Category : TEC Conflicts: Virginia

JB Simmons: The Falls Church Anglican””A Story of Gospel Awakening

It Happened to George Washington’s Church
In 2012, this historic church in Northern Virginia took a stand for their faith and lost everything to the Episcopal Church. After crushing defeats in the courts, the church moved out of the property George Washington had graced centuries before. They walked away from their colonial building and history. They left the soaring sanctuary they built, one that had hosted hundreds (if not thousands) of weddings and baptisms. They left the prayer books, the sound equipment, and the $2.8 million in cash that members had donated to church accounts specifically designated not to go to the Episcopal Church.

Everything exterior about the church had to change””the worship space, the offices, the website, even the name. Now there was the The Falls Church Episcopal at the historic property, and The Falls Church Anglican without a place to call its own.

But the church didn’t fade. They’d simply been pruned of material things. They were ready to grow and thrive as never before, planting new churches and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. God had long prepared The Falls Church Anglican for this journey.
……..
After sending out clergy and parishioners to plant six churches, The Falls Church has grown by over a third in nine years, and the combined average Sunday attendance of The Falls Church and these six church plants is more than double what The Falls Church’s was in 2003.

The Falls Church Anglican has now purchased a new property on a busy highway leading into Washington, D.C. Designs are underway for a sanctuary within the next two years. Many in the congregation look forward to bringing the gospel to a new neighborhood. They’ve taken to heart that biblical faith faces persecution but promises eternal reward, as it always has.

Times of cultural drift and opposition call for renewal and awakening. They call for powerful stories of God’s sovereign work. This is one of those stories. This is the awakening of Washington’s church.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

'Peacemaking is a gospel imperative' – an interview with Tory Baucum [transcript]

What is the relationship between peacemaking and reconciliation?

TB: “I do believe that peacemaking is a precursor to reconciliation. It takes two to reconcile. And that doesn’t always happen, but that’s not a reason not to pursue the things that make for peace; as Jesus says as he approaches Jerusalem he realizes they haven’t done that and therefore desolation is coming to their house ”“ and that’s the whole travel narrative in Luke, it’s built around the things that make for peace. And what I like to say, because I believe it, is that peacemaking is a gospel imperative. We’ve been made ambassadors of reconciliation. I actually say that peacemaking is not adiaphra (”˜indifferent things’, non-essentials) and we can just agree to disagree about”¦ to treat peacemaking as adiaphra is in fact itself a false teaching, and creates over time a fictitious gospel. So I feel quite strongly that this is matter of faithfulness to Jesus Christ, and to dismiss it or kind of make it a luxury item, is to fundamentally misunderstand what the gospel is about.”

Are there limits to reconciliation?

TB: “I think it takes two to reconcile. I think it takes one to forgive. So the limits of reconciliation are the limits that the two parties put upon themselves. I don’t think you can reconcile unilaterally. I think you can forgive unilaterally. I think in some ways you can do peacemaking almost unilaterally. But until the other side, estranged party, wants to reciprocate, you’re not going to get real far down the road. And I think that’s been the real story of my story with Shannon is that I did reach out in a peacemaking gesture, and he did reciprocate, and that’s why we are walking together in peace at some level.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Justin Welby, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Archbishop of Canterbury, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology

The recent NY Times Article on ACNA priest Tory Baucum and TEC Bishop Shannon Johnston

The two ministers were foes before they ever met, partisans in a war they did not start, but partisans nonetheless.

For four years, they did not speak.

But in the spring of 2011, the Rev. Tory Baucum drove 100 miles south to Richmond to introduce himself to the Rev. Shannon Johnston. And now the friendship that resulted, nurtured over Guinness in the bar of Richmond’s storied Jefferson Hotel, at dinner with their wives and during many difficult conversations, is being hailed as one of the most unexpected and intriguing developments in a bitter feud that has split the Episcopal Church in the decade since the denomination elected an openly gay bishop.

Mr. Johnston is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia ”” the most populous Episcopal diocese in the United States ”” and a supporter of same-sex marriage who has blessed same-sex couples. Mr. Baucum is the rector of an unusually vibrant parish, Truro Church in Fairfax, which left the Episcopal Church over the election of… [a same-sex partnered bishop], the final straw in a long-running dispute over theological orthodoxy.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology

A.S. Haley– U. S. Supreme Court Denies Falls Church Petition

The order list published this morning by the United States Supreme Court shows that, after relisting the case for its conferences four times, it has denied certiorari (review) in No. 13-449, The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, et al. Under its rules, the Court grants certiorari when at least four of the nine justices are interested in a given case; it takes five justices to make a majority.

Read it all and and there is a Washington Post article there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Allan Haley: No Word Yet from SCOTUS on The Falls Church Case

The order list published this morning by the United States Supreme Court shows that it still has taken no final action on the petition for review in No. 13-449, The Falls Church v. Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, et al. Under its rules, the Court grants certiorari when at least four of the nine justices are interested in a given case; it takes five justices to make a majority. The postponement can mean only that either the justices are still discussing what disposition will be made of the case, or that there are one or more dissents from what has been decided (but not yet announced). If the latter is the case, we will eventually learn that less than four justices voted to grant review, and that they were taking the time to write a dissent to be published with the announcement.

As soon as the Court updates the docket sheet, we will have a better idea of which of these alternatives may be the case. The Court’s next conference is this Friday, March 7.

Read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Allan Haley: What Will the Supreme Court Do with The Falls Church Petition?

The docket sheet in the United States Supreme Court tells the tale. After receiving an extension of time, The Falls Church filed on October 9 in the Supreme Court its petition for writ of certiorari (or review) of the decision rendered by the Virginia Supreme Court last April 18 (and its denial of a rehearing on June 14).

The ever-cocky Episcopal Church (USA) and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, following its lead, declined to file responses to the petition. Four amici curiae (“friends of the court”, being organizations interested in the case) filed briefs in support of The Falls Church: ACNA, the Presbyterian Lay Committee, St. James Anglican Church in Newport Beach, CA, and the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. The case went to conference last December just on those briefs. And — lo and behold! — the Court ordered ECUSA and its Diocese to file a response before it ruled on the petition.

Such a request is noteworthy, because the Court’s Rules explain that the Court ordinarily does not grant a pending petition without first calling for a response to it. Had the Court taken no interest in the petition, on the other hand, it could have denied the petition outright at its December 6 conference…
………..
Watch for the Court’s release of its “Order List” next Monday — and pray in the meantime that the Court be guided to grant review at its conference this Friday.

Read it all and see also SCOTUS Blog Petitions to watch – Conference of February 28 and Issue and Case File

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

A Statement from the TEC Diocese of Virginia on the Falls Church (Anglican) Decision

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Falls Church (Anglican) to Appeal Property Case to Supreme Court

A Virginia Anglican congregation that traces its founding to the colonial era has announced that they will file an appeal over a property case to the United States Supreme Court.

The Falls Church Anglican stated earlier this week their intention to file an appeal over whether they or the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia controls the historic Falls Church property. “Through the work of the Holy Spirit, we achieved a broad degree of unity in our decision to bring these matters forward to the Supreme Court, believing that God has uniquely positioned TFCA to do so,” reads an email sent out to parishioners on Monday.

“We are advised that the facts of our case are strong and that we are uniquely placed at this time ”“ and perhaps for many years to come ”“ to raise these issues to the U.S. Supreme Court. And each of us wanted to be good stewards of the resources God has given us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

(Time) Mary Eberstadt–In the War Over Christianity, Orthodoxy Is Winning

Small wonder, given the harrowing times recently, that news about a long-running property fight over a picturesque church in northern Virginia escaped most people’s notice. But the story of the struggle over the historic Falls Church is nonetheless worth a closer look. It’s one more telling example of a little-acknowledged truth: though religious traditionalism may be losing today’s political and legal battles, it remains poised to win the wider war over what Christianity will look like tomorrow.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Religion News & Commentary, Anthropology, Christology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Global South Churches & Primates, Lutheran, Methodist, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Presbyterian, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Soteriology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology, Theology: Salvation (Soteriology), Theology: Scripture

The Virginia Supreme Court Decision in the Falls Church Case (IV): A.S. Haley's Analysis

The Court says that Virginia is a State that follows and applies “neutral principles of law,” but don’t let that fool you. What exactly is so “neutral” about (a) judges creating a trust out of whole cloth that the parties themselves never formalized, so that (b) a church like ECUSA can secure a windfall for the unjust enrichment of one of its dioceses?

Justice Powell’s result rests entirely upon her finding that a “fiduciary relationship” existed between The Falls Church and the national Church. But she spends no time whatsoever in examining the particulars of such a relationship, or deciding just when and how it actually came into being.

Fiduciary relationships are very special in the eyes of the law. A fiduciary is a person or entity in whom one confides (such as a client with his attorney, a patient with his psychiatrist, or a penitent with his priest) — or it can also be a person or entity to whom one entrusts money or property, such as a client with his stockbroker or banker. Or it can simply be the trustee who holds certain property in trust for what the law calls the beneficiary of that trust — the person for whose benefit the trust was established.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, - Anglican: Commentary, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

The Virginia Supreme Court Decision in the Falls Church Case (III): A Diocese of Virginia PR

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

The Virginia Supreme Court Decision in the Falls Church Case (II): a John Yates response Letter

Dear Friends,

We have received word from the Virginia Supreme Court that it has ruled in our appeal. The Court’s decision reverses the trial court’s ruling as to a part of our church’s funds, and sends the case back to the trial court for further proceedings regarding that point. But the Court has affirmed the trial court’s decision as to our church’s real property and much of the personal property, meaning that our lands, building, and much of our money have not been returned to us. The Court’s decision is now posted on its web site at http://www.courts.state.va.us/opinions/opnscvwp/1120919.pdf
Please join me in praising and thanking God for his faithfulness to us despite this result. Although this is not the outcome we had hoped for, our faith and our future do not depend on court decisions. The Lord works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28), and we had purposed to praise Him regardless of the outcome. It is difficult to face the prospect of losing things that are precious to us, but ultimately we do not place our hope in land, buildings, or money. We have followed the course that we prayerfully believed was right. We have consistently sought to resolve this dispute outside the courts. We are grateful that we live in a country in which recourse to the courts was open to us. And it is a privilege to count this cost to be obedient to Christ.

There is no doubt in my mind that we as a church are much stronger as a result of the trials that we have undergone. Our witness remains strong. God has enabled us to continue to plant new churches and establish new ministries. And we have been blessed by the friendship, support, and assistance that so many other churches continue to provide to us. It is the body of Christ in action. And together we are determined to move forward in faith, to continue to provide a beacon of Christ’s love to Northern Virginia, and to serve our brothers and sisters in our community and beyond.

We will be in touch after we have had a chance to review the Court’s written opinion more carefully, and our vestry plans to meet tomorrow to prayerfully consider our next steps. We will keep you informed of further developments.

In the meantime, let’s continue to pray boldly that God would expand our vision and do beyond all that we can ask or imagine in our life as a church. Nothing is impossible with Him. To Him alone be all the honor, praise, and glory.

In the family,

–(The Rev.) John Yates is rector, Falls Church (Anglican)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

The Virginia Supreme Court Decision in the Falls Church Case (I): The Decision itself

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

Virginia Supreme Court Will Hear Diocese's Cross-Appeal

Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia announced it will consider the Diocese of Virginia’s cross-appeal on whether the Diocese has a trust interest in the real and personal property of the Falls Church….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

A Statement from the Diocese of Virginia Regarding the Falls Church Anglican's Appeal

Specifically, the Supreme Court agreed to review the lower court’s ruling that held that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church have contractual and proprietary rights in the property of the Falls Church. In addition, the Court declined to hear a cross-appeal which sought to confirm that the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church also have a trust interest in the property.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Polity & Canons

A.S. Haley on the Virginia Supreme Court Decision

By its order, the writ panel expressly refused to consider the Diocese’s and ECUSA’s cross-assignments of this claimed error, so Judge Bellows’ ruling on that specific point will stand. And as I explained in this earlier post, that means that the Dennis Canon has no effect in Virginia. Instead, according to Judge Bellows, Virginia courts will look to other indicia of “proprietary interests in” (i.e., actual ownership and control over) parish property.

The result, as we saw in Judge Bellows’ ruling, can still come out the same as if the Dennis Canon had applied. At least now, however, the degree to which Judge Bellows went, in holding that factors such as restraints on alienation, episcopal visits and even the furnishing of Sunday service bulletins were decisive, will receive a fresh review by the full Supreme Court.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

The Supreme Court of Virginia grants The Falls Church Anglican's Petition for Appeal

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Parishes

For those of You Following the TEC Legal Stuff–Oral Arguments Today in Texas and Virginia

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Fort Worth, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

John Yates Writes the Parish of Fall Church (Anglican) in Northern Virginia

Once we departed from our historic property we had a sense of freedom and freshness that is not easy to explain.

Yes, our case is still probably coming before the Virginia Supreme Court. (We are guessing they will let us know by November if they will review the case.) Yes, we have large, complicated, logistical challenges
because we have no meeting spaces of our own and this causes inconvenience and headache.

But still, if I may use an analogy from athletics, I am feeling a little bit like the coach of a team that is in the midst of a major change in direction ”“ after having to focus on defense for so many years, we are now able to begin to focus on a more positive and offensive strategy. Our “team” has been quite strong and good for years, in fact one of the best! But now we are in a position to do much better. Right now, to pursue the analogy, we do not have a “stadium” of our own, but moving around keeps us alert. For a while, as we adjust to this interim arrangement, we will be focusing on strength conditioning, mastering the basics, raising the level of our game, and developing a fresh game plan. We may need to “draft” some new young players and take our time, but eventually I believe we will have a much better team.

I freely confess that I am greatly influenced by what’s appening to Davy Johnson and our amazing, beloved Washington Nationals. Bring on the playoffs!

–The Rev. John Yates is rector, Falls Church (Anglican)

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology

A. S. Haley Discusses the Falls Church (Anglican) Petition for Case Review

Virginia must be the only State (of which I am aware) in which there is no automatic right to appeal a judgment in a civil case. Its Courts of Appeal deal exclusively with criminal cases, and that structure leaves only its Supreme Court to deal with civil appeals. The latter court, however, does not have to accept any civil appeal. Instead, the procedure is to file a petition with the Court, which briefly addresses each point of error in the trial court’s decision which the petitioner would like the Supreme Court to agree to hear and resolve. In explaining the points of error, the petitioner must set forth reasons why they are worthy of attention by the State’s highest court.

[On Friday]…came word that one of Virginia’s largest and oldest churches, The Falls Church, which lost its case to be declared the owner, free and clear, of its long-held real and personal property (worth tens of millions of dollars), had filed a petition for review of that decision with the Virginia Supreme Court. Their petition raises six assignments of error.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

Virginia Attorney General's Amicus Brief in Support of the Falls Church's Petition

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

The Falls Church Petition for Appeal

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

The Falls Church (Anglican) Files Appeal with Virginia Supreme Court

The church’s Petition requests review on a number of legal and constitutional grounds. At the broadest level, the Petition shows that the trial judge failed to follow the Virginia Supreme Court’s 2010 directive to resolve this church property dispute by “application of neutral principles of law””” principles “developed for use in all property disputes” ”“ and instead justified transferring the church’s property based primarily on the denomination’s internal canons. The trial court’s ruling thus violates the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions by giving a denomination unilateral powers to override civil laws, powers not granted to any other entity, whether religious or secular, in Virginia.

As the Petition explains, the trial court’s ruling also violates the Constitution by allowing the denomination’s and diocese’s canons to apply retroactively and to govern historic property that The Falls Church acquired before it joined the denomination””indeed, before the denomination or diocese even existed. The history of The Falls Church and its deeds makes its claims especially strong compared with other cases that have come before the courts. The Petition also seeks review of the trial court’s failure to recognize the important distinctions between the church’s consecrated property (property used for actual worship services, primarily the Historic Church and Main Sanctuary) and its unconsecrated property (all other property). Even under the trial court’s legal analysis, such unconsecrated property is exempt from the scope of the denomination’s and diocese’s canons and should not be subject to transfer.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

World Magazine profile Story of Falls Church–A great divorce

On Sunday, May 13, Yates preached through Romans 8 during The Falls Church congregation’s last service, urging his congregation to be patient during the coming period of inconvenience. “Some of you will find this inconvenience annoying, upsetting, and you just don’t want to mess with it,” Yates told the congregation. “We have to ask the question, ‘Will we be committed to Christ and committed to our church?'” He read Thomas Paine’s famous passage on “sunshine patriots” written during the Revolutionary War. “I don’t want to be a sunshine Christian,” Yates said. “Will you commit yourself now to no complaining? No grumbling?”‰…”‰If we’re going to navigate truly big challenges that we may face one day, let’s face this one without complaint.”

At the service, five babies and one father were baptized. The congregation sang “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,” belting the line, “Let goods and kindred go”‰…” One of the clergy prayed for the Episcopal congregation, that it care for “this consecrated place” and preach the gospel. Grown men cried during the last song, “In Christ Alone,” as everyone lifted their arms in the air.

Jim Long, who has attended The Falls Church since 1988, stacked chairs at the end of the service and shrugged when I asked whether he was sad about leaving. One difference he saw was that in these new rotating meeting places, he would have more chairs to set up for the service, and then take down at the end of the service. “Life will go on, we’ll just be in a different building,” he assessed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

Chief of Staff of Diocese of Virginia Expresses "Disappointment" with Falls Church (Anglican)

Over the last few weeks you have received word of a cascade of settlements the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church have made with six of the seven CANA congregations that remained in the property litigation. In each case, the CANA congregation agreed to return the church property, including personal property and Episcopal funds due the Diocese of Virginia, and to withdraw their appeals. We have sought to be as generous as we can be with these congregations, particularly with regard to items necessary in the very short-term for them to continue in their ministries.

With disappointment, I report to you that we have been unable to reach a final settlement with the CANA congregation now known as the Falls Church Anglican. Their leadership has made it clear that they plan to pursue their appeal before the Supreme Court of Virginia unless the Diocese (with the Episcopal Church’s approval) pays them a significant sum of money; we both are unwilling to do so. As a result, we expect the Falls Church Anglican to file their petition for appeal at the end of this month, asking the Supreme Court of Virginia to hear their case. We must file a responsive brief three weeks later, and the Court will issue its decision on whether to take the case at some point this fall. We remain strongly confident in our legal position.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

CBN–Falls Church Anglican Calls Eviction 'Blessing'

Anglicans say the Episcopal Church has drifted from the historic Christian faith.

“It’s an outcome of our desire to be faithful to the person and teachings of Jesus Christ,” John Yates, rector of The Falls Church Anglican, told CBN News.

On Tuesday, Yates held a final staff meeting full of memories and hope for the future.

“The church is people, not buildings,” he said. “We knew that — but didn’t know it as well as we thought we knew it.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

Departure Bittersweet for Member of The Falls Church Anglican

The departure of the Anglican congregation by close of business May 15 from The Falls Church leaves Bill Deiss with mixed feelings.

In 1985 Deiss, parish administrator for the last 16 years, wed his second wife in the church. His son also married there. He watched the baptism of his grandchildren inside the church.

Now the Anglican congregation has been asked to leave the premises.

“It was always a possibility but we didn’t think it would actually happen,” Deiss said Friday. “It’s sad but exciting as well.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes

(Washington Post) John Yates–Congregation of The Falls Church must begin again

In 2006, The Falls Church and six sister congregations in Northern Virginia voted (overwhelmingly) to pull out of the Episcopal Church because, in our view, it had drifted so far from orthodox Christianity that we could not remain in good conscience.

Reasons for the division have been mainly theological, particularly focused on how we interpret the Bible, and what doctrines of the Christian faith are essential for leaders to maintain. The doctrinal divides have been widening for several decades, and in 2003 when a practicing homosexual was consecrated as Episcopal bishop, many realized that the divisions in the church were unresolvable.

We will stay in the Anglican Communion under the Archbishop of Canterbury, but through a different branch.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

A Washington Post Profile of Johnny Kurcina and the Anglican parish he serves in Northern Virginia

[Johnny] Kurcina began Christ Church Vienna late last year and continues to be amazed with its success. Services are in the Louise Archer Elementary School cafeteria, where parishioners sit in plastic chairs and the walls are adorned with lunch menus.

“Holding services in a school cafeteria does hold some challenges,” Kurcina said. “We are not allowed to use wine for communion so we use grape juice, and our candles look real but the flame is really a small flickering light bulb because we are not allowed to use real flame candles on school grounds.”

Despite the obstacles, the church continues to draw new parishioners.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, Theology

New Material on the settlement between Truro Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Read it all–note there are many links to be explored.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia, TEC Departing Parishes