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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Darien church seeks relief from Bishop's oversight; South Windsor church makes arrangement with Bishop

A Darien Episcopal church involved in the "Connecticut Six" controversy continues to seek relief from the oversight of the Episcopal Bishop of Connecticut, the Rev. Andrew D. Smith:

In a recent ruling that was dismissed by a federal judge involving the role of gays in the Episcopal church, the six priests who filed the lawsuit against Connecticut Bishop Andrew D. Smith are appealing the decision.

The Rev. Christopher Leighton, of St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Mansfield Avenue, said the "Connecticut Six"—a group he is apart of and is a term used to designate the opposing priests—feel they are continuing to be "marginalized and pushed aside" in wake of the court's decision.

"Nobody wanted it to go this far," Leighton said. "We're not trying to punish the bishop by appealing the decision; we just want relief from under his leadership."

Rev. Leighton spoke strongly about the direction of the church and how properly to view the response of dissenting congregations:

"The Episcopal Church has made it a point of walking apart from the Anglican community for some time now," Leighton said, pointing out that nearly 77 million people worldwide practice Anglican Christianity. "Our goal is only to stay true to the faith we know, which resides alongside the Anglican Church."

Leighton did say, though, that the "Connecticut Six" would be able to strike a deal with Smith under one condition.

"I would tell the bishop that if he was to let us remain Anglican, we would drop the pending lawsuit and call it a draw," he said.

(Source: Darien News-Review)

The worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church in the USA is a part, is in the process of tearing itself to bits over the practices of its American and Canadian constituents. Largely unknown to Americans, the conflict is raging worldwide as "Third World" bishops have been calling Western believers to repent from their Scriptural departures. Congregations which are of a mind to actually follow the Scripture are leaving the Episcopal Church, either seeking alternative oversight by other bishops or else going independent.

According to the Episcopal News Service, St. Peter's Episcopal Church in South Windsor has now concluded their own arrangement with Bishop Smith. That church will receive pastoral care for a time from retired Bishop of Connecticut Clarence Coleridge.

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