VA Anglicans hold fast to historic faith as property tax trial beginsLatest News Monday, April 25th, 2011
Opening Arguments Begin Today in Fairfax County Circuit Court
FAIRFAX, VA. – (April 25) The seven Anglican District of Virginia (ADV) congregations that are parties to the church property case brought by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia will present opening arguments today in the Fairfax County Circuit Court.
The opening arguments in the case fall on Easter Monday and six weeks have been allotted for trial. The current case is again being heard by the Fairfax Court after it was remanded by the Virginia Supreme Court in June. Previously, the congregations had succeeded in their efforts on the Circuit Court level to defend the property that they bought and paid for.
“We remain confident in our legal position and we continue to remain steadfast in our effort to defend the historic Christian faith,” said Jim Oakes, chairman of the Anglican District of Virginia, which is the umbrella organization for the seven Anglican congregations.
“While it’s unfortunate that The Episcopal Church and the Diocese of Virginia fell out of step with much of Christendom by choosing to redefine and reinterpret Scripture, we never wanted to end up in court. We were stunned when The Episcopal Church and the Diocese abruptly cut off amicable negotiations in early 2007. However, we feel we must defend our freedom of religion and the vital ministries that are housed inside our walls. Not only have our congregations purchased and maintained the properties over the years, the names of our trustees appear on the deeds.
“This past Easter Sunday reminds us that the Lord ultimately is in control. Our congregations will continue to pray and trust in the Lord. Regardless of the unfortunate distraction of the litigation, our churches will not compromise on our number one commitment, which is to advance Christ’s kingdom. Our doors remain open wide to all who wish to worship with us,” Oakes concluded.
The Anglican District of Virginia (www.anglicandistrictofvirginia.org) is an association of Anglican congregations in Virginia. Its members are in full communion with constituent members of the Anglican Communion through its affiliation with the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA), a missionary branch of the Church of Nigeria and other Anglican Archbishops. ADV members are a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, a community of 77 million people. ADV is dedicated to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission to make disciples while actively serving in three main capacities: International Ministries, Evangelism, and Strengthening Families and Community. ADV is currently comprised of 32 member congregations and nine mission fellowships.