Updated again Wednesday morning
Episcopal Café reports in The latest from Colorado that:
In a news release [PDF, html version here] dated May 26, 2007, the parish leadership of Grace and St. Stephen’s, Colorado Springs, announced the vote which took place from Sunday, May 20th through Saturday, May 26th, saying that 93% of the congregations members chose to align the congregation with CANA and keep the property they now occupy.
According to a report in the Colorado Springs Gazette, there were 370 votes cast and 342, or 93%, were in favor of the parish leaving the Episcopal Church and joining CANA. The tally was 348 to 22 about authorizing the vestry to fight to retain control of the $17 million dollar plant.
Before the break-up, the parish reported a membership of 1500-2000 communicants. The breakaway parish claims 600 to 800 of these, while the Diocese claims that 200 to 400 members of the original parish now worship in the borrowed space down the street.
370 voting out of 600-800?
348 votes from a congregation previously reported as 1500+ strong?
These numbers simply don’t compute. Can anyone shed more light please?
See also Rocky Mountain News Colorado Springs parish votes to break from Episcopal Church.
Update Monday morning
Many thanks to commenters for their input, see below. Another paragraph from Andrew Gerns article on Episcopal Café says this:
The leadership of the Episcopal parish contends that the rules established by the breakaway parish make the outcome of the vote a foregone conclusion. The rules established for the vote require that members of the Episcopal parish must re-register as members of the CANA congregation, contribute to the new congregation and attend its worship. Members of the Episcopal congregation voiced concern that the use of the rolls, or even the possibility of signed ballots, might be used in court in validate the breakaway parish’s claim.
And another Rocky Mountain News article Secession leaves a fractured flock in Springs says this:
Armstrong opened services Sunday by noting the results of vote tallies showing that 93 percent of 370 voting members – out of 822 eligible voters – approved of the plan to leave the Episcopal Church. Saturday’s vote capped the uncertainty that began March 26 when Armstrong and a majority of the church’s governing board declared they were each individually leaving the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Colorado.
Update Wednesday morning
Episcopal News Service has Former members of Colorado Springs congregation approve break from Episcopal Church.