Skip to comments.A Rector Resigns [Pontificator]
Posted on 05/19/2005 4:53:16 PM PDT by sionnsar
Below is the letter I sent to my parish today. St. Marks Church is a parish of approximately 200 members in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Yesterday evening I submitted to the Vestry my resignation, effective July 1st. This was a very difficult decision for Christine and me. We have come to love Johnstown and the people of St. Marks. But we feel strongly that God is calling us to make this decision.
Twenty-five years ago, I was ordained into the priesthood of the Episcopal Church and into a vision of the catholicity of the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Church has since become a very different kind of church. In the name of an ideology of radical inclusivity, the Episcopal Church has moved significantly away from the apostolic and catholic faith of Jesus Christ. With the decision made by General Convention two summers ago to approve the ordination of noncelibate homosexuals and the blessing of same-sex unions, it has, in my judgment, become heretical. I feel that I am a priest without authority. I cannot in conscience represent the Episcopal Church to the world, nor can I in conscience summon sinners into its fellowship. As a consequence I cannot function effectively as your parish pastor.
As my wife and close friends can well testify, my life has been an agony for me since the 2003 General Convention. I have struggled to discern Gods will for my life and for my ministry. I have had to reassess my understanding of the Church from the ground up. I have finally concluded that I cannot in conscience remain an Episcopalian. I must be in the Church founded by Christ Jesus. It is thus my intention to enter into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church.
I hope and pray that I leave St. Marks stronger than when I came. Our level of stewardship has increased over 30%. We have completed an ambitious capital funds drive, receiving pledged commitments of almost $280,000. If we also include the anonymous gift of air-conditioning for the church and the Pennsylvania state grant for the bell tower, we have raised approximately $400,000. We can be very proud of this!
But even more importantly we have grown spiritually. The Alpha Course has had a powerful impact upon our spiritual and communal life. The name of Jesus has been exalted. The Spirit has moved in our hearts. Fellowship has been strengthened. My only regret is that we have not been able to grow our parish numerically.
Christine and I are very grateful for the friendships we have formed here at St. Marks. It has been a privilege being a part of this parish community. Please know that we pray for the Lords abundant blessings upon each of you and upon St Marks Church. We ask for your prayers as we begin this new chapter in our lives.
St. Marks is fortunate to dwell within an orthodox diocese with a godly bishop. I urge you to follow his counsel and leadership.
If I have hurt or offended anyone, I ask for your forgiveness.
Yours in Christ,
For "the Pennsylvania state grant for the bell tower" ACLU will eat alive him and all others involved, without even having gutted them first.
It's kind of rough, though. He received all these monies and pledges and he's leaving to become a Catholic. His congregation is left high and dry and who knows what they'll get for a priest next after all their efforts to support him.
Why doesn't the church membership decide to go with him, ie, he could call upon the congregants that are willing to convert with him to by RC, go through the initiation process, and he could continue to serve the same congregants.
If I was in his parish, that is what I would consider.
Of course, I am Roman Catholic already so I consider it a good home. :-)
An episcopalian friend has decided to make the jump.
Not the oint of the letter but what does a church do with $280,000-$400,000?
Does it sit in an account or is it spent as it comes in?
What does it get spent on?
Those are PLEDGE commitments - promises to give a certain amount of money (usually) over the course of several years. As the money begins to trickle in, it is generally invested in a Diocesan bond fund and it is against this fund & with these pledges that the parish may seek a construction loan from the Diocese.
The church does not seem to have a web site.
You misunderstand. The monies were collected for improvements to the buildings and grounds of the church. The priest gets none of that. The airconditioning is a capital improvement for the building, not for the priest's house. The Belltower is a building improvement, not for the priest's benefit.
Please do not impugn this man by implying he is a thief.
ECUSA is to blame for them being priest-less.
What does the $$ get spent on? ....
A new organ, a new roof, paying down the principal on the mortgage, parking lot repaving, sextan and secretary salaries, nursery helpers (usually unpaid) finally get paid, and the Sunday School gets a new curriculum, scholarships to Summer Church Camp, and so on and so forth. You see, I am a parish Treasurer and I know where I would spend that kind of money.
His son recently entered the Catholic Church.
Fr. Kimel is a good friend of Fr. Newman at St. Mary's in Greenville, South Carolina for those familiar with that great Catholic parish.
The money goes to the parish (it's a "capital funds" drive, see?) for improvements to the buildings. He even lists two, probably the most expensive - adding a bell tower and retrofitting the church for A/C.
Not only does he leave that behind, he also leaves behind his salary, his accrued pension, and his insurance coverage. He basically comes to the Catholic Church with the clothes on his back.
You come perilously close to calling him a thief. Pretty hard words for a man who has left everything for his faith.
I don't know if folks think a church just runs on the hot air generated by the sermons, or what . . .
Not enough money there for a new pipe organ. Perhaps a small electric one or organ repairs. The salaries, curriculum and scholarships should be in the operating budget, not a capital campaign. The other items would be in a capital campaign. Just a repainting of the facility would eat up a chunk of the money.
The drive does not strike me as ambitious, although it appears that the biggest giver covered the air conditioning outside the fund drive. I'm still puzzled by the state grant for a new bell tower.
HARRISBURG, October 19, 2004 State Sen. John N. Wozniak announced today that St. Marks Episcopal Church of Johnstown will begin another phase of revitalization, with the help of the Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program.
St. Marks has been a staple of the Johnstown community for more than a century, said Wozniak (D-Cambria/ Clinton/ Centre/ Clearfield/ Somerset). This grant of $82,800 will help the church to reconstruct a bell tower that had been removed during another renovation project in the early 1960s.
Matching private funds will be used to replace the church roof, repair gutters and stonewalls, and repaint the buildings façade.
After the 1889 Johnstown Flood, St. Marks was part of the citys massive rebuilding effort, Wozniak added. I am proud to have played a part in securing grant funds for this current project, because the work will ensure that St. Marks is part of the Johnstown community for generations to come.
The Keystone Historic Preservation Grant Program, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC), provides grant funding to preserve and restore historic properties throughout the Commonwealth. For the 2004-2005 fiscal year, PHMC has awarded 32 grants for a total of $2.07
Many thanks for the post! I googled both the web and news last night trying to find something on the church. You did better than I did. It sounds like the church is getting a lot for its money.
See post 17 from siunevada to me. Siunevada seems to have dug out the full details on the renovations.
An applicable term I hadn't heard before. It's a keeper.
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