Skip to comments.Leaving A Church Behind [Congregation surrenders $7 mil property to leave Episcopal Church]
Posted on 12/31/2007 5:07:31 AM PST by rhema
It was the last Sunday service at Christ Church. Unable to go "further in a church that continued in a false gospel," the entire congregation, including the rector and church leaders, will sever ties with the national Episcopal Church and reform under a new name: New Hope Anglican Church.
One of the "Connecticut six," the half-dozen churches in the state diocese that disagree with national leadership on departure of scripture, including the appointment of a gay bishop, the congregation will trade its historic building on the town green for a free community room at the Thomaston Savings Bank around the corner.
The Sunday service will be held at the bank, starting Jan. 6, until they find or build another house of worship.
"We need to celebrate today, but we need to recognize there is a dying," the Rev. Allyn Benedict said in his final homily at the church. Reading off an overhead projector, church members sang hymns enthusiastically, clapping and raising hands in acknowledging their faith. They hugged one another, wishing peace.
The church was founded under the Church of England in 1764. In 2003, Benedict and several other Connecticut rectors clashed with Connecticut Bishop Andrew D. Smith, who supported the naming of V. Gene Robinson as New Hampshire's bishop. Robinson is gay. Benedict and Christ Church leaders also feel the national church is rejecting scriptural authority and traditions of the church.
In cutting affiliation with the national leaders, the congregation has agreed to give up its church buildings and property, estimated to be worth $7 million, and its name, "Christ Church Parish." The congregation also ended its participation with the other Connecticut churches in a protracted legal battle against national leadership over church real estate, deciding that "it's not worth living under this oppression just for the property," said Paul LePine, the senior warden. Four of the "Connecticut six" have also ended their connection to the national church, LePine said.
"It's a tragedy when relationships fail," LePine said. "There's a relief of being free of that dysfunctional relationship we've been in for many years."
LePine's daughter, Rachel, 15, commented that while leaving is the right thing to do, "it is sad."
"That's kind of why we named it New Hope," she said.
"We're just moving on to where we're supposed to be," said Chris Varian, who was married at the church and has been a member for three years. "It's a transition. It's a lot of history and a lot of memories. It's bittersweet."
So V. Gene Robinson and the rest of his degenerate apologists win the property.
But we paid off our building before we left the denomination.
But encouraging that they are doing the right thing by opting out of the PC bulls*** which permeates so many mainline denominations. I've got to wonder what the PC wing is going to do with an empty church and no congregation to fill it. After things cool down, it there any chance they would be willing to sell it back to their former congregates?
They are the church! They just had to give up a building!!
Which they will promptly sell and someone will turn it into a ‘stylish’ and ‘trendy’ home. We saw that done with other parish closings.
I applaud the courage of the congregation of the New Hope Anglican Church. The dilemma that congregation faced is what many other church members have to deal with -- accepting a heretic leadership and keeping objects, or accepting the teachings of the Lord and giving up objects. God Bless them all!
I left UCC a few months ago because I could no longer accept having an assistant pastor who is homosexual. Also, it seemed like there were just as many if not more homosexuals than heterosexuals in the congregation.
Amen. They’ll have wonderful services wherever they hold them after making such a good decision.
Yup, they’re “OOPEEEENNNN and AFFIIIIRRRMMMIIINNGG” dont’cha know!
They win the property, but can they fill the pews? I don’t think so! Better to go to church in a steel building than a cathedral run by apostates.
Or paint it in gawdawful pastels and turn it into a boutique store. Call it something cute like "Things n' Stuff" or "Just Krap".
What are your thoughts?
Or mabye a bath-house
He will. When persons decide to follow his teachings and adhere to his principle over the "security" of the visible, created realm, God will bless that basic act of faith far beyond anyone's best imaginations.
Keep watch and praise the Most Holy One...
No doubt it was a hard decision to make by the congregation, but I believe they are doing the right thing. In 1Pet. 4:17 we are told that judgment begins at the house of the Lord. We need to have our own houses in order. We will be much better equipped to help others if we do.
The Anglican Provence of Christ the King has a Parish in Chico, California that answers your question. The “Queer” lovers took the building and turned it into a restaurant. The restaurant failed and the restaurant owner sold the building back to the Christians. While renovating the restaurant back to a church the carpenters discovered little crosses left behind the walls of the restaurant.
Legally I think it was their's to begin with.
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