Saturday, 29 August 2009

Episcopal church's last rites in Englewood fueled by gay divide

Ed: Just one sad example amongst many.

After a farewell service on Sunday, St. George's Episcopal Church will close its doors just short of its 100th anniversary — the latest parish to disintegrate in part because of the ordination of gay and lesbian priests.

The Episcopal Diocese of Colorado will officially deconsecrate the Englewood church, more recently called Holy Apostles, after its short-lived merger with another struggling congregation failed to save it.

"St. George's has been a church in turmoil for decades," said Rosamond Long, a 35-year member of the church. "We managed to get it back on its feet every time. This time, we're not going to be able to do it."

The remaining 30 or so congregants will scatter among other churches.

Even though these traditional, loyal and older Episcopalians did not object to the church's growing acceptance of openly gay clergy, they say, their former priest did.

The Rev. Roger Bower, who came to the church about two years ago along with members of the Church of the Holy Spirit, a startup congregation, left St. George's at the end of June.

By then, most of the new, younger congregants he had brought with him already had drifted away, family by family, alienated by a January announcement by Episcopal Bishop Robert O'Neill that the Colorado diocese would end its moratorium against ordaining partnered gay and lesbian persons.

The older and more staid St. George's members accepted O'Neill's pastoral innovations — but the younger Holy Spirit families, which had a very contemporary worship style, did not. Read more
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1 comment:

Reformation said...

I was struck anew and again in Matthew's Gospel re: the ministerial and apostolic duty during their intercity travels of "shaking the dust" off the feet. This has corporate applications. The long overdue divorce, on grounds of spiritual adultery, has proven messy but necessary.The first and governing note of a "true church" is the right, correct, accurate, meek, reverential, loving and faithful embrace of the Word of God. That first "note" or "characteristic" is no small thing.