Just under a year ago, I posted to my Journal, I posted about my church's split, and my own personal split, with The Episcopal Church (or TEC, as they like to be known).
Recently, a friend who reads this journal asked me to "catch him up" on what's going on.
On a national/international scale, everything looks pretty chaotic. Lawsuits all over the place. The Big One is in Virginia, 11 churches leaving TEC involved, where David Booth Beers (Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop of TEC) testified that even if the National Church adopted a non-Christian faith and declared holy war on the United States, the Diocese did not have the authority to withdraw from the denomination. An interesting point of view to take. Oh, and according to TEC, there is no split in the church, because the General Convention has not formally recognized a split.
The Diocese of San Joaquin (California) has left TEC to join the Province of the Southern Cone until such time as TEC reforms or a new North American province is established, and even further north, some churches are starting to split from the Anglican Church in Canada.
As all of this goes on, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said "it would be unrealistic and ungrateful to expect more from TEC in terms of clarification." While Gene Robinson hasn't been invited to the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the ABC is still open to him being there as a "non-participant", or a "guest". But the bishops who have been ordained for CANA, AMiA, and other "boundary-crossing" missions are still not invited. Never mind that Robinson's ordination was a major cause of the split, and CANA/AMiA/etc. are "emergency" responses to it. Violations of scriptural doctrine may apparently be overlooked, but violations of "boundaries" can't.
Locally, though, it's been an exciting time. Those of us who have left our old church have started All Saints Anglican Church. We met in a local school cafeteria for several months, and now, we're in a storefront space with a three-year lease. I was honored to serve on the search committee for a new priest, and Father Michael Fry joined us on All Saints Day of last year. His formal installation by Bishop David Anderson of CANA will be in two weeks. Our Sunday attendance lately has been in the range of 120-135. We've got a lot of active bible study, prayer, and outreach going on. Pretty good for a new church.
The members of our vestry were sued by the bishop of the church we left. Part of TEC's ongoing pattern of punishing orthodox dissenters via litigation. There was a lot of loud noise and threats, and I have heard that it got pretty ugly for a while, but in the end, all that happened was a fair split of the plate offerings from the two Sundays when "Anglicans" and "Episcopalians" were both claiming Saint Andrews. And now we're moving on to doing the real work we're called for: Spreading the Gospel, and serving in His name.