Detroit Free Press: Local Anglicans (Episcopalians) face crossroads over gay clergy, teachings

ANOTHER TAKE WITH LOCAL FLAVOR: Niraj Warikoo, Free Press Staff Writer, July 21, 2008

For years, worshippers at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Livonia patiently put up with their diocese as it adopted a series of liberal changes that clashed with biblical tradition. But the breaking point came in 2003, when the Episcopal Church — with the approval of the local diocese — consecrated an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

After a testy meeting with Episcopal leaders, about two-thirds of the 300-member congregation bolted in 2006, leaving a church many of them grew up in. Two years later, they said they have no regrets.

“It just wasn’t a Christian church anymore,” explained Chris Darnell, 41, of Northville.

Those words reflect a schism playing out within the Anglican Communion — the largest Protestant body in the world — as it faces an identity crisis that threatens to split its 77 million members. Four congregations in Michigan have broken away in recent years from the Episcopal Church, the Anglican body in the United States that has 87 churches in Michigan, with about 24,000 members.

Read the full article: Local Anglicans face crossroads over gay clergy, teachings | Freep.com | Detroit Free Press

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