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Monday, November 21, 2005

An Episcopal Diocese Kills One of It's Own

Don't go thinking the furor over within the Episcopal Church has died down. Like the Iraqi Front, most of the battles of this war are simply being ignored by the MSM:
With the bishop who helped sanction the church sitting quietly in a rear pew, members of All Saints Episcopal Church held services Sunday, a day after the local diocese dissolved the Irondequoit parish.

"This has been a terrible but rewarding time, for we learned how to stand up for our Lord Jesus Christ," said All Saints' rector, the Rev. David Harnish.

On Saturday, leaders of the Episcopal Diocese in Rochester voted to declare the church "extinct" for failing to pay about $16,000 in fees and to seize its assets.

The Irondequoit church withheld the money in protest of a 2003 decision by national church leaders to allow same-sex marriages and ordain a gay priest in New Hampshire.

The Rochester diocese has supported that 2003 decision, though a considerable number of other Episcopalians have not — and the dissolution of All Saints has attracted widespread attention in the international church.

"There are those throughout the world who are praying for us this day," Harnish said at the beginning of Sunday morning's service.

That service proceeded in seemingly normal fashion, with about 50 people in the pews of a small sanctuary with whitewashed walls and a dark wooden roof.

Harnish, wearing a white robe with a multicolored vestment, preached a short sermon whose overall theme was the redeeming power of the Holy Spirit, though his talk was larded with references to extinction.

This may well begin happening all over the country as Conservative parishes are forced to decide between their belief in the message of the Bible and keeping their churches.

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