Skip to comments.Called to conservative Episcopal ministry
Posted on 11/18/2006 7:49:35 AM PST by sionnsar
Former City Councilman Ronald Shibley was raised as a member of Fredericksburg Baptist Church.
Last weekend, Shibley was ordained--not as a Baptist minister, but as a priest in a conservative Anglican denomination called the United Episcopal Church of North America.
Shibley, who served as councilman from 1980 to '82, began studying Eastern Orthodox theology in the late 1980s and almost converted to that tradition.
He found his true calling in Anglicanism--but not in the Episcopal Church, the American branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, which has about 2.3 million members.
A group of bishops established the United Episcopal Church of North America in the late 1970s because of a perceived liberal trend in the Episcopal Church--then called the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.
The United Episcopal Church of North America "was founded to provide a church home in the Anglican tradition for those left behind by [the Episcopal Church's] adoption of beliefs and practices contrary to the teachings of the Apostles," according to the Web site of St. Chrysostom Church in Richmond, where the 64-year-old Shibley serves as vicar.
The United Episcopal Church of North America, which claims about 800 members in 25 states, uses the 1928 Book of Common Prayer.
The Episcopal Church uses the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and recently has stirred up controversy for ordaining Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop.
The conservative denomination seeks to adhere strictly to the apostolic tradition--the teachings of the church as it was founded by the Apostle Peter, Shibley said.
"It's Christ's church, not our church," he said in a telephone interview from Richmond.
St. Chrysostom meets at the historic St. Joseph's Villa Chapel in Henrico County.
Shibley, who moved to Mechanicsville in 1994, also served as the first executive director of Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. from 1972 to '78.
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