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IRD: Episcopalians Move to the Land of CANA

Two Parish Vestries recommend disaffiliation from The Episcopal Church and joining the more conservative Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA)


Contact: Loralei Coyle, The Institute on Religion and Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-905-6852 cell, lcoyle@ird-renew.org


WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 /Christian Newswire/ -- This week in Virginia, the vestries of two long-standing Episcopal churches recommended disaffiliation from The Episcopal Church (TEC) and advocated joining the Anglican District of Virginia, a district of the Convocation for Anglicans in North America (CANA). The Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns currently serves as missionary bishop for CANA. Many congregations have left TEC since 2003 when TEC consecrated the openly gay Rev. Gene Robinson, as the bishop of New Hampshire. That same year TEC approved local "blessings" of same-sex unions subject to the approval of a parish's diocesan bishop.


Truro Church and The Falls Church have a combined average weekend attendance of approximately 3,000 people, making them two of the larger parishes in the Diocese of Virginia. Both churches were part of the historic Truro Parish founded in 1732 that President George Washington served as a vestry member. The congregations of Truro Church and The Falls Church now face the choice before them of whether to approve their vestries' recommendations. The congregational votes are scheduled for mid December.


IRD Anglican Action Director Ralph Webb released the following:


"Episcopal parishes around the country undoubtedly will soon confront a similar choice--including other parishes in Virginia undergoing the same discernment process.


"Given the seriousness of these deliberations, it is tragic that TEC continues to work against orthodox Anglicans. Just this week at TEC's Executive Council meeting, the House of Bishops Task Force on Property Disputes reported that it is monitoring 'problem dioceses' and contacting parishioners within the "problem dioceses" who desire to 'remain loyal to the Episcopal Church.' The task force also intends to initiate lawsuits against parishes if they believe the situation warrants it.


"It's been three years since TEC first took the actions that tore apart the entire Anglican Communion. Many orthodox Anglicans have experienced the pain of watching friends, family members, and even entire parishes leave the denomination since then.


"TEC faces a grave situation with a declining membership, the exodus of many orthodox Anglicans, and a divided Anglican Communion. Orthodox Anglicans say that TEC has chosen to walk apart from the rest of the Anglican Communion, and the denomination failed to respond effectively to the requests of the Windsor Report this last summer at its 75th General Convention. TEC must choose whether to continue on its course away from the majority of the Anglican Communion, or move back into the Anglican mainstream.