Saddened by St. Andrews News

I am saddened to learn about the decision of the leadership of Saint Andrews in the Pines to disassociate themselves from The Episcopal Church of the United States. I have often longed to return to Peachtree City and resume my support for the PTC community and for Saint Andrews.

I know that God is alive and active in the lives of many. I have felt his healing hand in my own life. Several I count as friends and who still live in PTC can attest to my substantial recovery following a major bicycle accident on one of PTC’s streets in 2001.

I know that God is not locked into the Scriptures. He is free. He is active throughout history in my family and the families of many I know. He is not dead or disassociated with current human life. As evidence I know he spoke to my grandfather about the evils of slavery, which the Bible condones, and He spoke to my father about the domination of women by men, which the Bible encourages. He has spoken to me about the right of Episcopalians in New Hampshire to choose whomever they believe can best lead them, regardless of that person’s sexual orientation. In fact He tells me that sexual orientation isn’t a test for being a Christian.

I cannot understand why any organization in the United States of America would form an allegiance to a Nigerian church. It is Nigeria where wife beating is widely accepted; where the leadership had to be pressured by the international medical community to allow Rotarians to provide polio vaccine to their children; and where poverty, murder, mayhem, and political corruption are widely accepted as norms of daily living.

The Bible has tremendous value for me. It brings me revelations about the nature of God and His love for me more completely than any other single source. If the Scriptures were my only source of knowledge about God, salvation would be available to me. But great joy is mine for I have experienced the touch of God’s love in direct and recent ways, too. Sometimes he nudges me along new paths and brings me new thoughts. Sometimes the nudges aren’t so gentle, either. I pray that others in PTC and across the world will have an opportunity to share in my joy. And, I pray that Saint Andrews in the Pines’ leadership will find a better path.

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Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 02/10/2007 - 10:16am.

If the Bible condones slavery and mistreatment of women and allows homosexuality, which you do not, then why do you say the Bible means so much to you?
Apparently, I don't understand your thought pattern.
What do you think the PTC Episcopal Church breakup was caused by, Jesus or homosexuality? Somebody needs to speak plain English here for most of us to understand.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sun, 02/11/2007 - 11:23am.

Do you know why the local Episcopal Church seems NOT to own their church? It is owned by a higher supervision apparently. Who paid for the new church and the old land?
I also take it that the old pastor would rather have his pension than switch? Did his pension contributions come from on high or from local money?
What a mess!

Submitted by Dannon on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 9:43am.

It's a matter of Episcopal canon law, not money. According to the canon, church property belongs to the Diocese, held in trust by the local parish. The canon law does give the bishop room to give the property over to the local parish, if circumstances call for it, but it doesn't require him to do so.

As for the money: The new building was paid for with a mortgage, much like any new building. The mortgage is being paid off from the church's own building fund, which comes from donations by the local parish membership.

The salary and benefits for an Episcopal priest always come from the local parish, not from higher up. When he left, it wasn't a matter of pay or pension. He retired because he's been a priest for a long time, and he still has a few more scholarly goals he wants to pursue in his life.

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 11:12am.

for the information about who owns the local Episcopal church. The Diocese. I don't know exactly what a Diocese is but I assume the local people who paid for the church do not own it. Are they still paying for it? All those who left the church, I assume, no longer will feel any obligation to pay for the rest of the mortgage?
If the past Rector who retired is to be paid a pension by the local Episcopal Church and not the Diocese,, what is left that is, will they be able to do so, or is that a trust also? I guess he will also get Social Security. Mind telling me what a "scholarly goal" is?

Submitted by Dannon on Tue, 02/13/2007 - 11:51am.

A diocese is a regional unit of The Episcopal Church. The Atlanta Diocese consists of about 93 Episcopal congregations in North and Middle Georgia. The Bishop is the head of the diocese.

My best guess as far as the mortgage goes will be that it will go with whoever gets the property. If the local congregation gets the property, then it'll be up to them to pay it off, and they'll lose any co-signing from the diocese. If, on the other hand, the diocese won't let it go, the diocese will end up with a mostly-empty building, and most of the congregation won't be around any more to take collections and pay it off. Considering how the diocese's attendance and donation numbers have been on a long downward trend, that wouldn't be a good thing for them.

Just did a bit of quick online research now on retirement in the Episcopal church, and it turns out that there is a national "Church Pension Fund". Looks like the local parish would have paid into the fund based on his salary. And, like any standard corporate pension, it doesn't matter if you go on to work for anyone else before retirement, anyone with a piece of salary going into the plan will get benefits out of it.

Fr. Brigham has plans to study and teach ancient languages. He's already fluent in more languages than I can count.

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