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Christ Episcopal Church says God loves us, warts and all

“My job as a preacher isn’t to get up to tell people what to do.”

Regan Schutz
Regan Schutz

Christ Episcopal Church & Day School

Contact: 1114 Ninth St., Coronado 619-435-4561 www.christchurchcoronado.org

Membership: 400 

Pastor: Mother Regan M. Schutz

Age: 45

Born: Eugene, OR

Formation: Jesuit High School, Portland, OR; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of the South-The School of Theology, Sewanee, TN 

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Years Ordained: 7 

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Mother Regan Schutz: God loves you. We have an entire world around us telling us the contrary. The messages we get from the world are that we’re not enough. The big news is that Jesus Christ, God, loves us. When I preach, my job isn’t to get up to tell people what to do. My job as a preacher is to preach the good news, which is that Jesus Christ loves us in ways beyond anything we can imagine. It’s a mystery, but we know it’s true…The mission of the church stems from that understanding of love. It’s the first step—the good news of Christ goes beyond that, but the first foundational block has to be in our acceptance and understanding that we are loved by God—warts and all.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

MS: Bridging love and service — which of course refers to the Coronado Bridge. There are several things which Christ Church focuses on. One of them is to be a truly welcoming community and every single person who shows up shows up equally as a child of God. We work to live that value, which is very much an Episcopal and an Anglican value. We don’t have to all agree, but the Anglican commitment is that we will still all come to the table, which leads into respecting the dignity of every human being. That call for respect is part of our baptismal covenant… The biggest thing we do is we’re the only Episcopal grade school in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. We have a hundred kids with supportive families showing up throughout the entire school year. Within the student body, we have Lutherans, Jews, atheists, and we can all still gather together in a meaningful way. It doesn’t require people to be anything different than they are. It also doesn’t require us as Episcopalians to bend and snap with the wind. Our theology is so strong that we can hold intentional pluralism in our school.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

MS: At the beginning of the school year, I met with our students and one third grader asked that question. I said to the student, “I don’t know.” That’s the crux of the matter: I don’t claim to know but I believe — so deeply it has changed my life — that nothing can separate us from the love of God. What that looks like — I don’t know. But I do know what it feels like. That’s what we’re doing here, practicing what the inseparable love of God feels like. It’s more than an emotional feeling and it’s not a bodily feeling. But I know we go to God to be with God. Is it a plane of existence? I don’t know. I’m looking forward to meeting my maker but I’m also content to continue to do God’s work here on earth. The beauty of the Episcopal Church is that it holds mystery well. The theology of our church is that there are mysteries we cannot fully understand; we’re human and we’re not going to fully understand it. We get glimpses of it and that’s what keeps us coming back.

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Regan Schutz
Regan Schutz

Christ Episcopal Church & Day School

Contact: 1114 Ninth St., Coronado 619-435-4561 www.christchurchcoronado.org

Membership: 400 

Pastor: Mother Regan M. Schutz

Age: 45

Born: Eugene, OR

Formation: Jesuit High School, Portland, OR; University of Colorado, Boulder; University of the South-The School of Theology, Sewanee, TN 

Sponsored
Sponsored

Years Ordained: 7 

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Mother Regan Schutz: God loves you. We have an entire world around us telling us the contrary. The messages we get from the world are that we’re not enough. The big news is that Jesus Christ, God, loves us. When I preach, my job isn’t to get up to tell people what to do. My job as a preacher is to preach the good news, which is that Jesus Christ loves us in ways beyond anything we can imagine. It’s a mystery, but we know it’s true…The mission of the church stems from that understanding of love. It’s the first step—the good news of Christ goes beyond that, but the first foundational block has to be in our acceptance and understanding that we are loved by God—warts and all.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

MS: Bridging love and service — which of course refers to the Coronado Bridge. There are several things which Christ Church focuses on. One of them is to be a truly welcoming community and every single person who shows up shows up equally as a child of God. We work to live that value, which is very much an Episcopal and an Anglican value. We don’t have to all agree, but the Anglican commitment is that we will still all come to the table, which leads into respecting the dignity of every human being. That call for respect is part of our baptismal covenant… The biggest thing we do is we’re the only Episcopal grade school in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. We have a hundred kids with supportive families showing up throughout the entire school year. Within the student body, we have Lutherans, Jews, atheists, and we can all still gather together in a meaningful way. It doesn’t require people to be anything different than they are. It also doesn’t require us as Episcopalians to bend and snap with the wind. Our theology is so strong that we can hold intentional pluralism in our school.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

MS: At the beginning of the school year, I met with our students and one third grader asked that question. I said to the student, “I don’t know.” That’s the crux of the matter: I don’t claim to know but I believe — so deeply it has changed my life — that nothing can separate us from the love of God. What that looks like — I don’t know. But I do know what it feels like. That’s what we’re doing here, practicing what the inseparable love of God feels like. It’s more than an emotional feeling and it’s not a bodily feeling. But I know we go to God to be with God. Is it a plane of existence? I don’t know. I’m looking forward to meeting my maker but I’m also content to continue to do God’s work here on earth. The beauty of the Episcopal Church is that it holds mystery well. The theology of our church is that there are mysteries we cannot fully understand; we’re human and we’re not going to fully understand it. We get glimpses of it and that’s what keeps us coming back.

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