News Update from The Living Church:
Posted on: January 27, 2009
Members of Christ Church, Moline, Ill., narrowly defeated a proposal to remain with The Episcopal Church during the annual meeting on Jan. 25. The Rev. Canon Ed den Blauwen, the church’s rector, is president of the standing committee and vicar general of the Diocese of Quincy which voted to join the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone on a temporary basis during the annual synod last fall.
Members voted 80-59 to remain with The Episcopal Church, but failed to achieve the required two-thirds approval the diocese established in order to be released from the diocese. The vestry was divided, but not so bitterly that its members were unable to work together prior to the annual meeting, Canon den Blauwen said.
“We spent a fair amount of time in prayer and discernment and that seems to have made a difference,” he said.
Prior to the annual meeting, members of Christ Church held a series of forums at which representatives from both The Episcopal Church and the Common Cause Partnership participated. Canon den Blauwen said it is still too soon to know if or how many members will leave Christ Church, but he noted that a new congregation affiliated with The Episcopal Church is in the process of being planted in the Quad Cities area.
With average Sunday attendance of 135, Christ Church is the third-largest congregation among the 24 in Quincy. The largest, the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Peoria, previously decided to remain with The Episcopal Church. In addition to St. Paul’s, two mission congregations—St. James’, Griggsville, and St. James’, Lewiston—previously announced their intention to remain with The Episcopal Church. At its annual meeting on Jan. 11, 90 percent of the membership at St. John’s, Kewanee, voted to remain with The Episcopal Church. St. John’s, one of the oldest congregations of The Episcopal Church in Illinois, reports average Sunday attendance of 35.
A nine-month period of discernment established by the diocese will end in July.