Skip to comments.Conservative Episcopalians on the move in Mass.
Posted on 08/17/2006 1:22:40 PM PDT by Dane
BOSTON - Episcopal parish priest Bill Murdoch watched the developing split in his denomination over homosexuality and thought about the future.
In a denomination where the majority of seminaries are liberal, conservatives need to look for a way to move forward on their own, he thought. So he approached the countrys two most conservative Episcopal seminaries with a proposal - an academic partnership with Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton - even though he hadnt asked Gordon-Conwell yet.
The result is a new concentration in Anglican-Episcopal studies that gives traditionalist Episcopalians a place in one of the nations best-known conservative seminaries at a time when many dont feel at home in their own church.
Were at the edge of the knife, said Murdoch, a Gordon-Conwell alumnus from West Newbury. If the church divides, there will be a need for courageous, well-trained young leadership.Conservative orthodox seminaries will birth, if you will, conservative folks to serve in parish life and ministry.With more than 2 million members, the Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the global Anglican Communion. It has long been divided over how to interpret the Bible on various issues, including gay clergy and same-sex unions. Conservatives hold to the traditional belief that the Bible prohibits gay sex, while liberals believe the overwhelming message of Scripture is acceptance and love of all people.
The 2003 election of an openly gay bishop, V. Gene Robinson in New Hampshire, intensified the divide. Some conservative parishes have left the denomination and several dioceses are now considering breaking away.
As a counterbalance the Catholic Church and Protestant Evangelical congregations have been gaining memebers.
JMO, Episcopalian Rev. Murdoch sees the future and it is not in following Episcopalian Bishop V. Gene Robinson, despite the liberal MSM's hopes.
Maybe these Episcopalians should be on the move TO Mass rather than IN Mass(achusetts).
A relationship with Gordon-Conwell is a start. After all, that place, a former Catholic minor seminary, produced Scott Hahn, Robert Sungenis (I think), Gerry Matatics, and Steve Wood (all Catholic converts) when it was a Protestant seminary.
Isn't conservative Episcopalian an oxymoron?
That's a lot of members to lose. I hope those are people who haven't lost faith, just moved to a more mainstream church. In Europe the membership has been declining as faith plays a much smaller role in the lives of Europeans. I'd hate to see the US move in that direction.
In the US, Evangelical churches are popping up and their membership growing, while the old "mainline" Protestant churches lose membership.
The new evangelical Churches may not have the grand churches, but they have what counts, people in the pews.
It's a lot worse than you indicate. If you look at average Sunday attendance it's only about 800,000 (2004)
My guess is that it will fall a lot faster now after the General Convention 2006.
In the Houston area a ECUSA church lost over 90% of its members over gays. They moved virtually in mass to the Roman Catholic Church.
Conservative Episcopalian? No such animal. Not when they promote homosexuals to lead their morality.
Note to AP: love != sex
I can tell you unequivocally - no.
The heartbreak of the Episcopal breakup is felt by the conservatives, of which there are many.
there are a few of us left.
More than a few of us. Unfortunately I think ECUSA is about to find that out the hard way.
You know what Amadeo, I heard all kinds of crap about this subject and very little protesting of the takeover of a pretty nice religion by the extremists.
The homosexuals and those pushing that agenda snowballed any normals.
I hope this church falls for this abomination.
Too bad cause they used to do a lot of fine work.
Or even: en-Mass (sorry, could not refrain).
May God bless and strengthen each and every one.
and very little protesting of the takeover of a pretty nice religion by the extremists
You are absolutely right. It has been one of those 'stand up and be counted' times in life and very, very, very few people step forward to say 'wait one cotton picking minute!' I saw this happen at the church we used to attend. A serious circumstance occurred and many people tut-tutted about it and in private said how upset they were...and then went right back as though nothing was wrong. The 'don't rock the boat because you might offend someone' mentality is throughout our culture now.
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