Friday, April 25, 2014

ELM GROVE, WISCONSIN: Three years later St. Edmund's still is empty
Thistles grow tall while vines wrap around the door

By Mary Ann Mueller
VOL Special Correspondent
April 24, 2014

In December 2011, the parishioners of St. Edmund's Anglican Church were preparing to joyfully celebrate the birth of their Saviour when a Waukesha County Circuit Court judge unceremoniously handed the sweeping church edifice and all surrounding buildings over to the Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee as a Christmas present, giving the stunned congregation 24 hours to vacate the property.

An immediate stay from the Wisconsin Court of Appeals in Madison bought the congregants about 30 days, but by Jan. 31, 2012, they were tossed out into the winter snow along with their priest -- Fr. Samuel Scheibler -- and their preschool children.

Now another Easter has come and gone -- the third -- and St. Edmund's still stands empty. No one worships in the church. No one raises a voice in prayer, praise and song. The church is as silent as a tomb. The recently remodeled rectory is vacant, classrooms are gathering dust and the preschool has folded. Wild thistles are creeping towards the entrance and a vine enwraps the glass doors.

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