Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Schismatics of Easton

Elizabeth Kaeton has posted a story of one parish that cut ties with the Episcopal Church and has now been sold on the courthouse steps. She tells the sad tale of "St. Andrew's Anglican Church" in Easton, MD, which describes itself as an "independent Anglican Church" in what it terms the "Anglican Diocese of the Chesapeake" which was organized in 2005.


In other words, these are a bunch of schismatics who cast themselves as a holier-than-thou parish in a holier-than-thou diocese of the People Who Hate The Episcopal Church.

Read the details at Elizabeth's blog. They believed God was blessing them and calling them to eschew TEC. Their parish has now been sold at auction, because they couldn't manage to grow much beyond the 35 schismatics who hated the Episcopal Church.

Elizabeth tells this story with great sympathy. I admire her for that. In my quiet moments, I realize that some of the faithful Episcopalians are probably going to suffer a similar fate as we contend for our church's properties.

But I cannot resist a bit of schadenfreude.

First, I remember how recently the self-styled "Archbishop" Duncan declared that God Himself in His providence is replacing the Episcopal Church – that God would shield the schismatics. Hmmm … maybe Duncan's prophetic skills aren't as keen as he might have wished.

Second, "Bishop" Joel Marcus Johnson, the self-styled "Anglican bishop of the Cheseapeake," testifies to his West African primate: "We marched together at the opening Eucharist at its conference in Pittsburgh in November, 2005, where with you and your colleague Primates I was honored to assist with the ministration of the Holy Communion ....." As I recall, that's the very same conference in which Archbishop Akinola urged "the faithful" of the Anglican Communion Network to walk away from their buildings and property, to keep their eyes on the prize and not stoop to litigation with the apostate Episcopal Church.

Go to Elizabeth's blog for the fuller story. I just couldn't resist these couple of comments on it.


Blogger BentonQuest said...

Just this morning I was discussing with a parishioner the power of common worship even if we disagree. And how those who are pulling out of TEC seem like spoiled children. ("I'm taking my toys and going home!") I want to feel sorry for them but just can't drum up the sincerity.

12/28/2008 12:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Thanks, BentonQuest. I tried to be as restrained as possible.

I heartily agree with you. Back in 2003, the Sunday after GC's consent to Gene Robinson's consecration, our normally apolitical priest preached a heckuva sermon. One point he made: Because ours is the only Episcopal parish in a 25-mile radius, if one lives here and wants to be an Episcopalian, one pretty much has to come here. Folks don't have the opportunity to "ghettoize" by choosing a liberal or conservative parish, high-church or low-church, etc. So we have perforce learned to live with our differences. ... There's one man in our parish who remains livid about Bishop Robinson and TEC's current state; I love it on those Sundays when I receive the chalice from him or he from me. For me, that pretty much sums it up: united by common prayer and common worship. ... That's my longwinded way of saying: I would have been saying "Amen" during that conversation with your parishioner.

12/28/2008 2:10 PM  

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