Monday, April 30, 2012

This week's episode of Anglican Unscripted

This week we find Kevin and George analyze today's Anglican News, including:
  • Breaking news from GAFCON in London
  • A new solution offered to AMiA Bishops and Clergy from ACNA
  • The Fort Worth Seven 
  • The Settlement with Truro Church in Virginia
  • Mailbag Commentary 
In addition, Anglican Curmudgeon Alan Haley comments on latest news in The Episcopal Church.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bob Dylan to be awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom

It is the highest civilian honor given by the United States.  I am so pleased!! From here:

Bob Dylan
Nearly 50 years after he sounded “Chimes of Freedom” on one of his earliest folk-rock albums, Bob Dylan, the mercurial pop troubadour, will be rewarded with a Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor given by the United States, alongside such noteworthy figures as Toni Morrison, Madeleine Albright, John Glenn and John Paul Stevens.

The White House said in a statement that President Obama had named 13 recipients of the medal, which is granted to “individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”

Mr. Dylan, a former winner of the National Medal of Arts, was praised in the White House’s statement as being among “the most influential American musicians of the 20th century,” for “his rich and poetic lyrics” and for work that has “had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decade.”

Read the rest here.

Here is the White House statement on Bob Dylan:

Bob Dylan
One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album in 1962.  Known for his rich and poetic lyrics, his work had considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades.

He has won 11 Grammys, including a lifetime achievement award.  He was named a Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Art et des Lettres and has received a Pulitzer Prize Special Citation.  Dylan was awarded the 2009 National Medal of Arts.

He has written more than 600 songs, and his songs have been recorded more than 3,000 times by other artists.  He continues recording and touring around the world today.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bishops Mark Lawrence and John Guernsey speak

Gillian Davidson with Mark Lawrence at the FCA meeting.
Kendall Harmon has posted and excellent podcast sponsored by the Guildford Diocesan Evangelical Fellowship (which is part of the Church of England Evangelical Council in England) of the talks given by Bishop Mark Lawrence (TEC) and Bishop John Guernsey (ACNA) s Guildford.  

It is well worth taking the time to listen.

Here is what Kendall has to say about the presentations:

John Guernsey arrives for FCA meetings in London.
Please note this is is a long evening of some 1 hour and 40 minutes. During the introduction the following people are mentioned--it is opened by Philp Plyming, vicar of Holy Trinity, Claygate, and then chairman, Stephen Hofmeyr, QC. There is then a message from Bishop Christopher Hill, Bishop of Guildford given by the Ven. Julian Henderson, Archdeacon of Dorking.

Both Mark Lawrence (who goes first) and John Guernsey then give presentations of some twenty minutes which takes you to approximately one hour. After that there are questions from those present to the two bishops about the matters at hand. Archdeacon Julian Henderson then offers brief concluding remarks.

Here it is:
Read more about the event at T19 here.

Court denies The Falls Church Anglican's Motion to Stay

It was a long day in court with Judge Randy Bellows not issuing his ruling from bench on The Falls Church Anglican's motion requesting a stay on his Final Order until after 9:00 p.m.  The Fairfax Court House was fairly close to deserted as we walked out into the cool evening air.  As I left the court room the group from The Falls Church Episcopal gathered in a circle of prayer and I learned later that a few of those who were there from The Falls Church Anglican joined them in the circle to pray. (Col. 3)

Circuit Court Order denying The Falls Church Anglican's Motion to Stay.

Friday, April 27, 2012

200 Anglican leaders committed to mission and mutual support

Leaders from across the Anglican Communion meet in London at St. Mark's Battersea.
A gathering of Anglican leaders have been meeting this past week in London.  The Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans has now released this statement:

GAFCON 2008 declared it was ‘not just a moment in time but a movement of the spirit’. Now, at a conference in London, 200 Anglican leaders committed to mission and mutual support.

The Global Anglican Future Conference in Jerusalem established a Primates Council representing the majority of the world’s Anglicans and set up a global Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans as a movement within the Communion.

The leaders met at St Mark’s Battersea Rise in London for five days of prayer, planning and plenary sessions.

The meetings drew leaders from all parts of the Communion.
Seminars ranged over key topics such as evangelism, family, economic empowerment, the Gospel, church and spiritual leadership under pressure.

Opening the event, GAFCON/ FCA Chairman Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, Primate of Kenya, told the delegates they were called to “a great prophetic purpose at this critical point in the life of our communion.”  The Archbishop outlined the extent of unbiblical teaching in the communion and declared “The heart of the crisis we face is not only institutional, but spiritual.”

“After some 450 years it is becoming clear that what some have called the ‘Anglican experiment’ is not ending in failure, but is on the verge of a new and truly global future in which the original vision of the Reformers can be realized as never before” the Archbishop said.

In a plenary address, Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali concluded that the Anglican “Instruments of Unity” have failed dramatically and that the FCA is called to model an alternative way for the churches of the Anglican Communion to gather and relate to one another in such a way as to carry out the Great Commission in the coming decades.

In their final conference ‘Commitment’, the leaders resolved to work together in an ever-strengthening partnership, to stand by each other and to engage in a battle of ideas on behalf of the Biblical Gospel.
The next Global Anglican Future Conference was also announced. The event, with invitees including clergy and lay people, as well as bishops, is scheduled for May 2013.

“One delegate came up to me and said ‘Now I know that I am not alone’.  Though they are the majority, the orthodox often feel isolated.” said FCA general secretary Archbishop Peter Jensen. “There are people everywhere who believe the same gospel, preach the same thing and stand for the same truths. That is the dynamic of this conference. People who felt powerless have now been given confidence.”

The conference commitment may be downloaded from here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Lord Luce appointed to head Archbishop of Canterbury search

From here:

St. Augustine's Chair
A crossbench peer and former Conservative minister has been appointed head of the commission to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury.

Lord Luce will chair the Crown Nominations Commission, charged with finding a successor to Rowan Williams who is stepping down after a decade as the Church of England's most senior cleric.

The peer's appointment, by David Cameron, was announced by Downing Street today. The nominations commission will put its recommendation to the Prime Minister who will then seek the Queen's approval. An announcement is expected in the autumn.

Dr Williams revealed last month that he would be leaving his post at the end of December in time to start a new role as master of Magdalene College, Cambridge next January.

Lord Luce, 75, was a Tory MP for 21 years and served in Margaret Thatcher's government, including as minister of state at the Foreign Office until he resigned over the 1982 Falklands invasion.

He also spent six years as Lord Chamberlain to the Queen until 2006. He was appointed to the House of Lords in 2000 and sits as a crossbencher.

Lord Luce described the appointment as a "great privilege" and a "heavy" responsibility.

"I am very conscious of the significance of the archbishop's role both nationally and across the world," he said.

"It is, of course, of great importance both to the Church of England and to the wider community in our country, given the Church's contribution to our society at all levels.

"The archbishop is also the head of world-wide Anglican Communion. And the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury also means a great deal for other Christian denominations and for other faiths.

"Archbishop Rowan has made an outstanding contribution in all of these spheres. Finding a worthy successor will not be an easy task for the commission."

His wife Rose is a lay minister in the Church of England and they worship at a parish church near their home in West Sussex.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tonight at the Cafe: Ships

Lost in Canterbury Revisited

We had the great idea to go to dinner while covering the 2008 Lambeth Conference in Canterbury, England.  But first we had to park the car.

Part One:

Part Two:

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Tonight at the Cafe: When the Deal Goes Down

Another masterpiece from 2006.

In the still of the night, in the world's ancient light
Where wisdom grows up in strife
My bewildering brain, toils in vain
Through the darkness on the pathways of life
Each invisible prayer is like a cloud in the air
Tomorrow keeps turning around
We live and we die, we know not why
But I'll be with you when the deal goes down

We eat and we drink, we feel and we think
Far down the street we stray
I laugh and I cry and I'm haunted by
Things I never meant nor wished to say
The midnight rain follows the train
We all wear the same thorny crown
Soul to soul, our shadows roll
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

The moon gives light and shines by night
I scarcely feel the glow
We learn to live and then we forgive
O'er the road we're bound to go
More frailer than the flowers, these precious hours
That keep us so tightly bound
You come to my eyes like a vision from the skies
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

I picked up a rose and it poked through my clothes
I followed the winding stream
I heard a deafening noise, I felt transient joys
I know they're not what they seem
In this earthly domain, full of disappointment and pain
You'll never see me frown
I owe my heart to you, and that's sayin' it true
And I'll be with you when the deal goes down

B. Dylan 2006

Lyrics are here.

FCA Meeting underway in London

St. Mark's Battersea Rise, London
Here is the media release:
Leaders Conference, London
23 to 27 April 2012 
The Primates Council of the Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans met over three days, April 19th- 21st in London. 
With great anticipation we greet the delegates to the first FCA Leaders Conference as they gather in London.

Over two hundred leaders from thirty countries will hear God’s word and commit to one another for the preaching and defence of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ in and through the Anglican Communion. From this meeting will emerge key networks and commission capable of strengthening the worldwide churches and delivering the Christian message to the world.
We pray for those responsible for the appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury that they will look for a godly leader of God’s people. We believe that in the future development of the Anglican Communion the chair of the Primates Meeting should be elected by the Primates themselves. We believe that the future of our Communion relies on adherence to Scriptural authority, faithful and Christ-centred preaching of this word, the blessing of God’s Holy Spirit, godly leadership and the spiritual commitment of God’s people. These spiritual realities and the reality of worldwide Anglicanism should be reflected in the structures of the Anglican Communion. 
From the beginning the thrust of our FCA movement has been forward-looking. We have therefore confirmed the decision to call GAFCON II for May next year in a venue shortly to be announced. We believe that the joyful meeting of orthodox Anglicans from all over the world will be a dynamic force for restating the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of revisionist attempts to change basic doctrines and turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment. It is the preaching of the Gospel of Christ crucified which saves men and women and transforms the world.

Inside St. Marks during the conference worship.
Archbishops Wabukala of Kenya, Okoh of Nigeria and Jensen of Sydney speak on the media release at the opening of the FCA Leaders meeting and about the position of chairman at Anglican Primates meetings. Here is the audio from the media conference:

The BBC reports here:
This week’s meeting takes place as the search for a successor to Dr Williams gets under way. It emerged yesterday that the Ugandan-born Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu – who is popular with traditional evangelicals – had entered the race by standing aside from the body which will make the appointment. 
They also announced plans for larger international gathering next year, in what is likely to be seen as an alternative to the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference, hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury. 
In a joint communiqué they said next year's gathering should be “a dynamic force for restating the gospel of Jesus Christ in the face of revisionist attempts to change basic doctrines and turn Christianity merely into a movement for social betterment”. 
They also outlined plans for an overhaul of church structures, replacing the Archbishop of Canterbury as chairman of the worldwide Anglican primates with an elected chair. 
Archbishop Eliud Wabukala, leader of Kenya’s 13 million Anglicans, said there needed to be a “radical shift” in how the church is run. 
Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, the leader of 23 million Anglicans in Nigeria, said that while the historic position of the Archbishop of Canterbury would always be respected he should be seen as “one of” many primates. 
Likening the overhaul to the way in which the Commonwealth now elects its leadership, he said: “It is the same thing, the church of independent countries – no longer the British Empire – must make some changes.” 
He went on: “It is not something that should remain permanent that the Archbishop of Canterbury – whether he understands the dynamics in Africa or not – remains the chair and whatever he says, whether it works or not, is an order. 
“No I think if we are to move forward we have to reconsider that position.”
He added: “At the moment it seems that the Church in England isn’t carrying along everybody in the Communion and that is why of course you can see that there is a crisis, so if we must solve the problem we must change our system.” 
Announcing plans for a major international gathering next year, The Most Revd Peter Jensen, Archbishop of Sydney, said: “That itself to my mind reflects something of the new communion, or the new state of the communion. 
“It always strikes me that the Lambeth Conference is premised on the 19th Century sailing ships bringing together, once every 10 years, just bishops.” 
Speaking at the weekend Archbishop Jensen said it would be wrong to consider the Archbishop of Canterbury as “leader” of the Anglican church, something he said represented an “Anglocentric view of the world”.
Read it all here.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Farewell Chuck Colson (1931-2012)

via email:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news that Chuck Colson — our friend, founder, and brother in Christ — has passed away. Though we mourn the loss of a great leader, we rejoice knowing God has welcomed his humble and faithful servant home.

When Chuck Colson left prison, he promised to remember the men who remained behind bars. “I will never forget you guys!” he told them.

And for 36 years, Chuck faithfully kept that promise. In 1976, he founded Prison Fellowship, a ministry dedicated to living out Jesus’ command to remember the incarcerated and share the transformational love of Jesus Christ with them and their families.

“I could never, ever have left prison and accomplished what has been accomplished but for God doing it through me,” Chuck once said.

Please continue to pray for the entire Colson family. While we all deeply feel this loss, we take heart knowing God has welcomed Chuck into paradise with a “well done, good and faithful servant!”

Together, let’s celebrate the life of Chuck Colson — a man transformed by grace, dedicated to serving our Savior, and now living in eternal glory with the Lord.

Jim Liske
Prison Fellowship

What Prayer is like in times like these ...

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.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Someone puts a quarter in the cafe jukebox ...

So someone puts a quarter in the cafe jukebox and the gang here - you know who you are - have stood up from their tables (or on top of the tables) and are waving their hands and singing along ... pie and chai for everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Farewell to the The Band's Levon Helm: Updated with Bob Dylan's statement on the death of bandmate and friend

Bob Dylan has released a statement:

He was my bosom buddy friend to the end, one of the last true great spirits of my or any other generation. This is just so sad to talk about. I still can remember the first day I met him and the last day I saw him. We go back pretty far and had been through some trials together. I'm going to miss him, as I'm sure a whole lot of others will too.
-Bob Dylan

Just learned that Levon Helm (1940-2012), who as part of The Band was connected so closely with Bob Dylan in the 60s and 70s, has died.  Here he is with The Band from the Martin Scorsese film, The Last Waltz which chronicled their last performance together in 1976:

Dylan and the Band with Dylan's first public appearance two years after his motorcycle crash. Carnegie Hall 1968:


Live from the Big Pink in Woodstock, circa 1969:

Levon Helm with Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris singing Jesse James One More Shot:

Today from The Wall Street Journal:

From Scorsese's The Last Waltz, I Shall Be Released:

And The Weight with lead vocals by Leon Helm:

The Band on the making of Up On Cripple Creek:

And finally, Wide River to Cross:

Bob Dylan: Ain't Talking

As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden
The wounded flowers were dangling from the vines
I was passing by yon cool and crystal fountain
Someone hit me from behind

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through this weary world of woe
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
No one on earth would ever know

They say prayer has the power to help
So pray from the mother
In the human heart an evil spirit can dwell
I'm trying to love my neighbor and do good unto others
But oh, mother, things ain't going well

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
I'll burn that bridge before you can cross
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
They'll be no mercy for you once you've lost

Now I'm all worn down by weepin'
My eyes are filled with tears, my lips are dry
If I catch my opponents ever sleepin'
I'll just slaughter them where they lie

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Through the world mysterious and vague
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walking through the cities of the plague

The whole world is filled with speculation
The whole wide world which people say is round
They will tear your mind away from contemplation
They will jump on your misfortune when you're down

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Eatin' hog-eyed grease in hog-eyed town
Heart burnin' – still yearnin'
Someday you'll be glad to have me around

They will crush you with wealth and power
Every waking moment you could crack
I'll make the most of one last extra hour
I'll avenge my father's death then I'll step back

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Hand me down my walkin' cane
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Got to get you out of my miserable brain

All my loyal and much-loved companions
They approve of me and share my code
I practice a faith that's been long abandoned
Ain't no altars on this long and lonesome road

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
My mule is sick, my horse is blind
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Thinkin' ‘bout that gal I left behind

It's bright in the heavens and the wheels are flying
Fame and honor never seem to fade
The fire's gone out but the light is never dying
Who says I can't get heavenly aid?

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Carrying a dead man's shield
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' with a toothache in my heel

The suffering is unending
Every nook and cranny has its tears
I'm not playing, I'm not pretending
I'm not nursing any superfluous fears

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Walkin' ever since the other night
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
Walkin' ‘til I'm clean out of sight

As I walked out in the mystic garden
On a hot summer day, hot summer lawn
Excuse me, ma'am I beg your pardon
There's no one here, the gardener is gone

Ain't talkin', just walkin'
Up the road around the bend
Heart burnin', still yearnin'
In the last outback, at the world's end

B. Dylan

A very interesting literary and biblical analysis of Ain't Talking may be found here.

Alex Ross of the New Yorker writes this:

“As I walked out tonight in the mystic garden / The wounded flowers were dangling from the vine.” As usual, it is the words that seize your attention first. “Ain’t Talkin’,” the last song on Bob Dylan’s deceptively mellow-sounding new album, “Modern Times,” places the listener in a landscape of sweet decay, as handsomely ruined as Dylan’s sixtysomething voice, populated by sick mules, blind horses, a missing gardener, nameless foes, some woman, and the walking, weeping, brooding, ironically smiling singer. The vocal line is threadbare: it consists of just five notes, the ancient pentatonic scale. But it is the unswerving sureness of the musical choices—guitars twisting like vines around plain chord changes, an intermittently keening cello, a steady pulse like dripping water—that holds you mesmerized. The protagonist seems to be searching for some sign of hope in the apocalyptic garden, and, at the last moment, he finds it: after eight minutes in the minor mode, and a sighing reference to the “world’s end,” a moonbeam falls in the form of a glowing major chord. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Taste and see the goodness of the Lord: A Story of Truro

Dan Van Ness, Senior Warden of Truro Anglican Church, addressed the congregation this past Sunday and gave an overview of Truro's own journey in the years in which he and his family have been members, a journey shared by the thousands that have passed through the doors of Truro Episcopal and now Truro Anglican Church in Fairfax.  Here is his story of Truro:

My wife Brenda and I began attending Truro in 1981. Like many of you, we were not cradle Episcopalians, but we were drawn here by the combination of the liturgy and the clear presence of the Holy Spirit. Truro had been drawn into the charismatic renewal while Raymond Davis was rector, and we flourished under the ministry of his successor, now Episcopal Bishop, John Howe.

 We knew the life of the Spirit, the light of Christ, the love of the Father. We knew it – we know it – because Scripture teaches that Jesus came to give us life in all its abundance, and because we have experienced that life. We wanted others to experience it too, so we became an inviting church. Those who were here then will remember Friday Night Prayer and Praise services and Evangelism Explosion. We organized weekend renewal missions at Episcopal parishes along the East Coast. We supported groups like Acts 29 and Episcopal Renewal Ministries. We helped organize NOEL, the National Organization of Episcopalians for Life to bear witness on behalf of the unborn and to care for their mothers. We were – we are – an inviting church. We lived what we sang, “Taste and see, taste and see, the goodness of the Lord.”

Martyn Minns, now an Anglican bishop, became our rector. He brought a passion for the poor and needy which led to creation of the Lamb Center. And during his leadership we came to see that efforts for renewal were not turning back the storm clouds over the Episcopal Church. For years the denomination had seemed unwilling to discipline leaders who were walking away from what we believe is the orthodox Christian faith. Those leaders had followers and some had what appeared to be an inordinate amount of influence in the political bodies of the denomination. So we joined with friends in an attempt to offset this influence, even as we continued to invite people to experience the real presence of God. For example, under the guidance of Dianne Kinippers, Ed Knipper’s wise and beloved late wife, we not only lobbied at General Conventions, we also provided a prayer room and intercessors for delegates needing God’s touch.

Dan Van Ness with Steve Springmann
Over time we felt less and less at home in the Episcopal Church. The consecration of Gene Robinson as bishop represented only one of a constellation of ways that the denomination seemed unrecognizable to us. Over the next two and a half years, we and our friends debated what we should do. We met regularly with Bishop Peter Lee, then the bishop of the diocese of Virginia to keep him informed and to seek a way forward.

Paul Julienne, a member of Truro, served on a year‐long diocesan Reconciliation Committee convened by Bishop Lee. It concluded that our divisions were so profound that resolution was highly unlikely. So Bishop Lee and Rev. John Yates of The Falls Church formed a special committee to chart a way forward. Tom Yates was a member of that committee. It developed a protocol for parishes that wished to vote to separate from the Episcopal Church. It crafted the ballot language and provided for subsequent negotiations between the diocese and any parish that voted to separate to consider ownership of that parish’s property. As you know, Truro’s members voted overwhelmingly to separate from the Episcopal Church.

Suddenly, all cooperation from the diocese came to an abrupt halt. We were told at the time that this was due to intervention by the national church. We’ve been told more recently that there was strong opposition all along from the diocese’s standing committee. Whatever happened, we were plunged into litigation. Litigation is consuming. It is intrusive, costly, painful and divisive. Its logic is binary – you either win or you lose. We hired excellent attorneys, raised a lot of money and proceeded into court to defend ourselves. And at first we won. At the conclusion of the first trial, the judge agreed that a Virginia statute applied in these situations and that the property was ours.

But then the VA Supreme Court overturned the trial court and said that the case needed to be tried again under a different legal standard. So found ourselves back in court for the second trial. By this time we had called a new rector, Tory Baucum. His ministry has resonated with our DNA as an inviting church. He introduced us to the idea of radical hospitality and shortly thereafter we welcomed Love the World Fellowship to share our facilities.

Tory conducts baptisms in the Church
Tory reminded us that while the fight for truth was consuming and costly, we could and should continue to invite people to encounter the One who is the way, the truth, the life; the only way to the Father. He persuaded Tim and Ros Mayfield to come to the US and help expand our use of Alpha. He has hired pastoral staff with skills in evangelism. He has demonstrated that it is possible to make unlikely friends in order that they – and we – might experience the life of Christ.

So he reached out to Bishop Shannon Johnston and urged Truro and its sister parishes to explore reopening negotiations to settle the litigation. This has been hard work; sometimes even hard to explain. But I believe it was the right thing to do.

Then we lost the second trial. Judge Bellow’s ruling was frankly, devastating. We have excellent attorneys, some of the best in the country, and they have told us that there is little hope we will win back our buildings on appeal. As our Chancellor, Bob Dilling, said during a recent Vestry meeting, “We were never owners, only stewards, of this property. It is clear that our stewardship has come to an end.”

So we must come to terms with the injustice, the loss, and the grief we feel at leaving these facilities. We must now face into a future that includes a new home for what, since last Monday, is now officially Truro Anglican Church. And this means dealing with the practical questions of how to do that well.

We and our sister parishes approached the diocese concerning negotiations about a year ago. While there was little interest in settlement at that time those early meetings did allow us to get to know each other. That meant there was a relationship to build on when negotiations began in earnest in January. The Vestry appointed Tom Yates and me to represent Truro, and we delivered the Vestry’s initial settlement offer in February. We chose to keep all of our options open, so we also filed the necessary papers to preserve a right to appeal to the Virginia Supreme Court if we decided to do that.

As of 10 days or so ago, it looked like we might have to do that. The diocese and we were far apart on key issues, particularly their insistence that we pay sizable rent if we remained on the property after August of this year. Then, at the end of last week, the talks began to shift and we were able to reach an agreement that the Vestry believes is a very good one under the circumstances.

Why not keep fighting? The Vestry has concluded that the battle over the property is finished. When we voted to separate from the Episcopal Church, we knew as a congregation that we might lose these buildings. It turns out that this is indeed the price we will pay.

Our stewardship of these buildings is ending. But the life of Truro Episcopal Church and of Truro Anglican Church has never been these buildings. The life of our parish has been the life of Christ among us. That life is still with us. It will lead us to our new home. And as it does, we will continue to be what we are: a church that invites people to meet the source of our life, the One who conquered death and the grave.

Alleluia! Christ is risen! 
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

And now a word from Dylan

 After a long day comes this young masterpiece:

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Today at the Cafe: Charity

Breaking News: Truro Anglican Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia settle

Joint Statement from Truro Anglican Church, Fairfax and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

10520 Main Street, Fairfax, VA
Truro Anglican Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia announced today a settlement that concludes five years of litigation that arose after Truro Anglican and other parishes left the Episcopal Church in 2006 to become part of what is now the Anglican Church in North America.
The settlement follows a January ruling in which the Circuit Court of Fairfax County held that all real and personal property held by the parishes at the time they left the denomination belongs to the Diocese.
Under terms of the settlement, the Diocese has given Truro Anglican a rent-free lease of the church buildings at 10520 Main Street in Fairfax, as well as two rectories, until June 30, 2013. Truro Anglican will deed the properties to the Diocese by April 30, 2012, and will pay the operating costs of the properties during the term of the lease.  In addition, the Diocese has the option to use a small portion of the church building during the lease, as determined between the Rev. Tory Baucum, rector of Truro Anglican, and the Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of the Diocese of Virginia.
Additionally, Truro Anglican has agreed to pay $50,000 to resolve Diocesan claims for liquid assets due under the court’s order. The parties had already agreed on division of the tangible personal property held by Truro Anglican.
In several previous settlements, Anglican parishes that leased Episcopal property agreed to sever ties with all Anglican bodies during the term of the lease. Under today’s settlement, however, the parties have agreed that Truro Anglican will maintain its affiliation with the Anglican Church of North America and its Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic.  Because the Diocese and Truro Anglican are part of different ecclesiastical bodies who share the Anglican tradition, they have agreed to follow a process during the term of the lease by which bishops may visit Truro Anglican with the permission of Bishop Johnston. 
Tory Baucum, Truro Anglican
An important feature of this settlement is that both sides have agreed to enter into a covenant of mutual charity and respect. This document will frame the way the Diocese and Truro Anglican will deal with one another and speak of one another. The covenant is being drafted by the Rev. Baucum and Bishop Johnston.
“This is an important step for the Diocese of Virginia and Truro Anglican,” said Bishop Johnston. “What the Diocese has sought since the court’s ruling has been a ‘witness’ and not merely an ‘outcome.’ The parties have carried on a public dispute for five years and it is important that we publicly begin to make peace.”
Bishop Johnston and the Rev. Baucum have been meeting together for prayer and conversation for over a year. “Bishop Johnston and I have become friends,” said the Rev. Baucum. “In spite of our significant theological differences, we care for and are committed to each other as brothers in Christ.
“We are grateful for the Diocese’s generosity in allowing us to continue to use the property for another 15 months at no cost,” said the Rev. Baucum. “This allows us time to make a good transition to interim facilities and then to our new church home.”
“Tory and I believe that this is an opening for a transformative witness to many across the worldwide Anglican Communion,” added Bishop Johnston.   

Monday, April 16, 2012

An invitation you wouldn't want to turn down

Canon J. John of the Church of England and the Philo Trust spoke at the Sunday services at Truro this weekend:


 "The heart of the human problem is the program of the human heart."

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Agnus Dei - Adagio for Strings

It's Official: Same Gender Blessings planned for Saturday, April 14, in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Official Same Gender Blessings in the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will take place at St. Paul's Memorial Church in Charlottesville, on Saturday, April 14. The Same Gender Blessings will be the centerpiece in a public Eucharist service at St. Paul's located adjacent to The Rotunda at the University of Virginia. From here:

St. Paul's Memorial Episcopal Church
An Invitation from Deborah Healey and Margaret Mohrmann - The covenant relationship between Deborah Healey and Margaret Mohrmann will be blessed in a Holy Eucharist at St. Paul's on Saturday, April 14, 2012, at 11 a.m. Deborah and Margaret invite all who wish to affirm this covenant and participate in its blessing to be present, in witness and support, at the service and to attend the celebratory reception in the Parish Hall immediately afterwards

Bishop Shannon Johnston is also slated to do confirmations as well as hold a Q& A at St. Paul's the following Wednesday, April 18.  A story from October including a letter from Bishop Johnston is here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

National Public Radio: A Church Divided

From here:

St. Stephen's Church, Heathsville, VA
Tale Of Two Churches: The St. Stephen's Church in Heathsville, Va., has been at the center of an ugly custody battle between the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church and the newly affiliated St. Stephen's Anglican Church.

On a bright Sunday morning in the tiny town of Heathsville, Va., Jeffrey Cerar surveys the church he's preached in for the past 15 years — its 130-year-old wooden pews, its stained glass windows, its paschal candles, its cross.

"Virtually everything you see here is going to stay; the high altar, the credence table, the hymnals and books of common prayer will all stay," he says. "The Bibles will go with us."

Cerar, rector of St. Stephen's Anglican Church, is leaving, along with his congregation. They're handing the keys over to their theological rivals, the St. Stephen's Episcopal Church. Earlier this year, a judge ruled that seven conservative Virginia congregations that had split with the Episcopal Church must hand over almost everything they own. It's like the end of a marriage, with people moving out and splitting up assets — even its own long, ugly battle.

The Heathsville Schism
When Cerar leaves the Heathsville chapel, he'll be taking some happy memories with him.
"It's a beautiful place," he says. "And when it's full and people are singing — and they do in our congregation — they just raise the roof."

In 2006, most of the St. Stephen's congregants voted to leave the American Episcopal Church after it elevated an openly gay man to be a bishop. They decided to affiliate with the Anglican Church in Nigeria instead, which bars gay clergy, and they renamed the congregation the St. Stephen's Anglican Church.

Jan Beckett, a conservative parishioner, says the liberals and conservatives tried to stay together, but at some point the rift became too wide.

"We had two churches in one building," she says, "and we were beginning to experience that tension. Not that it was something you talked about, you just knew it was there."

Lucia Lloyd, rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, says in some ways it was like a divorce: "We never wanted this split to happen and would have done anything to prevent it from happening."

After the vote, Lloyd says about three dozen of the more liberal parishioners left. Meade Kilduff, 93, was one of them. She describes the split as traumatic.

"My head was going around and around, and I thought, 'Well this is a good time for me to get a stroke,'" Kilduff says. "I got home and just got on the bed and just cried and cried and cried."

The liberal parishioners restarted St. Stephen's Episcopal Church down the street and sued to get their old church back. Lucia Lloyd shows off the rented house that has served as their makeshift church for the past few years. A dresser serves as the altar, a pillow case as the altar cover and a keyboard replaces the organ.

In January, after a bitter, five-year legal battle, a judge ruled that the Episcopal Church owns St. Stephen's and the Episcopal congregation can finally go home.

Parishioner Ellen Kirby says the legal judgment is a victory and a tragedy.
"I have mixed emotions, more sadness than happiness," Kirby says. "We're a small community; we see each other all the time, at the post office or the grocery store; and we know the hurt and what it feels like to be out of a church and a space that you love."

'A New Sheriff' At The Episcopal Church
Cross from Church of the Apostles heads for storage.
Virginia is at the epicenter of the Episcopal schism. Heathsville is one of seven churches — including two of the largest and most historic in the country — that broke away from the denomination in 2006. Now that they've lost their lawsuit, they all have to find new homes.

Church of the Apostles is one of the seven breakaway churches. At its home in Fairfax, a half dozen men wrestle with a 360 pound cross, panting as they remove it from its moorings in the sanctuary. Parishioner Wayne Marsh says the cross is going into storage and the church is being shuttered.
The church will be shuttered and, eventually, sold by the Episcopal Diocese. 
"It's sad and heartbreaking, and it's a tremendous loss," he says, "but God has just given me a peace to understand this is his will and we're going forward with it, not knowing exactly where we're going."
But underneath those gentle words is an acrimonious history. According to David Harper, rector of Church of the Apostles, "The Episcopal Church has developed a scorched-earth policy."

Harper says that in late 2006, when the seven churches decided to leave, they worked closely with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia to do what had been done in other states — figure out a way to stay out of court and pay the diocese to stay in their church. But one day, Harper says, the negotiations fell apart. The Episcopal bishop told him, "There's a new sheriff in town."

That newcomer was Katharine Jefferts Schori, though she says she wouldn't exactly call herself a "sheriff." Schori had just become presiding bishop of the national Episcopal Church in late 2006 when she told the Diocese of Virginia to stop negotiating.

"The reality is that the intensity of the conflict escalated after I was elected, and it was clear that several bishops were attempting to lead dioceses out of the church and it was time for a church-wide policy," Schori says.

Within weeks, the Diocese of Virginia and the national Episcopal Church sued the Anglican churches. Initially, the judge in the case ruled in favor of the breakaway congregations, but after being reversed on appeal he awarded almost everything to the Episcopal Diocese.

'God Is On Everyone's Side'
"When I got the news, I felt as though the stuffing had been knocked out of me," says Church of the Apostles' David Harper.

Now, Harper says, his church owes the diocese about a million dollars that was in its bank account in 2007. It has to hand over the land it bought to build a new sanctuary in the future and it's also relinquishing the building itself, which he estimates is worth more than $5 million. But unlike the situation in Heathsville, Harper says there is no congregation to take its place.

"I don't know what the diocese will do with the property, but we do not have a shadow congregation," he says. "There's no group from Church of the Apostles that want to come back and gratefully reenter the building."

That means the building will likely be sold, with the money going to the diocese. In recent years, breakaway church properties have been sold to Baptists, Presbyterians, Jews and one church in New York was sold to an Islamic awareness center. According to Katharine Jefferts Schori, the only people who can't buy the buildings are the Anglicans.

Read it all here.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Anglican Congregation celebrates historic faith in property settlement: St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Woodbridge, Va., and Episcopal Diocese end property dispute

From here:
St. Margaret's, Woodbridge, VA

WOODBRIDGE, Va. (April 5, 2012) – St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, one of seven Anglican congregations that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, celebrates taking a stand for the Gospel truth amidst settling its property involved in the case.

The settlement calls for St. Margaret’s Anglican to turn over to the Diocese its real property, including the parcel the parish bought, improved and maintained for fifty years. St. Margaret’s Anglican will vacate the property by April 30, and will turn over to the Diocese a portion of the liquid assets on hand when the lawsuit commenced in early 2007. St. Margaret's will retain a portion of those liquid assets and a valuable hand bell collection that was a gift to St. Margaret's from a parishioner.

St. Margaret’s was one of many Virginia Episcopal congregations who voted overwhelmingly to disassociate from The Episcopal Church and the Diocese in order to remain faithful to the historic doctrine of the worldwide Anglican Communion.  

“This settlement is good news to us,” stated Alan Clark, Senior Warden of St. Margaret’s Anglican. “We are ready to move on in our mission of proclaiming Jesus Christ. Together, putting the legal dispute behind us, we celebrate who we are as Anglicans and followers of Christ.  We trust in the path God has laid for St. Margaret’s Anglican, and look forward to where He plans to use our congregation to spread His transforming love.”

The Rt. Rev. David Bena, Interim Rector of St. Margaret’s Anglican, added, “Throughout these past several years of costly court battles, I have been humbled to bear witness to St. Margaret’s faith-filled stand for the Gospel truth at whatever expense.”

“We appreciate the good faith of Diocesan officials in negotiating the settlement, and we’re thrilled to be part of growing entities such as the regional Anglican Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic (a member diocese of the Anglican Church in North America) and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. The death and resurrection of our Lord this Holy Week remind us that God is ultimately in charge. Our parishioners are ready to fully focus our energies on preaching, teaching, healing and making disciples in Jesus’ name. We may have lost the buildings, but we’ve kept the faith!” concluded Bishop Bena.

St. Margaret’s Anglican Church is a member congregation of the newly established Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, a regional and growing diocese of the Anglican Church in North America dedicated to reaching North America with the transforming love of Jesus Christ. The Diocese consists of 35 member congregations.

The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia has also released a statement
Diocese Settles with St. Margaret's Anglican Church, Woodbridge 
The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and St. Margaret’s Anglican Church, Woodbridge, have reached an agreement that concludes the property dispute which began in 2006. 
Under the terms of the agreement, St. Margaret’s Anglican Church will convey all real and tangible personal property to the Diocese, with the exception of a set of hand bells. With regards to the $115,443 of liquid assets awarded the Diocese of Virginia under the March 1, 2012 final order of the Circuit Court of Fairfax County, St. Margaret’s will retain $40,000 and will pay $75,443 to the Diocese. The Anglican congregation will vacate the property by April 30 and forgo any appeal of the decision. 
“This is a resolution that allows both St. Margaret’s Anglican Church and the Diocese of Virginia to move beyond this dispute,” said Henry D.W. Burt, secretary of the Diocese. “We look forward to the new chapter for both the Diocese of Virginia and St. Margaret’s Anglican.”
Read it all here.

Monday, April 02, 2012

Ring them bells so the world will know

A terrific cover of Bob Dylan's "Ring Them Bells" by Sarah Jarosz. One of the best of Dylan's compositions.

Ring them bells, ye heathen
From the city that dreams
Ring them bells from the sanctuaries
’Cross the valleys and streams
For they’re deep and they’re wide
And the world’s on its side
And time is running backwards
And so is the bride

Ring them bells St. Peter
Where the four winds blow
Ring them bells with an iron hand
So the people will know
Oh it’s rush hour now
On the wheel and the plow
And the sun is going down
Upon the sacred cow

Ring them bells Sweet Martha
For the poor man’s son
Ring them bells so the world will know
That God is one
Oh the shepherd is asleep
Where the willows weep
And the mountains are filled
With lost sheep

Ring them bells for the blind and the deaf
Ring them bells for all of us who are left
Ring them bells for the chosen few
Who will judge the many when the game is through
Ring them bells, for the time that flies
For the child that cries
When innocence dies

Ring them bells St. Catherine
From the top of the room
Ring them from the fortress
For the lilies that bloom
Oh the lines are long
And the fighting is strong
And they’re breaking down the distance
Between right and wrong

B. Dylan 1989

Check out latest episode of Anglican Unscripted

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Just in - BabyBlue has been living inside Disneyland since 2009

BabyBlueOnline has learned that it's erstwhile founder never did return from the 2009 Episcopal Church General Convention in Anaheim and has actually spent the last three years living inside Disneyland.

We now have live video taken from her "office" where she continues to update her blog from her uniquely designed houseboat from her undisclosed location.  Next time you are there be sure to say hello.

Today at the Cafe

This one goes out to the "seven plus three" churches in Virginia who have made and are making some challenging choices and in doing so experiencing great loss. One of their rectors wrote recently,
"Jesus won a victory for us that leaves us free. We have been in a contest for our identity and have chosen the narrow way of following our Lord wherever He leads ... When everything is stripped away from us - what we own, things we depend on for security and reputation, that‘s when we see who we really are. When we are in Christ His love becomes the place we live in. His Spirit becomes our Comforter that fills up the loss. When His Fatherhood captures us with His love, we go from being religious people to sons and daughters of our Father. We have a life and existence that cannot be taken away. That‘s what it means to have your life hidden in Christ."-Robin Rauh, Church of the Epiphany
As Paul reminds us in his letter to the Galatians, "It is for freedom Christ has set us free." May it be so and may it be for His glory.

Download the lyrics and chords here.