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2 Episcopal parishes join Anglican Diocese

SEATTLE — Two Washington state parishes severed ties with the Episcopal Church last week and joined the Anglican Diocese of Recife, Brazil, partly to protest last year's U.S. consecration of an openly gay bishop.

The Rev. Carol Harlacher, rector of St. Stephen's Church in Oak Harbor, said that after long consideration "we must reaffirm the orthodox teachings of Scripture, from which (the Episcopal Church) has departed." The other congregation is St. Charles Church in Poulsbo.

In other developments related to the Episcopal split over homosexuality:

Priests and parishioners from nearly 40 New England congregations supporting the conservative Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes met in Providence, R.I. The group commissioned nine teams of home missionaries and plans new congregations in Orleans and Sandwich, Mass., and Durham and Rochester, N.H., that will be aligned with foreign Anglican bishops.

A St. Louis County judge gave the Episcopal Church and its Missouri Diocese control of the property of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Town and Country, Mo., denominational headquarters announced. Episcopal loyalists have met in homes since the congregation joined the Anglican Mission in America, sponsored by Rwanda's Anglican church.

Conservative Anglican Church of Canada members in Borden, Saskatchewan, broke ties with the denomination and announced the start of a new congregation affiliated with the Anglican Mission in America and Rwandan church.