Church worships together for last timeCare to weigh in, Bishop Robinson, with some pithy remarks about all those bigots who would cruelly turn their backs on those who are in need of the church's guidance and compassion?
Elise Rambaud, Midland Reporter-Telegram
Members of St. Nicholas' Episcopal Church and supporters from churches around the city, state and nation began to fill the pews nearly an hour before Sunday's service.
By 7 p.m., chairs spilled out into the sanctuary's foyer until there was standing room only. It was the final Sunday many of St. Nicholas' parishioners would gather together in the building they built only four years ago.
Nearly 90 percent of the congregation is leaving St. Nicholas' to begin Christ Church Midland (Anglican Communion) after Bishop Wallis Ohl of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas told those who were dissatisfied with the direction of the national Episcopal Church to leave the St. Nicholas church building by June 1 [my emphasis]. Controversy has been over Biblical teachings and the denomination's election of a gay bishop and stance on same-sex marriage blessings.
"At this last gathering of our congregational family, there will be grief, but also hope and confidence as we move forward to share Christ's love as a new church, Christ Church Midland," said the Rev. Jon Stasney, rector of St. Nicholas.' "Bishop Ohl's instruction that we leave our church home hurts us deeply, but it's clear God is calling us to stand up for Biblical values and share Christ's love in new ways. We are standing with the majority of Christians throughout the world and throughout time."
Similar sentiments were expressed by parishioners Sunday. (link)