Friday, May 23, 2008

Five things to know about being Episcopalian

By Rochelle Feil
World staff writer
May 22, 2008

Now, after being an ordained minister for 38 years and a priest for 37, Boyle says it's part of the natural rhythm of his life. "Ministry makes introverts more extroverted. ... I tended to think too deeply about stuff when I was younger. I think I've mellowed over the years."

The Episcopal Church is a liturgical church, says Boyle. "The liturgical worship works on both a conscious and an unconscious level of my being. I miss it when I don't have it."

1 Worship is at the core of the Episcopal Church
Episcopalians are united by their worship. The service is done in nearly the same way every week. If you're the kind of person who wants a lot of variations in the service, then there are other churches that might suit your needs better. "The central and organizing function for the Episcopalian Church is going to worship. Episcopalians tend to get spiritual needs fulfilled in the traditional Episcopalian worship." All churches use the Book of Common Prayer in worship services, and in most churches, communion is performed every Sunday as a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Morning prayer is common across Episcopal churches.

2 Worshipers don't follow a strict code
The Episcopal Church approaches the faith from three basic standpoints: Scripture, reason and tradition. Episcopalians aren't expected to accept everything they are told or always agree with the priest or other leaders. "They take what is of value and use it. I expect them to disagree with me at times. ... The church expects people to make their own moral and ethical decisions." Parishioners are asked to explore issues thoughtfully and prayerfully and to come to their own decisions. The approach is more like, "I respect your opinion, and I will think deeply about that, but that may not be, in the end, what I decide is right for me." Parishioners make decisions based on thorough study, reason, prayer and examining one's own conscience rather than having them prescribed to them. the rest


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