as canonsâ€”rules that governâ€”by The Episcopal Church [b]and subsequently by each affected diocese.[/b][/i]
Apparently the Diocese of Texas still hasn’t got the memo on how the Church is structured.
[i]We often talk about the Episcopal Church as following the â€œvia mediaâ€ or middle way in our theology and discussions because we believe that, whether or not we agree on a particular topic, we all are children beloved by God and we can have thoughtful and respectful discussions.[/i]
However one understands [i]via media[/i], this is surely a very bad definition. After all, plenty of faith traditions – liberal and conservative – could argue that they do that.
[url=http://catholicandreformed.blogspot.com]Catholic and Reformed[/url]
I think it was the late William F. Buckley who once famously asked if there was anyone, anywhere on the face of the Earth, from the Pope to the Dali Lama, who could be absolutely certain that they were not Episcopalians.
Well said in #7, Ad Orientem! Buckley was a favorite of mine. As an Episcopalian following the via media, I appreciate the smile such a comment produces. 🙂
Elegant blather, as usual. I was hopeful after reading the first few paragraphs, but then they descended into Episcopalese and assertions without definition – or familiar terms with a subtly redefined meaning. I am sure that there are plenty of biblical Christians among the people of the Diocese of Texas, but this article leaves the door wide open for all manner of heterodox and even heretical positions.
I always find myself caught by the contradiction of these “openness” appeals and the reality that we come at folks when they arrive with The Book of Common Prayer which is anything but.
The “via media” business was definitely the worst part.
[blockquote]We walk the “middle way” between Protestant and catholic traditions. We often talk about the Episcopal Church as following the â€œvia mediaâ€ or middle way in our theology and discussions because we believe that, whether or not we agree on a particular topic, we all are children beloved by God and we can have thoughtful and respectful discussions.[/blockquote]
Why didn’t they capitalize Catholic here? That’s just rude. But more importantly, Anglo-catholicism has been almost completely purged from the denomination. Female clergy and bishops. The Anglo-catholic dioceses are gone. Open communion is apparently fairly widespread. They are entering into full communion with the ELCA. That makes sense from an organizational point of view, but there goes apostolic succession. They think that if they call each other priests and have some incense, they are between Protestantism and Catholicism???
And [i]via media[/i] as a substitute for [i]living in the tension[/i] or [i]agreeing to disagree[/i] is ridiculous. A sad, very much unfunny joke.
Yep, the Anglo Catholic dioceses [i]have[/i] gone, and they/we’re doing quite well, thank you!
This sounds awfully familiar. I think it’s taken from a TEC-produced brochure. I swear i saw this “What is an Episcopalian” pamphlet in our parish’s pamphlet rack. As such, it provides general info for visitors and isn’t written to precise theological specifications.
T2, while from from a historical perspective it is a mess, I would say it’s about as theologically precise as anything about TEC can be these days.