Skip to comments.San Diego Diocese: 2 Episcopal clergymen, members exit diocese
Posted on 12/04/2006 5:12:38 PM PST by sionnsar
Two priests and a group of parishioners at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Rancho Peñasquitos are leaving the San Diego diocese, becoming the seventh local congregation affected by a national schism in the denomination.
But this departure comes with a twist.
This time, the diocese has been involved in the process and both sides yesterday called the separation totally respectful.
This is like a divorce, this is very painful, the Rev. Russell Martin said after his final Sunday service as rector of St. Timothy's. I don't want to vilify anyone.
Martin and Bishop James Mathes announced the departure in a joint letter to parishioners. In addition, representatives from the diocese attended yesterday's worship service.
The letter also announced that there will be a special Eucharist at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church to celebrate the ministry of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church, offer prayers for the ending of a pastoral relationship and begin the healing process in the wake of this difficult time of separation.
While a new priest has been appointed to St. Timothy's, Martin, 38, and the Rev. Larry Eddingfield, the 62-year-old assistant rector, will head up a new Anglican congregation that will meet at Resurrection Community Church in Poway.
Martin said he and Eddingfield met last week with Mathes to discuss the situation. In the previous six breakaways from the local diocese, the details were kept largely secret from the diocese until the action was taken.
The departure is part of dozens across the country from the U.S. church, as priests and congregations have sought more-conservative oversight elsewhere in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The dissension stems from a range of scriptural and cultural differences including the ordination of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire and biblical interpretations. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.
Martin, the son and grandson of Episcopal clergy, said he no longer felt he could serve the church faithfully. I am concerned about the direction and the teaching of the national church, he said. . . . The bottom line is I think they have lost their biblical roots.
Episcopalians who are staying in the denomination disagree with these kinds of characterizations. They also say they are frustrated by the attention being given to the departures.
As one local priest wrote recently in an e-mail: Our food pantry feeds 460 people a month, one-half of them children, there is a free hot lunch served here every Friday, over $35,000 worth of goods were donated to the Sudanese Refugee Network by our members the past two years, and our youth group will make its second mission trip this summer to help rebuild homes in the hurricane-ravaged South. That, the priest concluded, should be as newsworthy as the church wars.
The San Diego diocese has 51 congregations from Riverside County to Yuma, Ariz.
In three of the previous six local departures, the churches changed their name from Episcopal to Anglican and parishioners who wanted to remain Episcopalians began meeting elsewhere, with priests appointed to minister to them.
The other three cases were similar to St. Timothy's situation, with priests and groups of parishioners leaving to form new Anglican congregations and the diocese appointing new clergy to serve the Episcopal churches.
"As one local priest wrote recently in an e-mail: Our food pantry feeds 460 people a month, one-half of them children, there is a free hot lunch served here every Friday, over $35,000 worth of goods were donated to the Sudanese Refugee Network by our members the past two years, and our youth group will make its second mission trip this summer to help rebuild homes in the hurricane-ravaged South. That, the priest concluded, should be as newsworthy as the church wars."
But the question remains...
Who do you say that HE is?
What Gospel do you preach? The good works social justice Jesus or the Risen Lord, Redeemer of Men?
Very good point. As Christians, we are baptized into the Body (Church) of Christ. This is just a fact, it does not make us good or bad. As there are good pagans, there are bad Christians. It is a simple difference, in baptism, you are set apart as one of Gods Own, what you do with it is up to you. If you are not Christian, you are pagan. Not bad, but not Christian. We do not look at pagans as the Muslims infidels; but rather they are not Christian. Not our problem, but theirs.
From my point of view the ECUSA is what it is, a group of not all that good pagans with a not all that good looking High Priestess.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.