FALLS CHURCH, VA (Feb. 9, 2007)---More than sixty-five people, representing the senior leadership of nineteen congregations and emerging church plants from Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland, gathered on Saturday, February 3, to discuss the vision, mission, and ministry of the Anglican District of Virginia (ADV).
The Right Reverend Martyn Minns, Bishop of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) opened the session, bringing greetings to the gathering from the Most Reverend Peter Akinola, Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, who rejoiced in the ADV’s “faithful witness during these turbulent times.” He also brought greetings from the Right Reverend Bishop Robert Duncan, of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, who assured the ADV that “there is no question. . . about your continued status as Anglicans in good standing and as our dear partners in the gospel.”
The Reverend John Yates, Rector of The Falls Church, spoke passionately of the ADV’s mission and ministry, encouraging a steadfast hold on “an authoritative Bible in a skeptical age; a unique Savior and exclusive gospel in a pluralistic age; a sacrificial lifestyle in a consumer culture; a pure and chaste life in an era of permissiveness.”
New positions were announced for board members: Tom Wilson, Chairman, Jim Oakes, Vice-Chairman, Mary McReynolds, Chancellor and Secretary, David Allison, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, and Warren Thrasher, Chief Operating Officer. The board has been augmented with the hiring of Ms. Lauren Whitnah as Communications Coordinator for the ADV. An initial budget has been approved and an office is being established.
In small group sessions, the participants energetically discussed the direction of this emerging movement. Discernment of what features of the Episcopal heritage should be rejected or retained in the areas of pastoral care, discipleship, worship, and stewardship was a high priority and focus of the discussions. A commitment to prayer, evangelism, and church planting was strongly confirmed.
The highlight for many of the participants, however, was the dynamic worship service of the afternoon, in which more than two hundred clergy, vestry members, and spouses of the various congregations joined the meeting in the Historic Church at The Falls Church. In the course of this service, the clergy who had been inhibited in the Diocese of Virginia received new licenses to function in CANA from Bishop Minns. The Vestries were also commissioned. A reception followed the service for a time of fellowship.
'It was enormously gratifying to be able to celebrate a new beginning for orthodox Anglicanism in America in such an inspiring way,” declared Tom Wilson, Chairman of the Board of the ADV.