Some former members of the Calvary Episcopal Church in Kaneohe have started their own congregation in Kailua called Christ the Foundation Anglican Church, said David Chung, president of the church’s board of directors.
A few years ago about a dozen Calvary members had become disenchanted with the church and the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii in general, which Chung said were influenced by the installation of "gay bishops in New Hampshire and Los Angeles, as the church turned away from Scripture," a news release said.
The parishioners left Calvary in 2009 and asked the Anglican Mission in the Americas (AMiA) for help in getting a congregation started.
The fledgling church now consists of more than 40 members. It is the "first orthodox parish in Hawaii formed by laity" instead of by clergy under the AMiA, Chung said. The Rev. Heath Hale was ordained as a deacon by the AMiA Feb. 10 to lead the church, and was installed Sunday.
Christ the Foundation is located at 1276 Kailua Road.
Bishop Robert L. Fitzpatrick of the Episcopal Diocese of Hawaii said of the new congregation: "I think it a blessing that they have formed a spiritual home in which they can grow and be nurtured in their faith. … Unlike other dioceses, we have had no congregations move to leave the diocese (until now). I am keenly aware that there individuals in Hawaii who have disagreed with actions of the Episcopal Church and of the diocese.
"I am committed to make room for all people in the diocese, and there continue to be active members of congregations and clergy who are more conservative on issues of human sexuality than the majority of the clergy, the lay members of the diocese and myself."