Thursday, May 31, 2012

VIRGINIA: ‘Continuing congregations’ turn focus to future

From ENS-

The past weeks have been a time of transition for the Diocese of Virginia. Congregations that have worshiped away from their home churches for more than five years have made joyful homecomings to their church buildings. The entire diocese has joined in celebrating these returns, all while entering into a discernment process to help these congregations make plans for the future.

The recent returns and celebrations have been a longtime coming for the four “continuing congregations” that have worshipped in temporary spaces while the diocese and breakaway congregations that had joined the Convocation of Anglican Churches in North America fought over rights to diocese-owned properties in the courts. The breakaway congregations occupied the church buildings throughout the court proceedings.

In all, seven church properties (and a number of additional buildings and land parcels) have been returned to the Diocese of Virginia following the near conclusion of a five-year legal dispute. Each has a different story to tell, and telling these stories is a key part of a diocesan initiative known as “Dayspring,” an effort to discern the work of the Holy Spirit with graciousness and patience as the diocese explores how best to use resources and properties for the ministry of the church.

More here-

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