Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Anglican Upheaval

Leaders for the Anglican Communion -- a 77-million-member worldwide Christian denomination that includes the United States Episcopal Church -- yesterday gave the Episcopal Church eight months to ban blessings of same-sex unions. If the Episcopal Church doesn't go along, it could slip to an ancillary role within the communion. The worldwide Communion also took steps to create a new governing body for more conservative parishes and dioceses in the U.S.

None of this was particularly unexpected, but it's still a huge deal, both nationally and locally: Ever since the U.S. Episcopal Church ordained an openly and actively gay man as bishop of its New Hampshire diocese, the denomination has been torn apart by issues of human sexuality. More traditional Episcopalians believe homosexuality runs counter to Scripture, and some conservative dioceses and parishes have already tried to withdraw from the U.S. denomination, seeking alternative oversight from more conservative provinces overseas.

Grace Episcopal Church has been one of the focal points for the conservative movement. Its rector, the Rev. Don Armstrong, has been critical of the Episcopal Church, but he had not advocated splitting from the church.

Now, Armstrong's been suspended while the diocese investigates whether he misapplied church funds. Many parishioners believe the suspension was, in essence, a political move to silence this conservative firebrand. With the Anglican Communion working on some sort of alternative oversight plan, it'll be interesting to see what happens in Grace over the next few months.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Zen said...

This is all rather fascinating to watch. I for one see another reformation in the works, and not just in the Anglican/Episcopalian world. I'm talking Church wide.

Issues of social & environmental justice championed by the grassroots are going to butt heads big time with the rampant institutional & politican legalism that is ruling the right.

At stake is the mainline. What would Jesus do? :0)

Fun times ahead!

3:41 PM  

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