June 6, 2018

The past week, I had the misfortune of reading an article written by a man who currently attends the Episcopal Church. The headline read, “______ takes it to the Episcopalians.” Normally, I wouldn’t bite. Normally, I’d just click ‘skip’ and continue on with my day; but for some reason or another, I was intrigued by the notion that ______ was ‘taking it’ to me and my friends. So I read.

And I became angry.

In his words, the Episcopal Church was full of pagans and people who had left the teaching of Jesus Christ. He wrote about his journey into the church, his love of liturgy—both of which he is proud-ish. Yet, as I continued to read his experiences, I thought to myself, “Other people are reading this…I hope they don’t think this is everyone’s process and summation of the Episcopal Church.”

I was quickly answered.

After nearly every online article written on the internet, there is a space below dedicated to readers wishing to leave comments. If I thought the article was ugly, the comments made my heart hurt. People were saying terrible things—untrue and unfounded, ugly and off-the-wall—and I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Where the hell did these people hear about the Episcopal Church?” It seems that, despite PB Michael Curry’s fantastic sermon on love—most of the world still doesn’t know who we are.

After reading that article and its accompanying comments, I made a decision: Everywhere I go and every new person I meet will know the truth of the Episcopal Church and of Christianity, at large. I talked to my barber, the pizza hut guy, and a random woman standing in line, and the bug guy at our church. It isn’t that I haven’t been doing this all along, I just went a little stronger than normal. I don’t want people to fill in the blanks when they don’t understand our beloved church; nor do I want them to do the same with Christianity. We’re not pagans, we’re not falling away from Christ, and we certainly aren’t deserving of the nonsense these people were writing. But we are guilty of something, its being guilty of hiding ourselves away. 

It is time for us to step into the light, to let the world see us for who we really are, rather than seeing us as just one label among many that has been misconstrued and demonized. I said it last week and I’ll say it again: It’s time for us to reclaim the name of Christ and proclaim His love for the world. We do this for many reasons, but now among them is to educate those around us about love, and about responding with love rather than anger. Talk to a stranger about your church, about Jesus and about love, today. It starts now.


Fr. Sean+