Portland Episcopal church splits

OREGON FAITH NEWS NOTE: In Portland, the St. Matthew’s Episcopalian church has  just experienced a division.   Most of their members have voted to become Anglicans and leave the church.  The local Episcopalian split reflects divisions that are occurring across the country.  Here is a sample of what the Oregonian reported.

On Sunday, members of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Parish  were still reeling from their separation.For the second week, two dozen people gathered in the wood and brick building on Northeast Prescott Street that has been their home for 55 years. An hour later, almost 100 of their former brothers and sisters in Christ, who recently declared themselves Anglicans, worshiped in rented space at Mt.Tabor Seventh-day Adventist Church.  The storm that has battered the Episcopal Church in the United States has touched down in Portland.

Since the Episcopal Church in the United States decided in 2003 to accept the election of its first openly gay bishop, the denomination has been rocked with disagreements over biblical authority. With a reputation as a conservative congregation, St. Matthew’s had for 66 years included people who read the Bible almost literally and others who interpreted it from more liberal points of view. But over time, that range grew problematic. On March 21, a majority of St. Matthew’s members voted to leave the church.

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