11 things I love about the Episcopal Church

Ben Irwin


My faith was saved in a gutted-out shopping mall.

I had reached a point where I no longer believed in God’s love—or rather, I didn’t believe it was meant for me. I thought it was something reserved for God’s “chosen ones,” and I just couldn’t imagine myself as one of the lucky few.

It was a trendy church with a famous pastor and a hip worship band that helped me reassemble the pieces of my faith. I will always be thankful for that church.

At that time, I had no idea my journey would lead from that gutted-out shopping mall to an old red door. But it did. Today it’s the Eucharist, the stained glass windows, and the liturgies of the Episcopal Church that are breathing new life into my faith.


I’m not alone, either. Lately I’ve been sifting through the stories of fellow travelers like Rachel Held Evans, Jonathan Martin

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VOTD Isaiah 1:13

God is Open

Isa 1:13 Bring no more futile sacrifices; Incense is an abomination to Me. The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies— I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Isa 1:14 Your New Moons and your appointed feasts My soul hates; They are a trouble to Me, I am weary of bearing them.

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The Tomb and Crucifixion of Christ

Following His Footsteps

“We spent the entire afternoon in the holiest site in all of Christianity.” There is only one place in the world this statement could be about. It is of course, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre.




1.The Site Itself 


3.My Personal Reflection

The reason the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is so special is because it is the place that commemorates Christ crucifixion, entombment, and resurrection. Inside the Church you are able to see, and even touch, the Rock of Calvary (also known as Golgotha), which is the stone upon which Christ was crucified. It is part of a five-foot pillar of natural rock located to the side of the chapel. If that wasn’t enough, towards the west end of the Church is the symbolic Tomb of Christ. Inside this tomb contains a piece of the stone that sealed Christ’s actual tomb. Pilgrims are able to enter into…

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Meeting Mary and Joseph in Nazareth

Following His Footsteps

Jesus of Nazareth. There is no escaping the importance of Nazareth to the life of Jesus Christ. Nazareth may be best known as the childhood home of Jesus. It is there Mary meets the Angel Gabriel, there Joseph raises Jesus to be a carpenter, and there Jesus is ultimately rejected. Yet there is still one event that stands above all in Nazareth– It is in Nazareth that Mary, the Bearer of God, said yes.


Today was an early morning for us pilgrims as we had to travel about an hour and half from Jerusalem to Nazareth. Upon arriving, our first stop was to visit the Church of the Annunciation. This Church commemorates and is the traditional site of where the Angel Gabriel informed Mary she would bear a son. This is the largest Church in the Holy Land, and resembles a fortress to convey its permanence. Upon entering the church…

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A Little Town Called Bethlehem

Following His Footsteps

Today we explored the birthplace of Jesus. In order to do that, we had to travel by bus into a little town called Bethlehem in modern day Palestine. We then met with our Palestinian guide, who led us to the Church of the Nativity. This Church is inhabited by three different denominations, Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Armenian. When you first enter the church grounds, you notice a small opening within a large wall. This small opening is actually the church door, dating back to the Crusades. The small door makes it extremely difficult for chariots and invaders to enter (not to mention this 6’6 pilgrim). Once inside, pilgrims are greeted by a long nave leading to a high altar space. This is a typical Greek Orthodox Church featuring golden candles, icons, and a number of decorations. However there were even more decoration today, as we happen to be visiting…

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