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The Split Begins: Congregation Separation

By Peter Mavrik in News on Sep 10, 2007 5:45PM

2007_08_lesbianbishop.jpgIt's still too early to tell who will be elected to the post of bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Chicago, but as we suggested, the rocky relationship between the church and its members has already manifested itself in the split of at least one congregation.

The Episcopal Church of the Resurrection in West Chicago saw around 100 of its congregants depart this past weekend. After their final service, which was by all accounts a good natured and lively affair, they walked to their new space about a quarter-mile away. Their new church, named Resurrection Anglican Church, falls under the governance of the Anglican Church of Uganda.

It's interesting to note that the split comes on the heels of the election of Rev. John Guernsey (of Virginia) to the post of bishop in the conservative Anglican Church of Uganda. The Rev. Guernsey, along with his congregation, decided last year "to leave the Episcopal Church over disagreements on biblical authority and the 2003 consecration of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual."

The election of Rev. Guernsey to bishop took place in Mbarara, Uganda, not here in the states. In case you didn't know, the maximum penalty for being openly homosexual in Uganda is life in prison. And what is Rev. Guernsey's new gig as bishop? He will "watch over" the churches stateside and make sure they come under the province of the Anglican Church of Uganda.

We suspect this is only the first in a series of congregation separations around town.