Saturday, October 06, 2012

First Church of the Foolish White People

In the wake of the recent SF spat twixt Episcopal bishop Andrus and Catholic archbishop Cordileone, I was perusing some Episcopalian blogs.

Mother of God, what a mess. Both the originating church in England and here in the New World.

Years ago, before I gave up on belonging to any kind of church community --and while I was still a liberal--, I gave the Episcopalians a serious shot. Via the local and very quirky St Gregory of Nyssa parish.

I liked the music and the vitality of the liturgy there, although the preaching was repetitively self-referential.  The Parting of the Ways came one Sunday after coffee hour when I discovered that all the chalices from the Eucharist were stuck in the kitchen --leftover consecrated wine still in them-- next to the sink with the other dirty dishes. Homo and fallen priest though I be, it was too much for my Catholic soul. No matter how much they dressed up and created a highly ritualized liturgy, these people were rank liberal Protestants. As I came to believe, Unitarians in drag. Even the Gnostic bishopess of Palo Alto treated the sacred mysteries with more reverence.

In retrospect, I also realized that despite their constant and annoying proclamations of welcome, --we had to wear name tags so we could receive Communion by name--my experience of them was pretty interpersonally frosty. Admitting my own introvert limitations, I still found it very hard to make recognizable human connections with them. There was an in group and I was out of it.

A conservative thought about religious reform. If, as in England under the Tudors, you have the State and the State Church rupturously re-design an ancestral religion to suit their current cultural, political and theological wisdom, why is there any reason not to keep doing it ad infinitum? The sometimes slow and sometimes swift re-arrangement not only of worship but of doctrine and priesthood --reducing the clergy to civil servants really--, once begun, why should it ever stop?

Reading those blogs, the answer seems pretty clear.



Anonymous said...

Wow, this post is pleasant, my younger sister is analyzing these things, therefore I am going to tell

Feel free to surf to my web blog; kortingscode Zalando 10 euro

Anonymous said...

I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet visitors, its
really really nice post on building up new blog.

Stop by my webpage - example

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...