TFCA AND THE CAMPAIGN FOR REFORM OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH (1996-2003)
Materials in this section continue from the previous section and reflect TFCA’s vision and work for Reform in the national Episcopal Church and in the Diocese of Virginia from the 1996 Righter trial to ECUSA’s General Convention 2003.
The Episcopal Church’s public theological travails and decline began in the 1960s when Bishop James Pike of California was charged, but never tried, with heresy for denying the doctrine of the Trinity. In the 1980s a panel of ECUSA bishops dismissed heresy charges against Bishop John Spong of Newark. In 1996 another panel of ECUSA bishops dismissed charges against Bishop Walter Righter of Newark, finding “no clear doctrine” prohibiting ordination of “persons living in committed same gender sexual relationships.” In 1997 under Bishop Peter Lee, Virginia Theological Seminary began revising its policies to admit actively homosexual seminarians and provide shared housing for non-celibate unmarried faculty and students.
Vestry letter to Bishop Lee—October 10, 2003
Transmitting the Vestry's September resolution, expressing grief at his complicity in the errors of the 2003 General Convention and appealing to him to dissociate from them.
The Falls Church Vestry Resolution—Septemer 8, 2003
In light of the Bible’s condemnation of homosexual practice, the Vestry condemns and disassociates The Falls Church from the election of Mr. Robinson and the General Convention’s decision to permit the blessing of same sex unions; the remainder of TFC’s $135,000 diocesan pledge is redirected to other priorities, and the 2004 pledge is suspended.
The Falls Church Current Article—September 2003
Commentary on the decisions of the Minneapolis Convention and Bishop Lee’s explanation of his vote to ratify the elevation of V. Eugene Robinson, by Sam Thomsen
Clergy and Vestry letter to Bishop Lee Prior to General Convention—July__2003
“This is not, in our view, another small step, but a crossing of the Rubicon. To ratify the decision would mean that the Episcopal Church has prejudged the theological debate that the Primates of the Anglican Communion agree is nowhere near a conclusion, without the issue having been debated and agreed upon by the church.”
THE Current article—July 2003
Detailed preview of the 2003 General Convention procedures and issues, by Sam Thomsen