The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles informed members today of another defection by an unhappy congregation. He doesn't mention the Episcopal Church's decison to ordain a gay bishop, but that's the issue roiling the faith. Of Monday's decision by St. Luke's-of-the-Mountains in La Crescenta to align with the Diocese of Luweero, Uganda, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno emailed in part:
I am deeply disappointed in the actions taken by the congregation and its clergy. We have worked in the past to resolve differences between the rector and parishioners of St. Luke's and the diocese and the national Church. It is a painful matter to me to know that they have abandoned all attempts at reconciliation, which is at the heart of our Christian witness. We still hope and pray that we may come together again with our brothers and sisters of St. Luke's Church....
The Episcopal Church is a church of thinking people, and it is inevitable that its members will think differently about many matters of faith and practice. Dissension will not undercut the great work being done by Episcopalians here in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which is a vital and growing branch of Christ's kingdom, bringing abundance to the people of Southern California.
The bishop vows to keep the La Crescenta property the congregation occupies, but he recently lost on that point when a congregation in Orange County left. Here's the story from the orthodox side, a recent piece by KCET's Jeffrey Kaye on News Hour, and a Times story from 2004 on Bruno blessing the union of a gay priest and his longtime partner.