KENNEBUNKPORT – A clergyman implored his affluent congregation, including President Bush’s family, to jettison their material possessions.

The Very Rev. Martin Luther Agnew preached Sunday to a packed Episcopal church just down the road from the Bush family’s seaside estate. Its oceanfront parking lot was filled with luxury cars made by Jaguar, Mercedes, BMW and Volvo, testament to the wealth of the summer visitors at this southeast Maine resort.

“Gated communities,” Agnew said, “tend to keep out God’s people.” But, he said, “Our material gifts do not have to be a wall.”

“They can very well be a door. Jesus says, “Sell your possessions and give alms,”‘ Agnew said. “I’m convinced that what we keep owns us, and what we give away sets us free.”

The Bush family that gathered at the front of the church Sunday morning is wealthy by any measure. They convened here at the 11-acre family compound owned by the former president and perched on the Atlantic Ocean. It is worth millions of dollars.

The current president lists among his assets his Texas ranch, worth between $1 million and $5 million.

U.S. Treasury notes valued at $5 million to $8.7 million.

He sold his share of the Texas Rangers baseball team in 1998 for more than $15 million.

Also in the stone-and-mortar church were Bush’s three brothers, Jeb, Neil and Marvin, first lady Laura Bush and Barbara Bush, the former first lady.

The family were gathered here for the wedding Saturday of Jeb Bush’s son George Prescott Bush.

From church, the president and former president went fishing, their third expedition on the power boat in three days.

President Bush was to return to Washington Sunday afternoon.

His weekend outing was a last breather before a week of heavy campaigning through Virginia, Florida, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Iowa.



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