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A free floating commentary on culture, politics, economics, and religion based on a passionate commitment to the truth and a desire graciously to refute that which is contrary to it….
"He must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it."
--Titus 1:9, Revised Standard Version
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Circuit Court Judge Diane Goodstein issued a permanent injunction Thursday ruling only churches that left The Episcopal Church last year may use the name the Diocese of South Carolina.
The use of the name and the diocesan seal has been in dispute since parishes in the eastern and lower part of the state left the national church in a dispute over the ordination of gays and other issues.
Following the split with the national church, the Diocese of South Carolina sued, seeking not only to protect its name but also a half-billion of church property it says belongs to the diocese, not the national church.
Read it all.
First, one major complexity is that the Communion has no clear definition of itself. The oldest and probably still most widely accepted understanding of the Communion is that offered by the 1930 Lambeth Conference and subsequently quoted in the preamble to TEC’s constitution. It defined the Communion as a “fellowship, within the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church, of those duly constituted dioceses, provinces or regional Churches in communion with the See of Canterbury,” which have in common “the Catholic and Apostolic faith and order as they are generally set forth in the Book of Common Prayer”; that “they are particular [dioceses] or national Churches”; and that “they are bound together not by a central legislative and executive authority, but by mutual loyalty sustained through the common counsel of the bishops in conference.”
As we have noted before, this definition reflects the essence of catholic ecclesiology: the people of God are united in one local church by their communion with their recognized bishop, and through the communion of all the bishops in a college of bishops the people of God around the world are joined in one communion.
It is sometimes suggested that a better definition is the membership schedule attached to the constitution of the Anglican Consultative Council. But this definition is clearly inadequate and is not in fact accepted by any of the Instruments as defining the Communion as a whole for all purposes. Indeed, while it purports to be only a definition of ACC membership, the ACC itself does not accept the schedule as performing even that limited role.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Provinces Church of England (CoE) CoE Bishops Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Conflicts: South Carolina * South Carolina * Theology Ecclesiology
In November 2007, St. Andrew’s vestry relinquished the keys to its church and community center on Mirador Drive after withdrawing from the Episcopal denomination.
The decision — which [Tony] Seel called galvanizing in terms of what congregants believed — drew national attention in a denominational dispute over the consecration of a homosexual bishop in New Hampshire.
Seel said the opening worship service will mark a new chapter in the congregational life.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Departing Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry
Bishop Jefferts Schori says this new Anglican group is encroaching on her church's jurisdiction, and she has authorized dozens of lawsuits "to protect the assets of the Episcopal Church for the mission of the Episcopal Church." The Episcopal Church has dedicated $22 million to legal actions against departing clergy, congregations and dioceses, according to Allan Haley, a canon lawyer who has represented a diocese in one such case.
Now the Episcopal Church has upped the ante: It has declared that if congregations break away and buy their sanctuaries, they must disaffiliate from any group that professes to be Anglican.
Rather than agree to this demand to disaffiliate from Anglicanism, Pittsburgh's All Saints Episcopal Anglican Church last month walked away from the building it had inhabited since 1928. The congregation called the Episcopal Church's demand "mean-spirited" and an attempt to deny "the freedom of religious affiliation."
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Departing Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry Stewardship * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues
Rather wonderfully the Catholic church came to the rescue offering the abandoned congregation a place in which to worship. That congregation has since doubled, a clear sign of God’s blessing, wheras the church that remained has dwindled and died. Now for the really revealing part of this very shoddy episode….
…having claimed that those leaving were not able to uphold the desires of the church founders the Diocese of New York has spitefully sold the building, at a third of the cost the congregation were offering, to the Muslims! How truly shameful that the Episcopal authorities were so full of hatred and malice that they could stoop to such depths.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Departing Parishes TEC Parishes * Christian Life / Church Life Parish Ministry * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues
Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton New York. (Been there many times. About one hour south of Ithaca and Cornell University.) One of the few growing and thriving Episcopal parishes in the diocese heck in the state. They left the Diocese of Central New York. They tried to keep their property. They were sued. They lost.
The family was abruptly evicted from the parsonage. The church building was closed. (People who came looking for the soup kitchen hoping for something to eat had to look elsewhere. That is an important point. I will come back to this.)
The Episcopal Church sold the building to Muslims.
Who paid one third what the Church of the Good Shepherd was offering. (There is some question about whether they had the funds to make that offer but that is not the most important issue here.)
See those nasty traditional Anglicans do not believe in same-sex relations. They do not believe in women in ministry. Oh wait they do because the rector’s wife was associate pastor so I guess they do believe in women priests....
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Departing Parishes * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Take the time to read it all as well as looking at the pictures and there is a lot more there.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Bishops TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Conflicts: Milwaukee TEC Departing Parishes * Culture-Watch Law & Legal Issues * Religion News & Commentary Other Faiths Islam
Back in 2003, the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York consecrated a gay bishop and allowed others to perform same-sex blessings.
The Church of the Good Shepherd in Binghamton, an Episcopal parish at the time, disagreed with this move and severed ties. Last year, the Diocese sued for Good Shepherd to leave the church building on Conklin Avenue, and in December, a state Supreme Court judge ruled in their favor.
On Friday, both sides were back in court.
"We've kind of moved on as a congregation and this is almost looking backwards now. So we were dreading it but here it is," said Father Matthew Kennedy, Good Shepherd's head pastor.
This time, the feud centers around a will by former Good Shepherd member Robert Brannan. He died in 1986 and left behind money in a trust fund for his parish.
Read it all.
Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal Episcopal Church (TEC) TEC Conflicts TEC Conflicts: Central New York TEC Conflicts: Central Florida TEC Conflicts: Colorado TEC Conflicts: Connecticut TEC Conflicts: Florida TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth TEC Conflicts: Georgia TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles TEC Conflicts: Ohio TEC Conflicts: Pittsburgh TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande TEC Conflicts: San Diego TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin TEC Conflicts: Virginia TEC Departing Parishes TEC Data TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils TEC House of Deputies
The little white Anglican church at Livingston Street and Conklin Avenue is a very special place. For me and many more people it is a home and an extended family. Others, such as the Episcopal Diocese of [Central] New York, claim ownership since we are no longer Episcopal, but remain Anglican. Recently the Episcopal Church attempted to evict the Anglican faithful.
Read it all.
The pastor and parishioners at Church of the Good Shepherd will go to worship Sunday not knowing whether the congregation can stay in its Conklin Avenue building.
A state Supreme Court judge decided Friday to reserve a decision in the legal dispute between the local church and a regional diocese over who owns the property in the wake of Good Shepherd's withdrawal from the Episcopal denomination.
For now, the congregation will focus on Christmas, according to the Rev. Matthew Kennedy.
"If this is our last Christmas, at least we'll celebrate it together," Kennedy said he will tell parishioners at worship Sunday. "Every year, every day, we walk according to God's grace."
Read it all.
State Supreme Court Judge Ferris D. Lebous will be asked Friday to decide whether a local church or a regional diocese owns property on Conklin Avenue, which is occupied by Church of the Good Shepherd.
The decision, whether rendered Friday or more likely reserved by Lebous for a future date, could be a precedent in ongoing legal disputes in New York state and elsewhere between the Episcopal Church and individual congregations that have withdrawn from the national denomination.
That split came when V. Gene Robinson, a self-avowed homosexual, was ordained a bishop in 2003.
Read it all.
The facts presented in the Conger affidavit, based upon a personal examination of the original records, are sufficient to raise a classic issue of disputed fact as to whether or not the Canon properly passed both Houses at General Convention 1979.
Therefore, even with my pre-announced bias, I have no difficulty in opining that the motions brought by the plaintiffs (the Diocese and ECUSA) should be denied on that basis. The plaintiffs should be required to present their evidence of passage at a trial, and let the trier of fact decide whether it is good enough in light of all the evidence.
But what about the motion to dismiss, and the cross-motion for summary judgment on all claims brought by the defendant parish? Here I am afraid I must be consistent, and say that what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If there is a disputed issue of fact sufficient to defeat the motions of the Diocese and of ECUSA, then there is a disputed issue of fact preventing resolution as a matter of law of the cross-motions as well.
Read it all and please follow all the links carefully.
Take the time to go through it all (Hat tip: Stand Firm).
The Church of the Good Shepherd filed motion papers today seeking the dismissal of the lawsuit brought by the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York against the 100 member parish in Binghamton, New York. The motion to dismiss and for summary judgement by the parish was based on the lack of proper adoption of the Dennis Canon by the Episcopal Church. The Diocese previously served a motion against the parish for summary judgment based largely on the Dennis Canon. Both motions are scheduled for oral argument at 9:30 am Friday, December 12, 2008 at the courthouse in downtown Binghamton. Judge Ferris Lebous could issue an immediate ruling, but a written reserved decision from the judge sometime early next year is also possible.
Syracuse attorney Raymond Dague is defending Good Shepherd. The diocesan motion papers were notable for their great bulk, commented the attorney. “The 9" tall stack of motion papers they served against the parish was too big for an envelope,” said Dague. “A messenger dropped it off at my office in a box.” Today’s more modest filing by the parish claims that the Dennis Canon was not adopted by the 1979 General Convention, and hence the Diocese has no basis for their lawsuit. “Despite that enormous pile of papers, they just assume that the Dennis Canon is the law of the church, but don’t bother in a single sentence to argue that it was properly adopted,” said Dague. “We are going to call them on that. Since the Dennis Canon is the basis of the lawsuit to take away the church building, the judge will need to address this issue one way or the other.”
Dague’s legal papers claim that the Episcopal Church’s own documents and archives show that the Dennis Canon was not adopted.
Read it all.
The Central New York Episcopal Church is suing a splinter congregation in Binghamton. The diocese is taking the Church of the Good Shepherd to court on December 12th to recoup all of its property and assets. That includes the church building. FLN's Bob Price spoke with Senior Pastor Matt Kennedy about how the church could be affected for taking a stance against the consecration of homosexual bishops.
Find the audio links in the middle of the page.
Jeffrey Altman will be ordained an Anglican priest today in a ceremony that reflects Central New York's role in the nationwide growth of a separate Anglican church in the United States.
Altman will lead Sunday services at Westside Anglican Fellowship, a Geddes congregation of about 25 people who began worshipping together after their former congregation, St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Syracuse, split from the local Episcopal Diocese. They meet at Syracuse Vineyard Church.
It is one of dozens of breakaway congregations that have started Anglican communities in the five years since the U.S. Episcopal Church consecrated an openly gay bishop....
Read the whole article.
The Episcopal Diocese of Central New York has filed a lawsuit seeking the property of a Binghamton congregation that opposes the denomination's policy on homosexuality.
It's the second such lawsuit filed by the diocese and among dozens of similar cases across the country as the Episcopal Church faces ongoing opposition from congregations that disapprove of the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop Gene Robinson. Robinson has publicly acknowledged being in a committed gay relationship.
Read it all.
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