Barbara Harris, the first woman to become a bishop in the Anglican Communion, just celebrated 20 years of service as a bishop.  Jim Richardson comments on this in his blog, Fiat Lux, saying:

We came into the Episcopal Church because of Barbara Harris, though it was years before we met her and got to tell her our story. In 1989, as Lori and I were planning to get married, we talked about finding a church to be our faith home. I had grown up in the Episcopal Church, and Lori in the Catholic Church. I felt disillusioned by the Episcopal Church as a young adult because it seemed so rigid and out-of-touch, and Lori felt much the same way about the church of her youth. 

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This is what I wrote for our church newsletter this month:

 

Many churches try to tell you not only what you have to believe, but also how you have to believe it.  The Episcopal Church is not like that.  It goes back to our roots in England.  Protestants and Roman Catholics had been alternating in seizing political and church power.  They celebrated by trying to kill off the other side when it was their turn in power.  When Elizabeth took the throne, she imposed a different kind of settlement.  Everyone would worship out of the same book.  Everyone would believe a few basic things.  But so long as you could believe these things in good faith, no one would inquire about how you believed them.  It’s never gone entirely smoothly.  But on the whole, it has worked for us.

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It’s embarrassing that this had to go to court.  But, given that it did, it looks like a definitive opinion was issued in favor of the Episcopal Church.  Here’s how the Episcopal New Service reported the event:

[Episcopal News Service, Los Angeles] In a landmark ruling that could have national implications, the California Supreme Court on January 5 upheld an earlier court decision that buildings and property do not belong to dissident congregations but to the Diocese of Los Angeles and the general Episcopal Church.

Associate Justice Ming W. Chin, writing for the court, said the diocese held the property and buildings in trust for the wider mission and ministry of the church.

The ruling affects St. James Church in Newport Beach, All Saints Church in Long Beach and St. David’s Church in North Hollywood.

Full story: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_104046_ENG_HTM.htm