Monday, December 18, 2006

Breaking News: Network Moderator commends Virginia Churches who have severed ties to Episcopal Church

Network Moderator Commends Virginia Churches

Pittsburgh, PA - Bishop Robert Duncan today commended eight Virginia churches which announced the decisions of their congregations to re-affiliate with another branch of the Anglican Communion. He also assured them of the Anglican Communion Network’s prayers and continuing support. All but one of the parishes which announced the results of their congregation-wide votes are affiliates in good standing of the Anglican Communion Network, and will remain so.

“There is no question that the clergy and people of The Falls Church, Truro Church, Church of the Apostles, Christ the Redeemer, St. Stephen’s, Church of the Word, St. Margaret’s and Potomac Falls remain fully and faithfully Anglican,” said Bishop Duncan. “Their deliberate decision-making process and patient efforts over the last two years to chart a peaceful and prayerful course forward should be an example to all those contemplating their future relationship with The Episcopal Church. It is now up to the leadership of the Diocese of Virginia to choose between embracing a charitable parting of ways or pursuing destructive litigation. I pray they can see their way to selecting the first course,” he added.

Led by Bishop Martyn Minns of Truro Church and the Rev. John Yates of The Falls Church, a number of Virginia parishes began a 40–day process of discernment this fall. As that process has concluded, parishes who participated have held congregation-wide referendums to determine whether to remain within the Episcopal Church or to seek Anglican oversight from another source. A number of other parishes are expected to announce the results of their own congregational votes in the coming days.

“This is much more than a vote about property and ecclesiastical lines of authority. This vote is a statement by our parish about our understanding of Holy Scriptures and biblical orthodoxy,” wrote Jim Oakes, Senior Warden of Truro Church.

Following decisions to chart a course away from orthodox Christianity at The Episcopal Church’s 2003 and 2006 General Conventions, many provinces in the world-wide Anglican Communion have declared their ties with The Episcopal Church to be severed or highly impaired. Those provinces have continued in relationship with orthodox North American parishes and dioceses both inside and outside The Episcopal Church. In situations when a parting of ways has occurred between orthodox parishes and their dioceses committed to the new direction of The Episcopal Church, a number of Anglican provinces have responded favorably to those parishes’ requests for episcopal oversight.

Many of the Virginia parishes who have recently announced decisions to sever ties with the Episcopal Church are expected to join the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a mission of the Anglican Church of Nigeria. CANA is a member of the Common Cause Partners, an alliance of ten Anglican jurisdictions and ministries with some 200,000 Anglicans under their care committed to a unified orthodox Anglican witness in North America. Common Cause member ministries and jurisdictions are the American Anglican Council, the Anglican Coalition in Canada, the Anglican Communion Network, Anglican Essentials Canada, Anglican Mission in America, Anglican Network in Canada, Anglican Province of America, CANA, Forward in Faith North America and the Reformed Episcopal Church. The alliance is currently drafting articles for the formation of a federation.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm thrilled to see the conservatives leaving. There is no room for homosexuality and other deviant behavior in the Church. I'm worried, too, about lawsuits that may impact the properties invloved, but God will take care of those who follow His will in keeping the Church pure.
Since the liberal leadership of episcopal church is obviously embracing that "other gospel" that Saint Paul warned about, I doubt very seriously they will surivive in the long run. Hopefully Texas will follow in Truro's footsteps. The bishop of Texas has claimed that he will never allow homosexuality to bleed into the Texas parishes, but he is doing nothing to either fight or leave. Leaving is the best option despite what anyone may think. Saint Paul warns us to "walk circumspectly in the faith" and have nothing to do with any appearance of evil. Since the current leadership of the church has basically fallen into apostasy, the only choice is to form a brotherhood under and with those who still hold to the truth.
God hates the visible division in the Church body, but He hates with an all-consuming passion what the liberals are doing to cause it.

Kevin said...

Anon,

In leadership I fully agree with you, as it is written in James teachers of the Word are held to stricter standard. Paul pretty well lays it out to Timothy. In the pews, we need to be a hospital for people with all sorts of issue. Loving the sinner while upholding God's standards.

Truro Church Hot-button FAQ:

Q: I am living in a same-sex relationship. Am I welcome to come visit Truro?
A: Yes. We do not discriminate against visitors based on sexual orientation or activity. We welcome gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, straight, and people of all sexual identities. You are more than welcome to come worship God with us, to study the Bible with us, and to participate in the life of the congregation as any visitor may.

Q: What is Truro’s position on homosexuality?
A: Truro adheres to the position of orthodox Christianity: All persons, regardless of sexual orientation and activity, are loved by God and loved by the church. Any sexual activity outside the boundaries of a loving marriage covenant between a man and woman (e.g., adultery, pre-marital sex, homosexual acts, promiscuity, etc.) constitutes human brokenness and goes against God’s intentions for humanity. Jesus died on the cross for the sin of the world, including sexual brokenness. We are all sinners and God can redeem all of us, including those of us who deal with overwhelming sexual brokenness and temptations.

Anonymous said...

Kevin,

I agree with you that God loves us all, but only because of Jesus Christ. Outside of Jesus, we cannot claim that God loves us. Christ Himself asked "Why call you me Lord, Lord, and not do the things which I say?"
Your priest should not be allowing known practiscing homosexuals to partake of the eucharist, since to do so under any deviant behavior or ideals is to eat and drink judgement on oneself. Ask your priest about that.
Welcoming them to absolve their sins and to denounce prior behavior is one thing. Just remember, no one is born an abomination, it's a choice. Homosexuality is a sin, and one that carries far more weight than, say, cursing. There are degrees of sin, as Saint Paul mentions.
Jesus Himself, after saving the harlot from being stoned, said to her: "Go and sin no more". He didn't mean go and never curse accidentally or get mad, since He knew she would -- she's but human. He meant to not sleep around anymore. Homosexuals know what they are doing is wrong. They cannot be allowed to knowingly practise their brand of sin and still be members of the church. Our 1st century church fathers and brothers would be disgusted. I wonder what Martin Luther would think. Or Calvin? I know what God thinks. It's written in the Holy Scriptures.

Chris said...

Anon,

I think you're focusing on what is only a symptom of the real issues in ECUSA.

The deep seeded issues are rejection of Christ as the only path to salvation, the authority of the Word in our lives and placing more importance on the illusion of unity than what actually unifies us as Christians. These are issues every Christian struggles with.

Consider yourself blessed if you don't struggle with sexual sin, but be on guard for temptations that can spring from these central issues that have torn at ECUSA.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

I may be focusing too hard on one issue, but to me I'm saddened that the orthodox church is no longer orthodox.
I'm, self-admittedly, a radical. I believe the church should toe the orthodox line no matter the costs. If Saint Paul were here, or Saint James, or Saint Peter, or even Christ Himself, they would advocate nothing less, I'm sure.
The church has allowed itself to be evangelized by the world when in fact, it is the church's job to evangelize the world. Never should the world be allowed to lead the church into apostasy.
The scriptures have no expiration date. What is written cannot be judged, fought over, or debated. We are to just shut up and do it, no matter who we offend. The gospel is offensive. It says so itself in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. We should be proud that it's offensive. We should stand on the perfect instruction that is the Bible at all costs. To do any less is to be judged for failing to hold to the order of orthodoxy as God Himself laid out for us.
Look what we've done to Christianity in the last several hundered years since the reformation...

- We've fractured into over 30,000 denominations
- We've allowed female elders and female priests (read Titus and 1 Timothy)
- We (the church) embrace the world, rather than reject it as we should
- We allow the church to be led by people who have fallen into apostasy

What gives? The church needs another reformation in a major way.

Anam_cara3 said...

ananymous said: Look what we've done to Christianity in the last several hundered years since the reformation...
What gives? The church needs another reformation in a major way.


I have no doubt but that the vote to leave The Episcopal Church was correct. Those churches are not leaving the Episcopal Church, they are choosing to remain Anglican. They have rejected heresy. It is not they who have created a schism, but the leadership and the revisionists in the Epsicopal Church.

Long ago I realized that the Episcopal Church had left me - I did not leave it - and when I felt myself abandoned, I searched for a new home. I found it in Eastern Orthodoxy which has not splintered, which has not adopted a female priesthood, which I believe is true to the beliefs of the early church.

When I heard the results of the votes announced, I cried. Why couldn't they have done this 10 years ago? I loved the Episcopal Church. I cried when I left. Now my family is divided as some remained while I moved to Orthodoxy.

And yet, as much as I loved the Anglican identity, I can never go back. Once one has experienced the best, something less cannot satisfy completely. And, given the choice, most would choose the best rather than a poor substitute.

I have found Anglicanism, at its best, to be a poor substitute for the richness found in Orthodoxy.

For those wondering the next step, for those who are tired of the fight, for those who think that the church needs a another reformation, there is a better way. Look to the East, to the ancient churches which still exist proclaiming the undivided Trinity.