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Virginia Episcopalians prepare to take back their churches

Virginia Episcopalians prepare to take back their churches

Michelle Boorstein of The Washington Post has the story:

For the past five years, the remaining members of several Episcopal congregations in Northern Virginia have been worshiping in borrowed basements and empty houses while praying to return to the prominent sanctuaries where they married, baptized their children and buried their parents.

Now, after a prolonged and bitter legal battle with former members who broke away and took with them more than $40 million worth of church property, the Episcopal Church and the members who stayed with the denomination are on the verge of taking back their buildings, which include some the faith’s largest, most prominent churches in the region.

After a judge’s ruling last month in favor of the Episcopal Church, settlement talks are underway for a massive property swap that would bring to an end the most expensive litigation — and perhaps the most watched — in Episcopal Church history. While the breakaway congregations still can appeal, both sides said they are trying to work out the details of the property turnover.


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Yours is a good point and fact-checking generally is an issue with the Washington Post. Two years ago, the non-profit at which I work went through a tough time due to the alleged actions of a former employee. The situation was difficult, but made all the more so by inaccurate information in the Post. And I’ve been disappointed that there’s been no follow-up to highlight the positive changes in the organization since then.

At the end of the day, the media needs to understand that there are real people and real lives behind these issues, and when a story is reported incorrectly, real pain can result.

Eric Bonetti


God richly bless these Episcopal parishes as they resume their life in the edifices they (over time) built.

May God, in God’s Time, grant reconciliation w/ those in schism from the Episcopal bishop.

JC Fisher


The Diocese of Virginia is committed to reconciliation and inviting people to come together to worship God together.

A note on Ms. Boorstein’s story: She continues to claim that The Falls Church (Episcopal) congregation worships in a basement, which is wrong, and implies in this article that the congregation at St. Stephen’s, Heathsville, worshiped outside, when indeed they worship in a house that they converted beautifully.

In other words, Ms. Boorstein, who has been covering this story for YEARS, refuses to get her facts correct. Sigh.

Lauren R. Stanley

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