Diocese of Virginia and ACNA church to coordinate on “school for Peace and Reconciliation”

The Diocese of Virginia released the following statement today, regarding a joint effort between them and the church in Fairfax City, which is affiliated with the ACNA. Discussions between the two groups have been ongoing for several years, and are progressing favorably towards the establishment of an “institute or school for peace and reconciliation.”

In his Pastoral Address to Annual Convention in January, Bishop Shannon S. Johnston spoke of his hopes for the establishment of an Institute or School for Peace and Reconciliation at Truro Church in Fairfax City. He referred to that possibility as an answer to our call “to be peacemakers and bridge-builders in a divided society and world.”

The Institute would be supported by both the Diocese and the congregation at Truro that is part of the “Anglican Church in North America” (ACNA). That congregation has been leasing the church campus from the Diocese. An initial focus of the Institute would be working together on reconciliation among Christians, Muslims and Jews.

The discussions between leaders of the Diocese and the congregation have been progressing well. They are a follow-up to more than two years of discernment — meetings, discussions, prayers and shared meals between members of the Diocese and the ACNA congregation.

Agreement on a plan for moving forward could be reached in the near future. More details will be shared as they become available.

Bishop Johnston’s full address can be found here.

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5 Comments
  1. Eric Bonetti

    Very glad to see this. My hope, too, is that the role of the Institute will include peacemaking within the clergy, including providing churches, vestries, clergy and lay leaders with training material and resources on Christian strategies/tactics for conflict resolution. It would also be useful if we could train church leaders in strategies to identify and proactively respond to bullying, verbal, spiritual and emotional abuse in the church. My experience is that, all too often, the church only views it as abuse if the situation involves children, drugs, blood, death or sex.

  2. Bill Reeder

    “Agreement on a plan for moving forward could be reached in the near future.”

    Because the Diocese and ACNA parishes have a long proven track record, especially when it comes to working well together.

    So I won’t be holding my breath, but I wish them well.

  3. Betsy Wilkins

    You want to work towards reconciliation, quit using quotes around Anglican Church in North America. It’s like calling them the so-called Angelican Church, etc.

    Feels like a hurried release saying stand by to stand by. And why not a mutual statement?

    This doesn’t exhibit much in the way of intentionality, thoughtfulness, or substance.

    How is this newsworthy, Episcopal Cafe? Where’s the reflection? Parroting a vague and one sided press release…?

    • David Allen

      I think that it is newsworthy considering the history of the parishes in Dio VA and the parishes in ACNA. The fact that they can lay aside an acrimonious history and work together towards a future Turo Institute, is a giant step forward for all the folks involved.

      I think that our readers are interested in such events. We didn’t parrot something, we published it verbatim as the diocese released it, to give it greater circulation. We rarely write & publish original editorials. We are a team of volunteers.

      I’m sure that if you would like to submit a reflection on this news, from your point of view, that our managing editor would be happy to give it consideration.

  4. Eric Bonetti

    I concur. As a church, we truly have lost our way if we assume that peace and reconciliation are not impossible, for that is the core message of the Gospels.

Comments are closed.