The Rev. Jim Simons is the rector of St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Ligonier Pennsylvania (which is part of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.) Jim has served at various times in his ministry on the board of the American Anglican Council and the Institute on Religion and Democracy and the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He’s also been a member of the President of the House of Deputies Council of Advice for the past two presidents. He is an Episcopal priest with deep and strong ties to the theological right in the Anglican Communion.
And he’s going to remain an Episcopalian.
Jim explains his reasons for deciding to do this in a pastoral letter to his congregation.
He writes, in part:
“I am aware that there is much that is wrong in the Episcopal Church, much that needs to be corrected. I believe that I, as an ordained member of the church, and we, as a congregation of the same church, have a responsibility to stand for the faith once received. My vision for my ministry and that of St. Michael’s is to continue to be that witness.
At the same time I believe that there is much strength and health in the Episcopal Church. It is tempting to take the more extreme anecdotes about the church and universalize them, but that would not accurately describe the wider reality. It is my observation that the vast majority of people in the pews, and those who lead them, are creedal Christians who believe what the church has always believed.
Will such a witness lead to reform? I can’t guarantee it. But I do know that if we leave the Episcopal Church without such a witness, it will be the poorer for it.”
Jim does not believe this decision is going to be an easy one to live out for himself or his congregation. But he is committed to this course.
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