Gratitude

Today I am grateful for…

  • to be move, touched and inspired
  • that I can move, touch and inspire
  • that I learned that skill long ago
  • that I was able to watch 3 kids I care about get Baptized
  • that I was able to participate in 6 people I care about get Confirmed
  • that I attend the church I do
  • that I have my father’s and my mother’s affinity for planning
  • that I have my mothers inability to hold back the tears
  • for Chris, and his ability to turn hymns into amazing works of art
  • my family
  • my friends
  • my extended groups of both of those

Today, was a special day at my church. The Bishop was here, and it was the first time she’s been here since she was installed, and our first Bishops visit in 2 years.  Just for 30 seconds of logistics… The Episcopal Church (TEC) is organized into Diocesses – basically a large group of churches in a somewhat large Geographical Area (Ours is El Camino Real from just south of SF to AG).  Each Diocess is led by a Bishop. The Episcopal Church ordains women, and ordains women priests to the Episcopate, aka being a Bishop.  Many mainline churches do not ordain women, and do not ordain women priests – but my church does.

 

So, the Episcopal Church does Baptisms and Confirmations when the Bishop is present. We also do Baptisms on other high holy days, but we also do them, when the Bishop is here. It brings life and vitality to the church, and really, how cool to be Baptized by a Bishop…

 

So today, the children of my childhood best friend were baptized. It has been a long time coming, and since TEC is a liturgical church, we have a very structured service, and “bells and smells” approach to Baptism. In addition, 6 people were confirmed – 2 of my cousins, 2 kids from my youth group, and 2 good friends.

 

All in all, it was overwhelming, I was in tears (joyful ones) for the majority of the service. We had a huge choir (25 – which given our average sunday attendance is 100 – is huge), with our well published, well known Music Minister. Two of my favorite hymns were played and it was phenomenal. I sat with 2 rows of my family, behind 2 rows, of extended family, and it was overwhelming.

 

So anyway – I’m emotionally tired tonight, but filled with joy, and really feel content with today. It was amazing, to meet and chat with the Bishop. It was shocking to hear that the perception is purpetrated that TEC in the US doesnt believe in the Holy Trinity, Jesus, and many other things which couldn’t be more from the truth. It was heartwarming to participate in the Confirmation of my friends, see old friends, etc etc.

 

And it was refreshign to renew my own Baptismal Covenant and really connect with what those words, and teachings mean, and to refocus in applying them to life. Curious – and it’s fine if your not… here’s a link to TEC Baptismal Covenent and the Nicene Creed… And while its what we teach, you aren’t required to agree, even if you park your butt in one of our pews each week… and thats part of why I love the Episcopal Church.

 

Baptism Info

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/19625_21648_ENG_HTM.htm

Baptisminal Covenant

justus.anglican.org/resources/bcp/baptism.doc              page 8, page 9

Nicene Creed – our core beliefs

http://www.theopedia.com/Nicene_Creed

 

I rarely blog about church or religion…. but today, I could’nt help it.

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2 Responses to Gratitude

  1. April says:

    Do the people who “present” the person being baptized talk about them or anything??? If it is an adult that is being baptized does that individual say anything? We do adult (well…teenagers and up) baptism at our church and before the person is baptized they give their testimony to the whole congregation. We have baptisms about six times a year. I love those Sundays too. They are so full of excitement and love for the Lord 🙂

  2. afesler says:

    We don’t do testimony prior to baptism or confirmation.

    We have a whole liturgy that goes through the Baptismal Covenant, and asks a bunch of questions, that they respond to – but as far as personal testimony, that’s not really a big part of the Episcopal Church in general.

    We are a more… corporate… denomination, so we do group confession, group reading of the creed, etc…

    Regardless of how they do it – I do love the Baptism Days – they are always so beautiful and joyous!

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