November 17, 2006

That's My Church!


The vestries of Truro and the Falls Church, both of which are quite close to Orgle Manor, have voted to bolt the Episcopal Church USA to join the Anglican District of Virginia, a newly-formed splinter group which is in turn part of the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA), an organization set up under the auspices of the Anglican Province of Nigeria. [Insert your own African missionaries joke here.]

It will be interesting to see how many worshippers these churchs proceed to pick off from the surrounding Palie parishes, including my own. I tried Truro many years ago but was put off by its evangelical feel. (I'm there to worship God, dammit, not to hug my neighbor.) I've been toying with giving the Falls Church a try and perhaps I will.

This is hugious news and a nasty knock to the Diocese. These two parishes are both quite big (especially Truro) and quite rich. Of course, there's also going to be an ugly fight because the Diocese is terrified of losing its property, much of which consists of seriously prime real estate. At least in Virginia, the Diocese legally holds title to the various churches and their grounds in trust for the members of the parish. It's a relationship that technically can't be broken without the consent of the Diocese. A couple years back, somebody tried to sneak legislation through the Virginia House of Delegates that would have modified this arrangement to allow any parish seeking to leave the Diocese to unilaterally vote to take its building with it, but the bill was noticed and squashed at the last minute by the Powers That Be.

Yips! to Mrs. P, who nicely ties this all in with Mr. Waugh.

UPDATE: Several readers ask, "Jim, what are the odds your parish might do this too?" Forget it. Not a chance. The rector is stone liberal. The vestry and congregation are politically mixed and theologically hazy. There's simply no revolutionary tinder.

No, we won't move unless and until the ECUSA gets itself thrown out of the Communion, which the new High Priestess seems bent on making happen. At that point, if forced to a choice between the ECUSA and the Communion, I think we would stay with the latter.

UPDATE DEUX: See what happens when I mouth off? Just got the Christmas usher schedule and I've been tagged to usher the children's pagent. Garn!

Posted by Robert at November 17, 2006 12:46 PM | TrackBack

I'm pretty sure I remember reading somewhere that Truro is ready to fight over the property since they feel they pre-exist (with the property they're on) the Diocese. So it'll be interesting to see how that wrangles out. The teeny church we attended for a little over a year has also made this move, and forfeited their property - which ended up being a little better for them anyway, as they never really did make the mortgage payments on their own.

Definitely give The Falls Church a try - it's simply wonderful.

Posted by: beth at November 17, 2006 02:13 PM

I haven't been to The Falls Church, but I'm thinking they may be a little evangelical like Truro knowing what I know of their rector.

I love Truro and if I were more into the liturgical thing, that would be the first church I'd go to.

Posted by: jen at November 17, 2006 02:22 PM

Is ECUSA affiliated in someway with Church of England - the one who's top bishop said it's ok to let seriously deformed babies die?

Posted by: rbj at November 17, 2006 03:23 PM

Yeah, well the report I read said that the council of British R.C. bishops also endorsed the guidelines. The difference is that I'm allowed to call my arch-bish a jackass.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at November 17, 2006 04:26 PM

Understand the evangelical criticism. Been there and had the warm fuzzies tossed at us. Seriously, they had the children make them during Sunday school...

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at November 17, 2006 05:20 PM

See, that's what makes the whole issue harder viz a viz my parish: We're low church, but we're very proper low church. It's coats and ties, the liturgy is by the Book, we use sherry for Communion and the music, other than the odd spiritual, is solid 18th/19th Century. The rector keeps politics out of the sermons for the most part, but even when he can't help himself it doesn't matter that much, as most people are lightly dozing anyway. I loathe the thought of giving all this up and having it replaced by a drum set at the alter, attendees in cut-offs, hand-waving and personal testimonials, and a liturgy modified to emphasize that Jesus is my Buddy.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at November 17, 2006 11:06 PM

Robert, I can completely identify. Seriously. I was raised very low church in Southport Harbor in a building dating back to the 1700's. In art school and after, I found myself in Boston, much to my family's dismay, attending a Anglo-Catholic church with incredibly intelligent priests from Scotland. Then on to Michigan and back into the low church with equal amounts of snoozers, boozers and liberal losers...

It took us a long time to sort things out. A very kind low church priest gave me the best advice possible. He told me my was struggle to find my place among the high-low-and baptists parading as Episcopalians was ok, because he could tell "I was sincerely searching for the truth." He did not want us to leave the Episcopal Church but eventually we did. The amazing thing was, our leaving was really a homecoming. Hard to explain, but it just accept that it was. My advice for what it's worht is, keep your eyes on the end goal and on your family and the rest, whatever it is, will fall into place.

Posted by: Mrs. Peperium at November 18, 2006 10:29 AM