The article appeared on my newsfeed on Saturday, as I was scrolling through Facebook. “Debates about LGBTQ acceptance roil Seattle-area nonprofits, churches.” The Seattle Times headline caught my eye. I started to read it, but only made it so far before I had to stop. “But in Christian circles at least,” it read “the risks [of being LGBTQ] are enormous, with jobs, funding and congregation membership in the balance.” Ten minutes later I was three hundred words in to a rebuttal letter reminding the Times that Episcopalians are indeed Christians, and decrying the article in general as lazy writing, when I paused. For all my frustration, all my angst, and the truth that the article was indeed pretty poorly researched and written without a real depth of understanding of the issue—all points that a colleague had already deftly articulated to the Times, a small voice kept asking, why doesn’t the author know about the Episcopal experience? It’s because of us.
“Don’t worry,” we want to say, “we aren’t those sort of Christians.” This runs dangerously close, though, to saying “not all Christians,” just as some are quick to say “Not all white people…” “Not all rich people…” If the best we can do in talking about the marvelous power and presence of God in our lives is to say, “we don’t agree with those people,” then we should not be surprised that articles like the one in the Times get published. We cannot expect to define ourselves in opposition and be taken seriously.
We must define ourselves by what we do believe. We believe in a God who is known in love. We believe in a God who sent Jesus to witness to that love and to become a sign of God’s faithful love for all people. We believe in God who abides with the world, who enervates all living things to lead the whole of creation into love that flows from the heart of God. We will not speak of God perfectly, but that’s not what is asked of us. It is not what we promised in baptism to do. Each of us must speak about what we believe in our lives, the good news of God in Christ that give us hope, and instructs us to love as God loves. It’s either that, or let someone else tell our story, poorly.
—Fr. Jed Fox, Rector
Church of the Redeemer
Welcome to Church of the Redeemer: Worshiping God, living in community, and reaching out to the world. We are an Episcopal Church serving north King County and south Snohomish County, Washington. As you travel your road, go with friends walking the way of Jesus at Redeemer.
Church of the Redeemer is at 6210 Northeast 181st Street in Kenmore, Washington. The campus is a short distance north of Bothell Way, near the Burke-Gilman Trail. The entrance looks like a gravel driveway. The campus is larger on the inside than it is on the outside. And we managed to hide a large building on the side of a hill that is not easily seen from the street.
The Episcopal Church welcomes you.