This priceless anecdote, from a recent conversation re confirmation on StandFirm:
Another move, no LCMS (Lutheran Church Missouri Synod), no CRC (Christian Reformed Church), but an invitation to teach Adult Bible Class at the Episcopal Church (dismal failure; Episcopalians generally have little interest in reading, mush less studying, the Bible). This was before the 1979 revisions were in place in that parish so the liturgy was almost word for word what I grew up with in the LCMS The hymns were for the most part unsingable, but you can’t have everything. I took the adult confirmation class…twice. I backed away from confirmation the first time because of a crass remark about how much money the parish was sitting on; I expressed surprise that the parish had that much money in the bank and the priest said, “What do you expect us to do with it, give it to the poor?” I was a full time volunteer with Habitat for Humanity working as Director of Family and Children’s Services (no pay, but a title that allowed the schools and welfare department to treat me as an equal). I knew considerably more about the plight of the “poor” in the community than the priest could comprehend. I needed a church home, took the class again, the bishop came and I was officially confirmed in the Episcopal Church. I worked Alter Guild, sang in the choir, served as a Reader, coached a friend through his required Bible study to become a Deacon, filled the pulpit on one occasion, and moved out of state when they tried to draft me for the Vestry.
I guess it’s stuff like the Rector blurted out about the bank account that gave me such a jaundiced view of the Episcopal Church (or any other Main Line church for that matter) being a suitable instrument of social justice.
Her comments about Episcopalians’ studied disinterest in the Bible rings true as well. As far as the difficulty in singing traditional Anglican hymns is concerned, I managed to master the 1940 Hymnal in our paid youth choir, so I never understood my mother’s gripes about it.
But I will have to admit one thing: I never knew of anyone who fled the state to avoid serving on a Vestry.