Monday, December 18, 2006

Diocese of Virginia issues another Statement - BIshop calls for joint meeting of Standing Committee and Executive Board

A News Release from the Communications Office of The Diocese of Virginia

December 18, 2006

Yesterday, Sunday, December 17, eight churches in the Diocese of Virginia announced that a majority of the voting members of the congregation had voted to separate from the Episcopal Church and to join the Church of Nigeria or the Church of Uganda. They also cast a separate vote indicating that they would seek to retain church property. You can read the Bishop’s response to these developments in the newsroom at http://www.thediocese.net/press/pressroom.shtml.

Churches who announced this decision yesterday are:

Church of the Apostles, Fairfax

Church of the Word, Gainesville

Truro, Fairfax

The Falls Church, Falls Church

St. Stephens, Heathsville

St. Margaret’s Church, Woodbridge

Potomac Falls Episcopal, Sterling

Christ the Redeemer, Centreville

As of this morning the status of the following congregation, which had been expected to make an announcement, was unclear:

St. Paul’s, Haymarket

Prior to yesterday’s announcement, the following congregations had taken similar action:

All Saints’ Church, Dale City

Christ our Lord, Lake Ridge

Church of the Holy Spirit, Ashburn

South Riding Church, Fairfax


In addition, the following churches are in a period of “40 Days of Discernment” and will schedule similar votes in January:

Church of the Epiphany, Herndon

Our Saviour, Oatlands

The 15 churches above represent just over 7% of the churches in the Diocese. In terms of membership numbers, the 15 churches represent 11% of baptized membership and 18% of the diocesan average Sunday attendance of 32,000 as reported in annual parochial reports. In terms of financial support for the Diocese, in 2006 the 15 churches pledged $41,000 to the diocesan operating budget, nearly half of which came from one church, All Saints’, Dale City.

As Bishop Lee wrote in his statement yesterday, he has called a special meeting of the Executive Board and Standing Committee today where they are expected to review the full range of options, paying particular attention to the pastoral care of those Episcopalians who remain in these churches following the congregational votes and who do not wish to leave the Episcopal Church.

4 comments:

kevin said...

I guess the Diocese of Virginia has been reading the blogs and comments. This is the most matter of fact, no-spin press release I've seen. Maybe a little playing with dollar figures (not counting "conscientious objector" money to agreed to mission) to make them look good, but I'll bet easily defended.

I'll give kudos where they are deserved. This is a straight forward, no-spin release. Actually itemizing this past year, in the long run it'll probably serve both parties well.

Karen B. said...

Kevin, you took the words out of my mouth. It was very helpful to see the clarification of what these votes represent in terms of membership, ASA, etc.

Praying for a solution that doesn't involve lawsuits. May the Lord today guide Bishop Lee, the Standing Committee and each of the parishes -- all involved -- in His paths.

Anonymous said...

Since it recognizes that these churches represent 18% of ASA, perhaps the diocese is finally begining to start to consider to think about MAYBE getting the message that the ECUSA innovations were not such a good idea after all. Maybe.

God bless 'em all in their deliberations.

Jeff H said...

While I agree with what all three above have said, I do wish the Diocese had been a little more clear about financial impact, perhaps by citing pre-2003 contribution percentages. Still, the figure cited is accurate, I suppose, since even without disaffiliation, a restoration of full communion would have been unlikely.