The Advent affirms its willingness and desire to remain as the designated Cathedral of the Diocese, and, as such, acknowledges and affirms its agreement “to proclaim and interpret the gospel of Jesus Christ and to support the ministry” of the Diocese.
The Cathedral Church of the Advent, the Episcopal cathedral in downtown Birmingham, has struck a deal with the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama to change its liturgy and stop withholding funds that could otherwise be shared with the diocese.
The diocese and Advent Cathedral, whose lead priest [Andrew Pearson] resigned in May due to tension with the denomination, issued a joint statement on June 25 saying an agreement for “peaceful relations” has been reached that was the result of three years of discussions.
From the joint statement:
The relationship of the Advent and the Diocese has at times been uneasy. In recent decades, The Episcopal Church has moved toward a more progressive theological understanding, while the Advent has purposefully retained a Protestant, evangelical expression. In these moments of tension, we are called into a purposeful, intentional relationship with each other.
To that end, the Diocese of Alabama, through Bishop Glenda Curry, and the Advent have entered into a Covenant that can be read here.
From the Covenant (PDF):
The Advent affirms its willingness and desire to remain as the designated Cathedral of the Diocese, and, as such, acknowledges and affirms its agreement “to proclaim and interpret the gospel of Jesus Christ and to support the ministry” of the Diocese. Articles of Agreement, Preamble. The Diocese affirms that the Advent “shall not be deprived of any of the rights and privileges afforded a Parish under the Charter and the Canons of the Diocese and of the Episcopal Church.” Id. Accordingly, the Advent and the Bishop hereby affirm the Articles of Agreement entered into as of 19 February 1981 with no changes to the terms of that agreement.
The Bishop continues to expect, as she does with all parishes within the Diocese, that the Advent will adhere to the use of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for its principal worship service. In reliance upon the representations of the Diocese that it will not compel parishes like the Advent to move from or change Rite I, the Advent commits to an orderly transition from its current liturgy to the use of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer for its principal worship service. In addition, the Diocese and the Advent agree that the Advent can use other alternative liturgies approved for use by the General Convention. Like all parishes, permission for use of other alternative liturgies may be requested by the Advent and granted by the Bishop for certain special occasions.
The Advent will continue to financially support the Diocese as the Advent and its parishioners feel so called. In so doing, and beginning with the next annual stewardship campaign, the Advent agrees to remove the “Advent Only” category as an option on its pledge card. The Advent’s lay and ordained leadership also agrees not to overtly or indirectly promote, encourage, or otherwise endorse restricted giving by its parishioners which limit monies going to the general operations of the Diocese. The option of utilizing the Perkins Fund (or other similar mechanism) provided by the Diocese to restrict giving to The Episcopal Church shall continue to be allowed by the Diocese so that the Advent parishioners can elect such restrictions without adversely affecting the monies given to the Diocese, but such decisions by parishioners should not be manipulated or otherwise encouraged by the clergy or other Advent leadership. Further, neither members of the clergy nor the Advent leadership should restrict parishioners’ giving, but will follow any specific directives from a parishioner with regard to any gift or bequest.
There is more in the Covenant.
And there’s also this from the Advent.
Does your diocese have a cathedral? Since when? Is it needed?
Addendum. Interview with the former dean, Andrew Pearson on why he resigned and why he is starting his own ACNA church in Birmingham. He preached his last sermon at the Advent on May 16 and joined the breakaway Anglican Church of North America on May 17.