[Church of the Word] 9 Nov 2007--Now, almost one year after having left The Episcopal Church (TEC), we look back at our experience and some frequently asked questions regarding our departure.
What was the process which led up to the decision of Church of the Word to withdraw from the Episcopal Church and realign with CANA? Was this an agreed process with the Diocese of Virginia?
Since 2003, conservative churches in Virginia had been in dialogue with Bishop Lee and others in the diocese about their future. The hope was that TEC could be reformed or at least that the diocese of Virginia could be a bastion of gospel values. When it became apparent this would not be the case, 23 or so clergy met with Bishop Lee in September 2005 to ask for a process whereby their congregations could amicably separate from TEC with their properties and be able to continue as Anglicans in some other structure. Bishop Lee agreed to this request and set up an official commission to examine all of the elements of the problem and return with a report to the governing bodies of the diocese. His six member team met for many months and submitted a unanimous report in September 2007 called 'A protocol for departing congregations'. The Protocol was 'received' unanimously by the Executive Board and 'by consensus' by the Standing Committee, without a single negative vote.