News of a settlement with some of the parties involved in the lawsuits between the Diocese of Virginia and two of the break-away congregations was published on the diocesan website this afternoon:
“The Diocese of Virginia today announced that it has reached a legal settlement with Potomac Falls Church in Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer Church in Chantilly. The mission churches, which do not hold any real property, will make a payment to the Diocese as part of the settlement ending the litigation between the parties. The settlement also includes the Episcopal Church.
Under the agreement, the Diocese will release the two churches from any claims or future liability arising from the litigation. In recognition of past diocesan efforts to build, grow and support Potomac Falls and Christ the Redeemer – two mission churches that built and continued meaningful ministries in their communities, conducting worship services in local elementary schools – the churches’ payment will support diocesan ministries, including overseas mission work and Shrine Mont camps, among others.
‘We are grateful to the leadership of Potomac Falls Church and Christ the Redeemer for their courage and willingness to resolve this dispute in a mutually satisfactory manner,’ said the Rt. Rev. Peter James Lee, Bishop of Virginia. ‘The Diocese’s main concern has always been to safeguard the legacy of Episcopal faith and worship in Virginia. This litigation is unfortunate and we are grateful to have found an agreement that allows Potomac Falls Church and Christ the Redeemer to return to what matters most: knowing and serving God through Jesus Christ.’
Today’s settlement does not include the other nine churches that voted to leave the Diocese. The Diocese remains firmly committed to the continuing congregations left behind when those churches departed and will take all steps necessary to ensure that loyal Episcopalians will be able to return to their Episcopal homes. Generations of Episcopalians pledged themselves to the Diocese in order to ensure a lasting legacy of Episcopal faith and worship in Virginia. ‘We will continue every effort to protect the legacy of our past and the promise of our shared future,’ said Henry D.W. Burt, Secretary of the Diocese. ”