Sunday, August 10, 2008

The long good-bye

I know Stand Firm has from time to time posted letters from those who are leaving ECUSA, so I figured I would too. From a letter written this past May - just to remind you that no one should just melt away after deciding to leave a church:

. . . [A]s you know, *** and I have been struggling with our church commitment for the past several years. We made the decision about a month ago that as much as we had hoped to wait out the situation at St. ***, we would not be able to do so. The recent statement by Bishop Mathes on the California Supreme Court decision only confirmed what we had already decided. . .

As much as we love St. ***, we are unable to stay as members for several reasons:
  • St. *** as a parish has not taken a public stand for traditional/orthodox Anglicanism. While your connection with Forward in Faith demonstrates your commitment, there does not seem to be a steadfast parish commitment. If there is a change of rector, the parish has left itself open to calling a less than traditional minister. This lack of public commitment, especially in light of the litigation against other churches from the bishop, implies a lack of resolve in standing with those who are trying to preach the good news and creates a sense of isolation.

  • We have not been able to contribute financially to the parish. Not only do we not want money going to the national church but, with the current on-going litigation in San Diego, we cannot contribute anything that might end up going to the diocese. Even if the diocese is not using parish assessments for its legal bills, our financial contribution allows the diocese to continue in this unchristian action. We are called to be good stewards and we don’t think we would be good stewards if we supported the diocese. Yet, we feel we cannot continue to attend a church we cannot contribute to.

  • Because we are parents of a soon-to-be-teenager, we do not have the luxury of staying in a church which, on the diocesan and national level, is preaching heresy. We will only have *** at home for a few more years, and while we know that any religious instruction at St. *** would be more than fine, we would still be connected to a national church which has morphed into something very different. We want *** to be surrounded by those who believe in the foundations of the faith and to be able to participate in area activities with Christian young people. If it were just the two of us, our decision may have been different, but I’m feeling a sense of urgency about ***.

We first came to St. *** 14 years ago, the very first weekend we moved to southern California, and we have felt the Holy Spirit there numerous times. . . While we will no longer be members, we hope to be occasional guests. I know the past several years have been difficult for all of the clergy at St. *** and we really appreciate the effort and care that you, Fr. ***, Fr. ***, and Deacon *** have provided. . .

1 comment:

Kevin said...

Hi Annie!

A 'Get Religion' posting from earlier this week has something that presumably should interest the Anglican faithful, maybe even those who also have just crossed over to the RCs!


"A delegation of Episcopal priests from Fort Worth paid a visit to Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann earlier this summer, asking for guidance on how their highly conservative diocese might come into “full communion” with the Catholic Church."