6/06/2008

Amazing Grace at Grace St. Stephens in Exile

Friends at Grace and St. Stephen's Episcopal Church of Colorado Springs, have sent me a DVD of their first year in exile. It is a wonderful and indeed amazing witness to the life of the community of Episcopalians who have continued to be Grace and St. Stephens, Episcopal Diocese of Colorado. Their website is HERE. You can see the DVD online by downloading and then viewing it on your computer. It can be downloaded from the Grace and St. Stephens Episcopal Church website. It is on the left side near the bottom of the page.

The Rev. Donald Armstrong and a part of the congregation left the Episcopal Church and aligned with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA). Armstrong and company maintain that they are in place by right and can do as they please with the property. The Diocese, of course, contests this. The Grace and St. Stephen's website gives a detailed list of the activities in the legal case against Fr. Armstrong and company. The legal proceedings page is HERE. In particular the statement by the Diocese on May 14th is of interest. In it Clelia deMoraes, Senior Warden states, “Indeed, Father Armstrong himself admitted to the parish in a written report prior to his decision to leave The Episcopal Church, that ‘the church property legally belongs to the Bishop and the Diocese.”

All of that will play out, but the good news of the moment is that exile has some blessings attached: the parish is vital and doing what it knows best - being an Episcopal Church. The people have found new ecumenical companions, reaffirmed their life together and found new energy as a welcoming community. In return from the exile from their parish it is to be hoped that they not forget what they have learned in this sojourn. This has been a difficult time for those parishioners who wished to continue as members of the Episcopal Church. Still there is much to be thankful about in being able to continue as a congregation.

Next year may you be in your beloved church again.

5 comments:

  1. Next year may you be in your beloved church again.

    I raise my voice with Father Mark, for this is my prayer for you as well.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the link, Preludium, when I sent you the disc we didn't have it on our website. I want everyone to know that the recession in the video is normal, week in and week out, and that it happens about 2pm on a Sunday afternoon. An outrageously ungodly hour for Episcopalians to gather

    ReplyDelete
  3. At Home in TEC9/6/08 4:58 PM

    It is my understanding that Mr. Armstrong has been deposed from the priesthood (http://www.graceepiscopalcolosprings.org/sitebuildercontent/sitebuilderfiles/armstrongdeposed.doc), so I'm not sure that refering to him as "Father" is completely appropriate. A minor detail, I know, be we Episcopalians usually like watching these details. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Whatever Armstrong's status in TEC, he is a priest in good standing in CANA. And whether I or you approve of CANA's aims and methods, it is a functioning gathering of churches in communion with a large number of Anglican provinces and churches, and under Anglican bishops. Frankly, "as an Episcopalian" I don't give a hoot -- and have never liked the term "Father" anyway for purely Scriptural reasons ("call no man father, but your Father in Heaven"). But I'll do it out of respect, just as I would with a Roman Catholic priest. I realize that that is precisely what you are witholding here, and I suppose that's your choice. It strikes me, though, that "at home in TEC" seems to mean "at home with my doors locked".

    ReplyDelete
  5. not TEC anymore8/9/08 4:27 PM

    Seems like "priest in good standing" is just like "among the criminal population, I'm well thought of"

    Not in TEC
    but I used to work with armstrong

    ReplyDelete

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