Thursday, November 12, 2009

Point/Counterpoint re: St. Luke's in-the-Mountains, La Crescenta

Parishioner Patrick McDonald sent over these two "Letters to the Editor" recently published in the Crescenta Valley Weekly in response to the paper's feature on the return of St. Luke's to the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.


The people, and Fr. Bryan Jones of the St. Luke’s Episcopal Church cannot conceive the damage that has occurred to this unique, wonderful community. The gloom that has passed over the righteous, dedicated followers of the Scriptures is immeasurable. It has been a retracted struggle of obedience to the Christian faith, not adherence to an ecclestical (sic) tradition of a denomination maintaining ownership of the church property.

In Leviticus 18, 20 and Romans 1, one will read of God’s condemnation of the homosexual ‘life style.’ The congregants of the Anglican diocese chose to obey the Holy Bible in 2006. Their holy determination might have been recognized by the other members of the original church. As is so common in many churches, they chose to unwisely follow the misguided leaders of the diocese. Thus, it remains to be seen if the present church at Foothill and Rosemont make the sacrosanct decision to adhere to the clear teaching of the Christian faith.

Kenneth Grissom
La Crescenta


I feel I must respond to Kenneth Grissom’s letter in the October 22nd edition of the Crescenta Valley Weekly (“Chastises Those Who ‘Follow Misguided Leaders’”). He says a gloom has passed over his righteous community. I returned to St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 18 after a 6 year absence. What I experienced was far from gloomy but rather a joyful and spiritual celebration of God’s all-inclusive love.

Mr. Grissom seems to suggest that anyone who doesn’t believe in strict adherence to the laws set down in Leviticus is not a true Christian and is “following false leaders”. Leviticus does in fact condemn homosexuality as it does unruly children who curse or disobey their parents and people who cheat on their spouses. Leviticus goes on the demand that all of these people be put to death. Oh yes, and Leviticus also says it’s alright to own slaves as long as they’re not from your own country.

Mr. Grissom has a right to believe anything he chooses but I would suggest that too much time spent on the condemnations of Leviticus and too little celebrating the teachings of Jesus (who never mentioned homosexuality) would make anyone gloomy.

Patrick McDonald
La Crescenta


Mitchell said...

why don't you guys just let the churchs who hold a majority view on leaving the TEC have their own property?? I mean really these people have probably been worshiping in the same place for many years. It's practically theirs anyway?


It's a longer, more complicated answer than I've got energy for on a day off, but the long story short is tha in our polity ... the way we've historically governed our particular kind of church ... congregations exist by virtue of their being part of a diocese -- not in isolation. (We are an "episcopal church" not a "congregational church.")

Individuals are free to make other choices about where and how to worship ... they are not free to take with them the resources or property that have been endowed and established down through generations for the work and witness of the Episcopal Church.

The property belongs TO the diocese ... the current "tenants" hold it in trust from past generations and for future generations of Episcopalians. Other churches work other ways. That's how we do it.

rob said...

While we appreciate members of the community coming to our defense, the loss of our property has not left us in gloom. It was hurtful, but the joy of the Lord has been our strength and healer. In fact, our final service in our former property was astonishingly joyful. The Lord truly blessed us. I hope Kenneth Grissom will come worship with us and see that we are indeed well and thriving in our new location.

Patrick McDonald's experience of worship with another community in the same property after our departure, while we hope it was joyful and pleasing to God, is really a separate matter to the hundreds of us that were evicted from our church home. God does love us all, so we wish them well and hold nothing against them. In fact, I said this to Bryan Jones this morning when I stopped in to see him.

Peace to all,
Rob Holman+
St. Luke’s Anglican Church
La Crescenta, CA


rob ... very nice. other than the minor point that St. Luke's is and continues to be the "church home" of the Episcopalians who are continuing to worship there, it is exactly the kind of gracious, healing response that will keep us all moving forward together into God's future.