Several Episcopal congregations in my homestate of Virginia, including the very congregation that my extended family calls home in Falls Church, are voting to today to secede from the Episcopal church. My extended family belonged to that congregation for generations. I believe the only left is my aunt, I haven't heard yet from her how she voted (i'm pretty sure it was no).
Was it something I said? or did?
You see, growing up in Virginia I was Episcopalian. My family was Episcopalian (since well, the beginning). I became a Mormon at 18.
After finding a soulmate, being excommunicated from the Mormon church (in that order :)) and adopting a child, we have been on a journey to find a congregation and faith to which we can call home. The faith of my childhood has called me back. We've attended several Episcopal congregations in San Francisco and have decided to attend St. Gregory's. Even the last couple Christmas seasons we've been incorporating more 'Anglican' traditions like Advent sundays and celebration, Epiphany observance, etc. I am again becoming Episcopalian (though I still like UCC ;).
So now my ancestoral congregation is leaving the faith I am returning to. Was it something I said?
Well, kinda, in a weird round-about-sort of way, I guess it was.
Well, not me, 'us' as in GLBT people. You see, these eight Virginian congregations that are leaving are doing so because they oppose the larger Episcopal church's acceptence of gay and lesbians, as parishioners, clergy, married couples, etc. They reject the accepting and tolerant view of homosexuality and our inclusion in the full life of faith.
It is their perogative to leave if they so desire. It's sad, but their perogative. They are entertaining being adopted by another Anglican diocese (The Anglican church is divided by 'dioceses' of which the Episcopal church is the American one), namely the Nigerian one headed by powerful archbishop, Peter Akinola. It's sad that they find gay and lesbians in their midst so distasteful they'd be willing to join the Nigerian diocese, whose archbishop (and leadership)
... supports legislation in his country that would make it illegal for gay men and lesbians to form organizations, read gay literature or eat together in a restaurant.
(uh, not just illegal, but punishable by 5 years in prison)
Wow. Well, what can you say?
I do find it kind of ironic (interesting? strange? coincidental? cosmic karma?) that I was kicked out of one faith because of my relationship with my soulmate and now I'm considering another faith that some members are kicking themselves out of because of relationships like ours.
There are a couple other diaries that discuss this, it just had a personal angle with me, sorry for the duplications.