1362 Honeysuckle Drive
Fairborn, Ohio 45324

November 3, 2003

St. Christopher's Episcopal Church
1501 N. Broad Street
Fairborn, Ohio 45324

Attn: The Rev. Joanne Stearns

Dear Joanne,

It is with regret and a certain sadness that I write this letter to inform you of my resignation from all my activities/positions at St. Christopher's. Specifically, this includes, lector, acolyte, usher, greeter, fellowship hostess, foyer, and helping hands coordinator. I am also canceling my pledge, retroactive to the August decisions of the General Convention. My sadness is because over the years, I (and Bill for the past 10-12 years) have established many deep friendships with several parishioners. The regret comes because of the decisions made at the General Convention in Minneapolis. For thirty eight years, I have been a faithful, hardworking, active, supportive member of this parish. For sixty four years, I have been dedicated to serving God in the Episcopal Church. With the election of Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, to the leadership position of bishop and the approval for blessing same sex unions, the Episcopal Church of the USA has been unfaithful to the scriptures and has rejected God as the ultimate authority.

Further, you uphold those decisions and courses of action which have adopted principles of the secular world rather than the Godly, moral principles of the Bible. I have been confused by the rather contradictory position(s) of Bishop Thompson.

As a devout Christian, a follower of Christ, I continually strive to be a Holy woman whose words and actions please God and bring him honor and glory. The standards by which I live are the standards of truth revealed to all of us in the Bible. I simply cannot allow the standards (and will) of a few people in the secular world to replace the will of God, which is repeatedly revealed to all people, for all ages, throughout scripture.

I have been extremely torn and deeply saddened to think of leaving my dear Christian brothers and sisters of St. Christopher’s. However, they must decide which path is best for themselves. As for me, I must follow the path that the Holy Spirit has so clearly shown me. My inner, human nature has always fought for what is “right.” Through deep and sincere prayer, God has calmed me; instead of fighting, I am to shake the dust off my feet, press onward, and pray. I now have a peaceful heart. I am filled with love, even for those whose paths are not the same as mine.

I regret that you thought it necessary to cancel adult Christian education. I have been greatly bothered by the inability to attend adult Christian education classes in which many of us have searched, shared, and grown spiritually through various programs. The deep spiritual unity with other parishioners and the wonderful music have enriched my spiritual growth significantly throughout the years, but especially during the past five years or so since we’ve had an adult Christian education program.

The decisions of the General Convention caused division between Bill and me; he will not worship with me at St. Christopher's Church or any other church that approves and endorses anti-Biblical, secular standards, especially when applied to individuals in leadership positions. I don’t fault him for this, but I am saddened by being unable to worship together as we have done for almost twelve years.

You are aware of my position regarding the Minneapolis decision. I believe it to be less than Christ-like to hold firm beliefs of what is morally right and wrong (based on scripture) and to then worship where the opposite beliefs are held and advocated under the label of “church unity” or “love.” These considerations have formed the basis for my decision to search out a new church home.

I will pray for you and the Episcopal Church of the USA. May the knowledge of God, total commitment and obedience to Him, and a personal relationship with Him be the guiding forces in all our lives.

Respectfully yours,

Dorathea Fortener

cc: Vestry Members

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