Northern Plains Anglicans
Ask the bishops (like Gesner) who rode the ranges, plodded through northern snows, bounced their way on buckboards to God-forsaken outposts, took weeks away from their families at a time in order to visit 3 or 4 outbound church families, what it means to minister to the people as an Episcopalian. Don't ask the bishops in NYC or Philly or Chicago or DC.Having the etiquette of an Episcopalian may have helped the former get elected by fellow bishops (as Missionary Bishops), or by a young diocese in the days of western expansion. But beneath, and then finally shining out above any polished civility would be the basis of the Episcopal faith practice: Book of Common Prayer and Bible. And maybe a love for a few favorite hymns.And if you can't hold onto those in the practice of your Christian faith, then you have given room for others to question, even judge, whether you are indeed an Episcopalian (ergo, Anglican).
So good to read your excellent thoughts, Fr. Rob. And blessings on you as you open the BCP and lead others in Biblical worship and discipleship... you are certainly in a "wilderness" and on a strange mission frontier right now. And those in king's palaces have not been of much help to you.It really comes down to what sort of leaders we ordain, doesn't it? Captain Yips has some interesting thoughts on that in a recent post.
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