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For Immediate Release, November 20, 2003: Early this week, lay persons from Dayton area Episcopal churches formed an independent Anglican Fellowship in the wake of actions by the Episcopal Church's General Convention last August. (The Episcopal Church is the US branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion.) The General Convention approved the election of a non-celibate homosexual priest as bishop of New Hampshire, and also passed a resolution acknowledging the use of liturgies for same-sex unions. Orthodox (or traditional) Episcopalians see these actions as a departure from the clear reading and historic interpretation of Holy Scripture. At the same convention, a resolution was defeated, which would have reaffirmed the Episcopal Church's commitment to the authority of Scripture.
Andy Figueroa, Webmaster and former Director of Communications with the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio, resigned his position after the August decisions. "These are painful times for Episcopalians who feel they have been betrayed by their leadership," Figueroa said. Many Episcopalians say they now feel estranged from their Church and in good conscience can no longer remain as members. Figueroa is concerned: "Many hurting Episcopalians now wonder what to do while waiting for Anglican structures in North America to undergo reorganization as a result of the actions of the Episcopal Church."
In order to help meet this need, Figueroa announced this week the formation of Christ the King Anglican Fellowship. The Fellowship, inspired by the Anglican Congress (a movement working to unite separate Anglican churches in the US and Canada), is a collaborative effort with Christ the King Reformed Episcopal Church (REC). Though the Fellowship will remain independent, Christ the King REC has graciously welcomed its members into the life of their church. Figueroa said, "I cannot think of a better situation for a group of refugees fleeing from the pain of having their church depart from the faith." He noted that the arrangement "provides a wonderful pastor, familiar Anglican worship, a full range of Christian Education, other church activities, and a school."
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