Monday, December 26, 2011

Eviction deadline nears for Groton congregation

From Connecticut-

About 30 parishioners of the Bishop Seabury Church gathered for the 10 o'clock service Christmas morning. They took part in communion, offered prayers for others, and sang "Joy to the World" and "Away in a Manger."

And perhaps some silently hoped this would not be the final Christmas service at the North Road church.

The future of the congregation in its church building is uncertain. After eight years of contention with the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, a decision by the congregation to leave the diocese, and a legal battle over the property, the 135-year-old parish is under court order to vacate the premises by Jan. 4.

The diocesan bishop, the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, said Friday he is trying to avoid that end. He said he is not insisting on the deadline and has asked to meet with the lay and ordained leaders Jan. 12, when he hopes to offer solutions that would return the historic Bishop Seabury parish to the Episcopal fold.

But the pastor of Bishop Seabury, the Rev. Ronald S. Gauss, said Sunday that 200 members of the congregation have voted unanimously not to rejoin the Episcopal church. He said Sunday that members also have voted to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a state Supreme Court ruling that the church and all its property must be turned over to the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut.

More here-

No comments: