Being received into the Episcopal Church
On Sunday Nov 19 Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce will be receiving some of our parishioners into the Episcopal Church. One of our parishioners reflects on her experience, several years ago, of being received.
"For those who don’t know me I am Charlene Huang, the senior warden here at St As and I want to share my journey towards being received into the Episcopal Church. Like many of you, I’m sure, I had no idea what being received meant until it practically bit me on the nose. I was already serving as senior warden when we were reviewing by-laws and canons for the diocese and discovered that to serve on vestry we needed to be confirmed members of the church. Another vestry member and I looked at each other and whispered “oops”. But really it was a no brainer. In my heart I was already a member.
Reception, in the Episcopal Church is when people already confirmed in another church rooted in apostolic succession are officially received into the Episcopal Church. Unlike my baptism and confirmation in the Catholic Church, where I grew up and did exactly as I was told without any thought or discernment, I fully felt the Episcopal Church was where I truly belonged. By the time I heard of being received my family was fully committed. My twins were baptized here, the kids had grown up in Sunday school down in Pierson, my husband Chris was a regular reader and I was already serving on vestry and, even more, I had just started as senior warden. What more could I do to confirm that I truly was a member of this church? To top it off my oldest daughter Zoe had just finished her own process with Fr. Nate and was planning on being confirmed in the spring. So bonus! I could be received at the same time that my daughter was being confirmed.
I could go on for days about my spiritual journey and why the Episcopal Church is right for me, but you simply need to look into your own hearts - you will know. Chris and I came here 20 years ago on our first outing as church shoppers and never left. We were welcomed, but still hung out in the back corner with our infant. Church was something I knew we were supposed to do, but scientific, rational me still hadn’t opened my heart to the intangible idea of God and the Holy Spirit. I remember my “Ah-ha” moment many years ago at Camp Stevens when our previous rector reassured me that it was OK to question. "Remember: where ever you are in your spiritual journey you are welcome." I finally understood that and it opened a window in me. Over time that window allowed me to gain an equilibrium, peace and acceptance that rational science and the Holy Spirit could coexist in my world.
Many of you are here because you love the inclusiveness of our community. We are a rainbow: all colors, all gender and sexual orientations, economic situations and all faiths -even non-Christian- are welcome at our table. Everyone is safe and loved here. So if you feel that love and welcome here and are discerning the decision to be baptized, confirmed or received, I encourage you to talk to one of our priests. If something in your gut tells you that you belong here, go with it and truly join us.
Tags: Vestry / Welcome / Worship