[National Post] 21 Feb 2008--Last week, Vancouver's St. John's Shaughnessy, the largest Anglican congregation in the country, overwhelmingly voted to separate itself from the Anglican Church of Canada (ACC).
Since then, seven congregations across Canada have followed its lead. Another 10 opted out long ago and are considering their options. For many others, the "what to do" conversations are just beginning.
Conservative Anglicans are taking this drastic step to separate themselves from a national Church that has increasingly rejected Biblical teachings and core Anglican doctrine. The last straw was when the Church began to bless same-sex unions in 2002.
After years of debate, the Diocese of New Westminster (headed by Bishop Michael Ingham) voted to bless same-sex couples that year. The worldwide Anglican Church immediately asked the diocese to delay the practice until it was fully debated. Global Church leaders then met to draft a formal letter specifically requesting that the diocese (and Bishop Ingham in particular) refrain from the practice.
But the ink was barely dry and Church leaders were (literally) still flying home, when Bishop Ingham forged ahead and allowed the first blessing of a same-sex couple in a Vancouver parish.