All Souls Episcopal Church

San DIego CHurch: All Souls“The Episcopal denomination has always been one of the most inclusive denominations. We don’t fight over doctrine. For example, in my church we have pro-life and pro-choice congregants. My preferences are for life, but the decision needs to be based on the circumstances,” said Reverend Michael Russell of All Souls. Russell declined to provide circumstances in which he would endorse abortion. “Regardless of the circumstances, we wouldn’t expel someone from our church for having an abortion. My job is to teach people how to think as Christians, not what to think.” Russell said All Souls falls on the progressive end of Protestant churches. He summarized his church’s stance on divisive issues, “In any gray area, we would rather include people than exclude them. We are not agents of God’s judgment.”All Souls San Diego Russell said that many All Souls congregants left Roman Catholic and Protestant churches where they were judged for their behavior. “People come to our church because we allow for divorce. Sometimes a marriage is causing so much damage to the people involved that it’s best to get divorced. We are very welcoming to gays and lesbians. When looking at scripture on this issue, we believe the historical circumstances have changed. Tradition, current culture, what scripture says and whether it is still applicable as it was when it was first written are elements to consider on these matters,” said Russell

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1 Comment
  • D. Goodmanson

    November 16, 2005, 2:43 pm

    Comments printed to the editor:

    Corrected Perception
    Re “Sheep and Goats” (October 20). I found the article interesting regarding the Episcopal Church in Point Loma. However, the article was not written well: it was far from being balanced. First of all, it gave the impression that Catholics are leaving. Actually, more Episcopalians have left the American Anglican Church because of its “flexibility.” As a matter of fact, some Anglican Churches have converted to Catholic ones. Furthermore, the Episcopalian Church has been in decline and only has a very small number of members compared to the number of Catholics in San Diego (whose membership is increasing). I am not saying one is better than the other — what I am saying is that the lack of balance presents a very bad perception of the true dynamics between the two churches.
    Arnie Garcia
    via e-mail

    Disagreements Of Doctrine
    Re “Sheep and Goats” article on All Souls Episcopal Church, October 20.

    Fr. Russell’s comments do not reflect Episcopal theology or the state of the Episcopal Church. Episcopal theology is based on scripture, tradition, reason. Traditional Episcopal Church teaching has held that the Bible is the undeniable and unchangeable word of God. In addition, there have been many fights over doctrine, leading to the departure of many men and women. The Episcopal Church has lost 30 percent of its members since 1965, at least in part due to disagreements of doctrinal issues.
    David Valentini
    San Diego