UPDATE 12/18: Fairfax Churches Lead the Way in Split

Updated 12/18
Churches in Fairfax City and Falls Church were among seven Virginia Episcopal parishes that voted to break with
the national church leadership over issues related to the roles of women and homosexuals. The Post's front page has the news.

Updated 12/4
More on this story from the front page of today's Washington Post.

Originally posted 11/17
From today's Metro section:

The raw dispute between conservative Episcopal churches and top officials of the U.S. church took a serious turn this week in Virginia.

Since the consecration of an openly gay New Hampshire bishop in 2003, some conservative congregations across the country have been considering breaking away from the national denomination and aligning themselves with an overseas branch of the global Anglican Church. Leaders from two prominent Virginia churches -- the Falls Church in Falls Church and Truro Church in Fairfax -- voted recently to recommend breaking away. Congregants could make the decision final when they vote next month.

But before the split is official, a dispute has begun over the conditions for a separation, which would involve dividing church property, land and pensions for clergy.

Although officials of the two churches told congregants that they were following a protocol for separating that had been approved by the Diocese of Virginia, diocesan officials issued a statement Wednesday saying there have been discussions but no formal agreements.

There are at least six churches considering breaking away in the diocese, which despite its name covers primarily eastern Virginia.

-- Michelle Boorstein

By Focus on Fairfax |  December 18, 2006; 10:50 AM ET  | Category:  Religion
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