Episcopalians take back historic Falls Church
This is an important victory not just for Episcopalians, but for all church goers. It says that an outside group can not infiltrate a church and grab property.
Falls Church News Press: Church Defectors Acted Immorally, Part 3
"In the family.” This was the farewell valediction that the Rev. John Yates, leader of the mass defection from the Falls Church in December 2006, penned to his flock this month, concluding his missive on the U.S. Supreme Court’s final ruling that the property of the historic church belonged not to them, but to the deed-holding Episcopal Diocese.
“In the family.” Odd: not “Yours in Christ,” or “In His Name,” far more common sign-off phrases by religious figures, but “In the family.” ...
... These efforts involved not only a sharp split by their followers in the historic, beneficent relation between a church and its surrounding community, but an even more painful split between congregants, one from another, within a church, and the theft of church property by the initiating faction against their ostensible brethren that they subsequently drove from that property.
As an eyewitness to these developments at and around The Falls Church, and chronicling them in my local newspaper, it was enormously helpful to me to when Jeff Sharlet’s painstakingly well documented book, The Family, The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, published by Harper-Collins, hit the bookshelves in 2008 and went six months on the New York Times best seller list. The fact-filled 454-page volume unlocked the mystery for me about, well, “The Family,” perhaps the same entity that that Rev. Yates apparently swore allegiance to in his letter this month.
Upon reading the book (I’ll never adapt to Kindle, because I wrote copious notes all over this volume, as is my custom), I contacted the author and trained up to New York to meet with him for over two hours at a coffee shop in Brooklyn. Since then, he’s written a sequel, C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy (Little Brown, 2010
The right has done exactly what it accuses the left of doing, infiltrating every aspect of civil society and perverting it to their purposes. The Episcopalian church has won an important victory in beating them back.