16 December 2006

From St. Patrick's, Smyrna.

Fr. Ray Kasch of St. Patrick's Anglican Church in Smyrna, Tennessee writes his parishioners:

Dear Saints,

A UPS truck pulled up in front of my house this week. When I went out to meet the driver he said with a large smile, “They can kick you out of your church but they can’t kick you out of your house.” As he handed me a package addressed to St. Patrick’s he shook my hand and said, “God bless you, y’all have done the right thing.” This has been the consistent response I have received through phone calls, emails and personal contacts, most of which has been from the greater Body of Christ. We sowed some tears but we are already reaping some joy through the encouragement of other Christians.

Beth had a great observation about our last Mass in ourbuilding. She said it was like graduation day. Sadness over things that will never be again but joy over the sense of expectation about the future. I think that is a perfect way to look at it. We did suffer a loss and it is okay to be sad about that. But at the same time the future is before us and since we are journeying together in the wilderness we have much to which to look forward. Jesus said that we can consider ourselves “Blessed” which means “Happy” when we have suffered loss for the sake of the Gospel. So there is no reason why this cannot be a season of joy and excitement and expectation as we follow where the Lord leads us. I plan on enjoying this adventure and I hope you will join me in doing so. Just the fact that so many of us have chosen to do this together already makes this a cause for celebration. I would like to make some observations as we start this exodus. . .

Here's the whole thing (.pdf). The people of St. Patrick's recently left All Saints' Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Tennessee.


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