Monday, May 23, 2011
Compare and Contrast: Somerset Presbyterians and TEC Diocese
Yesterday afternoon I attended the Anglican 4th Day(A4D)closing worship service in Greensburg. The contingent from Somerset Anglican Fellowship (SAF)shared with me about their new building which they are purchasing from the local Presbyterian Church. The Presbys couldn’t have been more generous – they left behind pianos, sound and projection equipment, office furnishings, kitchen equipment and all kinds of other things. What a blessing!
In their settlement with the TEC Diocese, the TEC litigation team insisted SAF “return” a chalice and paten and candlesticks which had been given to them prior to realignment by the Diocese. Upon their return a leader of TEC said this requirement was merely symbolic --- but necessary. What a contrast to the magnanimity of the Presbyterians.
The TEC Pee Bee, Katherine Jeffords Schori, in a recent visit to Pittsburgh spoke about legacy, and moral and fiduciary responsibility. She said, “The buildings and the bank accounts are the legacy of generations before us. I don't have the right to give those away for other purposes. My fiduciary responsibility, my moral responsibility, is to see that those gifts are used for the ministry to which God calls us in the Episcopal Church”.
For Somerset Anglican Fellowship the legacy they have been left is the ransom of a returned $400. chalice and paten and the moral responsibility of leaving a church that embraces theological innovation and the sexual revolution of the 1970s.