Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

And So It Begins

For several years now, one of the Episcopal churches in my area has been making a stand against the policies of their national organization, the Episcopal Church of the United States (ECUSA). As a result, this local congregation recently made the decision to affiliate themselves with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a group that is more orthodox. Needless to say, the ECUSA is not happy with this turn of events; in fact, they are so displeased that, this week, they declared the local parish vacant. Quoting from an article by VirtueOnline (VOL):
The diocese made a grab for the church this week. Seabury church received letters informing them that bishop James Curry, acting as ECC (Bishop Andrew Smith is on sabbatical) had appointed a Priest-in-Charge who would take over the parish immediately…The bishop appointed the Rev. Canon David Cannon as priest-in-charge of the orthodox evangelical parish.
The local response:
“We are not intimidated by the tactics of the diocese,” [Father Ron] Gauss told VOL. “The diocese did not follow their own canons. They did not consult the vestry as required by Canon Law because they believe the Vestry was 'fired' last October.” Not true, said Gauss.
How un-intimidated are they, you ask? In January, the congregation renewed their serving priest’s Civil Contract and re-elected their “terminated” vestry. For all rights and purposes, they consider themselves a functioning, vibrant community of believers, united by faith in Jesus Christ and service to their fellow man.

Some of my dearest friends attend this church and, sad to say, they have been expecting this development for quite a while (hence the title, "And So It Begins"). Where will the conflict go from here? VirtueOnline has this quote from Father Ron:
“If we are pressed, and I hope we won’t, we will go to court to keep the property. WE WILL NOT leave the building. We built it…It is not an historical building. The historical building in Connecticut is now the Mosque --- the Islamic Center of New London. We will see the diocese in Court before we relinquish anything.
Given that statement, I don’t expect resolution anytime soon. In the meantime, I pray for all involved and that God would be glorified regardless of whether this particular congregation is part of the ECUSA or CANA.

If you would like to read more about the conflict between Bishop Seabury and the ECUSA, check out these articles:

Priest Threatened With Ouster
Episcopal Diocese Appoints 'Priest-in-Charge' to Groton Church
It's All About the Property, As Usual
Episcopal Diocese Attacks Another CANA Congregation

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