Archive for January, 2006

Press Roundoup

January 28th, 2006 No comments

More regarding the departure from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the formation of the Anglican Church of Livonia:

‘StJohnsPriest’ posts the letter that Wendell +Gibbs sent around the diocese concerning our departure:

Priest leaves, faithful follow” from the Detroit News. Overall, a good and fair writeup. Unfortunately, the archived article now drops the photo from the print version that showed my daughter.

The Episcopal News Service picks up the story.

So does The Record (the diocesan paper).

The American Anglican Council blog runs our press release.

Michigan Parish Splits Despite ‘Gracious’ Effort By Bishop” — a rather odd article from The Living Church:

The rector and a number of members from St. Andrew’s Church in Livonia, Mich., have left the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Michigan, despite what a bishop who belongs to the Anglican Communion Network (ACN) described as “sincere and gracious” efforts by the Bishop of Michigan to arrange adequate episcopal care….

The editorial glitch is that the “gracious” quote used to title and lead the article is never actually attributed. They do quote +Ackerman (who is an ACN bishop) later in the article, so presumably he’s the source, but the article as written doesn’t say that.

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Gene Who?

January 19th, 2006 No comments

Some days, I hate being right. I was pretty sure this would be the press spin:

Role of gay priests splits St. Andrew’s

Philosophical differences over the role of gay priests in the Episcopal Church has divided St. Andrew Episcopal Church in Livonia.

Fueled by the resignation of the church’s former rector, the Rev. Allen Kannapell, some 200 members of the congregation left the church on Hubbard near Six Mile. The dissident congregation was to gather today, Jan. 15, for the second time at the Holiday Inn at Laurel Park Place for a service led by Kannapell.

Ed Sulick, a Livonia resident who has been a member of St. Andrew’s for 35 years, was among those who left the church.

“The Episcopal Church elected a gay bishop out east and are installing gay priests throughout Detroit,” Sulick said. “People are very concerned about the Church ignoring parts of the Bible.”

“It’s been tough for all of us.”

Despite the departure of some 200 members, services proceeded as normal last weekend at St. Andrew’s under the Rev. John Henry, who was appointed temporary priest in charge. Some 80 people attended last weekend’s three services.

“That was nothing out of the ordinary,” said Karen Bota, spokeswoman for the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan, which serves 96 churches and university chaplaincies in southeastern Michigan from Detroit to Hillsdale.

“The church still has members who are committed to staying.”

Disagreements between the Rev. Wendell Gibbs Jr., bishop of the Michigan Diocese, and Kannapell have reportedly brewed for about a year. Kannapell asked the bishop to place St. Andrew’s under the jurisdiction of a more conservative bishop. Sulick said they wanted to be tied to an Anglican community, but Bota said that could not be done according to the canons of the Episcopal Church.

Kannapell, Bota said, refused oversight by any bishop of the Episcopal Church so Gibbs ordered Kannapell and his 11-member vestry, or church council, to leave St. Andrew earlier this month.

“We tried to give them a bishop with a theological view closer to theirs,” Bota said. “It was an amicable parting of ways.”

Let me be as clear as I possibly can: the vestry of St. Andrew’s was unanimous that the difficulty was not any particular bishop. Rather, it was ECUSA‘s transformation into a Scripture-optional, Jesus-optional “Church of What’s Happening Now!” which precipitated this split.

“Would the resignation or presentment of V. Gene +Robinson have any effect on our decisions?” was explictly asked. And answered — “no”.

It’s Not About Gene™.

Minor quibble: the numbers for attendance are off. I know we didn’t quite have 200 at either service so far of the Anglican Church of Livonia. And reports I had from those attending the St. Andrew’s services say that the numbers were closer to 50 than 80. But I suppose this is all within the margin of newsprint.

Major guffaw: “That was nothing out of the ordinary,” said Karen Bota. Oh my. This is priceless. A priest inhibited and charged with abandonment of communion, the entire vestry dismissed, and depending on whose numbers you use, 70-80% of the parish following to found a new Anglican church — all within 48 hours and this is “nothing out of the ordinary”? Things must be more exciting at the Diocesan Center on Woodward than I knew.

Categories: Anglican, Episcopal Church Tags:

New Anglican parish in Livonia, Michigan

January 9th, 2006 No comments

MICHIGAN: First Orthodox Parish leaves Liberal Diocese (

LIVONIA, MI (1/8/2006)–The priest and parishioners of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Michigan, got thrown out of their property, when the bishop, the Rt. Rev. Wendell N. Gibbs, Jr., told the Rev. Allen Kannapell, 36, on Saturday, that he had to vacate his church before Sunday morning services.

This is the first orthodox parish in the Diocese to leave the Episcopal Church over biblical authority and moral relativism. The priest said he was looking for alternative episcopal oversight, but the bishop rejected the idea.

When asked what prompted him to leave the Episcopal Church, Fr. Kannapell said it was the prevailing issues of Biblical authority, the gospel of transformation not inclusion; repentance and new life rather than blessing the old life.

“Bishop Gibbs gave me a chance to renounce my orders. I refused. I told him I was made a priest, and still a priest, but I can’t be under your authority. He said if you don’t renounce your orders I will inhibit you immediately. I refused. He then signed a letter of inhibition.”

We asked if we could negotiate for the property, but the bishop said no, Kannapell told VirtueOnline.

“Basically I was inhibited for seeking adequate episcopal oversight. We had discussed Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO) and the bishop had offered it, but we deemed it inadequate because the bishop retained spiritual leadership and authority over the parish. It was not personal, he had everything to do with his leadership.”

On Sunday morning the parishioners of St. Andrew’s met at a local Holiday Inn. Some 190 of the church’s 400 parishioners showed up. Average Sunday attendance is about 200, Fr. Kannapell told VirtueOnline.

Asked why he did not fight to keep the property, Fr. Kannapell said that under Michigan law, the Dennis Canon would have prevailed. He didn’t see how he could win. “We walked away rather than fight,” he said.

Fr. Kannapell said the majority of the church and vestry was unanimous in leaving. The priest had been at the church over three years. Fr. Kannapell has a wife and three small children they are home-schooling.

Their new website can be found at:

One minor quibble with the story — the lead paragraph makes it sound as if the entire parish was barred from the property, when really only Rev. Kannapell is barred due to his inhibition by Bishop +Gibbs.

Not that that matters.

Please pray for us. We had an excellent beginning this morning — 190 people! I’m still in shock at that number. We even had a baptism today, which was a beautiful way to inagurate a new parish

Of course, there’s a lot of work yet to do. And if you happen to be anywhere near the Holiday Inn in Livonia next Sunday morning at 10:30, please come and worship with us!

UPDATE: Thanks to Mark Shea, Amy Welborn, and Chris Johnson for the links, and to Dale Price for spreading the word.

Categories: Anglican, Michigan Tags:

St. Andrews's Episcopal Church, Livonia, Michigan

January 8th, 2006 No comments

I am archiving a history of issues and correspondance regarding St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Livonia, Michigan (and its relationship with the Diocese of Michigan, ECUSA and the greater Anglican world) here.

Just so it doesn’t disappear down the memory hole.

More on this developing story soon …

God is good!

Categories: Anglican, Episcopal Church, Michigan Tags: