Orchard Hill Church in Franklin Park, Pennsylvania, voted to withdraw
from the Diocese of Pittsburgh, citing "biblical, theological, and moral
issues." "There is more to this than gay ordination," said the Rev. Stuart
Boehmig, Orchard Hill's pastor. "If the church had passed the appropriate
canon last] summer, we would not have left the [Episcopal] Church,"
Boehmig said. He was referring to General Convention's rejection of a canon
prohibiting clergy from engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage. "The
parting is as amiable as it could be," said the Very Rev. George Werner, a
member of the diocesan Standing Committee. The church and diocese will
mark the congregation's departure by holding a joint prayer service. Orchard
Hill Church was the diocese's second largest church and the fastest growing
Protestant congregation in the Pittsburgh area. Though the church became an
Episcopal mission fellowship shortly after its formation in 1989, it never
formally became a parish.