Episcopalians quit Fairborn church

Dayton Daily News, 11/21/2003, (full story follows below)
Episcopalians quit Fairborn church, Oppose ordination of gay NH bishop
Spotlight on Front Page, Story on cover of "Local" section (B1)
See story at DDN (html - in new windows)
By Mara Lee

Almost three dozen Episcopalians are leaving their Fairborn congregation because of the national conference's decision to ordain a gay man as the New Hampshire bishop.

Andy Figueroa of Beavercreek said he found a new place for these Episcopalians, who believe the church has left them behind as it has become more liberal.

They will attend Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church, at 925 N. Main St., Dayton. The Reformed Episcopal Church split from the Episcopal Church in the late 1800s, when its leaders felt the denomination was becoming too Roman Catholic. Today, it is more conservative than the Episcopal Church U.S.A. - it does not ordain women and it says sex outside of marriage is sinful in all circumstances.

Figueroa expects some members of other local congregations will attend Christ the King, but probably just another dozen or so. Figueroa, 56, has been an Episcopalian since 1976. He used to work for the diocese as its Web master, but resigned in August because the gay man's ordination. He is unemployed.

Figueroa, like other traditionalists, hopes the liberal U.S. conference will split from the worldwide Anglican Communion, and that congregations who wish to follow the Bible more literally can join those Anglicans.

The Rev. Wayne McNamara, who leads Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church, said he feels sorrow for Episcopalians who feel disenfranchised. But he's pleased his church, which has about 110 members from 30 households, can be a place they can sojourn as the conflict continues.

(God have mercy upon us.)

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