"No, our church didn't go bust,"
said the churchwarden of St. XXXXXX.
"We were slaves to our buildings,
we couldn't afford the upkeep anymore.
"So we decided to sell the property,
and move to rented quarters.
The move worked out pretty well,
but we're having problems with the sale."
"The Episcopal diocese claims the proceeds,
under a church law called the Dennis canon.
They say the diocese has an 'implied trust'
over the property of its member parishes."
"We don't know how that will work out,
neither does the lawyer we hired.
She does believe our liquid assets are safe,
although the diocese is trying to seize them."
"St. XXXXX is a functioning corporation,
which has moved to another location.
Whether we own or rent is irrelevant;
we have not missed a Sunday of services."
"Our focus is on our main objectives:
bringing the saving grace to all who worship
with us, and engaging in charitable outreach
to the community around us."
"We employ a full-time pastor, paying her
the prescribed salary and allowances.
We pay the diocesan assessment on time,
which will have to be reduced."
"Our church has had to give up sponsoring
activities that used our former property/
AA groups and the thrift shop are gone.
The daycare operation moved elsewhere."
"We have an active network of
church groups meeting in homes,
for education, moral support, and
simple fellowship and hospitality."
"All in all, our church regulars
are pleased with the new arrangement,
finding it much easier to invite
new people to meet with us."
"Our expenses are modest, operating
on sort of a pay-as-you-go system.
We don't worry anymore about
what we can afford doing."
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