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Colorado Springs Episcopalians Duke It Out Over Grace Church

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Episcopalians who broke away from the U.S. church and aligned with the conservative Convocation of Anglicans can’t keep their $17 million church in Colorado Springs. So says a judge who was asked to determine the true owner of the elegant Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish: the U.S. Episcopal Church or the congregation that inhabited it, according to The Associated Press. The congregation voted in 2007 to leave the U.S. church, but roughly 500 Episcopal loyalists boycotted the vote, going into exile at a borrowed church. A story I wrote for the Colorado Springs Independent in 2007 put the spotlight on a piece of paper invoking “the name of God” that was important to the judge’s order. Episcopalians are expected to return on Palm Sunday, but there are still dust-ups. Yesterday, the Episcopal diocese dispatched private security guards amid reports of people leaving the church with boxes. In return, the Reverend Donald Armstrong called police to allege trespassing, according to the Gazette. Meanwhile, openly gay New Hampshire Episcopal Bishop V. Gene Robinson–blamed in part for the schism at Grace and elsewhere in the U.S. church–was in Boston to discuss the “faith of a gay bishop,” as The Boston Globe reports.

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