Admiral of Morality: Secessionist church knows it has no claim, Colorado Episcopalians say

Monday, June 25, 2007

Secessionist church knows it has no claim, Colorado Episcopalians say

Episcopal Life online is carrying an interesting story on the ongoing dispute in the parish of Grace and St. Stephens, in Colorado Springs.

Most will recall that its rector, Don Armstrong, was inhibited, and eventually left the Church, during an investigation into his financial management of the church and its ministries, one of which was the self-styled "Anglican Communion Institute." Armstrong charged that the investigation was a personal attack by the bishop and without basis, but the full Standing Committee of the diocese voted unanimously to bring a presentment against him. Armstrong brought his charges and attacks against the bishop there and the Church, on the eve of the presentment. Then, he "joined" the Nigerian-sponsored secessionists in Virginia.

Armstrong also organized a "vote" at the parish, with returns claiming the entire parish wanted to leave the Episcopal Church. The diocese has filed for the return of all assets, and the law in Colorado is on the side of the national Church.

According to the Episcopal Life story, the secessionist parish thinks so, too.

The continuing Episcopal parish at Grace and St. Stephens, sent out a news release last week.

It includes a screen shot from the secessionist Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish website, headed with a plea for people to "please make a donation to help us establish a new legal precedent and overturn the Colorado Mott [sic] decision that is used as the basis for differing [sic] to hierarchal [sic] structures." The website includes a link to PayPal, an online credit-card payment system.

On June 21 the same website contains this request: "please help us establish new legal precedent to preserve parish buildings for the purposes and faith for which they were intended. Our eyes are on you -- 2 Chronicles 20:12."

This says quite a bit about that parish's discernment, its leadership, and the way they handled their responsibilities to their fellows and their Church. A legitimate and thorough investigation into one rector, was used to flame concerns and disagreements, into legal liability and troubles.

The full story is at Episcopal Life online.

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