COMMERCE – The generosity of a Commerce church will allow local Episcopalians to continue to worship in town after their own church is shut down.
The lack of a full-time priest and few members was too much for the Episcopal Church of Epiphany to handle, leading to its deconsecration in January.
To the rescue was the First United Methodist Church of Commerce who, beginning Sunday, will begin a new Anglican service.
"There's this strong community sense in Commerce that our needs don't necessarily fall out along church lines or along faith community lines," says Valarie Englert, pastor of FUMC. "There's a real shared sense of community and shouldering each other's burdens and sharing each other's joys that I love."
The new service begins at 9:45 a.m., to be led by Pastor Valarie and Associate Pastor Marc Corazao.
Church officials say the initial idea of a new service was met with overwhelming support.
Harriet Williams, leadership team chairperson at First United, commented, "I never heard one person say anything against it. Everybody thought it's what we needed to do. They're a part of our community and we consider ourselves just kind of one step away from the Episcopal Church. It was just very affirming to me for everybody to be so positive about it."
Above, hear our Friday feature on the new service.