July 19, 2007

That's My Church! "Ouch" Division


What if TEC gave a group hug and nobody came?

BRISTOL - Trinity Episcopal Church could be called a house divided: Its defrocked pastor led a heavily attended prayer and song service at the church Wednesday night, while Episcopal Bishop Andrew Smith tried to muster parishioners to meet with a new pastor at a church in Plainville.

Smith promoted his meeting in a letter to parishioners last week as a way to discuss the dispute between Trinity and the Episcopal Diocese and "begin to identify new leadership for the parish so that we can move forward in our life in Christ within the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church."

But the message didn't draw much of Trinity's membership, which earlier this year joined Pastor Donald Helmandollar in a defection from the Episcopal Church, related to its 2003 installation of a gay bishop.

The bishop's session at the Church of Our Savior in Plainville drew a dozen people at most, and Smith refused to allow a reporter to attend, declaring it a closed meeting.

Simultaneously, Helmandollar's prayer and song service at Trinity brought in about 70 people.

Here you see the blind spot in TEC's worldview. Because it has all but officially abandoned the idea that Christianity means anything other than being nice to each other, it simply can't comprehend why anybody would leave over differences of belief. "Hey," it says, "We're a big tent! There's room for you and me and everybody else! Really! Sure we've got our differences, but we can work round 'em or simply ignore them. C'mon in! (Oh, and write a check to the U.N. while you're at it.)"

At least with the good folks of Trinity, it seems this secular universalism doesn't sell very well. Nor with me.

Posted by Robert at July 19, 2007 12:09 PM | TrackBack