In Ohio Episcopalians close historic St. Michael & All Angels

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Say a prayer for St. Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church. But not inside the 139-year-old landmark.

The church closed Easter Sunday.

"We should have been smiling and rejoicing and exclaiming, 'He hath risen!' " said the Rev. Dr. Napoleon Bryant Jr., the church's ordained deacon.

"Instead, the service was as solemn as the funeral of a child," added the clergyman who has also been a parishioner at the racially mixed church since 1951.

Officials with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio attribute the closing to declining attendance.

"That's the main reason," the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, diocesan bishop, said. Only 16 households regularly put money in the offering plate.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC Parishes

Posted March 29, 2008 at 2:18 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. robroy wrote:

The stark reality of St. Michael’s closing hit John Phillips when he realized that the church had become a nonentity on the Internet.

“They removed us from the diocese’s Web site,” said Phillips, St. Michael’s senior warden, the Episcopal church’s equivalent to the president of the board of trustees. “It’s like we never existed.”

The church’s history can’t be wiped away.

Tried to look up the church’s stats on the national site. (Yes, I know that I am predictable.) Not listed there either.

I noticed there is only one Common Cause Partner church in the Cinncinati area. Maybe they need to start one.

March 29, 2:42 pm | [comment link]
2. Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) wrote:

The church has four Tiffany windows. Under Federal law either the church, or the diocese if it dissolves the church, could sell them. I don’t know about Ohio law, so there may be some restriction there.

Those windows are probably worth between $150k-$200k. I can’t help wondering if they couldn’t be sold to help fund the church for a while longer. It would be a pity to lose them, but if the church folds, then they are lost anyway.

March 29, 2:50 pm | [comment link]
3. RMBruton wrote:

Unfortunately this is the way things will likely turn out for most dwindling Episcopal parishes. Perhaps there is a Common Cause Partner in the area who can pick up the slack and send them a lifeboat.

March 29, 3:12 pm | [comment link]
4. Kevin Maney+ wrote:

Officials with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio attribute the closing to declining attendance.

“That’s the main reason,” the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, diocesan bishop, said.

What a brilliantly superficial analysis that begs the question: WHY is attendance declining? That, Bp. Briedenthal, would be worthy of an honest discussion and analysis.

March 29, 3:43 pm | [comment link]
5. Cennydd wrote:

RMBruton:  Remember?  Schori & Company won’t let them sell the building to a non-Episcopal church; they’d sell it to McDonald’s first!

March 29, 8:02 pm | [comment link]
6. Daniel Lozier wrote:

#2, fret not.  Maybe a Christian church will buy the building and the windows will continue to shine the Light of Christ through them

March 31, 11:39 pm | [comment link]
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