Episcobaptist or Baptipiscopal?

“First Baptist of Weaverville,” I said, answering the wife’s question.

We’d just been at the same meeting when we saw each other at the bank. I’ve always had a soft spot for octogenarians; so naturally, I stopped for a quick chat with them.

“St. John’s Episcopal,” the woman responded, gesturing to herself and her husband.

“Episcopal? My daughter attends an Episcopal church,” I told them. I explained that she’s in college in D.C. and, not finding a good fit among the churches of Baptist heritage, she chose a small Episcopal congregation within walking distance of her school.

The couple shared briefly about their life in ministry, alluding to the joys and frustrations common to all denominations. We exchanged other niceties and said our goodbyes.

“Oh one more thing,” she said, calling me back. “Tell your daughter, that we have found that Baptists make the very best Episcopalians!” She pointed out that in general, Baptists have a great grasp of scripture; once they learn the liturgical traditions of the Episcopalians they have it all. “Really,” she repeated, “They have it all!”

I chuckled as they walked away. And that, I thought, is why we think Episcopalians make such great Baptists!

"There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism . . . "     Ephesians 4:4-5 (NRSV)

About the Author Aileen Lawrimore

Aileen Mitchell Lawrimore is a mother x 3, wife x 28 (years not men), minister, speaker, writer, retreat leader, and lover of beagles and books. She has a lot to say.

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Lisa Whitten says September 19, 2013

Cute! After growing up a Baptist,I was confirmed in the Episcopal church when I was at Carolina. When I got married, I switched back to Baptist because Rick was not comfortable in the Episcopal church. Now we go to a "non denominational" church.

    Aileen Lawrimore says September 19, 2013

    Thanks for reading Lisa!

Len Carrier says September 26, 2013

Being on the verge of being an octogenarian, I found this post to be a propos. Today in our book discussion group, we discussed Reza Aslan's "Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth." Aslan depicts Jesus as a political figure (a zealot in a long line of Jewish zealots), But one of our number, a retired Northern Baptist minister who has studied both the historical Jesus and the Christology that followed his crucifixion, argued that Jesus was apolitical. Needless to say, the discussion was interesting, given that our number also includes a Unitarian, a secular Jew, a "Richard Dawkins" atheist, a former Catholic who now a Wiccan, an agnostic and a Plotinian atheist/agnostic. Although our discussions are lively, each of us is tolerant of the views of the other discussants. Maybe it's the good food and drink that's provided at "the half" by our host of the month.

    Aileen Lawrimore says September 27, 2013

    Sounds like a great group Len! Thanks for reading!

Len Carrier says September 28, 2013

Claire and I are off on holiday to Vietnam, Thailand, and Cambodia next week. Erica and her girls are moving into their new home next month and Zak has a job and is going to AB-Tech part time. Erica's younges, Olivia Claire, won the "Fairview Five" award for her second-grade class at Fairview Elementary. Claire and I are still exercising together at the "Y," and my novel, "Bet On The River," was recently published by Outskirts Press. We try to stay busy.

bm9227 says September 4, 2015

Hi Aileen, that little insight ("we have found that Baptists make the very best Episcopalians") resonates with me - I've heard a lot of anecdotes about how the most passionate and scriptural Episcopalians seem to be converts from evangelical churches. But why can't this be replicated among cradle Episcopalians?

    Aileen Lawrimore says September 4, 2015

    Very interesting question. In moderate to liberal Baptist churches, we see a similar situation. Members who grew up in fundamentalist churches are much more biblically literate. I believe churches can be both committed to teaching the Bible and active in social justice causes. Too often it seems we do one or the other well, but not both.

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