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Anglican/episcopal Church


Pete
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I mostly attend the Quakers nowadays and consider myself to be universal and liberal in my approach to Christianity. Yet, in my past I have attended a Church of England school, attended CofE Sunday school, got baptized, got confirmed CofE, been a choir boy - sacristan and Server. I have been a member for 42 years. Until about 7 years ago I would have consider myself an Anglican. However, lately I have grown disgusted with the church not accepting women Bishops, its stance on gay marriage. and the appointment of a new fundamental Arch Bishop of Canterbury. Yet on the other side of things, I see the light that ministers like Bishop Spong portrays and I hope that one day the Anglican church will face up to the need to come up to the 21st century before it becomes irrelevant to most liberal leaning members. The issue for me is do I write to the church and ask that they remove my name from their membership or stay with it as Bishop Spong has done.

I am aware many fundamentalists have left because they do not feel that the church follows their understanding of biblical teachings or their acceptance of more Roman Catholic teachings. It maybe I am giving this too much consideration as I attend the Quakers now or should I keep the membership and be a liberal voice in its membership.

I would be glad of your opinions and your thoughts of just how does people I admire like Bishop Spong remain.

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Pete,

 

I liken it to politics or any cause for that matter. Only the individual can decide what's right for them. Some people stay with a cause or party, even if they disagree on a numbers of matters, because the cause means something for them and they would like to see it head in their direction. If you feel passionately enough about the Anglican Church heading in your direction, then I'd suggest you try and participate in that change.

 

If you don't feel passionate enough about contributing to trying to change things, then be at peac with them as they are or move on, as you seem to have done.

 

Just my opinion.

 

Cheers

Paul

 

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Hi Pete,

 

I think each of us has in a sense our own calling with associated talents. For some it is best to leave and move on while others are more effective while working from within for change. There is no black and white answer as we are all different and diverse in our experiences. To me membership status in a church is unimportant but perhaps not so with the Anglican church. Sometimes removing ones name from the role sends a message to leadership. When enough have done so, perhaps leadership will wake up to that reality. In summary, each of us has our own path and perhaps you must follow the one that brings you the most peace.

 

Your friend,

Joseph

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I thank you both for your comments. I know that it may sound odd that I am considering this and I do not want to sound as if I am antagonistic to people of other beliefs on the matter. The Cof E has been a significant part of my upbringing and also my family roots. The problem I have is when the church states that it will not ordain Women Bishops or Marry gay people or ordain practicing gay ministers I feel a wrench to my heart as if I am guilty of the same views by association. I am sure Bishop Spong must also be of the similar views. The view I must consider is should I leave and make it clear why I have left or should I stay and keep complaining and hope for change. Because it is part of my roots it is a difficult decision for me. I hope you can understand where I am coming from. Its a hard decision for me and I am uncertain what to do. I am sure it would be easier for me to move on if I just left but then what about fighting for a change in the practices of the church. I have consider this for a while but have not come to a conclusion yet. However, the way things are I feel I should do something as I do not believe the said practices to be either loving on in the spirit of Jesus inspired Christianity.

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(snip)

The view I must consider is should I leave and make it clear why I have left or should I stay and keep complaining and hope for change.

(snip)

Pete,

 

If you decide to stay i would not recommend continuing complaining. In my opinion, if you have no official position or office within to influence a change, or help another who does that feels similarly , it seems to me best to leave and state your reasons.

 

Continued complaining in my view is not healthy for either side. Perhaps we can only do what we are empowered to do by working constructively together with others who are like or open-minded to effect change.as a group. Otherwise it seems best to me to move on to a church where these issues are no longer an issue and allow attrition from the Anglican church as people move on to a more progressive church to dictate necessary change or collapse as the case may be..

 

Good luck with whatever you decide,

Joseph

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The Cof E has been a significant part of my upbringing and also my family roots.

 

As a member Pete, I should imagine you have just as much right and value in having your opinions concerning the direction of the church, as anyone else. Churches change and although I don't know much about the CoE, I am sure some of the way they do things has changed over time. What I mean is, just because you don't agree with the way the church 'does' some things doesn't mean you are wrong or not a true Church of Englander.

 

The view I must consider is should I leave and make it clear why I have left or should I stay and keep complaining and hope for change.

 

I agree that constant complaining might not be the way to go, but working for change from within could be.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I posted feeling frustrated at the new arch bishops attitude to gay people in marriage and the priesthood. I have heard from many since who are working for that change. However, I suspect it will mean a split in the church between fundamentalists and Liberals before change actually happens. If that does happen then I think you know which part of the church I will with.

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