Anglican Communion Suspends Episcopal Church

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Meridian, Miss. Episcopalians voted to change their canons in June of 2015 to allow same-sex marriage - a decision met by protest from the Anglican Communion. Ultimately, the Anglican leaders decided to suspend the Episcopal church for its stance, meaning for three years, the Episcopal Church will not be allowed to participate in many of the communion's internal decisions or represent Anglicans in meetings.

"It's hard because we feel like we did the right thing," the Rev. Joshua Messick of the Episcopal Church of the Mediator says. "Many Episcopalians feel like this was the right or the only decision to make, and we're not getting backed up on it."

Messick says the Episcopal Church of the Mediator has several gay members, and they welcome anyone through their doors.

"I've done one same-sex marriage in Meridian so far and asked to do a couple more," he says.

But the Anglican Communion isn't the only place they're finding disapproval.

"We have a handful of straight folks that really aren't happy about it," Messick explains.

He says while most of the ramifications of their suspension will be on an international level, it could add fuel to the fire for those who disapprove.

"The effects on a local level could be these kind of 'I told you so reactions' - people wanting us as a church to move back," he says.

The Episcopal Church is self-governing, and while Messick says the suspension is hurtful, he doesn't expect the church to go back on its decision.

"If worst comes to worst, we'll keep on being who we are without our buddies in the rest of the Anglican communion," Messick says.

Anglican Archbishops released a statement on their decision saying, "Recent developments in the Episcopal Church with respect to a change in their canon on marriage represent a fundamental departure from the faith and teaching held by the majority of our provinces on the doctrine of marriage."

The Anglican leaders announced their decision to suspend the Episcopal Church Thursday.