We received word today that the United States Supreme Court has denied our church's petition for certiorari and declined to hear our case. This means that the long legal process in which our church has been involved since we were sued by The Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia in 2007 has come to its end.
We have pursued this legal process out of the conviction that it is one of the ministries that God has entrusted to our church and out of our desire to be faithful to God's calling to see it through to the end. We are grateful that our nation's civil justice system allows us this recourse and we thank the Supreme Court for its consideration of our petition.
We will keep praying for the many churches and dioceses that remain embroiled in lawsuits over their property with The Episcopal Church or other denominations. We will continue to pray for clarification of this area of law, which has become increasing convoluted and confusing for the lower courts since the Supreme Court last addressed it in 1979.
Although we hoped and prayed for a different outcome, we know that God is good, loving, and faithful. We have seen this on vibrant display in so many ways in our life together during these years, and we will continue to trust that He has even better things for us. The legal process may be finished, but in the end only God's judgment is final and only God's judgment matters. Our prayer has always been that God would be pleased with us for fighting the good fight, finishing the race, and keeping the faith. (2 Tim. 4:7)
We move forward into this next season in our life together with great excitement and anticipation-and without regret. By God's grace and fully relying on His good providence, we'll energetically pursue all of the other ministries that God has entrusted to our church:
* We will continue to faithfully preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen again, "the power of God and the wisdom of God." (1 Cor. 1:23-25)
* We will continue to share God's love with our community and with the world.
* We will continue to plant daughter churches in our communities and beyond.
* We will continue with our ministries of worship, outreach, discipleship, youth ministry, healing prayer, and so many others.
* We will re-double our efforts to pray and pursue a new church home, trusting that God's good plans for us are exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think.
May God be glorified in all these efforts.
In the family,
John Yates, Rector
Whit Jordan, Senior Warden
Kristen Short, Junior Warden