By The Bakersfield Californian
Our diocese separated itself from the Episcopal Church several years ago, but today we are fighting a different battle. The Episcopal Church has sued many dioceses and individual churches saying that they own all the church facilities and they have won again with St. Paul's and St. Michael's ("Episcopals regain 2 buildings; some Anglicans must find new home," May 12). Churches all over the nation must turn over their complete facilities to the Episcopal Church. This is mainly because the judiciary does not like putting itself into church conflicts.
It is an awful shame that churches bought and paid for by their members many years ago now must find new facilities to worship in. Ironically, the Episcopal Church will be glad to sell the churches back to those congregations.
The national Episcopal Church is hurting for money to support these lawsuits. At first and up to recently, the Episcopal Church would not even sell these churches back to their original owners, but now they find that they have little luck selling them on the open market. What was an effort to raise money for the suits has now turned into a situation where they have empty church facilities that they have to maintain.
As a Christian, and an ordained deacon in the Anglican Church of North America, I am saddened that anything like this would ever happen to any church. Many of these churches have older congregations who cannot fathom what is going on.
The Rev. Thomas C. Hunt
St. Peter's Anglican Mission