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Becoming An Episcopalian


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So I really need some help..i'm 15 years old and my parents are Southern Baptists,but I really want to join the Episcopal Church, but I don't know how to tell them I want to join the ECUSA. I've contacted the rector and he said it would fine if my parents dropped me off or something like that, but I don't know how I should ask/tell my parents. Anythoughts?

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So I really need some help..i'm 15 years old and my parents are Southern Baptists,but I really want to join the Episcopal Church, but I don't know how to tell them I want to join the ECUSA. I've contacted the rector and he said it would fine if my parents dropped me off or something like that, but I don't know how I should ask/tell my parents. Anythoughts?

 

Yes Brad,

 

Just be open and honest and tell them how you feel and what you want to do. In my view, honest communications from the heart is good for the soul and all involved regardless of the outcome.

 

Joseph

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Guest wayfarer2k
So I really need some help..i'm 15 years old and my parents are Southern Baptists,but I really want to join the Episcopal Church, but I don't know how to tell them I want to join the ECUSA. I've contacted the rector and he said it would fine if my parents dropped me off or something like that, but I don't know how I should ask/tell my parents. Anythoughts?

 

I, too, would become an Episcopalian if there were some ECUSA churches in my area (Fort Worth, Texas) that were more progressive. But there has recently been a trend down here for the Episcopal churches, who are mostly conservative, to drop out of the ECUSA or to join a very conservative diocese. That makes it rather difficult to find one that is progressive.

 

My 2c on this, Brad, would to be honest with your parents about your spiritual search, assuring them that you want to remain within the "Christian umbrella" but that you need to find a flavor of Christianity that you feel will help you to explore your own relationship with God and encourage you to grow. My wife is Southern Baptist so I know how "tricky" such a move can be.

 

One of the things you can do is to assure them of your commonalities with them. For instance, both flavors of Christianity believe in the reality of God, both find Jesus to be "the way" within Christianity to explore God, and both hold to the scriptures as being sacred. Also, both flavors speak of the need for transformation in life. Focusing on the commonalities may help your parents to see that you still have much in common with them (and they with you). It is probably best not to mention what doesn't work for you in the Southern Baptist flavor if you can help it.

 

So, for whatever it is worth, that is my advice. My wife and I have a good relationship spiritually because we respect each other's paths. Being Southern Baptist really works well for her. She is a godly woman and I see the Spirit of Christ in her continually. So "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." :) I just reached the point where that paradigm no longer worked for me and had to find another framework. I believe God works through both paradigms. I don't try to "convert" anyone to progressive Christianity. I just try, to the best of my ability, to follow Jesus and see where it goes from there.

 

I'm sure others here can chime in with helpful advice.

 

Best wishes,

Bill

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Thanks guys!

 

Wayfarer,

What you said about 'If it ain't broke don't fix it' is perfect for my situation! My parents are happy in the SBC, and I'm happy for them...but for me the SBC doesn't offer anything I don't get excited at the thought of going to church...I want a church that is traditional and modern and the Episcopal Church gives me that! I'm hoping that my parents will let me visit and/or come with me to see if, maybe, the Episcopal Church is right for them as well!

 

Thanks guys, I look forward to your responses!

 

:)

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Also, Brad, don't forget that you can ask your rector to meet with your parents (if they are open to it) to answer any questions they may have about the Episcopal Church. When I told my wife that I wanted to become an Episcopalian, she had "preconcieved ideas" from her Baptist views about Episcopalians that were, frankly, not true. After attending the church services a couple of times, though she said it wasn't for her, she felt better about my own desires to become one.

 

I would still attend there but, unfortunately, we moved and that church is now 60 miles away. :(

 

bill

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Yeah, my parents have some preconcieved notions about the Episcopal Church that I know aren't true but I can't really explain how they AREN'T true, ya know? I've been in contact with my Diocese Bishop and his Canon for Youth Ministry, they have both been such a great help! I'm really hoping that my parents will let me 'convert'

 

Also, I've heard that a person should attend Episcopal Services for at least 4 sundays and then make a judgement on the CHurch-what do you think?

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Yeah, my parents have some preconcieved notions about the Episcopal Church that I know aren't true but I can't really explain how they AREN'T true, ya know? I've been in contact with my Diocese Bishop and his Canon for Youth Ministry, they have both been such a great help! I'm really hoping that my parents will let me 'convert'

 

Also, I've heard that a person should attend Episcopal Services for at least 4 sundays and then make a judgement on the CHurch-what do you think?

 

I think that is a wise thing to do, Brad, especially if your parents are willing to visit there with you. I'm not too sure I would use the word "convert" though, I'd rather tell them I would like to "explore" the Episcopal faith. And then be honest with them about what "speaks to you" about that tradition.

 

When we told my wife's parents, who are die-hard Southern Baptists, that we were going to attend the Methodist church as a "compromise" to my liberalism and my wife's background, my mother-in-law said, "Oh my goodness, I don't even think those people are saved!" Such are the biases of the SB paradigm. My in-laws were convinced that if we raised our children in the Methodist church, they would most likely never hear "the gospel." :) It is sort of funny to mention it now, but it is so odd also, how narrowly we humans think that God can and does work.

 

Anyway, I think a "test run" would be great. But for whatever it is worth, I wouldn't pressure your parents into "converting." They would most likely see that as an attack on THEIR faith, which, presumably, works for them. In all honesty, Southern Baptist Christians can be very loving and very gracious people...when interfaced with one-on-one or in small numbers. But when they congregate together, they tend to become very defensive of their own faith tradition, feeling that they alone have "the faith once delivered to the saints" and that Jesus, if he were here today, would be a Southern Baptist. :)

 

So if you continue to respect their faith choice, they may well reciprocate and respect yours also. I hope so.

 

Best wishes.

 

bill

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Well its no secret that I want to be an Episcopalian-but they understand that I will be Episcopal in the future...as in not now..But I don't think they WANT me to be an Episcopalian...I'm just going to sit my mom or dad (or both) down and tell them what I think and why I feel that the Episcopal Church is a better fit for me than the SBC. My mom though has said that she thinks Liturgical churches are more worried about 'the readings' (i.e. Lectionary readings) than they are a relationship with God...i've just now realized how to explain that they DO emphasize a relationship with God...they just do it in a different way. It's good to think of different denominations speaking a different language than the Baptists, but when you translate it, it means the same thing!

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i've just now realized how to explain that they DO emphasize a relationship with God...they just do it in a different way.

 

I think so too. The more conservative churches, as you know, focus on a "personal relationship" with God. Mainline churches generally tend to stress the more "communal" (being part of a group) relationship with God.

 

We've been to two completely different types of Methodist churches. The first was rather progressive in their theology and in their Sunday School material. But their communal worship was very liturgical - using the lectionary, the minister reading his sermon, saying the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer every Sunday. I loved the theology but was bored to tears with the liturgy.

 

The other Methodist church is very evangelical. They have a "praise band" and don't follow the lectionary (except for their first "formal service" early in the morning). No gowns. But their theology is much more evangelical in nature.

 

It's been my observation that the more progressive a church is in it's theology, the more liturgical it is in it's forms of worship. I don't know why this is. I find it odd. The only exceptions that I have found to this is "emerging churches" but they are few and far between.

 

It's good to think of different denominations speaking a different language than the Baptists, but when you translate it, it means the same thing!

 

Maybe. Maybe not. YOU will be the best judge of that as you explore further. For me, I think there are major differences. If you haven't done so, the 8 Points on this forum reflect pretty good ideas about how most progressives think. Some of them are quite different from Baptist "language" and Baptist "meanings". And your parents would probably ground you until Jesus returns if they caught you reading Spong! Ha ha!

 

But you are well old enough to begin deciding your own spiritual journey for yourself. It sounds like your parents gave you a good foundation. Be sure and thank them for that. And be careful not to critique that foundation to harshly as you continue to build your own faith.

 

Ultimately, my friend, it is not the denomination label or church you attend that changes you. That is a work between you and God, a work of his Spirit in your heart. When I told my wife that I felt I needed to leave the Baptist tradition, I gently told her, "Please don't judge my 'move' by whatever doctrinal changes or different forms of worship that I might find meaningful. Rather, if you want to evaluate my journey, do it based upon whether my faith makes me a better husband, a better father, a better person." The proof is in the pudding. The Episcopal church is in turmoil right now over the whole homosexual thing. It isn't pretty. But if you can find a community that wants to make this world a better place and encourages you to be a better person, I think that is a good thing.

 

bill

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Well actually my parents do know I read Spong..I don't hide it, but I don't do it in front of them!

The Church I want to go to is a good mesh, I think. It's got Conservatives, Liberals, and Moderates, and they seem to be a happy church!

I prefer a Communal relationship with God, (even though I think I do have a personal relationship with Him)...I don't know who, but some one said "god is personal, but never private"

 

I'm just hoping that they will let my explore the path that will bring me closer to God...

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Hi Brad,

 

I'm not a churchgoer, but I have two grown sons and would certainly want them to express themselves

about something important to them as this issue is to you.

 

Would it be easier to write them a letter first before talking about it?

 

Hope you don't let fear get in the way of your journey.

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i never talked to her! I got nervous...I'm going to talk to it soon though.

 

Good luck! :) As a teenager myself, I know it can be very tough to talk to your parents about certain things, but I know you can do it! I like Rivanna's suggestion of writing a letter first - that might help! Anyway, keep us posted! :)

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