Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Alabama church secedes over gay bishop

A story we're sure to hear more of in the coming months and years:
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- For the second time in less than six months, a Montgomery Episcopal church has split from the national church over its appointment of New Hampshire's openly gay bishop.

Nearly 80 percent of the Church of the Ascension's 1,600-member congregation, including two of its three priests, decided Sunday to leave the church and form a new parish in the Anglican Communion called Christchurch, the Montgomery Advertiser reported yesterday.

The new parish will meet at a Montgomery Presbyterian church until a permanent location is found.

''This is one of the most difficult decisions my family has ever had to make," said Mark Wilkerson, who was a senior warden at the Church of the Ascension and is a member of the Christchurch executive committee. ''There is hardly a person in the parish, including those staying behind, who has not touched our lives in some respect."

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