Category : TEC Conflicts: Florida

Displaced Anglican church in Northern Florida finds new home

When the pastor at Mandarin’s All Souls Anglican Church tells his Jacksonville flock to take a hike around 10 a.m. Sunday, it’s OK this time.

They will be going home.

The Anglican church members will walk to a new sanctuary at the former First Coast Home Center at 4042 Hartley Road, a happier walk than many made July 15, 2007, when they left the church they had called home for 28 years due to a split from the Episcopal church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

Florida Times-Union: New group of Anglicans looks to future on First Coast

Among the [ACNA] founders was the Rev. Neil Lebhar, a Jacksonville priest and a leader of the regional movement of theological conservatives out of the denomination after an openly gay bishop was elected in New Hampshire in 2003.

With its archbishop and church laws now established, the new group represents a clean break with the past for former Episcopalians, Lebhar said.

“For the average person in the pew, I’d say the major thing it means is that our denominational battles are over and we can get on with the ministry and mission of the church,” said Lebhar, rector at the (Anglican) Church of the Redeemer on the Southside.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

Bishop Jack Iker: Memo to All Diocesan Clergy

The Bishop of Kentucky has no ecclesiastical authority to act within the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, first and foremost because the Diocese has realigned with another Anglican Province in communion with the See of Canterbury, upholding and propagating the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. We assume that he is seeking to exercise some authority in Fort Worth based upon Canon 13 of the Canons of PECUSA. Setting aside the obvious argument that the Diocese is no longer a part of the PECUSA because of realignment and Canon 13 is inconsistent with Article II, Section 3, of the Constitution of PECUSA, and is therefore null and void, his reliance upon Canon 13 for his authority is misplaced. The meeting that was held in Fort Worth on February 7, 2009, by some clergy and laypersons of the Diocese was not a duly-constituted meeting of the Convention. Neither the Bishop nor the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth issued a call for a special meeting of the Convention, as required by Article IV of the Constitution of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth. Moreover, there was no quorum present at the February 7, 2009, meeting, because less than one-third of all clergy and lay delegates of the Diocese entitled to seat was present for the meeting. Consequently, the individuals in attendance at the February 7, 2009, meeting lacked any legitimate power or authority to perform any official act, including but not limited to the placement of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth under Bishop Gulick’s “provisional charge” pursuant to PECUSA Canon 13. All actions purportedly taken at the meeting clearly were null and void.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

Central New York Episcopal Diocese sues former parish again

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.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Central Florida, TEC Conflicts: Central New York, 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 Data, TEC Departing Parishes, TEC Diocesan Conventions/Diocesan Councils, TEC House of Deputies

All Souls Anglican Church in Florida looks for permanent home

Members of All Souls Anglican Church had to walk away from their home in 2007, after the Episcopal Diocese said they could no longer worship there.

Now the diocese is walking away from the empty 5.3-acre All Souls campus in Mandarin, putting it up for sale for $2.8 million. But the former occupants say “no thanks” to coming back as they hone in on a new, permanent home nearby.

Meeting every Sunday since mid-July 2007 in the Mandarin Middle School auditorium, the congregation uses a storefront at 3750 San Jose Place for office space and a local Baptist church for youth programs. That could change in the next year as the church looks into the purchase of a 5-acre site on Hood Road, said the Rev. Gene Strickland.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Proposed Formation of a new North American Province, Common Cause Partnership, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

Northern Florida Episcopal church for sale after split

An Episcopal church vacated by its congregation in a theological dispute has been put on sale by the Jacksonville-based Diocese of Florida.

Bishop Samuel Johnson Howard said he hopes the 5.3-acre All Souls Episcopal campus in Mandarin will become the eventual home of a ministry or school instead of being sold for the current $2.8 million asking price.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

A Jacksonville Times Union Article on Life in the Diocese of Florida

The conservatives tried unsuccessfully to work the system by proposing resolutions at diocesan conventions to distance the diocese from the national church. Then Lebhar and other priests began to take their congregations out of the denomination.

Other Anglican bishops, mostly from Africa and South America, extended oversight to those congregations and clergy who had departed.

Lawsuits over property ensued.

“It was a painful and disillusioning time,” Lebhar said.

The diocese successfully sued Lebhar’s parish to establish the precedent that departing congregations cannot remain on church property.

Bruce Dougherty, senior warden at All Souls Anglican, said many in the congregation were devastated to leave behind the facilities they’d held dear for nearly 30 years. Many continue to grieve.

At Grace Episcopal, member Richard Cobb, 66, was one of 35 who remained behind on the 7-acre, 21-building campus in 2006. He said it caused him “great sadness” to see hundreds of friends abandon the parish and denomination.

In April, Howard rescinded the holy orders of Lebhar and 21 other priests and deacons, many of whom already had led their congregations out of the diocese months or years before.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Departing Parishes

Statistics for the Episcopal Diocese of Florida

Take a look.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Data, TEC Departing Parishes

Northern Florida Anglicans forestall effort by the Episcopal Diocese to evict them

Reed Dearing of Macclenny put senior St. Peter’s warden Sue Krall, also of Macclenny, on notice that it must vacate the property after services on Sunday. Mr. Dearing, a former local credit union executive and longtime Jacksonville area banker, said he would collect the keys and conduct an inventory ”” and that he was acting on authority of Bishop Johnson Howard.

“We obviously declined the ”˜request’ to take leave of the property at this time and in fact asked the Sheriff’s Office to watch the church building and prevent anyone from unlawfully entering without our permission,” said Ms. Krall in a memo this week to church members.

She characterized the “18-hour notice to depart” by Mr. Dearing as “less than gracious and certainly not in the spirit of working with fellow Christians…”

Ms. Krall termed Mr. Dearing’s ultimatum a surprise in light of a recent meeting with the diocese chancellor during which St. Peter’s sought 3-6 months for “a more planned, organized and reasonable departure.”

Mr. Dearing, for his part, backed off after St. Peter’s deacon Mike Webb requested time to re-set another meeting with the bishop’s representative and perhaps Rev. Howard. He was also confronted by Ms. Krall and Lin Taber of Glen St. Mary, whose family has been longtime members and benefactors of the church under both names.

“I was appalled it was carried out the way it was,” said Mr. Taber. “We want a reasonable amount of time and we still hadn’t heard anything official [from the Episcopal diocese] about vacating.”

The Episcopal church is one of the oldest denominations in Baker County, and before the Yellow Fever epidemic in the 1880s had a very prominent presence here. The former St. James was constructed about 50 years ago, though the property was deeded to the church in 1941.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

The Lawsuit is over for Church of the Redeemer in Northern Florida

Dear Redeemer Family,

I have some good news to share on the legal front.

After we pushed the issue by calling for a hearing, the Diocese of Florida finally agreed to drop the rest of their lawsuit. The remaining suit sought legal
fees from individual vestry members and myself even after we had vacated the property.

As of November 14, the court has signed off on that agreement. The judge had earlier made it clear that she knew of no precedent which justified a suit against
vestry members who were attempting to be faithful servants of the parish.

So the sad season of litigation is finally behind us. Praise the Lord for His faithfulness to uphold us all through it. Remember too to pray for Bishop Howard
and the diocese. If we fail to forgive, then we are the losers before the Judge who matters most.

I want to thank Joey Nichols, Lyle Ramsay, Mary Reilly, Bill Schroeder, Doralee Simko and Jan Thorwart for their willingness to stand on behalf of Redeemer regardless of the potential personal cost. Special thanks to Kyle Gavin who so ably represented us. And thank you all in the Redeemer family who so faithfully supported us.

Now we can focus on ministry opportunities for the sake of the Kingdom of God! Praise to You, Lord Christ!

In the love of Jesus,

Neil

The Rev. Neil G. Lebhar

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

Ugandan Archbishop to speak at St. Peter's Anglican Church in Florida

Although the split occurred after the American province ordained a gay bishop, the Rev. Eric Dudley, pastor at St. Peter’s, said the problems ran much deeper.

“Homosexuality became a lightning-rod issue, but underlying that was the much larger issue of the role Scripture plays in the church,” he said.

The idea that Jesus is a way, rather than the way to God is one example, Dudley said. He said most of the 77 million Anglicans worldwide, including Orombi, adhere to a more “classical” view of the Bible.

The Rev. Jim Needham – pastor of St. Luke’s Anglican Fellowship, also a sponsor of the archbishop’s visit along with St. Peter’s and Trinity Anglican Church in Thomasville – has met Orombi twice. He describes him as a “wonderful combination of gentleness and strength.”

“He has a firmness of convictions but at the same time cares a lot for people,” Needham said.

In addition to raising three children, for instance, Orombi also has taken in a number of children and supported them through college.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

It's not the end, but a new beginning for church

From the Florida Times-Union:

They concluded Sunday’s service in the auditorium of Mandarin Middle School, where they will gather until they can find a permanent home.

“Today is not about grieving a building and a piece of property,” said the Rev. Gene Strickland, the church’s rector. “Today, even though a chapter ends for All Souls, the book is still open.”

Frank Griffin stood in the breezeway, smiling. A printed tag clipped to his shirt offered words of encouragement: “It’s Just a Building!”

The easier route, Griffin said, would have been to stay and simply conform.

But All Souls Anglican formally split from the Episcopal Church early in 2006, joining those nationwide who left after an openly gay priest was elected bishop of New Hampshire in 2003.

The Rev. Jim McCaslin, a former All Souls rector and a regional Anglican leader, said Sunday he was afraid the Episcopal Church is headed for a slow, meaningless death, and that’s why leaving is the best thing for All Souls.

“This church, I am certain, will hold fast to the unchanging word of God,” McCaslin said.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

Anglican church will move to new site in Mandarin, Florida

From the Florida Times-Union:

All Souls Church-Anglican will begin its final service at 9 a.m. Sunday, July 15, in the sanctuary at 10679 Old St. Augustine Road, where members worshipped for 28 years. The first rector, Whitey Haugan (1979-1999), will then lock up for the last time before the congregation walks to a temporary Sunday home at Mandarin Middle School at 5100 Hood Road to complete services.

“The people who are coming will make it [the school auditorium] a church – almost 400, and they are all going with us,” said the Rev. Gene Strickland, the church’s current rector. “While the [Episcopal] diocese may own the property, we have the people.”

Frank Griffin, a member since the early 1990s, is helping search for a new church site. He said there will be mixed emotions during the 2-mile walk to the middle school.

“If you are going to be orthodox and committed to your religion, than the move is the right thing,” Griffin said. “[I will miss] the comfort and the memories there. However, the church family, which is strongly bonded, will stay intact. … We could have capitulated and stayed, or left and started anew.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Florida

CANA Welcomes New Congregations

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Latest News, CANA, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Colorado, TEC Conflicts: Connecticut, TEC Conflicts: Florida, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes