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Smyrna, TN: Congregations vie for same church
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 12/09/2006 | Colleen Creamer

Posted on 12/10/2006 4:20:05 PM PST by sionnsar

Members of All Saints' Church in Smyrna remaining after the rest of the congregation split to form St. Patrick's Anglican Church will cross paths with their former brethren Sunday.

Both congregations are claiming rights to the same church facility at 1401 Lee Victory Parkway.

The Rev. Ray Kasch of St. Patrick's and former head of All Saints', said he got a call from the Rt. Rev. Bertram Nelson Herlong, the Bishop of Tennessee, telling him that Herlong would be holding an 11 a.m. service for members of All Saints' at the Smyrna church.

"I said, 'Bishop, there is nobody left at All Saints'," Kasch said. He said Herlong told him he was going "to do it anyway."

The 11 a.m. service is St. Patrick's largest service, Kasch said. At issue is who holds rights to the church Kasch's Episcopalian congregation built 10 years ago.

Last month, All Saints' Church voted to become St. Patrick's, leaving the Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the Worldwide Anglican Communion. All Saints' was the first church in the region to split with the Episcopal Church after a 3-year-long schism over the ordination of openly gay priests.

Also at issue, according to Kasch, was the general direction of the church, which he believes veers from Scripture.

The diocese, he added, is asking not only that St. Patrick's pay the mortgage and utilities but also an undetermined amount of rent. He said there are not enough members left to support a new All Saints' congregation in Smyrna.

"We have about 180 now coming now on a Sunday, and he claims to have 15," Kasch said. "He's been at this a long time, and he's pretty smart. I'm sure he's going to bring in a bunch of ringers from around the diocese and claim that they had 100 at their first service."

St. Patrick's services will be held at 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. Sunday, Kasch said. On Thursday, the standing committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee sent a letter to the Smyrna church that states Herlong will hold 11 a.m. services each Sunday.

"The diocese has graciously let St. Patrick's continue to use its facilities," the letter states. "In spite of what you may have heard, All Saints' Church has not been closed. Members are not encouraged to attend other congregations but are asked to remain part of the All Saints' family. The diocese still thinks we should have an Episcopal Church in Smyrna and will make every effort to see that this congregation continues."

A number of Episcopal churches have been blessing same-sex unions and ordaining gay and lesbian priests, but the consecration of V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire to the rank of bishop in 2003 is at the heart of a fracture still affecting both the Episcopal Church and its parent affiliation, the worldwide Anglican Communion.

"Everything in the Episcopal Church is interesting these days.," said the Rev. Canon Jill Zook-Jones of the diocese. "People who have loved each other and who have been the closest of friends find themselves divided by the issues, and it's been extremely painful."

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: smyrna

1 posted on 12/10/2006 4:20:10 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; rabscuttle385; cf_river_rat; fgoodwin; secret garden; ...
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2 posted on 12/10/2006 4:20:43 PM PST by sionnsar (?|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

You know, this is really, really easy.

When the bum shows up, don't let him in the door.

That's it.
That's all.
Physically prevent the jerk from tresspassing. It's not his property. He has no right to be there. The EX-bishop doesn't "inform" a church that is not his of anything, no more than the NEIGHBOR "informs" the church that he will be holding services there. The ex-bishop is no longer in charge at this place. Physically bar him from the premises.

If he wants to fight over property rights, hold possession (it's 90% of the law) and get the case before a conservative jury there in the South. Let a jury decide who the REAL church is here.

The bishop loses.

Stop pretending these guys have any authority. IGNORE THEM, just like you guys did when you left Catholicism and told the Pope to stuff it. You didn't politely discuss whether or not Catholic clergy could continue to come in. You TOOK the Church and told Rome that they were no longer welcome there. And who physically attacked the Romish clergy that tried, or legally attacked them.

The ex-bishop is a civilian. He's got NOTHING in this church. TAKE the church. He claims a deed. Make HIM spend the money to prove it. Then ignore the result and make him appeal it all the way up.

Oh, and you do not have to RESPECT apostates. You can call him Servant of Satan and treat him like a dog. Treat these bishops like you treated the Catholic bishops 400 years ago. What THESE guys are doing is worse than the worst thing that Rome tried to foist on you back then. Indulgences pale in contrast to blessing sodomy. God never destroyed whole cities over simony.

3 posted on 12/10/2006 4:50:02 PM PST by Vicomte13 (Aure entuluva.)
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To: sionnsar
asking not only that St. Patrick's pay the mortgage and utilities but also an undetermined amount of rent.

Mortgage PLUS rent? The Anglicans should just walk away and have the bills forwarded to the Bishop. THAT would bring him back to the table to negotiate.

4 posted on 12/10/2006 6:38:11 PM PST by PAR35
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To: Vicomte13

Gotta disagree, my friend...far better to hve 200 or so of the new congregation show up at 8 & 9am, then have about 6-7 show up at 11...they may manage to pack the 11am service for the first week or so, but not for long

5 posted on 12/11/2006 3:59:31 AM PST by ken5050
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To: Vicomte13; sionnsar
The diocese, he added, is asking not only that St. Patrick's pay the mortgage and utilities but also an undetermined amount of rent.
The issue is who owns the building . . . and the answer to that seems, at this moment, to be the bank. All Saints' Church holds the title, no doubt, but can't pay the mortgage. And if similar things are happening all over their denomination, All Saints' Church probably can't be bailed out by the denomination either.

So the issue is whether the denomination is reasonable, and sells the property to St. Patrick's, or is unreasonable, and defaults on the mortgage and lets the bank do the reasonable thing with a church ideally suited to St. Patrick's - which is almost certainly to sell it to St. Patrick's.

Demanding that St. Patrick's pay an exorbitant rent is a rule or ruin strategy. If All Saints' holds the title they are entitled to do it. It certainly manifests a contempt for the committment of the people of St. Patrick's, but then - this whole imbroglio pretty much boils down to just that. IMHO

6 posted on 12/11/2006 4:52:12 AM PST by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which liberalism coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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