An SC plea to stay together

We see a lot of letters-to-the-editor decrying the imperiled status of our parishes/dioceses/TEC, but this one struck us as being particularly and notably impassioned and well-reasoned:

Don’t break up Episcopal Church

By Ann M. Stirling in the Post and Courier of Charleston (SC), hat tip to Greg Griffith at StandFirm

First the disclosure: I am a cradle Episcopalian. My father and brother were Episcopal clergymen. My other brother taught for years at the Episcopal-supported University of the South. My sister is the senior warden of her parish, and I have been very active in parish work.

I love the Episcopal Church. When we travel, we almost always find an Episcopal/Anglican Church where we can engage in worship that is familiar, comforting and deeply connected with God. This is, has been and always will be important to me.

One of the beauties of the Episcopal Church, is that not only do we have a Book of Common Prayer and, therefore, are as one in worship no matter where we are, but we also (until recent steps by various dioceses in America) have tolerated differences in theology. There are different ways of reading and interpreting the Scriptures. This was not only honored but even expected.

Historically we have been encouraged to think for ourselves. It was never required that our honestly-held beliefs comport with those of our priest, bishop, presiding bishop or even the archbishop of Canterbury. It was inconceivable that one group in the Episcopal Church would say to another something akin to: ‘I have read the Scriptures and I know what they mean and you are dead wrong.’ I am heartbroken that this seems to be the tenor of the current ‘debate.’

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