In many parts of the country those who left the Episcopal Church in anger over the homosexual issue are trickling back into their beloved parishes to discover that: 1) they are warmly welcomed and no one expects any explanation; 2) most in the congregation never felt they left, they were just absent for a season of healing; 3) apart from the gay issue, almost everything the returning expatriates had been told about the “direction of the Church” and the horrible things it was teaching were either an outright lie or a gross distortion of the truth; 4) we can tolerate a wide range of comfort and discomfort on the gay issue and still be faithful followers of Christ and friends with each other.
It appears that no matter what, the separatists are going their own way to form a new denomination that will be almost fundamentalist in dogma and hierarchically authoritarian in polity. Now it is time for those of us who continue in the Anglican traditions of our Episcopal Church to stop being so defensive and begin celebrating the joy we share with each other as followers of Jesus Christ in God’s One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It is only through that enthusiastic celebration of joy with each other that we can become a bright beacon of light for others and bearers of the Good News. Of course that means evangelism, and that will be the subject of another post – or two. But I’ll give you a hint. I’m tired of wimpy Episcopalians who run from the “E” word or equate it with television, street corner and weird sect hucksters. My prescription: You’re grownups; get over it and get on with it. Quit making excuses.”