New Material on the settlement between Truro Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all--note there are many links to be explored.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC BishopsTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: VirginiaTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

8 Comments
Posted May 4, 2012 at 7:59 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

How very peculiar - a strange thing as Shannon Johnstone approves SSU’s taking place in Virginia, in direct contradiction of the Windsor report moratoria.

What’s been going on Nicky?  Quo Vadis?

May 4, 12:23 pm | [comment link]
2. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

I recommend the FAQ document.  Appears that Baucum came to Turro with a full head of steam for abundant reconciliation.  If true, lots of questions come to mind; did Baucum’s drive for reconcilliation influence the outcome of the legal process on the Turro side?

May 4, 5:13 pm | [comment link]
3. brentorrell wrote:

I have never heard the phrase “abundant reconciliation”.  Where does it come from?

May 4, 6:31 pm | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:

It comes from me; I can’t seem to copy text from the FAQ document, but on pgs 6 and 7 there is a rather detailed description of Fr. Baucum’s extensive training, development, and teaching of reconciliation strategies in difficult situations. 

Reconcilliation is wonderful, it is fine.  As I noted on another blog, I preach reconcilliation as a Christian no longer in TEC toward those Christian brothers and sisters still in TEC.  But to the Bishops in dioceses who have abandoned the faith and are leading those under their charge to abandon the faith, there will be no reconcilliation; just prayer for their repentance. 

So when I read the FAQ document I wonder if Fr. Baucum’s path forward had been decided in his mind even before he accepted his position at Turro?  I wonder if the outcome of things at Turro have been steered by Fr. Baucum’s unique training and background?  Given the relationship he is building with Bp. Jonston, I would say he has gone beyond reconcilliation to “abundant reconcilliation”.

May 4, 6:57 pm | [comment link]
5. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

This is just heart-breakingly sad.

May 4, 9:31 pm | [comment link]
6. brentorrell wrote:

Thanks, Father Warren.  I appreciation the clarification.  At first, I thought that expression was in the document itself which would have been alarming.  I am grateful to know it was not.

The section of the FAQ that addresses Rev. Baucum’s relationship with Shannon Johnston speaks of “coexistence, apologetics and evangelism.”  One fair reading (certainly my reading) of this material is that it speaks more to the hoped for conversion of Bishop Johnston than it does to any accommodation to his errant beliefs and teachings.  Conversion, by human measure, is certainly a far off goal but also a worthy one that resonates with faith in what God can do.

One of the problems we are dealing with here is that we are trying to understand words on pages rather than words incarnated in the lives of people.  In the abstract, it might be possible to conceive of a Tory Baucum who is bent on compromise and reconciliation at any cost.  The real person, however, is quite different.  This is a priest who is armored against compromise by deep study and experience as well as innate stubbornness.  He has invested enormous time and energy in bringing John Paul II’s Theology of The Body - a complete yet loving repudiation of the sexual revolution - to his parish.  If anything, his stance against the teachings of Johnston and TEC is stronger, deeper and more complete, more affirming of God’s design for human sexuality, than what is typically preached in theologically conservative pulpits on Sunday morning.  To my knowledge, he has never retreated an inch to anyone inside or outside his parish on these matters. 

It is in this deeply rooted commitment to the well-being and flourishing of the human person that one finds the consistency between Rev. Baucum’s teaching and pastoral work at Truro and his outreach to Shannon Johnston. Beyond the office Johnston holds, and the appalling errors into which he has fallen, lies the person:  glorious, filled with promise, made in the image of God, of infinite value.  In short, Johnston, like you and I, is someone God might dare to die for. Seen through this lens, extending the hand of friendship can be understood, and I believe should be understood, as not just an extension of faith but an an imperative of faith.

There are many of who have doubts, and more than doubts, about the path Truro and Rev. Baucum are on.  While I do not share these doubts, neither do I suggest that they are without reason or rooted in malice.  Please be patient with us and pray that God’s purposes will be fulfilled in His time and in His way and that each of us will be faithful instruments of His will.

May 4, 11:35 pm | [comment link]
7. Karen B. wrote:

#6, Brent, thank you for a great comment.  I like how you distinguish between arguing with words alone versus looking at Tory+ and the context of his teaching to the parish over two years.  I found your words very helpful.

PM - Just wondering what is “heart-breakingly sad” about this?  Would it be sad if Shannon Johnston comes back from the UK and promotes Alpha or its marriage course widely in the TEC diocese of Virginia?  All I am aware of is that Johnston has been invited to a conference in the UK, not that he has been asked to speak or teach?

Am I missing something?  (I may well have done, as I have been offline since Thursday evening, and thus playing “catch-up” with this news….)

May 6, 10:04 am | [comment link]
8. brentorrell wrote:

Karen - to my knowledge the entire group traveling with Tory, including Johnston and two prominent Roman Catholic teachers, are going as participants without speaking roles. If I learn differently I will let you know.

May 6, 2:40 pm | [comment link]
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