It would be easy to think that all parishes are easily defined in their theological and political positions, at least based on most news reports. Here's a story from today's New York Times about a parish on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It's quite liberal in its politics, but conservative in theology. This is another example of how a mission-focused church might have a chance to stay together.
The parish, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, clings to a staunchly conservative theology, even though it is in an overwhelmingly liberal diocese of the Episcopal Church of the United States. Many in the congregation of about 300 young professionals, artists and even homeless people are proudly liberal in their politics. But they do not seem to carry that liberalism into their plain sanctuary, bathed in warm sunlight on Sunday mornings.
They've got things in perspective, I think. Here's a bit from the rector:
Mr. Sojwal said he believed many conservative Christians had elevated homosexual acts above all other sins. In his congregation, he said, sins like greed and materialism are of more pressing concern. “Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality,” he said. “He has a lot to say about money.”
Nevertheless, he reads the Bible conservatively on homosexuality, saying he cannot find any way around the admonitions about it in the Old and New Testaments. Most in All Angels side with Mr. Sojwal in his reading of the Bible on the issue, but that does not mean they are at peace with it.
It looks like the principal concern of this parish with respect to ECUSA is not Gene Robinson, but rather a general leftward drift on scriptural authority. They want to talk about salvation, not sexuality. It's a conversation worth having, I think.