In this Easter season of rebirth and renewal, Truro Anglican Church is pleased to announce a new ministry of peace making and reconciliation called the Truro Institute: A School of Peace and Reconciliation. The Institute represents the continued fulfillment of God’s work at Truro over many decades and is consistent with our congregational history and DNA. It is also the culmination of our outreach to and discussions with the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia with whom we are joining in this exciting initiative. Years after the costly litigation and sometimes on-going animosity with the EDV, we have arrived at a new era of community building and peacemaking.
As I noted in my Pastoral Address at January’s Annual Convention, members of the Diocese have spent the past three years building new ties of trust and friendship with the Truro ACNA congregation, which is leasing the Truro campus from the Diocese. Those efforts have helped to give birth to an Institute for Peace and Reconciliation at Truro. The governing board of this Institute will have equal representation from the Diocese and the Truro ACNA congregation.
For some reason I’ve found the whole sage of Truro parish, Tory Baucum and Shannon Johnston of special interest. Some of that is ancestral: my family made the DC area its home from the turn of the last century to the start of World War II, and I still have family in the general area. But there’s always been something about Shannon Johnston that has gotten under my skin, as I ranted in The Church of the Palm Crosses Becomes the Church of the Double Cross. Evidently he’s living up to his skills with duplicity, now that he has this agreement with Truro’s ACNA parish.
What was the point of secession, of the cost of litigation and for most of the losers relocation, when you’re just going to throw in the towel? And, to get back to the key issue, what’s the purpose of a church whose beliefs are little different from the world around it?
The reality is, as it always is in things Episcopal, that the property is an important part of the pastiche of the spirituality, which is why both sides spent so much time and money fighting over it. “And a Teacher of the Law came up to him, and said: ‘Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.’ ‘Foxes have holes,’ answered Jesus, ‘and wild birds their roosting-places, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.'” (Matthew 8:19-20 TCNT) But Truro has far better…