Sunday, July 19, 2009

Schism I, II offer Shelter in the Storm

Today I ended up worshipping at two different Anglican churches (one 28 BCP, one ACNA), and at both the week’s shenanigans at General Contention 2009 came up. At the Schism II parish, the rector (formerly of TEC) despaired at how far the TEC had fallen in three years, from pretending to adhere to the Windsor Report (with B033 in 2006) to kicking it in the teeth (D025, C056).

The GC 2009 may help grow both Schism I and Schism II parishes. In his sermon, the rector emphasized the importance of reaching out to those Episcopalians finally having second thoughts about remaining in the TEC. At both the Schism I and Schism II parishes today, parishioners mentioned they know Episcopalians who are waiting for one last nudge to leave.

My friend at the Schism I parish mentioned that one of her friends had never head of, the wonderful website that lists a range of alternatives for Episcopalians who want to escape the ECUSA problems. Based on information supplied by volunteers, Kay Lewis now has 1500 parishes in her list, including (by my count) 96 parishes in California.

I found it an invaluable resource when my family decided we weren’t going to become Lutherans after all, and had to find an Anglican parish among the sea of heresy in this blue Left Coast state. I’ve also contributed suggestions to the website based on those travels and what I know from friends.

There are clearly major doctrinal differences between Schism I (ACA, ACC, APCK, HCCAR), Schism II (ACNA) and pre-Schism (mostly AAC, ACN, or FiFNA) parishes. But the first two (and to a limited degree, the third group as well) are offering Shelter in the Storm for Christians who’d like their Sunday mornings defined by what they are rather than having to define what they are not.

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