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The Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
The Lambeth Conference

A wise Anglican priest once told me that the Anglican Communion is a wide tent and that no one should ever be forced into it or thrown out of it. We are also a liturgical church, and as Anglicans, we pride ourselves on sharing the worship fashioned by the Book of Common Prayer. But living within a communion of churches that greatly vary in their expressions of liturgical worship, often have divergent local cultural influences, or have deep theological and ethical disagreements can be messy. This intricate complexity of our Anglican tradition has again come to the fore this week as the worldwide Anglican/Episcopal bishops gather at Canterbury for their decennial Lambeth Conference.

In late April, I attended a dinner with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, hosted by Virginia Theological Seminary. When queried about the role the so-called “issues in human sexuality” would play in the then-upcoming Lambeth Conference, he went to great lengths to express his wish that the Anglican bishops focus their attention instead on other subjects that the people in our Communion deal with, such as the climate crisis or the decline in church attendance. However, as soon as the official conference study documents – Lambeth Calls – were published, we knew this would not be the case. Instead, a furore arose around the proposed reaffirmation of Lambeth 1998 Resolution 1.10 that rejects homosexual practice as sinful and incompatible with Scripture and prescribes marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Many were baffled by this last-minute change of content and the explosive nature of this proposal. Numerous bishops of the Episcopal Church, led by our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry, wrote public letters decrying this move and affirming the teaching of our Church in which respect for the dignity of every human person is sacrosanct as part of our Baptismal Covenant.

Even before the conference began, the stage was set for a rather tumultuous meeting. It was, in fact, the opening worship service last Sunday that featured the most painful moment of this conference, when some bishops belonging to The Global South Fellowship of Anglican Churches decided not the share the Lord’s Table with other bishops in the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of South Sudan, Justin Badi, argued that ‘We cannot break bread with bishops who betray the Bible,’ meaning those bishops who either self-identify as LGBTQ or have consecrated such persons as bishops in the Church.

And yet, the Lambeth Conference has been a thoroughly joyful occasion too. It is an excellent sign of progress in our church that some 97 women bishops from across the Anglican Communion are in attendance, compared with only 11 in 1998 and 18 in 2008. The role of female episcopacy was powerfully affirmed by the Bishop of Lesotho Vicentia Kgabe. She climbed the historic steps of the Canterbury pulpit and preached the Sunday sermon, the first female preacher in the 155-year history of the Lambeth Conference. Moreover, it is also the first ever gathering of worldwide Anglican bishops attended by six LGBTQ bishops from Canada and the United States (pictured above). Even though the disagreement over homosexuality has overshadowed the media coverage of the conference, all the bishops in attendance have treated each other with great respect and mutual openness and love. Finally, our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was joined by the primates of the Anglican provinces in Scotland, Wales, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand, and some additional 155 bishops and archbishops in signing an episcopal statement affirming and celebrating LGBTQ+ people. 

“God is Love!” they wrote. “This love revealed by Jesus, described in the Scriptures and proclaimed by the Church, is Good News for all – without exception. That is why we believe that LGBT+ people are a precious part of God’s creation – for each of us is ‘fearfully and wonderfully made’ (Psalm 139:14), and all are equally loved. … Together, we will speak healing and hope to our broken world and look forward to the day when all may feel truly welcomed, valued and affirmed.”

The Anglican Communion may be a messy family. But, as the Archbishop of Canterbury stated, “Families live with the mess.” And the good news is that the Holy Spirit thrives and points us toward the Kingdom even in the midst of our mess.

Yours in Christ,
Matthew+
Due to unforeseen circumstances, we regret that the 10:00 a.m. service will not be live streamed this week. We are sorry for any disappointment this may cause but commend the National Cathedral’s live streamed service, which can be found here.

Preaching on Sunday 7th August: The Rev'd. Matthew Dumont-Machowski
This Summer we are running a ‘Realm and membership update’ campaign, with the hopes of collecting information on all current worshippers and members of the parish that is up to date and relevant.

We would love for everyone to fill out THIS FORM for their household, it has room for 2 adults and 3 children, if you have more than 3,
please fill out the child sections of a second form and submit both together, and return it printed and filled in to the office, or digitally filled in (it’s a fillable PDF) to ebangay@thefallschurch.org ASAP but ultimately by September 1st. We will also have copies to pick up at church if you do not have the ability to print or fill in digitally. Please be sure to complete information on your baptism and confirmation, if applicable. The number of delegates representing TFC at Diocesan Convention is determined by our confirmed member total.

As well as information, we would also love to have an up-to-date photo of all members, including and particularly children, a word from Lauren on why this is important:

Updated children's photos are an important part of our safety protocols at The Falls Church. These photos help us have a current picture of your child(ren). Current photos ensure that if a child were to go missing, our security team would have an accurate description of your child(ren). Thank you.

You can email a photo along with the form, or upload one yourself if you have a Realm log in. We will also be hosting a photo booth one Sunday in September to take photos of those who do not have them or who are unable to upload or provide a digital photo.

I am more than happy to help anyone who needs it, via email, phone call, video call or even a visit to the office, please just let me know.

Thank you in advance for your help,
Ellie and the staff of The Falls Church
Take a Tour of The History Room and Church Yard led by Docent Joe Ewbank
Sunday August 7th, after the 10:00 a.m. service, come to the History Room (next door to the Parlor) after you've had a chance to stop by coffee hour.
Registration is open for our annual parish retreat at Shrine Mont,
October 7-9, 2022.

To register, sign up via Realm, or by downloading and returning this completed form, along with a deposit check for $100.
More details are available here and if you have any questions please reach out to Robin Gardner at shrinemont@thefallschurch.org
Limited financial assistance is available this year, so don't hesitate to contact Father Matthew: mmachowski@thefallschurch.org for details.

If you have not yet registered or are unable to register at this time for whatever reason but intend to come, please let us know with a quick email to shrinemont@thefallschurch.org so we can submit our numbers to Shrine Mont, and you can register when you are able.
Ways to Serve
Use the SignUpGenius to learn more and sign up!
TFC Week-at-a-Glance
For activities August 7 - 14, click here
Parish Prayer List
Please use the Prayer List in your prayers for each other and the world. 

Praying for each other and the needs of the world is a powerful way to love our neighbors as ourselves! THIS WEEK’S PRAYER LIST
Ways to Give
Please mail your check to:
115 E. Fairfax Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
Donate safely and securely through our website. 
Text “TFCE” and the amount to 73256. 

If you have questions about Realm or eGiving, please contact
Are you shopping more online these days? If you’re buying more items from Amazon, please consider adding The Falls Church Episcopal to your AmazonSmile account. With every purchase you make, the church earns a small percentage. Simply click here to
add us to your account!