Wednesday, May 27, 2009
How I became an Episcopalian
Thanks to a fellow blog reader for inspiring this blog. A lot of people don't even know much about the Episcopal Church and if they do most assume its made up of a majority white parishioners. That couldn't be far from the truth. My first interaction with the Episcopal denomination came my freshman year of college. I had made a few connections in Atlanta before I left to attend college and one connection ended up being a staunch Episcopalian. When I did not have my room and board situated the people of this one particular parish, or church assigned to the AUC (Atlanta University Center) ie Morehouse, Spelman, Clark Atlanta, etc reached out a helping hand to a freshman in a strange city on a new journey. After my room and board was situated I started to attend services at what we affectionately call, the chapel. The Rev Gloria Bowden, who I wrote a previous blog about was chaplain at the time. She was the most caring individuals one could have known.
Anyway this was also a time where I was struggling with religion and homosexuality. I was born in the church and raised in the church, and I have family that serve as pastors and deacons in traditional black holiness and Baptist churches so I was aware of the you're going to hell argument. I wasn't the only one struggling with this that year and Gloria directed us all to some books and some priests that could answer our questions. Through my research I couldn't understand how one can spew hate from Gods pulpit and talk down about people that did nothing wrong to them. So the Episcopal church proved to be a place that was very open that gay people are made in Gods image like anybody else. The main idea that floats in my mind is God is Love. So on the two points that the church was helpful to me, and spritually nutured me I decided to become an Episcopalian. I went through the confirmation classes and learned more about the church rich history. I also learned that African Americans make up a big part of the church. One big change for me that I have come to appreciate is the order of service. There is no running around and falling out, not to say that it is wrong, but honestly I never saw myself doing all of that. Episcopalians praise God in decency and in order. Unfortunately before I was confirmed Gloria succumed to cancer. That hurt us all but her teachings and thoughts will live forever in those she touched, including me. Thats how I became an Episcopalian.