Admiral of Morality: The power of witness

Monday, June 16, 2008

The power of witness

Many Episcopalians/Anglicans are so reserved and grim faced even in the midst of a wonderful liturgy, that a newcomer might think he'd just walked into a wake.

The giveaway that the congregation isn't a funeral service is that there is no casket. Or there is a baby happily tumbling around in the the pews and being snatched up from the edge of the baptismal font by a flustered parent.

Being the frozen chosen might be a badge of honor in some parts and is every Episcopalian's God-given right. It may even be an attractive characteristic for many seekers.

True, being frozen is sometimes the result of five, six-verse funereal hymns. But it can also be an impediment to attracting and keeping newcomers, and to living a life of full discipleship.

Too often, we're so reserved we don't even speak about our own faith in a way that is accessible, open, and honest.

A life of discipleship should encourage and permit this. Because sometimes, the best testimony about our faith is not only a life lived, but a life shared.

One good example of the power of witness is currently online at Newsweek. The author is named Jimmy Doyle and he was recently confirmed in The Episcopal Church, at St. Thomas the Apostle in Los Angeles.

He writes that even as a boy he felt called to Christ, but that as a gay person, he did not live a life of discipleship until he encountered our Church.

Here, he found "a Christianity that was alive and evolving, one that delighted in difference and saw God's creation in many things."

Take some time out of the day to read Doyle's story. (Go here.) It is simple, honest, and a strong witness to the Lord.

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