Saturday, April 16, 2005
"Mainline" churches: Out of Pennsylvania comes this story on the efforts of one Episcopal priest to reach out to other religions.
An Episcopal priest has renounced his ordination to lead a Druid order.
W. William Melnyk, former rector of St. James Episcopal Church in Downingtown, called his decision to become a Druid priest "a joyous occasion."
Melnyk has formed the Llynhydd Grove of the Druid Order of the Yew, which he will lead under his Druid name, OakWyse.
First the American branch of the Anglican communion decides to ignore Leviticus, Romans and various other sundry parts of the Bible and install an adulterous bishop and practicing homosexual.
Now you've got an Episcopal priest who choses to reject Jesus Christ and worship a variety of trees and bushes.
It gets better.
Melnyk resigned in November as rector of St. James. A parish board asked him to step down after his involvement in Druidism - and that of his wife, the Rev. Glyn Ruppe-Melnyk, also an Episcopal priest - came to light in October.
The Episcopal Church's women's ministry had listed two of the couple's Druidic liturgies on its Web site for possible use in developing feminist liturgies, prompting accusations that the church was promoting pagan rites.
Ruppe-Melnyk has retained her post as rector of St. Francis-in-the-Fields Episcopal Church in Malvern, with her church's support.
So, his wife is also an Episcopal priest. She hasn't left him for his betrayal of his faith, and instead gets to keep her job in the church -- that's setting a good example for the laity.
"I am a Christian and have always been a Christian and I do not intend to leave the church," Ruppe-Melnyk said. But she said she supports her husband's decision to "exercise his ministry in an interfaith context."
If this is the state of the average "mainline" American church, then American Christianity faces some serious problems.