Should I give my local Episcopal church another chance?

Discussion in 'Personal Advice, Care & Prayers' started by Traveler, Apr 14, 2024.

  1. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    Over a year ago, I left my local Episcopal church and eventually the Episcopal Church entirely because of a bad experience I had at a service. Now I'm wondering if I was too rash. If I return, I'm not sure how to explain to the rector why I was away so long. By the way, I'm not Anglican. I'm a Roman Catholic who was discerning Anglicanism, until that bad experience.

    Here is what happened. During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the rector allowed a toddler who I assume was his son to run around in the sanctuary and be quite disruptive. I've seen the child be allowed in sanctuary during service before, but it was for a short time and the child was kept under control so as not be disruptive. I don't know why it was different during this service. A woman got up and walked out with a clear look of annoyance. I too was close to walking it, but it was a holiday service and I wanted to receive Holy Communion. When the service ended and I was leaving, I resolved not to return. What's more, the disrespect for the congregation - let alone the Liturgy of the Eucharist - brought to a head my concerns about what I perceived as lack of reverence and discipline in the Episcopal Church.

    I looked more into Old Catholicism, then went back to the Roman Church because there wasn't another denomination that called out to me. But soon after going back to "Rome," its prescriptive rules and questionable interpretations arose again. I could follow the example of many Catholics who go to Mass and receive Holy Communion while disregarding the essentials of the faith that they don't agree with, but I'm not comfortable with that.

    Aside from toddler being allowed to disrupt the service, I didn't have any problems with the church. I didn't see any indication of them making concessions to certain current social trends; those topics didn't come up at all. So again, do you think I was too rash to walk away from that church?

    If I return, I'm not sure how to explain my absence to the rector. I'd appreciate any guidance you might have.
     
  2. CRfromQld

    CRfromQld Moderator Staff Member

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    Since otherwise you are happy with that church I think you should give them another chance.
    There seem to me to be a couple of options.

    One is to simply return without explanation. The problem might have been dealt with in your absence. If the situation happens again raise this concern with one of the Church Wardens or with the priest. Make them aware of your concerns.

    Alternatively you could talk to one of the Church Wardens or with the priest directly, and explain why you left. It would have been better to do so immediately but better late than never. If you can't do it directly perhaps you know someone who can act as a go between.
     
  3. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    Sorry, I was unclear. I didn't mean that I was going to explain to the rector that I left because of him allowing the child to disrupt the service. When I return and he sees me, he's probably going to comment on not seeing me for so long. Like you said, the issue of the toddler being allowed to run around in the sanctuary, be noisy, and disrupt service has likely been dealt with by now. I'd rather avoid that. I'm not sure what to tell him. I guess I could explain it in terms of a personal issue that I had to work through, hopefully keeping it just that brief.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
  4. Tiffy

    Tiffy Well-Known Member

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    Instead of tackling the issue of 'toddlers' at the Eucharist being allowed to disrupt the liturgy, head on, you could explain your absence being caused by your re-examination of the fundamentals of the Christian faith and a consideration of effective ways to bring up our children and educate them in the respect and nurture of The Lord, enhancing their Love for God and helping them discover the reality of God's presence in their lives, themselves. This return to fundamentals concerning our Master's attitude to the value of children and their education could be declared to have borne fruit in your own studies and doubtless might be of some value in his also, to the immense benefit of the whole congregation.

    What we are celebrating at the Lord's Table is not a sacrifice that can be disrupted by the mere presence of the natural, uneducated exuberance of a toddler, (admittedly the presence of a child at a bloody sacrificial murder would be utterly inappropriate, for sure, if that's what it's thought to be), but rather a commemoration of an emancipation from slavery of the human race, to the penalty for sin, by the redeeming ACT of God in Christ Jesus. ONCE only, and for ALL. The innocent young uninhibited child might be an appropriate metaphor sacramentally reminding us all of the wonderful fact that the Kingdom of God now belongs not only to THEM but also to all of us who participate in this re-enactment of Christ's final supper on earth, with some of his dearest friends, in remembrance of HIS courageous and loving act of atonement, as HE has commanded us to do.
    .
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2024
  5. Traveler

    Traveler Member

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    Tiffy, I considered that I might have been shortsighted in my reaction to the rector allowing the toddler to be "disruptive" (my interpretation at the time), but your thoughts about it helped me to reflect more deeply. Thank you for that.

    I've come to realize that I was struggling with overthinking, something to which I'm prone, about the move away from the RCC and toward the Episcopal Church. I was probably on edge at the time, which is why my reaction was rash. When I go to church this Sunday, I'll explain to the rector that I was overthinking the move so much that I returned to the familiarity of the RCC because I was causing myself anxiety (which I didn't realize at the time). I think that's closer to the real issue, and my specific reaction to the toddler was beside the point and unnecessary to mention.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2024
  6. Shane R

    Shane R Well-Known Member

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    I would not be at all surprised if your absence is not mentioned. You may be working yourself into an explanation that is irrelevant.
     
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  7. Raoul Michel

    Raoul Michel New Member

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    He leído atentamente lo que escribiste. Lamento tu mala experiencia. Quizás regresaría a mi iglesia sin decir nada, y si veo que esto vuelve a pasar, hablaría con el cura.
     
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