By Steve Richards
The Episcopal Church is a United States based member of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which began nearly 500 years ago when Henry VIII decided that, as much as he loved the Roman Catholic Church, he valued a divorce even more. Why? It’s a long story, but basically he wanted an heir and Ann Boleyn was the girl he thought could give him one. In the end, Ann lost her head and the church in Rome lost England.
As England spread its muscle throughout the world, this meant that its religions did as well and Anglicanism took root in the United States in its earliest days. The Episcopal Church was born in 1785 as it was kind of tough belonging to the church of England right after the American Revolution. It is the ultimate WASP church (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) with an out-sized role in the leadership elite of the USA – historically speaking at least. For instance, more American presidents have been Episcopalians than any other denomination – 13 in all, including George Washington. Pete Buttigieg is a member. They also have some of the best churches including the National Cathedral in Washington DC and the Old North Church in Boston.
Nowadays, Episcopalians are kind of a “cool” church. It allows women to be priests and bishops, fully supports marriage equality for LGBTQ communities, priests can marry, science is embraced (including climate science), and is principally about God’s love for all. It also has perhaps the coolest priests as demonstrated by Reverend Michael Curry – who will always be remembered for his sermon at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meagan Markle. He also officiated at the funeral of George H. W. Bush.
What’s all this got to do with the Bahamas? Well, the Bahamas are another country with Anglican roots, like most of the islands of the Caribbean. Bahamians who have emigrated to the United States found – and built – Episcopal church homes. So a certain bond exists between the Southeast Florida Diocese and the Anglican Church in the Bahamas, and thus the Bishop’s Appeal and the So FLo FLoods Screening for Bahamian Relief.
Episcopal Churches throughout South Florida are screening So FLo FLoods in support of Bahamas Relief. The cameras are largely disappearing now and the attention already waning. The Bahamas will need help for a long time as those of us in South Florida know all to well. To catch a screening near you check out our So Flo FLoods Bahamian Relief Events page.