News for Week Ending 4/9/2012
Congregations appeal to Supreme Court to nullify church trust interestA.S. Haley, in his Anglican Curmudgeon blog, reported March 23, 2012, that three breakaway congregations that lost property disputes in the courts have appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that explicit trust interests declared by their denominations in response to Jones v. Wolf should not be enforced. Two of the congregations broke away from The Episcopal Church, namely Christ Church, Savannah, and Bishop Seabury, Groton. (See Pittsburgh Update stories here and here.) Details and links to the court filings can be found in the Haley post.
Virginia Episcopal congregation returns to buildingAccording to Episcopal News Service, Episcopalians displaced from St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Heathsville, Virginia, returned to their church home on Palm Sunday after several years of meeting elsewhere while litigation worked its way through the courts. Seven congregations that had left The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia were ordered by the Fairfax County Circuit Court to return parish property to the diocese by April 30, 2012. (See Pittsburgh Update story here.) The ENS story describes the homecoming for the Episcopal congregation of St. Stephen’s. The sermon preached by the Rev. Lucia Lloyd on April 1 can be read here.
Although a final transfer of property has not been effected, Episcopalians displaced from The Falls Church of Falls Church, Virginia, returned to a chapel on the church campus for an Easter service and Easter egg hunt April 8. The story was reported April 8 by the Falls Church News-Press.
Bishop Price Easter message on-lineAn Easter message from the Rt. Rev. Kenneth L. Price, Jr., Pittsburgh’s provisional bishop, was posted on the diocesan Web site on Easter Sunday, March 8, 2012. Bishop Price wrote, in part,
For the Diocese of Pittsburgh, our Good Friday occurred at end of 2008. It was unsettling, destructive and a gut wrenching shame that this great diocese was so torn apart. Many felt they had been left in a tomb. But just as our Lord’s time in the grave passed, so has ours. This diocese has emerged from its tomb and the day is as bright as Easter morn.The entire message can be read here.