Saturday, August 10, 2013

St. Matthew’s Episcopal must sell church after split

From Southern Ohio-

A Westerville congregation that lost about two-thirds of its members in 2007 after a rift within the Episcopal Church is selling its building and worshipping in a temporary space as it tries to redefine itself as “a church without walls,” its presiding priest said this week.

A “For Sale” is posted in front of the 23,995-square-foot St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church at 233 S. State St., where congregants held their final service on July 7. Their first service in borrowed space at a respite-care center drew about 100 people the following week, said the Rev. Joseph Kovitch, who oversees the congregation.

“It’s a powerful story of a community of people who hold deeply to their faith, to their beliefs, but also to a desire to be diverse,” Kovitch said. “What we are is really the new beginning, the new opportunity to become what we want to become. “

The church had more than 500 members when it split. The group that left with the Rev. Ron Baird formed St. Andrew’s Anglican Church and began worshipping in Lewis Center in 2008. Dozens of congregations across the country experienced similar divisions following the Episcopal Church’s 2003 consecration of the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, an openly gay man, as a bishop in New Hampshire.

More here-

No comments: