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followed by
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12/04/2008

Our Church 

 

"Episcopal conservatives break away to form own group" 


By: Rev. Briane Turley
Episcopal conservatives break away to form own group


The Rev. Briane Turley, the rector at Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican, will be one of the leaders of a meeting of former Episcopalian pastors Monday in Overland Park, Kan. The pastors will formally commit to a new conservative province.
By BILL SHERMAN World Religion Writer
Published: 12/4/2008 2:29 AM
Last Modified: 12/4/2008 2:29 AM

The Rev. Briane Turley said Wednesday that he was ecstatic about the formation of a new Anglican province in North America.

Turley is the rector of Tulsa's Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican, which left the Episcopal Church several years ago after the denomination consecrated an openly gay bishop.

The creation of the conservative Anglican Church of North America was announced Wednesday in Wheaton, Ill.

It will provide spiritual oversight to about 100,000 former Episcopalians in four dioceses and dozens of churches, including Turley's, that left the Episcopal Church after a decades-long struggle over the authority of scripture, ordination of gays and other issues.

"It's a wonderful thing because we'll have more localized authority structure, and we won't be looking abroad," Turley said.

Many of the conservative congregations and dioceses that broke away from the Episcopal Church, which is the U.S. province of the worldwide Anglican Communion, aligned themselves with Anglican provinces in South America and Africa.

The conservatives believe that the U.S. church has abandoned its biblical roots and that they are supporting historic Anglican theology.

Turley will be one of the leaders at a meeting of former Episcopal pastors Monday in Overland Park, Kan., where they will formally commit to the new province.

"It's been a long pilgrimage," he said. "Our church is very pleased with it."

He said St. Michael's Anglican, a Reformed Episcopal Church in Tulsa, and the Anglican Church of St. Paul in Owasso also would be part of the new province, as well as two Oklahoma City churches.

He said he expected 500 to 600 churches to join during the first year.

Turley said the member churches would have a voluntary association.

"Any church at any point can secede, with their property, and with a blessing; no more of this iron-fisted autonomy from the top," he said.

Episcopal leaders who remained in the fold are not thrilled with the development, which formally establishes a split in the denomination. Such a breakup was predicted by many observers in 2003, when the Episcopal Church consecrated a practicing gay man, V. Gene Robinson, as its bishop of New Hampshire.

"I'm sorry it's happening," said the Rev. Stephen McKee, the rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Tulsa. "But I can't see it impacting anything we do in Oklahoma.

"What they're trying to do is create a 39th province," he said, "but all of our provinces are geographic in nature, so that goes against the history of Anglicanism."

William Cox, a retired Oklahoma Episcopal bishop who was defrocked by the Episcopal Church this year for his participation with the breakaway churches, said the southern provinces "gave us safe harbor until such time as the American province was formed."

"I feel great about it. I've prayed for it to happen," said Cox, who is still recognized as an Anglican bishop in the province of the Southern Cone, which is based in Argentina.

The question remains whether the worldwide Anglican Communion, led by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, will recognize the new U.S. province. A London spokesman for the Anglican Communion did not respond to an Associated Press request for comment Wednesday.

Turley said Williams would be foolish not to accept the new province, because 80 percent to 85 percent of Anglicans in the world, many of them in the southern hemisphere, support it.

Southern hemisphere Anglicans are generally conservative. They oppose Robinson's consecration and support the breakaway U.S. churches.

The Anglican Church of North America is expected to be led by Bishop Robert Duncan, who leads the breakaway Diocese of Pittsburgh. Duncan was deposed by the Episcopal Church this year.

He called Wednesday's announcement an "exciting and remarkable moment" for traditionalists, the AP reported.

Original Print Headline: Episcopal eruption
 
Source: http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=11&articleid=20081204_18_A3_TheRev11120

"It's a wonderful thing because we'll have more localized authority structure, and we won't be looking abroad," Turley said.


He called Wednesday's announcement an "exciting and remarkable moment" for traditionalists, the AP reported.

 

Dove
Our Worship:
We live to worship God in Jesus Christ at Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican. Our worship blends the traditional Anglo-Catholic with the lively heritage of Evangelical and Contemporary Movements.

 


Children Worship
Church of the Holy Spirit Anglican
welcomes children of all ages. We offer children's church, quality Christian Education Classes and much more.

 

Laying
Our Altar is Always Open:
One of the ways in which this parish celebrates the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is through prayer. Prayer Teams are available and are praying before and throughout our worship services. Anointing is also available for those who desire it.