Sent by a triumphalist Catholic friend…
The tale can now be told — besides being a boring, geeky software engineer by day, I’ve also been working on an exciting entry into the world of Christian private investigation.
For those who aren’t following the players, The Episcopal Church has asked for a meeting with the Archbishop of Canterbury (to “dialogue”, I suppose) regarding the potential expulsion of TEC from the Anglican Communion.
+++Williams has indicated that he is on vacation through the rest of the summer. Sources say that he may actually be in America part of the time, but he is still unavailable to meet with the American bishops.
The Top Ten Things Rowan Williams Would Rather Do Than Meet With TEC’s Hapless Bench During His Sabbatical
10. Use a fiberglass suppository.
9. Read Forcefielder’s Choice: The Very Best of Frank Griswold.
8. Audition for American Idol by singing “My Humps,” with Simon as the only judge.
7. Become The Official Archbishop of the Detroit Lions.
6. Attend a Yoko Ono concert.
5. Be interviewed by Don Imus.
4. Headbutt a wasp’s nest.
3. Slow-dance with Courtney Love.
2. Appear on Celebrity Jeopardy: NHL Trivia Edition.
And the number one thing Archbishop Williams would rather do than meet with TEC’s Paladins of Polity:
1. Three words: Live organ transplants.
Myself, I think every time he hears his secretary says “It’s the Americans on the phone again, Rowan, what shall I do?” he simply closes his eyes and thinks of … asparagus.
(separated at birth?)
‘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).
“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.
Some days, I hate being right. I was pretty sure this would be the press spin:
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.
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: www.standrewsministry.org.
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!
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!
Chris Johnson continues to keep busy keeping worldwide liberal Anglicanism from executing its deathwish while unfisked.
The current doses of silliness come from this Telegraph article reporting that Evangelicals in England may withhold funds over the appointment of Canon Jeffrey John as Dean of St. Alban’s Cathedral.
Canon John’s former boss at Southwark Cathedral, Dean Colin Slee, attacked the threat of financial action.
“Scripture has a lot to say about the misuse of money as a weapon,” he said.
Perhaps God is doing a new thing.
Ease up, Dean Slee, and don’t be such a stodgy old fundamentalist.
“This is an attempt at coercion. They are highly organised as a lobby group within the Church. This is unscriptural and a misuse of money.”
Oh, my. I can’t decide whether to file this under the category of “pot, kettle, black”, “Big Lie™”, or “it’s an eeeeevil tactic (when conservatives do it)”.
Has any lobby group within Anglicanism (at least in the UK/Canada/USA) been so highly organzied or so successful as the gay lobby? I surely can’t think of one. They’ve provided a textbook example of how to organize to refashion a group in their own image while neutralizing all opposition. It’s impressive, and I admire it in the way that one can admire the effectiveness of, say, the German Blitzkrieg while abhoring the Nazis.
Oh, but that’s different. Organize LBGT committees in every diocese, play hardball politics at convention, and hold an iron grip over personel, and that’s just business as usual. And, of course, the actions of +Ingham, +Bennison, and +VGeR couldn’t possibly ever count as “coercive”.
But, let those who have been on the receiving end of this treatment, after many years finally say “you can have it your way, but not on my dime”, and it’s coercive and oppressive. Scripture has something to say about exactly whose money it is, too — and Deans of cathedrals do not have the first dibs:
Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”
Following a link from Doug’s blog, I find RazorMouth and the essay Victory by Infiltration or Isolation? (“Why the impulse to split is wrong and why staying the course is right”) by P. Andrew Sandlin. I would normally take this as encouragement to stay and fight the good fight within the Episcopal church regarding our current struggles with the “human sexuality” question and (even more profoundly) the wholesale abandonment of the faith in any recognizable form in exchange for Spongian/Jesus Seminar secularist mushiness.
On the other hand, I’m also reading Steve Ray’s book, Upon this Rock: St. Peter and the Primacy of Rome in Scripture and the Early Church. And it occurs to me: Sandlin’s essay is practically a Catholic apologetic tract. I mean, if it’s a Bad Thing™ to leave and start a new church rather than stay and fight for reform, shouldn’t we apply that same logic to the efforts of Martin Luther and John Calvin?