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Responding to Conflict in Pagan Communities

By Teo Bishop

[Snip] When I was a child, I attended an Episcopal church in Englewood, Colorado called St. George’s. The church was small, but it was a home to me and my mother. She married my father in that little church, she had me baptized in that little church, and she struggled through a divorce in that little church, all with the aid of a kind, soft-spoken priest named Father Welsh.

I loved St. George’s. I was an acolyte, a regular at the Sunday hot-breakfast after service, and I felt completely at home inside that house of worship.

But then there was a conflict within the congregation; some political squabble I was later told. Father Welsh was making the church open to AA meetings in the basement, and that made many of the parishioners uncomfortable. Father Welsh was a recovering alcoholic, clean for years, but accusations were made against him to the bishop. They said he was drinking again.

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