Canon Lawyer reflects on Accokeek Drama

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Wed May 30 01:14:26 EDT 2001

Canon Lawyer reflects on Accokeek Drama

By Charles Nalls

First, I want to thank all those persons in the Episcopal church and
the wider Anglican Communion who have held us up in prayer.  We felt it
each day, and we ask that you keep the parish on your prayer lists.

Second, some of the news stories that have been floating about are
inaccurate.  There were no "curses and weeping" as reported.  The
bishop's entourage, of whom only 22 were voting members in a parish of
200, muttered a bit, but were generally restrained.  The rest of the
folks were inside at worship in the second of two crowded services.

The only "laying on of hands" was by Dr. Dixon's husband who grabbed
the Junior Warden who was trying to keep order.  This unfortunate
incident will be addressed through appropriate channels.

The parish, as indicated in many letters, is simply trying to be a
faithful, traditional witness in the Diocese of Washington.  It has
duly and lawfully called a rector under Canon III.17.  Dr. Dixon
repeatedly has sought to interfere with that call--a course, if
unchecked, spells the end of independence for ECUSA vestries and
constitutes a new weapon to accelerate the driving of the remaining
traditional Christians from the church.

What is important to note is that there remain godly bishops--
particularly the men who tried to resolve this in New York two weeks
ago and Bp. Iker who has placed these folks under his protection.  Pray
for them as they seek to deal with the issues that are now plainly in
the open despite efforts by the national leadership to claim "all is

Amid all of this I offer a personal observation: all of the anger in
the world, and the accompanying speculation, is not helpful.  The folks
making this stand for the faith are not angry--they are proceeding in
faith and great hope.  They are putting their faith to work and going
forward. Can we be indignant?  To paraphrase St. Jerome, I confess we
can be indignant when faced with such sacrilege.  How we direct that is
what is important for The future of Anglicanism in the United States.

For those of you still in ECUSA laboring under revisionist clergy, get
a copy of the canons (national and diocesan) and your parish by-laws.
As well, the Canon Law Institute has a short guide for vestries in
traditionalist parishes. E-mail your name and address to
info at and we will send you a copy by snail mail. Please
read them closely and be in action for Christ as are the people of
Christ Church, Accokeek.

Again, our thanks for your many messages of support and your unceasing


Mr. Nalls is counsel to the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of Christ
Church, Accokeek, MD. He is a Deacon in the Anglican Province of Christ
the King.

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