Monday, October 19, 2009

St. Luke’s moves into its new home

From Glendale Colorado-

A visiting parishioner stood before the congregation of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, instructed patrons to bring both wrists together as if bound by shackles, and told them to cast the symbolic chains aside.

“You’re free,” he said, inside the unfamiliar confines of Seventh Day Adventist Church in Glendale.

The Rev. Rob Holman cast a knowing smile over the sermon Sunday, the first since surrendering the keys to the stone-facade church at 2563 Foothill Blvd. following a three-year legal battle for ownership of the building.

The congregation in 2006 voted to split with the diocese and the national Episcopal Church over theological discrepancies, which included the decision to consecrate a gay bishop in New Hampshire. The diocese then sued to retain the beloved church building from the congregation, which had realigned with the Anglican Province of Uganda.

Finally, a judge this month ordered the congregation to vacate the site by Oct. 12.

The court rulings will result in the loss of some $325,000 in assets as well as the rights to its name. St. Luke’s of the Mountains Church had baptized, confirmed and married members of the community for 85 years.

Still, members of St. Luke’s, which last summer became part of the new Anglican Church in North America, said they’re well aware of larger conflicts within the Episcopal Church. The first sermon since coming down from the mountain brought with it a sense of closure, they said.

“The weight has been lifted,” said Ingo Dittbern, of La Crescenta. “But the saddest part about all of this is knowing that all the money, especially in these tough times, could have gone to help people in need.”

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