One Body , but many parts. Honor ALL.

St Paul’s first letter to the people of Corinth is my favorite epistle for several reasons. Chapel 12 & 12 of this letter speak especially to me when I find myself in a myriad of situations.

This upcoming General convention has me thinking about the Church as one complete Body with our various member with different funtions. Without these functions, the Church cannot survive. We need each other. Like it or no, Christians are connected & we Anglican Christians are woven even tighter together by Tradition and Liturgy. To me, claiming my Anglican identity is more about how our Church worships than what her positions are on various controversial modern issues.

As an Anglo-Catholic Episcopalian, the ancient liturgy employed by Anglicans throughout the world is much mor an identifying factor than any resolution that may or may not arise from General Convention. Yet I am aware that some people feel otherwise–that the Church’s sociopolitical stances ar much more identifying than are our ancient sacramental heritage. A priest whom I admire taught me that our Anglican identity is a ” three-legged stool of SCRIpTURE, TRADTION & REASON. Amen.

In chapter 12, Paul writes to the Church :
“If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it.” {1 Corinth 12:26}

The bottom line is: Christians need to put aside our petty differences of opinion & get to work bringing healing to the sick, food to the hungry clothing & shelter to the naked and homeless , ect.

The Kingdom of God on earth is diverse. Humans tend to prefer fellowship & worship with those whose sociopolitical ideas agree with theirs. Arguing over theology and/or ” morality” among people in the Church is nothing new.

Each one of us Christ-followers comes to faith from different backgrounds. Variants such as when & where we were born can radically affect a person’s views of everything, including the Church. I come from a VERY progressive home that saw next to no organized religion. Mom is wha she calls a ” secular Jew” & Dad is a fallen away { but baptized & confirmed } Roman Catholic.

Yes, in the world of Harry Potter I would be considered a ” Muggle” & of that mixed heritage I am proud.

My younger brother & I were taught to respect ALL faith paths & cultures, even though we came of age in a very backwards-thinking part of the nation. There were no other Jewish children in my high school class and my brother{ who attended a different high school in the city} had only one Jewish friend.

When I went away to college for the first time, I was introduced to the fact that som people are homosexual. This puzzled me{ and still does, if I’m honest about such things} but since I grew up in a home that accepts people’s differences it is easy for me to embrace my GLBT friends & family members. My brother married a lovely bi-racial woman whom I am proud to have in my family. Racism & heterosexism were not issues in my family of origin & for that I am grateful to my parents. This has not been easy for yours truly a uber progressive { Note that I say PROGRESSIVE, not liberal}

In the 14 years that I’ve lived on the Gulf Coast, I’ve met some fabulous people with opposite sociopolitical views than those with which I wa raised. As I’ve grown in faith, I’ve learned to accept them & where they came from in their walk with Christ. It has not been easy— as I do not understand many of the view of my more socially static frinds. But, by the grace of God, I am learnig to appreciate from where their ideas come—even though I totally do not agree with them.

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