The signs for what was once known as St. Helena's Episcopal Church have been removed, including the one on Bay Street stating, "The Episcopal Church Welcomes You." How terribly sad the church I have attended since 1956, established in 1712, celebrating its 300th anniversary, is no longer an Episcopal church.
I have seen threats to leave the Episcopal Church when some thought the Black Panthers received financial assistance. I also knew people who left when the 1928 Prayer Book was revised and again when women were ordained as clergy. These individuals were always free to leave the church. Right now, I feel my church has been taken from me.
I don't understand Bishop Mark Lawrence's contention that the Episcopal Church has abandoned the authority of Scripture by ordaining gay clergy, Lev. 18:22, while we don't follow prohibitions elsewhere in Leviticus against eating rare steak, eating cross-bred beef or wearing fabric blends. Scripture also condones slaves and stoning as punishment for transgressions. It prohibits divorce for women.
It doesn't make sense to me to choose which Mosaic laws to follow, e.g. homosexuality is a sin, but ignore others in the same book and accuse the Episcopal Church of abandoning the authority of Scripture.
I pray God provides comfort and tolerance to all of us who suffer during this very tumultuous time and help us to keep Christ's admonition to love one another. I personally grieve for the loss of St. Helena's as a member of the Episcopal Church.