CBN—Falls Church Anglican Calls Eviction ‘Blessing’

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Anglicans say the Episcopal Church has drifted from the historic Christian faith.

"It's an outcome of our desire to be faithful to the person and teachings of Jesus Christ," John Yates, rector of The Falls Church Anglican, told CBN News.

On Tuesday, Yates held a final staff meeting full of memories and hope for the future.

"The church is people, not buildings," he said. "We knew that -- but didn't know it as well as we thought we knew it."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican Church in North America (ACNA)Episcopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: VirginiaTEC Departing Parishes* Culture-WatchLaw & Legal Issues

13 Comments
Posted May 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

Prayers for the rector and good people of The Falls Church Anglican.  May God richly bless you in Jesus’ name.

May 16, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
2. MichaelA wrote:

This is a powerful witness to others who may be tempted to compromise with the leadership of TEC.

May 16, 11:20 pm | [comment link]
3. NoVA Scout wrote:

When this group evicted the continuing Episcopal congregation at The Falls Church, it initially seemed like a great tragedy.  However, over nearly six years of exile in borrowed worship space, the experience of most of the parishioners was that they grew in faith, they experienced the joy or worship in simple surroundings, they came to know and appreciate one another in a way that they had not previously encountered when part of a mega church in beautiful surroundings, they could understand through first-hand experience what Christians in the early church felt when they worshipped in each others’ homes in a tightly knit community of believers, and they could concentrate on the Gospel freed of the distractions that necessarily attend the maintenance and upkeep of a large physical plant.  They now return to their church the better for what was a tragically avoidable experience.  The hand of God worked much good in the carnage and folly of human pettiness.  The departing group, though more numerous, will no doubt gain much in the coming years in similar ways.  It is a blessing for all that this awful chapter is over.  Both groups will be much better off in the years to come.

May 17, 6:37 am | [comment link]
4. MichaelA wrote:

The Falls Church didn’t evict anyone.  Rather, a small dissenting group refused to abide by the decision of the congregation, properly taken, because their heretical beliefs were affronted by the faithfulness of the congregation.  Then, TEC and Dio. Virginia which shared the same heresy stepped in to shamelessly manipulate the American legal system, in order to seize property which never belonged to them.

As for the bravado of NoVA Scout’s predictions for the heretical rump, we shall see. The liberals of TEC have proven singularly bad at building up congregations.  They have shown time and again that they can take over work that others have done, but they cannot accomplish such work themselves, because they have thrown away true spiritual empowerment.

But perhaps this one time will be different? Let’s see.

May 17, 6:58 am | [comment link]
5. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Rather, a small dissenting group refused to abide by the decision of the congregation, properly taken, because their heretical beliefs were affronted by the faithfulness of the congregation.  Then, TEC and Dio. Virginia which shared the same heresy stepped in to shamelessly manipulate the American legal system, in order to seize property which never belonged to them.”

Hear hear.

And I agree with MichaelA’s prognostications on the faux church as well—although it will be well propped up by the Diocese of Virginia budget, no question.

May 17, 8:52 am | [comment link]
6. Brian from T19 wrote:

shamelessly manipulate the American legal system

Based on?  The case went through the system and the Anglicans lost.  Where is the manipulation?  Is it that your own legal opinion was proved wrong in several courts?  That doesn’t show manipulation.  Sounds like sour grapes.  Two sides, one winner (although according to Yates+, everybody was “blessed”).

May 17, 6:12 pm | [comment link]
7. MichaelA wrote:

Oh dear Brian, I seem to have hit a nerve there. I’ll try to be more gentle next time. Yes, TEC have indeed picked their forums well at a tactical level, albeit their strategy has been entirely misconceived.

“Is it that your own legal opinion was proved wrong in several courts?”

Not in the least. Why would you think that?’

“Two sides, one winner”

I agree, that has indeed been your attitude from the beginning, and I am gratified that you state it so plainly. 

Now, as long as you continue to avoid thinking about what it is that you have “won”, you may well be able to feel happy about it, at least for a while… ;o)

May 17, 7:18 pm | [comment link]
8. Brian from T19 wrote:

[Comment deleted by Elf]

May 17, 7:47 pm | [comment link]
9. Brian from T19 wrote:

#7

What were their other forum options as you see them?

May 17, 9:44 pm | [comment link]
10. MichaelA wrote:

Brian,

Forums, not forum. I wasn’t just referring to Virginia in my comment about TEC’s bizarre combination of tactical acumen and strategic incompetence.

So, what ARE you going to do with the properties now that you have evicted the congregations? Enquiring minds would like to know.

For example, the following interesting link was posted on Stand Firm a little while ago: http://www.anglicansamizdat.net/wordpress/diocese-of-new-westminster/diocese-of-new-westminster-to-spend-4-5-million-in-an-attempt-to-revitalise-seized-parishes/.

Whilst this relates to Dio New Westminster in Canada, the same issue is there for Dio Virginia:  A parish is people not property. Unless you can get the people, soon you won’t have the property either. Dio New Westminster hopes that by spending $4.5 Million they can get some people - it doesn’t take much experience in churches to know that this is unlikely to accomplish anything except further deplete their resources.  But then, what alternative do they have, now that they have alienated the people who pay the bills?

May 17, 10:35 pm | [comment link]
11. Sarah wrote:

Oh come come, MichaelA!!!  Why, my understanding is that the faux Falls Church has gone from strength to strength, growing and thriving and thriving and growing.  Indeed—they have moved from an ASA of 64 to 74 from 2008 to 2010!

Now that everybody’s all reconciled and such, and now that the Diocese is no longer individually suing the real Falls Church members for their impertinence, I’m sure there will be floods and floods of the old Falls Church group returning in joy and thanksgiving to fill the bowels of the physical plant and to take up their pews next to the suers who, while they don’t share the same Gospel, are still reconciling, inclusive, and affirming.  Not to mention the masses that will enter the church because of the glorious freedoms that we will all be gaining at this next General Convention!

You’re just a creature of no hope, MichaelA—no fruit of the Spirit at all!

May 18, 9:18 am | [comment link]
12. Brian from T19 wrote:

So, what ARE you going to do with the properties now that you have evicted the congregations? Enquiring minds would like to know.

Whatever you want.  It belongs to you.  Sell it.  Keep it. Turn it into a rescue shelter for ferrets wink

May 19, 8:58 am | [comment link]
13. MichaelA wrote:

Precisely, Brian. There never was a christian element to this at all. It had nothing to do with wanting to use the buildings as churches nor to promote any sort of Christian faith. Thanks for putting it so clearly!

I appreciate that this is not something that will bother you, but then, you are not the reason I am posting these messages.  Rather, I seek to alert others to the real nature of those leading TEC and Dioceses such as Virginia.  Unfortunately, there are all too many who still misguidedly believe that these people have a Christian motivation, that they are in some sense part of “the Church”.  The sooner that Christians understand what these people are, the sooner they will stop supporting them financially.

May 19, 9:07 am | [comment link]
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