Monday, April 26, 2004

Goodbye to the Episcopal Church

For the last several months – since the election to be the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire of a man who openly left his wife and children to live with his male lover – I have been “lurking” on several Anglican discussion groups at My aim was, on the one hand, to be available to offer what I felt – and feel – is the very viable option of the Orthodox Church and faith to those faithful Anglicans who saw their denomination sliding into apostasy; and to correct misunderstandings that occurred from time to time about what we believe and practice as Orthodox Christians. I had occasion a number of times to post messages. Today, I posted a “Goodbye” message, in preparation to resigning from these groups. I expect that, within twenty-four hours, I’ll log in and select the “Leave this Group” option; delaying just a bit, in case someone might want to know how to reach me in the future. I don’t really expect to hear from anyone; or to be missed at the group discussions.

When the election first took place, there was some real energy that filled the groups; and there were a number of people who wanted to know what they could do, or should do; or to ask where they might be able to go. The energy level dissipated a bit as time went on, and jumped back up when the ECUSA General Convention confirmed his election. The energy dropped again, but jumped back up – but only a little bit – when his installation took place. By now, it looks as if some have given up altogether, and will simply stay in the pews – or just stay away. Others seem to have decided to hold their breath, to wait and see if the efforts of the traditionalists (who seem to increasingly be calling themselves “orthodox” – more than once, I wanted to post and say, “If you want to use that term, you have to be a member of that Church!” – but I didn’t…) to form some sort of resistance movement will succeed.

It won’t; it’s already been tried, and it has failed. I know: I was there; I took part. Our decision to leave was difficult, and not made easily. But, by the mercy of God, we had found the Orthodox Church, and faith, and way of life; and what had started as a way of fleeing from the coming apostasy of ECUSA became an increasingly powerful desire to embrace the faith of the Church that has existed since the day of Pentecost, her continuity unbroken, her faith unchanged. We started out as refugees; and found ourselves coming home. There are not words, nor time enough, to adequately say “thank you” to God for His mercy and favor in bringing us home.

If any Anglicans happen to stray across this page, let me say again to you that the faith you desire is safe, and secure, and found today where it has always resided: in the Orthodox Church. Take the Thirty-Nine Articles that have defined the faith of the Church of England; study them, and our faith, and see if what is brightest and best isn’t found in our midst. Granted, the Articles, being a product of the Reformation, are not entirely in agreement with the Orthodox faith; but, if you’re willing to explore the areas of disagreement, I think you’ll find all that you could want in our Orthodox Church and faith. Maybe someday I’ll sit down and go through these in detail; just in case someone might still be interested.

So, farewell to the remnant who remain in ECUSA. May God keep you safe; and may He bring you home…