Our parish began, in 1986, as a church plant of Church of the Apostles in Fairfax. Our original office was in north Manassas while we worshipped in a Manassas school. Then, for four years we met in the school dining room of the Benedictine convent in Bristow. Most ministry took place through a network of home groups before we purchased our current building in December 1993. Most of the initial down payment and all of the subsequent mortgage payments have been made by our current membership. Shortly thereafter, we opened Little Lambs Village Preschool.
The reasons to realign
After a radical shift in core doctrine and pastoral practice by The Episcopal Church (TEC), many people within the Diocese of Virginia were deeply troubled. We believe the Episcopal Church is hurting people who have already been damaged by the culture and has lost its mission focus. TEC is responsible for causing schism in the Anglican communion and we were looking for a way to remain loyal Anglicans. In 2006, the Diocese of Virginia provided congregations a method to leave the Episcopal Church when they approved the use of a specified discernment process, called ‘A Protocol for Departing Congregations.’ This imitative of our old diocese recognized the stress caused by the radical new teachings of TEC and graciously promised a mutually agreed exit provision for parishes who were deeply affected. Our parish faithfully followed this sanctioned process using diocese of Virginia supplied discernment material and hosting presentations from the diocese. In December 2006 we voted to leave TEC; as did ten (10) other Virginia churches.
Sunday May 8th 2016
We welcomed Bishop John Guernsey of the Diocese of the Mid Atlantic for the weekend and including the Sunday morning worship. This was our informal welcome into the Anglican Church of North America through the local diocese. The process was completed at the annual synod in November 2016. We are now part of the world wide Anglican communion, in fellowship with other members of the Anglican Family in Africa, South America, Asia and Europe.
Bishop Given Gaula of Tanzania writes, “God is so good! now the Church of the Word has joined the larger community of true biblical believers, what wonderful news you have brought to me this evening! It indeed an inspirational news”!
What is ACNA?
The Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) was founded during the summer of 2009. About 500 congregations, across the USA and Canada, came together to form an alternative Anglican denomination in North America; thereby keeping relationship with most Anglicans around the world. ACNA’s first archbishop, the Rt. Rev. Robert Duncan, set a goal to plant 1,000 new congregations in a 5 year period. Nearly 500 were achieved, several here in Virginia. Hundreds more are in the pipeline. There are now over 1,100 congregations in 31 Diocese with a Sunday attendance of 100,000 in the USA and Canada. ACNA has a strong missions focus in South America, Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
What is DOMA?
The Diocese of the Mid Atlantic (DOMA) was created in the fall of 2011, after our church had to withdraw from ACNA. DOMA has oversight of 40+ congregations in Virginia, DC, and Maryland. The first bishop of DOMA is the Rt. Rev. John Guernsey (former rector of All Saints Woodbridge.) DOMA’s offices are housed within All Saints Anglican Church’s building in Woodbridge. Church of the Word was formally received into DOMA at the 2016 Synod in November.