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March 4, 2013


Truro, Baucum, Johnston and the Occupational Hazard of Anglicanism

From Positive Infinity:

My guess is that Baucum and his parishioners are beaten down on the one side by an Episcopal Church which manages one property victory after another (whether they can replicate this in SC is a whole different subject) and on the other by a mission field which has turned blue.  They’re looking for relief, and coming from a tradition where the emphasis is on comity, the idea of burying the hatchet with the likes of Shannon Johnston is a major temptation.

Baucum–and indeed the ACNA in general–must realise, however, that seeking such accommodation defeats the reason for of the ACNA and the Anglican revolt.  What was the point of secession, of the cost of litigation and for most of the losers relocation, when you’re just going to throw in the towel?  And, to get back to the key issue, what’s the purpose of a church whose beliefs are little different from the world around it?


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In a sense ACNA defeats the reason for an Anglican revolt. There is something to be said for staying and fighting. The exodus of my former parish insured the election of a revisionist bishop. This appears to have been a “geographical cure” and they continue the same as always only without any of their property. I understand the principles involved but the price was very high.

[1] Posted by Pb on 3-4-2013 at 11:19 AM · [top]

“...what’s the purpose of a church whose beliefs are little different from the world around it?”

The writer of this blog post (I can’t figure out who the author is) seems to assume that forming a friendship with someone with whom one disagrees is compromising one’s beliefs and conforming to the world.  No one leading Truro Anglican Church has said they’ve changed their beliefs about the “key issue.”  In fact, they go out of their way to remind us they haven’t.  If this blogger thinks the beliefs of the leaders and parishioners of Truro are “little different” from those of Northern Virginia he/she needs to come visit.  The beliefs are very different; the people just aren’t angry about it.  I think that’s healthy.

[2] Posted by S. Hamilton on 3-4-2013 at 11:39 AM · [top]

RE: “The writer of this blog post (I can’t figure out who the author is) seems to assume that forming a friendship with someone with whom one disagrees is compromising one’s beliefs and conforming to the world.”

No.  The writer assumes that readers of his post have actually kept up with the issues and the facts of the past nine months, so he doesn’t bother to spell them all out again for the uninformed.

Of course, the issue is not “forming a friendship” with unbelievers.  The issue is how should people who believe the Gospel treat false teachers, wolves who have entered the flock and purport to lead them.

For the uninformed, here are some helpful posts:

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/29477

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30150

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30144

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30155

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30166

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30167

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30159

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/?/sf/page/30157

[3] Posted by Sarah on 3-4-2013 at 01:04 PM · [top]

I have been trying to understand why people from Truro, who were among the early leaders of the revolt, would now be willing to sponsor a rapprochement with the TEC diocese which has become only more radical in the interim.  Is it because they realize they may actually lose the property, when before they were confident they would not?  If the blog owners will forgive my mentioning another issue, I remember reading, early on, at the blog of a Truro member, how strongly she supported women’s ordination while just as strongly opposing the “gay” ordination issue.  ACNA is still permitting female priests on a local option basis but standing firm on having only male bishops.  Meanwhile, the TEC diocese took over The Falls Church and promptly ordained an openly partnered lesbian within it.  Are the twin issues of property loss and agreement with TEC on other points causing them to waver on points which they previously considered essential?

[4] Posted by Katherine on 3-4-2013 at 01:46 PM · [top]

TEC diocese took over The Falls Church and promptly ordained an openly partnered lesbian within it.”

I hadn’t seen that news, but talk about an “in your face” statement!  How reprehensible can you get!

[5] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 3-4-2013 at 01:58 PM · [top]

As an addition to my #4, in my parish I am hearing the traditional (1928) collects and readings for Lent.  They are very heavy on sin, including sexual sin, and just yesterday my rector preached about demons.  Yes, demons!  They are real.  I fear the devil is circling around the people of Truro, licking his chops.  He knows how to exploit weaknesses.

[6] Posted by Katherine on 3-4-2013 at 02:00 PM · [top]

#5, I can’t give you a link, but I remember reading the TEC/VA press release at the time.  It was in recent months.

[7] Posted by Katherine on 3-4-2013 at 02:01 PM · [top]

Link on the ordination I mentioned, in Dec. 2012.  I cannot offhand verify where the priest in question, Jo J. Belser, is currently assigned nor her personal status.  I would like to think Jeffrey Walton, the author of the post, knew what he was talking about.

[8] Posted by Katherine on 3-4-2013 at 02:16 PM · [top]

The Rev. Jo Belser is now preaching sermons at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church, TEC Diocese of Virginia, in Leesburg or Lansdowne, VA, although not listed as vicar or other staff member at this mission. The mission currently meets in a school in Lansdowne, but is listed on the diocesan web site as being in nearby Leesburg.

[9] Posted by Bill Cool on 3-4-2013 at 03:22 PM · [top]

Katherine, thank you for the link, though it makes me sad to see it.  It took a diocesan gathering to fill that beautiful church (built by the Falls Church without any help from the diocese) where I have worshiped with John Yates and the congregation on numerous occasions.  The Diocese of Virginia has never had a cathedral.  Well, now they do, and all it took was a little money spent on legal fees—a fraction of the cost of what it would take to build such an edifice. 

If I were Johnston, I could not walk into that building without a sense of shame that I was worshiping on property I had stolen from Christian believers who were now being deprived of it.  But then, obviously, I am not Johnston.

[10] Posted by ToAllTheWorld on 3-4-2013 at 04:08 PM · [top]

It’s very important to assess the costs, legal, practical, spiritual, before you leave. Granted, Virginia congregations had better reason to expect victory than anywhere else, given their laws.

Still, a congregation should not leave without having been advised bluntly, and such advice will more often than not be that it is extremely likely that the congregation’s property will be lost (where state/provincial law has not yet been established).

If those leading the departure try to “take a little off the pitch” by underplaying, minimizing the risk—well, disaster of some kind may ensue. Not saying this is what happened in Truro.

[11] Posted by Real Toral on 3-4-2013 at 05:10 PM · [top]

I’d like to think that the first time they use the historic Falls Church for a gay wedding, it will collapse on them (let us hope without loss of life).  So this is how to get a cathedral on the (relatively) cheap.  Sad.

[12] Posted by Katherine on 3-4-2013 at 05:47 PM · [top]

This article in Positive Infinity asks some very good, very hard questions.

Where, indeed, is ACNA in all this?  Did all those who left TEC, sought refuge from our brothers in Kenya and Uganda and then suffered the honor and indignity of being deposed by evil TEC bishops do it for nothing?

Doesn’t Tory Baucum’s bishop understand this?  Why the silence?  Although Bp Guernsey made a deal with Bishop Lee and may not appreciate the sacrifice, at least Archbishop Duncan understands the price that was paid to leave and start ACNA.

If this sad story of compromise continues to go unchallenged, it will be a very bad chapter for ACNA.

[13] Posted by hanks on 3-4-2013 at 07:36 PM · [top]

Wherefore, as I live, saith the Lord God; Surely, because thou hast defiled my sanctuary with all thy detestable things, and with all thine abominations, therefore will I also diminish thee; neither shall mine eye spare, neither will I have any pity.
Ezekiel 5:11

Ho hum.

[14] Posted by Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] on 3-4-2013 at 07:37 PM · [top]

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