By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[ENS] The Episcopal Diocese of Virginia said December 18 that it has the agreement of people who voted December 17 to leave the Episcopal Church that they will not attempt to transfer church property to their ownership for 30 days.
In return, the diocese promised not to initiate any litigation concerning the departures for the same amount of time, according to a statement issued after Bishop Peter Lee, the diocese’s Executive Board and Standing Committee met in an emergency joint session the afternoon of December 18.
“The Episcopal Church is going to be there in partnership with the Diocese of Virginia to help bring healing in any way that we can, and to continue to remind everybody that we are engaged in larger mission,” Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told ENS.
“If some people decide they need to go then our best recourse is to bless their journey and to remind people that the door will remain open and the porch light on,” she said.
Eight of Virginia’s 195 congregations announced December 17 that their members had voted to sever ties with the Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of Uganda or the Anglican Church of Nigeria by way of the Anglican District of Virginia, part of the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA).