Christ Church of Lonsdale closing?

Jan 19, 2011 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Valley Breeze - Cumberland and Lincoln Edition

Episcopalians who count 175 years of worship on Lonsdale Avenue have a decision to make this month that's both tearing at their hearts and dividing them into two camps.

On Sunday, Jan. 30, the 300-plus members of Christ Church of Lonsdale will vote on whether to abandon their striking stone structures at the corners of John Street and merge with Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Cumberland Hill ...

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“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#1
Jan 20, 2011
 

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from Valley Breeze:

"For some, including Christ Church's rector, the Rev. Scott Gunn, this is a practical move that will shore up the financial footings of both Episcopal churches ...

"Gunn said he's been through a merger before. Before coming to Lonsdale, he was the rector when St. Michael and Grace of East Providence merged with St. Martin of Pawtucket to form the new Church of the Epiphany.

"He says there have been five or six successful mergers of Rhode Island Episcopal churches in the past several years."

Mergers in TEC have become endemic.

“The Kingdom of God Begins NOW!”

Since: May 07

The Mountain Empire

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#2
Jan 20, 2011
 

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Well we can't all be like the roman diocese of Cleveland and close scores of them.

LOL..........

“Ecce! Sic transit gloria mundi”

Since: Oct 10

I See New Jerusalem From Here.

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#3
Jan 20, 2011
 

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From the article:

Both were founded in 1835, with the help of textile mill owners, to serve their English workers.

Things change and neighborhoods are not immune to such changes. Many old established churches (of any number of faith traditions) have property in older sections of town that no longer have the congregations that existed when they were founded. After 175 years, one would expect this to happen.

The real question is what difference does it make?

I like this from the article:

Those siding with the rector and the vestry say:

* Merging opens new opportunities for ministry that will come when finances are no longer an overriding worry.

* Conversely, without a merger both parishes must cut back drastically on staff and programs.

* The merger will allow for a variety of worship services in different styles.

* Expanding Emmanuel to accommodate both congregations will eventually cost $2.5 million compared to $2.6 million for fixing up the Lonsdale buildings or $6.5 million to build brand new.

* Parking is very limited in Lonsdale and church members rely on local businesses and the school department to supplement their small lot.

* Although pledges are up, Christ Church has drained its resources and is about to finally run out of operating and capital improvement funds.

* Many ideas for raising funds have been explored, including selling off the famed John LaFarge stained-glass windows, but all ideas are short-term fixes only.

* The congregation has been unwilling to donate funds for repairs that include a leaky roof that's creating internal damage.

Those on Dr. Scott's opposition team make these main points:

* Emmanuel's space is small and joining the two congregations will be cramped and uncomfortable.

* So, since Christ Church properties are so much larger - including three times the seating capacity in the sanctuary - Emmanuel's members should relocate to Lonsdale.

* Private funds have been identified for restoring the stained-glass windows, at about $230,000, and the other $250,000 in repairs can be handled one project at a time

* An immediate savings of $80,000 a year can be realized by letting go of the assistant priest, Shobe, that Gunn brought in.

* Also, more families would return - and with them pledge dollars - if the church gave up its recent demand that parents and children together attend an hour of Sunday School followed by an hour or more of worship every Sunday.

* The church buildings are too historic and architecturally valuable to be sold off or torn down.

Though the two church buildings are a study in architectural contrasts, both congregations share their history in common. Both were founded in 1835, with the help of textile mill owners, to serve their English workers.

The first Christ Church was built by the Lonsdale Company, then replaced with a Romanesque revival-style structure following a fire in 1883.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#4
Jan 20, 2011
 

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T McCabe wrote:
From the article ...
Yes, and we can all read it in the link provided.

“Ecce! Sic transit gloria mundi”

Since: Oct 10

I See New Jerusalem From Here.

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#5
Jan 21, 2011
 

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Joe DeCaro wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, and we can all read it in the link provided.
And we can all understand that you only wanted it posted to imply that TEC is falling to its' knees for lack of members.
QUITTNER

Toronto, Canada

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#6
Jan 21, 2011
 
1:27 pm, Friday, January 21, 2011:
RE: Christ Church of Lonsdale closing?
..... Many belief systems have been invented and are trying to get as many members as possible (read: their money) given the local competition problems. People no longer accept everything that clergy and the sales literature tell them, they do want to get their precious, hard-earned money's worth.
..... In the old days churches were the only places where most people could get an education (indoctrination?) and entertainment for free(?), apart from the social networking involved, on one day per week.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#7
Jan 21, 2011
 

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T McCabe wrote:
<quoted text>
And we can all understand that you only wanted it posted to imply that TEC is falling to its' knees for lack of members.
Do the math.

In recent years, TEC in RI has had about half a dozen "mergers": that's at least 12 churches, not including congregations that couldn't merge and simply folded.
Patricia Lafleche

Cumberland, RI

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#8
Jan 22, 2011
 

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We should move our parish to Emmanual in Cumberland if it means paying less money to expand our church.I'm comparing the differences in prices to repair ours and to expand the one in Cumberland.It would take less money out of our pockets to do all this in Cumberland than to repair and go through all that trouble of spending money when most of us don't even have it.

“Ecce! Sic transit gloria mundi”

Since: Oct 10

I See New Jerusalem From Here.

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#9
Jan 22, 2011
 

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Joe DeCaro wrote:
<quoted text>
Do the math.
In recent years, TEC in RI has had about half a dozen "mergers": that's at least 12 churches, not including congregations that couldn't merge and simply folded.
You really should be more concerned with the millions of Church of Rome members leaving your own church in the heart of Christendom.

Episcopalians declining in the smallest state in the Union is nothing compared to the drop of members in RCC that is happening in Ireland, Germany and Poland (Not to mention the non-Spanish speaking members in North America).
CIndy Mulvey

Lincoln, RI

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#10
Jan 22, 2011
 

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There are dozens of past senior and junior wardens, vestry members and lay ministry leaders who do not see the wrecking ball as the answer
(Save Christ Church of Lonsdale). We have had several successful fund raising campaigns and had about 95% parish participation in 1997-2001 when it did not involve salaries AND benefits as our Renaissance campaign of 2008 does. Our Thrift Shop has paid for almost $100K in repairs and improvements in the last 15-20 years. We had less support for Renaissance because it included payments for a second priest we do not believe is
necessary for a parish our size. So we do not appreciate being told our parish doesn't support its buildings.
Next week we will be asked to approve two questions on one ballot, with the same resulting confusion. The question is, to a) vote to merge with Emmanuel Episcopal Church and b) to approve to close the doors at Christ Church of Lonsdale.
By bundling the vote to include these 2 questions our parish is being led down this particular path.
We maintain Emmanuel and other churches in the closing stages should be encouraged to worship at our glorious 175 year old location, now and forever. We have a classic center aisle, a balcony for our bell choir, a spacious sacristy, active ministries that include soup kitchens and Habitat for Humanity, Adopt A Family, and much, much more. When we hold a bazaar we have three sittings of a Parish Dinner that gets sold out, in our gym, while the bazaar is taking place in the Great Hall. How many other churches can achieve this level of activity? Ironically, we have so many non-profit neighborhood groups, like the Boys and Girl Scouts, Al-Anon, Zumba and others using our Hall for free, the vestry board often meets in the bright, spacious, fully finished basement of the hall. We can look to other worship groups who would like to rent space.
We never got written second opinions of value for our buildings, as requested back in March 2010 and cannot even confirm that our buildings' gutters were cleaned, to alleviate leaks that happen now and again (?) We have safe, sturdy, mulitfunctional buildings that yes, need repair, but more to the tune of $218,000, not the millions as mis-stated in this week's Valley Breeze. Please watch the Breeze for retractions this week.
And if any parishoners are looking at this, please ask your vestry and clergy why we are being told to vote on 2 questions at one time--very unbalanced approach to what should be a democratic process among all interested parties.
Leslie Benoit Willis

Lincoln, RI

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#11
Jan 22, 2011
 
I belong to Christ Church. I was baptized there, made my first communion there, was married there, sang in both the junior and senior choirs, and hoped to have my funeral service there one day far, far in the future. My mother was a member of ECW in the past and is part of the Alter Guild now. My father was on the vestry and is a past treasurer, junior warden, and senior warden. I say that so anyone reading this would realize that my family has spent many years being a part of Christ Church. Both my parents and my family lived in North Carolina for a number of years, in my case 19 years and my parents 13, but when we moved back we came to Christ Church to worship.

While it would cost a little less to fix Emmanuel Church, in the grand scheme of things...it isn't that much difference, app. 100,000 dollars. By the vestry's calculations it will take 2.6 million to upgrade Christ Church while it will take 2.5 million to expand Emmanuel Church, but the people on the Committee to Save Christ Church don't believe those figures are accurate. The sale of our parish hall will not bring anywhere near the amount of money it will take to expand Emmanuel so unless a loan is going to be asked for, it will take a number of years to save up for a new church. Meanwhile,we will need to have 4 services on Sundays to serve the entire church. That is, if a majority of our parishioners switch over to Emmanuel. If a number of parishioners don't go there, a larger church might never come about.

We at Christ Church are being asked to vote on merging and moving to Emmanuel in one vote. That is 2 questions and should be asked separately. I know it must be difficult for the parishioners at Emmanuel to merge with us, but that is the only question being asked of them. They really don't have anything to lose by our church merging with them. They get extra people and a new source of income to build a larger place of worship, while we lose our church. We've been told that Christ Church is only a building, but that's not altogether true. I wonder how the parishioner's of Emmanuel would feel if they were told that their church was closing its doors and they would either merge with another church or lease part of the former Lincoln Lanes (which is now a funeral home)as their new house of worship, as we were told last year. I have nothing against Lincoln Lanes, as anyone who knew me will tell you that I was an avid bowler and spent a lot of time there, besides working there when I was 16.

Unfortunately, our spending has been more that our budget could afford. I bet that sounds pretty familiar to people in this country. People of my parent's generation who grew up in the depression, know that you can't spend more than you have.

Our churches are so much different. Christ Church is high Episcopal, while I've been told that Emmanuel would be considered low Episcopal. If you're not Episcopal you probably won't understand what I mean, but I've been told that Christ Church is more Roman Catholic than St. Jude's, which is right down the street from us here in Lincoln. I wonder if their parishioners be happy on the high holidays with incense being used? For the first time that I'm aware of, our priest has blessed rosaries during the 10:30 service. Recently, we recited the Holy Mary during the service...while it didn't bother me, I don't know how the people of Emmanuel Church will react to the changes that will come. I wonder if they understand that it will be different for them, depending what service they attend.

This is a difficult time for both churches and I would ask that everyone keeps us in their thoughts and prayers. Hopefully we can come to a resolution that will benefit both of our churches.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#12
Jan 22, 2011
 

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T McCabe wrote:
<quoted text>
You really should be more concerned with the millions of Church of Rome members leaving your own church ...
... but not when I'm editing the Topix Episcopal Church forum.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#13
Jan 22, 2011
 

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Leslie Benoit Willis wrote:
Our churches are so much different. Christ Church is high Episcopal, while I've been told that Emmanuel would be considered low Episcopal. If you're not Episcopal you probably won't understand what I mean ...
The "higher" the church, the more liturgical its service.

St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Manhattan was once referred to as "Smoking Mary's" for its liberal use of incense by the "low" or Protestant Episcopalians in NYC.

“Ecce! Sic transit gloria mundi”

Since: Oct 10

I See New Jerusalem From Here.

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#14
Jan 24, 2011
 

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Joe DeCaro wrote:
<quoted text>
... but not when I'm editing the Topix Episcopal Church forum.
You certainly publish any spurious article you can find about TEC and ignore the reality of how TEC actually operates or is governed in your 'editor' role. But as a true son of the Church of Rome, we expect that of you Joe. Your virulent anti-Episcopalian stand is well understood by us.

“... truth will out.”

Since: May 08

Stratford, Connecticut.

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#15
Jan 24, 2011
 

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T McCabe wrote:
<quoted text>
You certainly publish any spurious article you can find about TEC ...
As long as its relevant, it's editing, but I doubt its well understood by you.

“Ecce! Sic transit gloria mundi”

Since: Oct 10

I See New Jerusalem From Here.

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#16
Jan 25, 2011
 

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Joe DeCaro wrote:
<quoted text>
As long as its relevant, it's editing, but I doubt its well understood by you.
LMAO - I understand your extreme hatred of my church perfectly.

I notice your extreme reluctance to post any information from ACC or TEC on the Primates Meeting in London.

Episcopal News Service:

Primates set to meet in Dublin, with a few absentees

Presiding bishop underscores Episcopal Church's commitment to the communion

By Matthew Davies, January 24, 2011

[Episcopal News Service] As the primates of the Anglican Communion prepare to meet Jan. 25-30 near Dublin, Ireland, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has said she is "deeply grateful that we may begin to focus on issues that are highly significant in local contexts as well as across the breadth of the Anglican Communion."
But according to the Rev. Canon Kenneth Kearon, secretary general of the Anglican Communion, at least seven primates have indicated they will not be attending the meeting at the Emmaus Retreat & Conference Centre because of Jefferts Schori's presence and recent developments concerning human sexuality issues in the Episcopal Church.

Jefferts Schori is one of 38 primates in the Anglican Communion and represents the U.S.-based Episcopal Church at Primates Meetings. In 2006, she became the first woman to be elected as leader of an Anglican Communion province.

"In all we do, we seek to recognize the face of God wherever we turn, realizing that the body of God's creation will only be healed when all members of the body of Christ are working together," Jefferts Schori said in a statement e-mailed to ENS.

and

Central to the mission of the Episcopal Church, Jefferts Schori said, are "issues of serving our brothers and sisters, offering good news for body, mind, and spirit The Episcopal Church is urgently focused on rebuilding in Haiti, seeking increased ways to bring good news to the poor in indigenous communities, inner cities, and expanding and depopulating rural areas in all the nations in our province.

"Across the globe, in partnership with Anglicans and others, we seek to serve the least of these, bringing light in the midst of darkness, peace in the midst of war and violence, and hope in the face of devastating natural disasters and the growing reality of climate change," she added. "We own our domestic responsibility to change our habits and ways of life that contribute to environmental damage and destruction."

Jefferts Schori told ENS that she looks forward "to greeting many old friends at the Primates Meeting in Dublin, and to meeting those who have been elected in the past two years."

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