Saturday, April 21, 2012

On the Road to Emmaus

It appears that some have been unaware that the churches in Virginia are working and praying together as we walk through the loss of our church homes.  All of the ACNA churches continue to consult and pray with one another and their bishop.  We are all members of the same diocese and yes, all of us will be visited by our bishop - all of us, including Truro.

We are all on this road to Emmaus together.

If anyone thinks the journey is over, they are sadly mistaken.  The journey is often like a battle fought on many fronts, the first front being foremost the front of the human heart.  "If my people who are called by my name shall humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, I will forgive their sin, I will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14)."  I earnestly ask all at this time to pray - the battle is not over, oh no, it is not.  If some feel that there has been a surrender, then perhaps the first place to look is in one's own heart.  The only surrender we are called to do, and we are called to do, is to surrender our hearts to Jesus.




20 comments:

sophy0075 said...

You had better hie thee over to standfirminfaith.com; they are trashing Rev Tony and Truro over there.

They don't have all the facts about Truro's chances on appeal.
They aren't on the vestry, past or present.
Some of them are still ensconced in TEC.
They didn't, as your vestry member Mr Van Eck, gently reminded them, pray earnestly and hard before making the settlement decision.

But that's not stopping them from throwing self-righteous stone after stone.

As someone who's been on the vestry of a church being attacked by TEC, I can appreciate the anger of those who loathe the idea of any compromise with TEC, but I can also appreciate that a vestry and rector, guided by God, may have to make unpleasant decisions.

God bless you all at Truro!

BabyBlue Anglican said...

Thank you for your comment sophy. It might be of interest that I was in Judge Bellow's Circuit Court with The Falls Church last week and my name and all 200 of the other lay volunteers sued by the Episcopal Church and by the Diocese of Virginia are still listed as defendants - even now after five years. Just keep that in mind. And why in these hours it might be prudent to pray.

bb

Anonymous said...

I agree that it would be a good idea to hie the hence to Stand Firm. While you are there, please read what we have actually written. No one is trashing Fr. Baucum, in fact, many have commented on what a fine man and priest he is. Many of us have questioned his comments and almost none of us understand his support of a bishop who has done so much harm to the communion - up to and including personally suing vestry and clergy as BB mentioned.

Jackie

Anonymous said...

Likewise - it's Tory's published comments in a recent sermon about exchaging ministry with Bp.Johnson and what a great brother in Christ he is that bothers me. I can understand each church deciding what course is best for them to take, continued litigation or calling it quits. But if I were a member of Truro through all of this I'd be really bothered by the insinuation that we call all be buddy-buddy now.

BabyBlue Anglican said...

Hi Jackie. Thanks for stopping by - last time I saw you was during the House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans. You had a party at your house - that was fun.

I think you raise a good question, though. I believe it is not possible for us to look at the place where Jesus dwells, the human heart of another person. I may look at evidence of his actions, but I cannot know. That is the privilege of the Lord Himself. We live by faith and our faith stands on the Word of God made flesh, Jesus. We know him in the Word of God, the scriptures. And we see him at work in our lives through his Holy Spirit.

It is sobering to consider the question. When is someone a brother, a sister in Christ? The church is in indeed in schism all over the world over that very question.

I wonder if we are confusing the question of Christian brothers and whether one is in fact a prodigal son, a prodigal brother. I can't imagine when the son took his father's inheritance and spent it irresponsibly that the father then wanted to turn his estate over to the younger son for management. Indeed, he did not, he was wise and invested the remainder in his older son, saying everything he had went to him.

But the prodigal never stopped being his son and it is again sobering to see the reaction of the older brother when his father's prodigal son returns. I am reflecting on that story this week.

bb

Amused said...

Wow. Jackie is quite shameless in her efforts to drum up some additional hits. Good for her.

Kevin said...

BB,

I've not read what is over at Stand Firm (gearing up for stepping out of my comfort zone in another way, so trying to work with Jesus to calm me in that), so I will not comment there. What I will comment on is long path we both have walked path.

I do confess being a tad perplexed by the joint press release. However, I know Tory+ & +Johnston had been meeting, I know that the civil authorities had ruled very differently than many had hoped and I know there was much prayer involved. This is not what I would have done, but I will not throw any stones, Jesus did not give me word in this ...

May the Lord be with you on this path as results of this play out!

Anonymous said...

It's very important in getting people fired up to secede from an existing organisation to paint those who remain as the extreme "other." But the distance between Bishop Johnston and Truro's rector is not great. They are both men of God.

The vituperation that is flying around at Stand Firm on this subject is testimony to the human frailty that undergirds this schism. Bad judgments were made about property. Christians who should have been having ongoing discussions about the issues that divided them chose instead to turn their backs on each other. The waste on both sides is enormous. We had our little Civil War. It is over in Virginia. This is a time for healing.

Scout

Anonymous said...

I understand one's desire to minimize the significant division in Anglican and Episcopal congregations in the United States, Scout. The Diocese of Virginia has apparently won a battle in court, but there is still a major battle yet to be faced by the local Episcopal congregations. The laity in the Diocese of Virginia are still the stewards of the purse (there are no assessments yet in the Diocese of Virginia), but the court now says the Diocese owns all their property. Why would the laity invest in the local properties when it's now the diocese's responsibility for their upkeep and maintenance? The Episcopal Church in Virginia has now taken the same role as the Roman Catholic Church in Virginia - the diocese and bishop are now in charge of the properties. Interesting isn't it? Who was who said be careful for what we wish for?

Anonymous said...

I repeat: it is inappropriate to hint or imply that the vestry members are still at risk in light of the Diocese of Virginia and the Episcopal Church having dropped them from the law suit years ago. The style of the case doesn't change - it's purely administrative and is the clerk of the court's

BabyBlue Anglican said...

Actually, the vestry members were not dropped from the litigation - that would mean they were dismissed with prejudice. In fact, they were dismissed without prejudice. To be dismissed without prejudice means that a plaintiff is not subsequently barred from suing the same defendants on the same cause of action when a court grants a dismissal without prejudice.

In fact, it appeared at the time that the judge was preparing to dismiss that section of the lawsuit with prejudice and the Episcopal Church quickly took advantage of the opportunity to agree to a dismissal without the judge ruling himself on the matter, choosing instead to request a dismissal without prejudice.

If you know Anon that the Episcopal Church did a big oops and actually meant to dismiss with prejudice that would be quite astonishing.

bb

Anonymous said...

an agreement to dismiss without prejudice is, if I or my client is a defendant, virtually as good as an ordered dismissal with prejudice in almost any scenario I can imagine.

The idea that clergy or vestry can orchestrate a takeover of property from a religious organization and its members and not have some personal legal responsibility for their action is an odd one. It reminds me of the prevailing 1960s student mentality that a demonstrator, because he believes passionately in his cause, can break windows and smash police cars but should not face charges for the damage done. That this situation is well on its way to resolving itself without reaching the issue of that personal legal responsibility is just as well. But surely no one involved in the seizure of these properties thought that they were not vulnerable to legal action. That was an obvious and known risk.

Scout

RalphM said...

Scout,

The standard talking points have once again been noted. The new comparison, however, seems a little off the rails...

Anonymous said...

Mary,
You are correct that we cannot know the heart of another. That is soley God's domain. We can, however, discern the actions of man. Indeed, we are called to do so.

I don't know Bishop Johnston's heart. I do, however, know his actions and his words. Unless he has repented of those words and actions that dispute the Authority of Scripture (thereby making mute any issue of Christology), Fr.Baucum has just endorsed a wolf into the CoE. That needs to be explained.

Would you be as content if the introduction was for +KJS or +Chane? There is no difference in the theology of any of them.

If Truro and her leadership honestly cannot see the problem here, the problems are much more vast than even the press release reveals.

Jackie

Anonymous said...

mute = moot

Anonymous said...

When did Bishop Johnston dispute the authority of Holy Scripture? I suspect that there is good reason to question whether such a thing has happened? If he did so inadvertantly (as all of us sometimes do by word, thought or deed) are we not sure that he repents, as we all do, when we approach the Lord's table?

Scout

Anonymous said...

Bishop Johnston is an ardent supporter of the glbt agenda including same sex marriage. To do so is a denial of the Authority of Scripture.

Anonymous said...

If you can cite me to that, I will be better informed, but I very much doubt that Bishop Johnston has either said that Scripture lacks authority or that he has ardently supported same sex marriage.

Scout

Anonymous said...

Seriously?

"Furthermore, you may remember that I have always affirmed that
committed, monogamous same-gender relationships can indeed be
faithful in the Christian life. Therefore, I plan also to begin working
immediately with those congregations that want to establish the
parameters for the “generous pastoral response”
that the 2009 General Convention called for with respect to
same-gender couples in Episcopal
churches. Personally, it is my hope that the 2012 General
Convention will authorize the formal blessing of same-gender unions
for those clergy in places that want to celebrate them.
Until then, we might not be able to do all that
we would want to do but, in my judgment, it is right
to do something and it is time to do what we can."

Anonymous said...

Some make a distinction between blessing a legal relationship and creating a rite of marriage for same-sex couples. It has seemed to me that Bishop Johnston has been walking that line.

I have never heard him deny the authority of Holy Scripture and feel rather certain that such a thing will not happen.

Scout