Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Meanwhile, back in Philly....

Actually the Philadelphia Mainline (the suburbs running along Lancaster Ave, and the Paoli Local train line - the Main Line), my old parish, where I served as curate, continues its legal wranglings.

The parish I served at as a curate, the diocese that ordained me, and the last diocese and parish I served in, have all left the Episcopal Church....sigh.

It is interesting the standing committee's desire to re-establish a parish in that location. In a few square miles you have St. David's, Wayne and Redeemer, Bryn Mawr (established, old blue blood liberal parishes), as well as one other faithful parish (All Saints, Wynnewood - 1928 BCP parish also in battles with diocese), and parishes just up the road all directions (St. Mary's Wayne, St. Mary's Ardmore, St. George's Haverford, Christ Church Villanova and St. Martin's Radnor) none of which are anywhere near capacity.
But the powers that be would rather have an empty building to prove a point, rather than let the traditionalists have/purchase a building and continue to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness according to the same faith that the founders and subsequent generations sacrificed for! (not the new ECUSA religion).

BTW - great picture of the sanctuary at The Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont. For some reason it won't upload to the site, so you will have to click through at the end of this article
Court asked to remove renegade Episcopal priest
By David O'Reilly
Inquirer Staff Writer
After biding its time for years, the Episcopal Diocese of Pennsylvania has asked a civil court to remove the Rev. David Moyer as rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rosemont, and to declare the diocese as owner of the renegade parish's property.
Moyer, a vocal critic of liberal trends in the Episcopal Church, has served as the parish's rector and lived in its rectory since 1989, even though he was deposed as a priest nearly seven years ago.
Last week, the diocese informed him and Good Shepherd's vestry that it had petitioned Montgomery County Orphans Court to order the parish to transfer the title to its buildings, as well as all other assets, to the diocese.
It also asked the court to "restrain and enjoin" Moyer "from further use and occupancy" of the site, which fronts on Lancaster Avenue.
Founded in 1870, Good Shepherd has never formally broken with the 55,000-member diocese or the 2.1 million-member Episcopal Church.
Angered by the denomination's ordination of women and gays, however, the traditionalist "high church" Good Shepherd has withheld its parish assessments from the diocese for more than a decade. It sends no representatives to the annual diocesan convention.
It also has barred diocesan bishops from preaching or conducting confirmation in its church.
In 2002, Bishop Charles E. Bennison Jr., the diocesan bishop, said Moyer had "broken communion" with the Episcopal Church and deposed, or defrocked, him as an Episcopal priest.
Moyer not only refused to leave Good Shepherd - which continues to pay his salary - but sued Bennison for damages in Montgomery County Court, seeking to have his defrocking overturned. He lost that suit in October, which opened the way for the diocese to remove him.
Since 2005, Moyer has served as a bishop in the Traditional Anglican Communion, part of a worldwide network of conservative Anglicans.
Yesterday he and his attorney, John Lewis, declined to comment on the filing, saying they were studying their options. Moyer and the three parish vestry members named as respondents have 30 days to reply.
"What does it mean to be Episcopalian if you don't pay and don't acknowledge the leadership?" Edward Rehill, the diocesan chancellor, said yesterday. "It means you've left the church."
Rehill, chief legal officer for the diocese, said that it was the "expressed intention of the [diocesan] standing committee to reestablish an Episcopal church on that site," and that it was "unlikely" the committee would agree to sell the site to the congregation.
The standing committee has been serving as the chief administrative body of the church since October 2007, when the Episcopal Church suspended Bennison on charges he concealed his brother's sexual abuse of a minor girl many years ago.
In July, a church court ordered Bennison - who had defrocked Moyer - removed as diocesan bishop. He is appealing that verdict.