Skip to comments.Martyn Minns: What is Happening in Connecticut?
Posted on 04/07/2005 4:17:16 PM PDT by sionnsar
St. Pauls Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut is the church where Angela and I found a spiritual home when we moved from England almost 38 years ago. It was a loving community where Jesus Christ was honored. It also was one of the early pioneers in the Charismatic movement and in many ways was a sister church to Truro in the early days of the Renewal movement. It is no exaggeration to say that it changed our lives and was the community that helped us discern our call to ordained ministry.
Today, St. Pauls, together with five other Episcopal Churches of the Diocese of Connecticut, is in the middle of a crisis. Their bishop, Andrew Smith, has declared that their clergy will be inhibited and deposed because they have abandoned the Communion in other words forced out. He has threatened to make this action final on April 15! This decision was taken during a closed meeting of the Diocesan Standing Committee at which the only presentation came from the bishop. In other words, they were tried, convicted and sentenced with no opportunity to speak for themselves. They have not even been notified as to the specific actions that have triggered this punitive response. What is even more astonishing is that the charge of abandonment of communion is intended to be disciplinary action for clergy who have made an open renunciation of the Doctrine, Discipline, or Worship of this Church when in truth all six churches are conservative parishes who have stood for the faith in an increasingly revisionist diocese.
This is a tragic example of the brokenness of the Episcopal Church and the capricious use of power on the part of an increasing number of bishops. These six parishes have merely asked that they be allowed to continue their Gospel ministry without compromise. They have chosen to redirect their financial support of the diocese; they have sought to make alternative arrangements for Episcopal oversight and as a result they are being persecuted. What can we do?
1. PRAY this is a spiritual battle for the church, and the first place to fight is on our knees.
2. PROTEST we cannot remain silent. I am in contact with the leaders of the Connecticut churches, and I will have specific suggestions for action.
3. PREPARE I am very grateful that Bishop Lee has taken a much more gracious attitude towards those of us in the Diocese of Virginia who share the same convictions as the Connecticut 6″ I am praying and that this will continue - but we are a broken church and we will be watching this situation very carefully to see what lessons we can learn.
4. PERSEVERE we know that if we remain faithful we will have the victory. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:35,37)
The Rev. Martyn Minns is rector, Truro Episcopal Church, Fairfax, Virginia
Sad, but better to abandon the Communion, and the property, than to abandon the Faith.
There is something else they can refuse to do.
Simply refuse to leave.
The 15th comes, they operate as before.
The bishop comes over, they tell him to leave.
They don't let him in the door, etc.
He or his men physically push, you push them back.
Continue to operate and state that the bishop is apostate, and that you will continue as before.
At that point, he will have to turn to legal action to do anything. He cannot use physical force himself. To get the physical force of the state involved, he will have to go to court.
So make him.
And in the process, burn up all of the parish money and hock everything to the gills. When he finally gets possession, leave him with debt and liens that will further deplete his resources.
Um. In ECUSA in nearly all cases the bishop owns the property. So encumbering the property is likely to result in a lawsuit against the Vestry.
We avoided that in APCK (in fact the canons basically forbid it), but they still do not allow a consecrated property to be encumbered.
Probably not the Christian thing to do, but then again probably exactly what I would advise too. Sounds like the heresiarch of Connecticut could use a lesson in winning legal battles and losing legal wars. It can be astonishing how fast my brothers and sisters in the law can gobble up the funds of a diocese. Both the Orthodox and the Romans know all about it, though for rather different reasons.
"This is a tragic example of the brokenness of the Episcopal Church and the capricious use of power on the part of an increasing number of bishops."
Well, not exactly. It's a typical example of the modus operandi of the left.
We should never forget that leftism itself, wherever found, whether secular or theological, is of and from Satan.
Sadly, I agree. I've spent the past 22 years outside the world-wide Anglican Communion, and never happy about it, but recently I'm beginning to consider rethinking that. In Communion with what?
Well, the vast majority of Anglicans world-wide who still have the Faith (even if they're on the other side of the Elizabethan Compromise). That's a very, very powerful draw for a cradle Anglican.
But it's the rest I'm beginning to wonder about. (And I speak here as myself personally, not from any office.)
If I choose to go with the Anglican Communion today, I have to declare (careful choice of word) communion with Robinson, Ingham and their ilk, with bishops and priests who have for some time been denying Christianity -- from their office!, with (dare I say it?) a druid Archbishop of Canterbury, with the churches I could not join when I moved to this locale 22 years ago.
But I will not say, unlike some whose material I've posted here, "Who Cares About the Anglican Communion?" I do care. But it needs to be a communion of the faithful for me to rejoin, and I am beginning to think that instead of a true Communion it is today little more than a "declared communion" (i.e. association) of those who have absolutely nothing more in common than an inherited church history.
"But it needs to be a communion of the faithful for me to rejoin, and I am beginning to think that instead of a true Communion it is today little more than a "declared communion" (i.e. association) of those who have absolutely nothing more in common than an inherited church history."
Communion is very important. It is interesting to note how the Latin Church and the Orthodox, no better than that, the Melkites or the Maronites and the Orthodox are not in communion because they do not believe the exact same thing across the entirety of these particular Churches and yet especially with the Melkites, the theology and praxis are virtually identical to the outside observer. Both the Orthodox and the Melkites know this yet because of the differences which do exist, there is no de jure communion. The Anglican Communion, as I have remarked before, seems to have a completely different concept of ecclesial communion from that of the Church in either the East or the West, a concept of communion where a bishop of the lowest most conservative protestant sort of Anglican bishop is in communion with a mega liturgucal, censor swinging High Church bishop who ordains a non celibate, no better said, screamingly out, in your face, divorced homosexual to the episcopacy, while denying the Resurrection and the Virgin birth and hanging a "Christa" on the wall of "her" cathedral.
Sionnsar, that's not any kind of communion which The Church has ever spoken of. This is not a multitude of, or even two, dioceses together proclaiming the self same Faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church. But even in an historical sense, there has never been any communion as Rome or the East would define it and as the Church did define it until the Reformation at least since the "compromises" of which I have of late read so much on these threads. It may be that the AC has carried within it these past few hundred years, the seeds of its own collapse.
There is great personal value for me to know that I am part of a Church which is in communion with hundreds and hundreds of dioceses across the globe, existing and vibrant today and those which are inhabited only by Mohammedans with churches which might see a litugy once in any man's lifetime, but the liturgy they see is the same liturgy, teaching the same Faith which the Church has celebrated and taught for more than 1700 years.
I reallly got lost in those words I quoted above. Would you mind expanding on what you meant by them?
I agree with TruthNtegrity, what were you trying to say in your last paragraph of #9? Remember Psalm 141:3.
In the Middle East, especially in Turkey, there are ancient dioceses which are still listed "on the books" of the Churches of Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem or Alexandria where there isn't a single Christian living. There are still churches there, probably most of them ruins. The Patriarchial Churches for many years have been trying to have one Liturgy a year in those Churches. These dioceses are still recognized because it is the prayer of the Church that Christianity will return to those dioceses. Sorry for the confusion. What did you think I was saying?
Speaking for myself, I had no idea. Thanks for clarifying this.
I had no idea. I simply didn't have a place to put that part of the paragraph that referenced "Mohammedans".
Your explanation also makes clear the desire for "one celebration of the Liturgy a year."
Thanks for the clarification. I simply didn't know.
BTW, I enjoy your posts and learning about the Orthodox Church. Is it true that all seven of the churches addressed in The Book of Revelation were located in what is now Turkey and are now dead or close to it?
"Is it true that all seven of the churches addressed in The Book of Revelation were located in what is now Turkey and are now dead or close to it?"
I don't know. Revelations is a Book which the East doesn't use liturgically. If indeed those Churches were in Turkey, its likely they are now empty, or darn near empty. The term "dead" or "dead see" is used all the time but from a purely personal pov, it seems somehow inappropriate to me. Indeed the reason those dioceses are still "on the books" is so that we don't come to accept that Christianity has been finally and permanently wiped out in those places.
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