Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Newport Beach Episcopal church reopens after a three-year battle

From Los Angeles-

They had been waiting for the moment for years.

After the sermon, and before Communion, their priest, the Rev. Canon Cindy Voorhees, stood before them in resplendent white vestments and proclaimed simply but exuberantly, "Welcome to St. James."

From pews that had sat empty for three years, a packed house at St. James Episcopal Church in Newport Beach rose Sunday to embrace Voorhees like a rock star with cheers and whistles.

It was the first service since 2015 at the church, which had been locked and mired in an emotional ecclesiastical and legal battle as the past bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles twice tried to sell the land to developers, incurring church sanctions before his retirement. A flock stayed together, following Voorhees to services at a park, in a museum and, for the last year, a community room at Newport Beach City Hall.

The past was inescapable Sunday, but so was the present.

Sue Rawlings brought her Havanese, Rawlie, as she always does — dogs are welcome at St. James' Mass — and without prompting the little dog, with red bows in her silky ears, trotted down the aisle directly to Rawlings' usual pew — to the right and two rows from the front.

More here-

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