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Dallas Episcopalians Mull Break from Denomination
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 8/24/2006 | AP

Posted on 08/25/2006 6:12:42 PM PDT by sionnsar

DALLAS (AP) - As a moderate Episcopalian in the conservative Diocese of Dallas, Dixie Hutchinson doesn't find her strength in numbers. Related Anglican Head: American Church has 'Pushed the Boundaries' (August 23, 2006) Episcopal Head Issues Clarification on Gay-Focused Meeting (August 22, 2006)

"Nobody around here would elect me to anything," she says.

Soon, she may find herself even more isolated.

Dallas Bishop James M. Stanton is among the leaders of seven Episcopal dioceses who have rejected the authority of the denomination's incoming national leader, Nevada Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, as the debate over the Bible and gay relationships tears at the church.

The move, prompted partly by Jefferts Schori's support for gay relationships, falls just short of a complete break. But in October, Dallas-area Episcopalians will meet to more fully consider their future in the denomination.

The six other dissenting dioceses - Central Florida; Fort Worth, Texas; Fresno, Calif.; Pittsburgh; Springfield, Ill., and South Carolina - are having similar internal debates.

And even though the Diocese of Dallas is overwhelmingly conservative, anxiety about what's ahead is apparent throughout its 77 churches.

Christ Church Episcopal in suburban Plano, one of the largest Episcopal parishes in the country with about 2,200 worshippers each weekend, is not waiting for the fall diocesan convention; it has already announced plans to leave The Episcopal Church.

Via Media Dallas, which represents liberals and moderates including Hutchinson who want to remain part of the denomination, issued a statement from 15 local priests who say they will not participate in any "disassociation" from the actions and leadership of the church.

Splitting from the national leaders would create spiritual orphans throughout the region - moderates and liberals who may have to leave the churches where they worshipped for years.

But some local Episcopalians say it's time to go.

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TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 08/25/2006 6:12:42 PM PDT by sionnsar
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2 posted on 08/25/2006 6:13:09 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† | Iran Azadi | SONY: 5yst3m 0wn3d, N0t Y0urs | EndOfTheWorldDay+2)
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