Articles in various news media, most recently The Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp), have painted a salacious and distorted picture of the Episcopal Church in general, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefforts Schori and General Convention in particular. One might almost conclude that there is a coordinated campaign.
The articles, especially the WSJ example, have not gone without response. George Conger, himself no friend of the progressive wing of the Episcopal Church, offers a measured indictment.
But what it means to be church is not our infrastructure. It is how we serve the world in the name of Christ, who commanded his disciples to love each other as he loved them and to take that love and his gospel to the world. To my little parish, which is twelve miles south of Austin, Texas and worships only about 150 people a week, that means filling the shelves of food pantries, adopting four refugee families in the last two years, adopting an underfunded elementary school, driving for Meals on Wheels, teaching literacy in our local prison and taking care of each other and pretty much anybody who shows up on our doorstep with a broken heart. Jesus cares about that. He doesn’t give one hoot what kind of cross Bishop Katharine carries. Nor does he care about the address of the building from which we do the business that must be done.
And from Scott Gunn:
Alas, since Episcopalians didn’t provide any rude behavior for the media, the media need to try to invent some retroactively. You’ll never see a WSJ headline, “Episcopalians experience grace in listening” or “Christians practice their faith by treating one another well.” Pity.
If the Wall Street Journal wants to attack the Episcopal Church, they are welcome to do so. We can handle it. But I do wish they would use actual facts. I would encourage any Wall Street Journal staffer or reader to visit an actual Episcopal Church. I’ll guarantee you two things. First, it won’t be perfect. After all, the church is filled with humans. But note the second thing, and note it well. It won’t be the rancorous caricature that Mr. Akasie loves to write about.
The Episcopal Church welcomes you! Even error-prone reporters from the Wall Street Journal.
In a very different tone, The New York Times has published an article on the retreat ministry of the Society of St. John the Evangelist.