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KY: Two former Episcopal groups are prospering
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 12/21/2006 | Frank E. Lockwood

Posted on 12/21/2006 10:33:49 AM PST by sionnsar

KENTUCKY: Two former Episcopal groups are prospering
Now Anglican, both are acquiring buildings

By Frank E. Lockwood

When it severed ties with its denomination, Church of the Apostles forfeited more than its "Episcopal" label. It also gave up its buildings, its bank accounts, its furniture, even its name tags.

For nearly two years, the Lexington congregation met in an elementary school cafeteria, but now the church has a home of its own again.

Apostles Anglican Church bought Chevy Chase Baptist Church's building earlier this month for $1.8 million.

On Sunday, they gathered for their first morning worship service. The Rev. Martin Gornik, pastor of Apostles, says churchgoers contributed $1.5 million in cash and pledges in about six weeks to make the purchase possible.

"I think it's a testament that this congregation's courage and hope had not been crushed by what had happened," Gornik said. "There's a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm."

The new facility seats 350 people and is across the street from the Catholic Cathedral of Christ the King.

Moving wasn't difficult. Other than some office furniture and supplies, everything the church owned fit in a 14-foot trailer.

Now affiliated with the Anglican Church in Uganda, Apostles has average attendance of about 100 people. While some conservative Episcopal congregations have chosen to stay and fight in the courts for their property, Gornik says that wasn't an option Apostles wanted to pursue. "We are glad to be out and to be moving forward in mission, and we have no regrets," he said.

Lexington bishop Stacy Sauls, who helped start a new Episcopal parish in Apostles' old building, said he wishes the best for the breakaway group.

"I am glad to hear that the people of the Church of the Apostles have found a new home. I pray that their ministry will flourish in their new location and the people of Lexington will be well-served by their ministry," he said in a statement. "I am saddened beyond words that their relationship with us has been broken, but I wish them well, and I entrust the healing that I know God intends to the love of Jesus in whom all things are possible."

Apostles is one of dozens of Episcopal congregations across the country to lose most or all of their members after the denomination consecrated an openly gay man, Lexington native Gene Robinson, as bishop.

Another breakaway congregation, St. Andrews Anglican Church in Versailles, meets in a Woodford County elementary school. Formed by former members of St. John's Episcopal Church, St. Andrews has purchased 7 acres at the corner of Bluegrass Parkway and Route 33. It hopes to break ground on a new 400-seat sanctuary in the summer.

Also affiliated with the church of Uganda, St. Andrews plans has average attendance of about 180, according to Rev. David Brannen, the church's pastor.

Members of St. Andrews also lost the sanctuary and trust funds when they walked away from the Episcopal Church, but they are prospering anyway, Brannen said.

"We don't have to have a building to accomplish our purposes," Brannen said. "The people are far more valuable than the property."

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
KEYWORDS: anglican
[It took my church a little longer to build, but this Christmas Eve will be the 20th anniversary of our first service in our building. --sionnsar]
1 posted on 12/21/2006 10:33:50 AM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; rabscuttle385; ...
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Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 12/21/2006 10:34:23 AM PST by sionnsar (?|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar

The Episcopals must be in a quandry over what to do with these empty churches--gay bars or bath houses?

3 posted on 12/21/2006 10:58:17 AM PST by randog (What the...?!)
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To: sionnsar

1.5 million in cash over 6 weeks out of 100 people! WOW!

4 posted on 12/22/2006 12:33:58 AM PST by neb52
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