When God sets about renewing his Church (whether a part of the One, Holy and Apostolic Church or a Protestant denomination – or all of it as the Body of Christ), it is more often than not a very messy, nasty undertaking. Entrenched interests, “conservative” or “liberal”, fight mightily to stop it (look how the religious leaders of Jesus’ day tried to stop him and the Apostles). There comes a point through the name calling, the casting of dispersions, the casting into outer darkness, and the utter unChrist-like actions, when those most entrenched in the fighting become irreverent to the new thing that God is doing. This happens because, I think, those most enamored with their own positions become blind to what is really going on around them, under them, above them – anywhere but with them. Renewal may mean the death of everything – the end of it all. No more money! Then, perhaps, the reshaping – starting in the very hearts of very real folk – can begin in earnest.
This little rant of mine comes out of this news report of a parish that was once an Episcopal parish that decided to pull-out of the Episcopal Church, tried to keep the property that did not belong to them (according to the very Canons that they agreed to and lived under for for nearly 30-years, particularly considering the vow taken by the then Episcopal priest in charge). They lost the court battle, were told to vacate the original Episcopal congregations building, but couldn’t leave it at that.
Now, I think that much of the way all this has been handled by the national Episcopal Church, dioceses, bishop, priests, and the laity in many of these conflicts has been terrible, but this kind of thing takes the cake, so to speak.
Here is an article describing what happened in: Diocese says Elm Grove’s church’s alter vandalized by evicted group ( ElmGroveNow)
Here is the photo on Facebook of the proud perpetrator of the action: the apse and alter – (Kelsie J. Wendelberger)
The Glory of God has departed…
New beginnings start today… It is time. Lord, lead us nearer into Your presence.
St. Edmund’s Anglican Church, we’ve taken our stand. Now let us stand firm in it.
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to
prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” ~
Jeremiah 29:11 +
And for those worldwide onlookers and
critics, the Hebrew phrase for “The Glory of God has departed” being
inscribed on the altar (in charcoal) is actually the proper, Anglican
(Church of England) tradition to do at the very end of a service for
departing a place of worship due to conflicts in a time of battle. It’s
tradition and proper procedure, not defacement by any means.