March 25, 2017

November 8, 2010


Diocese of Olympia: Most of St. Luke’s Seattle Leaves TEC

[Received via email and posted with permission]

Dear Family and Friends, I am writing to update you on what’s happening with the Roddams. First of all, I am stepping down as Rector of St. Luke’s, Seattle after serving in that role for ten years. My last Sunday will be November 21st. This is also the last Sunday of the Liturgical Year. There will be a Combined Service at 9 AM with a reception following. Our daughter Rebekah is planning a reception for us on Saturday November 20th (1 to 5 PM) at St. Luke’s (in Bennett Hall). She calls it a ‘retirement party’ as she has been prophesying me out of parish ministry for several years, believing Holly and I are called to the broader Church and community.

Sunday November 28th will be Advent One (Year A) when about ¾ of the parish will plant a new Anglican parish, leaving The Episcopal Church (TEC). About ¼ of the parish has chosen to remain within TEC and continue at the parish campus as a mission of the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. This will be a new start for all of us!

For several months before the split in the parish became evident, Holly and I with our parish leadership plus other ministry peers and intercessors sensed that our time at St. Luke’s was finished. St. Luke’s was on the edge financially and we knew that the parish was not able to sustain a full time priest, especially with the added expenses in the transition. At the end of July our parish leadership (vestry) released us. I informed the Bishop of Olympia that the parish had released us due to fiscal pressures. I did not resign. Due to the parish’s financial situation, we were offered about three month’s severance with our medical and pension plans ending at the end of this year (2010). The Bishop and Diocese of Olympia indicated that the diocese would not participate in the severance package – they have no funds for this and are running a deficit.


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13 comments

A sad transition to the parish of Nine O’clock in the Morning.

[1] Posted by BrianInDioSpfd on 11-8-2010 at 09:16 AM · [top]

This Advent is when TEC starts the Revised Common Lectionary and no longer uses BCP’s lectionary.
Best wishes and prayers for their continuing ministry and fresh start. There are a number of church planters in the northwest.

[2] Posted by martin5 on 11-8-2010 at 11:42 AM · [top]

Yes, #1, sad to see how the powerful renewal and dynamic growth that occurred under the anointed ministry of Dennis Bennett+ (and later Keven Martin+) has come to this sorry ending.  A regrettable sign of the times.

I’m glad that it looks as if there will be no fight over the property.  The large majority leaving TEC are apparently just walking away and starting over.  BRAVO!

David Handy+

[3] Posted by New Reformation Advocate on 11-8-2010 at 12:26 PM · [top]

Of course, leaving behind a remnant of 1/4 of the former congregation hands them a poisoned chalice which they must drink… ie the property and all its costs. And, since the Diocese can’t afford anything any more, expect a For Sale sign to pop up in a year or two. Was all this REALLY worth it, my revisionist friends?

[4] Posted by A Senior Priest on 11-8-2010 at 01:18 PM · [top]

2000 membership 200 ASA 110 +/-. 2009 membership 110 ASA 75. So 60 people leave and 20 remain.
I’d be interested in reading more of the parish history in the past 30 or so years.

[5] Posted by TomRightmyer on 11-8-2010 at 02:44 PM · [top]

The Clerical Directory has John W.R. Roddam at St. Luke’s since 2000 when he transferred from the Anglican Church of Canada. He was born in Nova Scotia in 1954, educated there, haa a Fuller D.Min. 1997. Served in Nova Scotia 1983-94, in Vancouver 1994-2000. May God prosper his ministry.

[6] Posted by TomRightmyer on 11-8-2010 at 02:57 PM · [top]

From a church overflowing to a church emptying always breaks the heart especially when the parish was your own from past years.  I started attending St. Luke’s Seattle in 1964.  At that time it was dynamic and moving in the Spirit with fine biblical teaching under Dennis Bennett.  The church sponsored me when I went to Japan in mission work in 1971.  Then marriage and service has seen me living on four continents….and each time returning to St. Luke’s the numbers grew smaller.  Why?  Because the children of believers tended to leave the Episcopal Church and go to Four Square or Bible Churches because they could not support the liberal moves of the national church.  And so the numbers dwindled because of the apostasy of the national church.  But the Spirit graciously moved in the past and we pray that in the new Anglican body, the Spirit will once again lead and give light to those who attend.  I am ever thankful of my foundation years at St. Luke’s.

[7] Posted by Moldova on 11-8-2010 at 04:03 PM · [top]

Absolutely heart-breaking.

[8] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 11-8-2010 at 04:06 PM · [top]

We, i.e., Christians, are a pilgrim people on earth. Our home is in Heaven. There are times and circumstances in which this becomes much more evident. I suspect that those who have left St. Luke’s are very aware of that at this moment. Certainly there will be anxieties, but there should also be hope and excitement at what the Lord has in store for these faithful souls.

May our Lord bless them and keep them on their journey of faith.

Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[9] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 11-8-2010 at 04:13 PM · [top]

From Moldova[7]‘s comments, I take it the St. Luke’s in question was known as St. Luke’s, Ballard, back in the mid 1960s. Then a Parish of known for its pentecostal reputation. A lamentable end, indeed.

[10] Posted by tomcornelius on 11-8-2010 at 05:10 PM · [top]

Since 2002, St. Luke has lost about 35 percent of Members, 25 percent of ASA and Plate & Pledge of little gain when adjusted for inflation. They just waited too long for the departure. But then, better late than never. Fair winds and a following sea.  Statmann

[11] Posted by Statmann on 11-8-2010 at 05:18 PM · [top]

This news saddens me no end.  My first exposure to charismatic Christianity was at St. Luke’s Ballard in 1996, when I attended there with my future wife, who was a parishioner.  Some years later, I made my Cursillo there, and was blessed with an incredible, eye-opening weekend of the Holy Spirit in action and wonderful fellowship.  We attended the Pentecost service there this year, and echoes of its charismatic past were still there, though it was clear that the numbers were down significantly from ‘96.

I think Moldova’s comments are spot-on about the parish not being able to grow itself in the current poisoned climate of TEC.  Increasingly, I wonder how even “orthodox” parishes that find themselves in revisionist dioceses can hold onto their children, when they see and hear the waves of apostasy breaking all around their small enclaves.  Their parents, too, may find it easier to move on to a more traditionalist church or denomination rather than have to constantly perform “damage control,” or try to explain to the kids why their denomination is living a lie.  FWIW, my family is approaching that point, too. 

I think, too, that the situation was probably magnified for St. Luke’s Ballard, given its charismatic history and flavor; IMO, the charismatic movement is truly an “odd duck” in Anglicanism, and here in the Dio of Olympia St. Luke’s was always looked on as “out there,” notwithstanding its otherwise solid Anglican credentials.  Frankly, I think there will be not a few progressives AND traditionalists in this diocese who are privately glad that Dennis Bennett’s parish is defunct (for the same reasons that some at either end of the spectrum look at Cursillo with unease or suspicion).

We still have good friends there—solid, biblically-anchored Christians full of the fruits of the Spirit.  My heart and prayers go out to them and the Roddams, and I wish them God speed in their continuing walk with our Lord.

[12] Posted by Joshua 24:15 on 11-8-2010 at 06:04 PM · [top]

On the positive side, it sounds like ACNA has a new parish. May it grow and prosper in the Lord.

[13] Posted by MichaelA on 11-8-2010 at 09:32 PM · [top]

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