Why I left the Episcopal Church?
Why I left the Episcopal Church
On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007, when the rector and the entire congregation formally allied with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Holy Trinity was established (CANA). The decision to separate from the Episcopal Church was made as continuing to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA grew increasingly difficult.
However, this 253-year-old parish family was adamant about maintaining the Anglican tradition while being led by orthodox (as opposed to revisionist) and godly leadership.
A message from Holy Trinity Anglican Church’s rector, Fr. Don Helmandollar:
Please allow me to introduce you to the Holy Trinity Anglican Church congregation’s Christian character and to explain the congregation’s exceptional character as shown by their love for God, for one another, and for their church. I really think that if you are a member of the Anglican Communion, you will enjoy and benefit from being a part of our group of Christians.
On Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2007, when the rector and the entire congregation formally allied with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, Holy Trinity was established (CANA). Historically known as the Trinity Church Society of Bristol, Connecticut, the congregation had a long and illustrious history of Anglican worship, ministry, and mission in the Bristol region.
It was a pre-revolutionary war parish that was founded in 1747. The decision to separate from the Episcopal Church was made as continuing to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church USA grew increasingly difficult. However, this 253-year-old parish family was adamant about maintaining the Anglican tradition while being led by orthodox (as opposed to revisionist) and godly leadership. Hence, cooperation with CANA.
Why was the realignment believed to be so crucial to this congregation? This is a frequently asked issue. A comparable query was answered in the shortest and most direct manner by the Senior Warden. In his letter, he said, “We are taking this step because the Diocese of Connecticut and the Episcopal Church have abandoned core teachings of the Bible and the historic Anglican faith about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority of Holy Scripture in guiding our lives as members of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.”
A more thorough reaction would be to say that we have seen the Episcopal Church continue to descend into godless doctrine and behavior, as have many others across the nation and, in fact, the entire world. Calls to change and return to the traditional faith that the Anglican Communion has held for hundreds of years have been turned down and are now being made fun of.
READ MORE: 25 Largest Churches In America And How They Grew
Here is an illustration of the profundity and destructiveness of revisionist thought and instruction: Many in the Episcopal Church, including the Presiding Bishop, openly and publicly refute Jesus’ claim that “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” as is stated in John 14:6.
Nobody else can get to the father except me. Jesus is currently being offered as one of several ways to approach God in the Episcopal Church, at the very top of its clergy leadership and in clear opposition to Scripture. This group of Anglican Christians couldn’t ignore this claim because it goes against what Christians have always taught.
But that is only one of many instances of a church that has rejected traditional, orthodox beliefs and has been forcing people to follow these wicked beliefs. Another, more pernicious instance is when the Bible is depicted and implied to be a human-written book that the church is free to alter.
Again, we hear remarks like “Man wrote the Bible; man can change it” from members of the church’s leadership. This statement violates Christian doctrine and is a blatant misinterpretation of Holy Scripture. The Holy Scriptures are still regarded by this community, which is now called Holy Trinity Anglican Church, as having been “God-breathed and inspired by God Himself.”
Not only do we, as a congregation, assert that, but according to our own Articles of Faith, “Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not read therein, or may be proved by such means, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.”
Again from our congregation’s leadership: “These two significant changes demonstrate that the Diocese of Connecticut and The Episcopal Church have made the decision to depart from the fundamental doctrines of orthodox Christianity and Anglican tradition.”
As followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, we at the (now Holy Trinity) Trinity Church feel that rejecting these tenets cuts to the core of what we hold dear. Adopting such incorrect teaching would compromise our integrity as Christians and our ability to accurately represent Jesus’ gospel message to the world.
However, it took years of effort and numerous failed attempts to find a way for us to continue to be associated with The Episcopal Church USA and, more specifically, the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, in good Christian conscience before we made the decision to realign in order to place ourselves under godly leadership.
The congregation made many sacrifices as a result of the realignment, probably most notably having to vacate a stunning sanctuary and a reverent location where so many of them, or their parents or grandparents, had been baptized, worshipped, married, and even laid to rest. As of this writing, the structure is vacant and will shortly be placed up for sale.
God alone will choose how it will be used after that. Cremains from loved ones and family members interred in the Rose Garden will be taken out. Because there is no longer a congregation to worship there or call it home, the location is no longer a sanctuary.
So, undoubtedly, this congregation has struggled and made sacrifices. However, almost all of them have paid the price voluntarily in order to be free from what we regard as apostasy and religious oppression. But when you enter the Holy Trinity Anglican Church, do not anticipate a life of hopelessness and darkness.
We would frequently overhear remarks like “A church is not the stones,” “The church is the people, not the tower,” or, to paraphrase a Nigerian bishop, “Let the bishop have the stones.”
You will now run with folks who want to live out Galatians 2:20 with the confidence that “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live alone, but Christ lives in me.” You will come across folks whose life’s work is “To Know God and Make Him Known” to a society and a community that frequently doesn’t know God or who He is—even churches.
The greatest (for this body) is yet to come, as you now hear declarations like “We were delivered, not evicted.” This is a group of Christians that cannot be defeated because of their mindset and commitment to having Christ serve as the head of our church. The “gates of hell will not prevail against” the church they are erecting, which has Jesus Christ at its very core.
Hopefully, this will give you a sense of what to expect from Holy Trinity Church. You might be interested in finding out more about these people and joining the church they attend.