Skip to comments.Shocker -- Local ECUSA Church Does Whatever It Wants
Posted on 06/24/2005 8:16:53 PM PDT by sionnsar
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Out of the blue came an email from one of the local ECUSA church rectors (emphasis mine):
I am delighted at the good energy your leadership has produced at St. Gabriel's and wish you continued growth. As you know, the continuing churches are an important pastoral resource for many good Episcopalians who have not agreed with our church's change of Prayer Book, women's ordination and conversation about the place of gay members in the church.
I have one request, however. When you identify your churches in public venues (signs, newspapers, etc.), would it be possible for you to be attentive to identifying your denominational affiliation with the United Episcopal Church of North America. It can be a source of confusion if you call yourself "St. Gabriel's Episcopal Church." I've had a couple of parishioners mention the confusion to me.
And here's my response to him:
Thank you for your kind words. Sorry that some of your members are confused about this. Your first paragraph itself entails a response to your request that we are a continuing EPISCOPAL Church that has not not departed from the "faith once given to the saints." For this reason alone we remain EPISCOPALIANS. Secondly, St.Gabriel's Episcopal Church has been in existence almost two decades under this very title, and for you to ask me to make a change is impossible. We have not changed to satisfy the whims of the modern day society. We have remained true to the teachings and are proud to be serving the Lord the EPISCOPALIAN way. We absolutely have no problem with our name and we are proud of it and we hope that if you have members who are unhappy about the developments at your church, that you would direct them to us.
And if I may ask of you a favor, please refrain from disturbing the faith of the simple people through your column Roots and Wings. Your personal thoughts are yours. But to proclaim as a minister of God, underestimating even the basic tenets of Christianity, like the Ten Commandments is very disturbing and misleading for God's people
Over the years, faithful Episcopalians within ECUSA have been shown the door, forfeiting their properties and endowments, for the simple reason that they did not feel right about what was being taught and practiced within ECUSA. So, who should change the name EPISCOPALIAN? We who want to safeguard and guide the faith handed down by the apostles, rooted in Scripture and Tradition, enshrined in the theology and liturgy of the 1928 BCP? Or liberals who have made a tryst with sin, teaching people that sin is fun and the Ten Commandments are not necessary for salvation?
(If we accepted this for a moment, then there is no sin, and we could question the entire economy of salvation, the futility of the passion, death and resurrection of Christ because in vain he died. Therefore, there is no need of a Jesus who will redeem us from sin. Following such logic, His incarnation, His life and message, His passion, death and resurrection, the Church would not have been established. Jesus loved sinners but hated sin. That's the reason why Christ died for us all even while we were yet sinners and therefore the need to come back to that Amazing Grace).
Many years ago, our folks left everything they had invested in ECUSA and walked out empty handed after experiencing a deep sense of betrayal. The only thing they had and still have today is their pride in having been "cradle Episcopalians." Now we are asked to drop it or differentiate ourselves from being Episcopalians.
At the same time the above email was sent to me, another email was sent to this local ECUSA church's congregation informing that their "vestry made a consensus decision to authorize a vestry-led congregational process for the consideration of pastoral blessings for committed same-gender relationships." Having made so many changes to accommodate hidden agendas and having departed from the faith so radically, it is they who need to change their name and not those who love and honor the true Episcopalian way. ECUSA: Please change your name or change your ways!
To those who love the name of Episcopalian or Anglican, be proud of your name and look for places where the great EPISCOPALIAN traditions live on. God is where grace is. If someone teaches you that sinning and shunning grace is okay, be mindful of where you are! Continue your faith walk where you can find mercy and grace until He comes again. When the son of man returns, will he find enough faith on the earth?
Good Lord, why don't these people just become Christians.
There was a time when heretics were racked and burned at the stake, it probably wasn't the best Christian response to heresy, but it kept most people in line.
I am continually aghast at the fact that the so-called "leaders" of the ECUSA are hell-bent on its destruction.
I grew up with Frank "The Heretic" Griswold as my pastor in Philadelphia at St. Martin-in-the-Fields in Chestnut Hill.
The bent towards destruction was present back then in his anti-pastoral tendencies (i.e. if someone comes to you wishing to discuss a real problem ... run!), and his feeling that he was authorized to do whatsoever he wished in running his parish (i.e. make up the Liturgy as he went along), change any tradition or canon to suit his own whims, etc. (imagine my shock when my grandmother wouldn't let me go and receive Holy Communion while visiting her because I was not yet confirmed - living with Frank "The Heretic" who would have known?)
My brother and I concluded as we grew up that the only thing a Frank "The Heretic" Griswold type Church was really useful for was (a) hearing pretty music on Sundays, (b) delicious post-Mass refreshments, (c) providing pretty rich girls to chase after and flirt with, (d) teaching hypocrisy.
Well, I guess I can forgive him for "c" on the list...Seriously, where is the ecclesiatical authority in the ECUSA to rein in such characters?
Silly you....Everyone knows that burning people at the stake is prohibited by the Clean Air Act, along with burning leaves...(g)
Outrageous for this cretin who wouldn't even be welcome at a gathering of Druids to suggest another church should change its name.
The Episcopal Church is a denomination grounded in ancient Christian scripture and tradition while at the same time open to the insight and truth of contemporary life. Our roots are from the Church in England, dating from the second century and becoming the Church of England during the reformation.
Born as a middle way between what had become a deadly conflict between Protestants and Catholics of the sixteenth centuries, we are known for our tolerance and our willingness to embrace paradox. Episcopalians trust that the truth of God embraces and transcends all of the partial truths that our limited human minds can grasp. We accept that there is divine mystery at the heart of life, but we believe that mystery can best be known through love, particularly the love revealed in Jesus Christ.
A Lifelong Process
Ours is not a gospel of fear and guilt, of moralism or threats of hell. We see Jesus as the incarnation of God who loves and delights in humanity. God becomes one with us. We celebrate a God who has created every human being in God's own image. We seek to call forth the fullness of that divine image in every person through the disciplines of Christian life. God wants us to become the loving, trusting, giving people God has created us to be. Repentance, conversion, and growth are daily events. It is a life-long process to become holy, to become fully human.
We believe that the process of growing into our full humanity is best done in community. Together we pray, worship, study the scriptures, and explore the richness of twenty-one centuries of Christian experience.
The Three Stands of Our Faith
Theologian Thomas Hooker described Anglican authority as a three-strand cord, not easily broken C Scripture, Tradition, and Reason.
The Episcopal Church honors the Bible as the first witness to God, containing "All things necessary to salvation." It is the love story of God's relationship with God's people. We respect its complexity and its origins in the communities and histories of our ancestors. We look to the Bible as the written source of our revelation of God.
We also honor the experience of God throughout the history of humanity, and especially among faithful Christians for these two-thousand years. We look to the tradition, teaching, and experience of the whole church as a manifestation of God's revelation. The ancient Creeds are alive and well in the Episcopal Church.
We believe God created human beings with an innate capacity to know God. We honor the God-given faculties of reason, intuition, intellect, and emotion. We believe that human experience is one of the ways God communicates and reveals God's intentions for us.
Our worship is centered in the celebration of the last gift Christ gave us, the gift of his presence and life through the shared communion of bread and wine. This powerful ritual renews and strengthens us. We believe that in this shared holy meal, we are fed by Christ and united in his life.
You'll find St. Paul's Church actively involved in service and outreach to our community. The Community Clinic at St. Francis House is a benevolent health care ministry of the Episcopal Church. It offers affordable medical and dental care to those who have limited access to the health care system. A professional staff of dentists, nurse practitioners, and volunteer doctors work hard to close some of the gaps where people in our community may fall through. It is open five days a week in the JTL Shop in Springdale.
Our Seven Hill Homeless Center is a day shelter for the homeless, offering guidance, job-search support, practical assistance, and a safe place for our community's most vulnerable people. We also have transitional housing for people who are working out of homelessness toward stability and independence. It is open Monday through Saturday, 8:30 to 5:30 at 1561 W. Sixth Street (two blocks west of Razorback Road) in Fayetteville.
Community Meals serves a balanced hot lunch to anyone who comes in. St. Paul's partners with Central United Methodist Church to offer this ministry. St. Paul's serves meals on Mondays and Wednesdays at noon while Central serves meals at noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. We are a founding member of the Cooperative Emergency Outreach and are involved in many other community services.
We tend to offer our charity ministry simply. We do not require people to listen to our rhetoric in order to be served. We believe loving others and giving generously are ends in themselves, reflecting Christ's love for all people. You'll find Episcopalians resistant to hard-ball tactics of proselytizing. We take very seriously the vow from our Baptismal Covenant, "Will you respect the dignity of every human being?" We try not to talk down to people, but to walk together with others as fellow seekers.
We are a people trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who loved the outcast, healed the hurting, a called us into a way of life that seeks to help us become more trusting, more courageous, and more loving as we grow into the wonderful mystery of our relationship with God and one another.
Come worship with us a few times and see what you think.
We believe loving others and giving generously are ends in themselves, reflecting Christ's love for all people[who don't try to use our name]. You'll find Episcopalians resistant to hard-ball tactics of proselytizing. We take very seriously the vow from our Baptismal Covenant, "Will you respect the dignity of every human being?" We try not to talk down to people, but to walk together with others as fellow seekers.
In ECUSA, none. In the worldwide Anglican Communion... it remains to be seen.
Thanks for this -- I think. Ugh.
The parish is, however, still connected with the ECUSA diocese, so it's all just a matter of semantics. The rector received a letter from nine clerical heretics in the diocese inquiring (not very politely) whether the parish had left ECUSA. He did not reply.
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