Tuesday, December 19, 2006
"We'll leave the light on for ya ..."
The Episcopal Church continues to focus on its mission of reconciling the world, particularly as it cares for the least, the lost, and the left out.
While the Episcopal Church laments the recent votes by some persons in Virginia congregations to leave this Church, we are clear that individuals may depart, but congregations do not.
Congregations are created and recognized by the diocese in which they exist, and can only be closed by action of the bishop and diocesan governing bodies. Even if a large percentage of a congregation departs, the remaining people will be assisted by the diocese and the larger Church to reconstitute their congregation and continue in mission and ministry in that place.
These recent departures have received a significant amount of publicity, but they represent a tiny percentage of the total number of Episcopalians in the Church. We regret and grieve their departure, and pray that they may continue their journey as Christians in another home.
In the hope that some may decide to return, we intend to keep the door open and the light on.
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori on the Washington Post/Newsweek On Faith site.