Category : TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande

Rio Grande Episcopal diocese sees ”˜change of identity'

At the time of her 2008 visit to Albuquerque, Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

headed a congregation torn, both in New Mexico and nationally, over the role of gays and lesbians in the church.

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande was preparing to select a new bishop to replace former Bishop Jeffrey N. Steenson, who resigned in 2007 to join the Roman Catholic Church over the issue.

Several New Mexico congregations had split from the diocese and others were discussing similar moves….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, Theology, Theology: Scripture

A Letter from the Episcopal Bishop and Diocese of the Rio Grande

From Phil Ashey–

I’d like to share with you a letter from the Bishop and Diocesan Council of The Episcopal Church’s (TEC) Diocese of the Rio Grande. But first, a little background so that you can appreciate the letter in all its fullness.

This time two years ago, approximately 80% of the parishioners of St. Mark’s on-the-Mesa (TEC) left the parish and formed Christ the King Anglican, Albuquerque, NM (Anglican Church in North America). When those parishioners left the parish, the Diocese of the Rio Grande, and the Episcopal Church, they left everything. They left the property, building, endowments, bank accounts – even paperclips and pencils. They did so in good conscience, with generosity, and with love for those who in good conscience could not leave The Episcopal Church. Based on their reading of scripture, these parishioners did not want to fight over buildings and property in civil courts. Instead, they walked away and began a new life together as Anglican followers of Jesus Christ at Christ the King Anglican Church. Not only did the new parish draw former Episcopalians, but also Christians from other denominations who wanted to worship and serve at Christ the King Anglican.

Fast forward two years to August 31, 2011 (about three weeks ago). The congregation’s rector, the Rev. Roger Weber, former priest at St. Mark’s, received this letter from TEC Bishop Michael Vono of the Diocese of the Rio Grande…

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

An ENS article on the Saint Francis Settlement in the Rio Grande

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

David Crowder–Finally, a settlement at St. Francis in the Rio Grande

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande has agreed to settle a 2008 lawsuit that challenged the ownership of St. Francis on the Hill Church.

The settlement means the conservative breakaway Anglican group now occupying the church has to be out by the end of July.

It also means a smaller group of Episcopalians who felt forced out of the church a few years ago will take control of the property, but not its financial assets.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

St. Francis on the Hill seeks God's will: Controversial climb nears apex

A theological disagreement between a local church and its former diocese has become a drawn-out, draining legal quarrel over a church building.

In November 2008, leaders of the now St. Francis on the Hill Anglican Church broke away from the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande over a theological dispute over foundational doctrines as salvation through Christ alone and the authority of the Bible. Also highly controversial was the 2003 ordination in New Hampshire of the first openly gay bishop, the Rev. V. Gene Robinson.

It was the second church in El Paso to break away from the diocese over the same issues.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

A.S. Haley on recent Recent Rio Grande Lawsuit Developments

A new lawsuit involving the parish of St. Francis on the Hill in El Paso, Texas was filed on Tuesday, April 26 in the local district court (34th Judicial District). The suit marks another low point in the desultory annals of litigation brought by dioceses of the Episcopal Church (USA) against their former parishes, vestries and rectors. Coming literally on the heels of a final judgment entered in that same court on March 11, which awarded all of the Anglican parish’s real and personal property to the Diocese of Rio Grande, the new lawsuit was filed even though that prior judgment has since been appealed to the Eighth Court of Appeals in El Paso….

What is particularly despicable about this latest lawsuit is not just that it seeks to embroil the parties who are appealing the trial court’s judgment in brand-new litigation pending that appeal, but it also seeks punitive damages (in addition to other relief) against them….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

ENS–El Paso Judge changes mind, decides on trial in property dispute case

The Diocese of Rio Grande and the Episcopal Church thought they’d received a favorable court ruling in a property dispute involving a breakaway congregation.

Then the judge changed his mind and ordered both parties to appear in 210th District Court in El Paso County, Texas, on March 3.

“He basically said he wants to make a decision based on findings of fact, that he wants this to go to trial, either a bench trial or a jury trial,” said diocesan associate chancellor Bill Juvrud in a March 3 telephone interview from his office. No trial date has been set.

“We’ve been in the middle of litigation on this for awhile,” acknowledged Juvrud.

The case stems from the Oct. 21, 2008 vote by a majority of members of St. Francis on-the-Hill Episcopal Church in El Paso to disaffiliate from the local diocese and from the Episcopal Church.

Read it all.

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

Conflict in the Rio Grande–What would St. Francis do?

A peaceful churchyard atop a hill in West El Paso belies the trouble that lies below the surface.

The church is named for St. Francis, the 13th-century saint who sought to be an instrument of God’s peace. But this congregation, the parish of St. Francis on the Hill Church, is hardly at peace as it waits to find out its future.

Two years ago, the parish of St. Francis voted to leave the Episcopal Church, but said it intended to remain right where it was ”” on the hill overlooking El Paso’s Westside. The parish also changed its name, from St. Francis Episcopal Church to St. Francis Anglican.

And to head off efforts by the denomination to evict them, members took the unusual step of suing the national church and the regional diocese, the Diocese of the Rio Grande, based in Albuquerque, N.M.

Since then St. Francis and the Episcopal Church have been battling it out in the 210th Judicial Court before Judge Gonzalo Garcia.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande

In Texas St. Francis suit could go to jury

When St. Francis on the Hill Episcopal Church voted to leave the Episcopal denomination in October, members of the El Paso parish intended to keep the church building and other property.

Now as the parishioners of the renamed St. Francis on the Hill Anglican Church, they are suing the denomination in a preemptive strike to prevent it from attempting to take back the property.

Such disputes are not uncommon, but this case could become the first of its kind to make it to a jury trial. Previous cases stemming from parishes and dioceses withdrawing from the Episcopal Church have been decided by judges. No case has so far made it to a trial by a jury.

The St. Francis case had been headed to trial Oct. 2, but after a hearing Sept. 17, the case was delayed until Feb. 5. The delay will give Judge Gonzolo Garcia of the 210th District Court in El Paso time to rule on motions that could determine the outcome of the case without a trial.

Read it all.

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

New Anglican Church, Christ the King, Forms in Albuquerque

A majority of the members of St. Mark’s-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church are leaving their church property and endowments worth over $2 million to form a new parish, Christ the King Anglican Church.

This past Sunday, September 27, the former priest-in-charge of St. Mark’s, The Rev. Roger Weber, along with two other clergy members, eight of ten staff members, and eleven of twelve members of the church governing board (vestry) announced their decision to leave the Episcopal Church and form the new Anglican parish. They will become part of the Anglican Church in North America, which was recently formed in response to widespread un-biblical teaching and practice in The Episcopal Church (U.S.) and the Anglican Church of Canada.

“This has been a difficult decision, but after the 2009 Episcopal General Convention in July, we have finally come to the point where we cannot continue in a denomination that rejects the authority of scripture and increasingly characterizes the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as tangential and non-essential, rather than Son of God, Lord and Savior,” said The Rev. Weber. “We’re excited about our future as part of the Anglican Church in North America, which is aligned with the majority of Christians worldwide who uphold biblical faith and teaching.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes

News from the Diocese of the Rio Grande

For background information on this please see this Stand Firm post–KSH.

Via Email:

Bishop Frey Appointed Priest in Charge of St. Mark’s on the Mesa

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande is pleased to announce that the Right Reverend William Frey has accepted a temporary appointment as Priest- in- Charge of St. Mark’s-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Bishop Frey will preach and celebrate during the regularly scheduled 8 AM and 10:30 AM services on Sunday, October 4, 2009.

Bishop Frey currently serves as Assisting Bishop for the Diocese. He previously served as Bishop of the Diocese of Colorado from 1972-1990, and Dean of Trinity School for Ministry from 1990 to 1996. Along with his wife Barbara, the Bishop will reside in Albuquerque during his tenure as Priest in Charge. Bishop Frey will serve until a long term Priest-in-Charge can be in place. He will then resume his normal duties in the Diocese.

Bishop Frey will be assisted by the Reverend Beth Noland who has served as deacon at St. Mark’s for four years. For more than 25 years Beth has served both the Diocese and the national church in various capacities. She was ordained to the Holy Order of Deacons in 2001. Beth and her husband Chuck have resided in Albuquerque since 2005.

On Sunday, September 27th, the congregation of St. Mark’s received the news that several clergy and members of the congregation of St. Mark’s had decided to leave St. Mark’s-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church to form Christ the King Anglican Church. The Rev. Roger Weber will serve as Priest in Charge.

Services at St. Mark’s on- the-Mesa Episcopal Church, 431 Richmond Place, will continue as currently scheduled. An up to date schedule can be found on the church’s website: www.stmarksonthemesa.org. Come and be renewed by this beautiful worship experience at St. Mark’s-on-the-Mesa Episcopal Church, Sunday, October 4th.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande

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.

Read it all.

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

El Paso Times: St. Francis on the Hill church elects to leave Episcopal Church

Read it all.

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

Anne Coletta interviews Bishop Terry Kelshaw

Watch it all from Anglican TV.

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

Congregation of Episcopal church in Cloudcroft New Mexico leaves diocese

The clergy and congregation of the Episcopal mission Church of Ascension in Cloudcroft have split from the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande and joined the Anglican Province of Uganda.

The diocese said this week its trustees and standing committee were told of the decision last week.

Read it all.

Update: A Diocesan press release on this matter is here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Provinces, Church of Uganda, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Rio Grande, TEC Departing Parishes