The Falls Church Anglican Lost Its Historic Building, But Its New Sanctuary Still Feels Like Coming Home
Seeing my family’s church consecrate a space of its own—years after a denominational split and legal fight—reminded me of God’s providence in where he places us.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
I held back tears as the bishop knocked on the doors of the new sanctuary of the Falls Church Anglican (TCFA) for the first time last Sunday.
“Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lifted up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in,” said The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, quoting Psalm 24 (ESV). The congregation replied, “Who is the King of glory? It is the Lord, strong and mighty, even the Lord, mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.”
The prominent Northern Virginia church, now part of the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), had lost its 250-year-old historic church property after a long, high-profile legal dispute with the Episcopal Church that spanned 2006–2012.
Guernsey, bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-Atlantic, stepped through those doors into the church’s new building, a stripped, white, Gothic-style church, with light pouring through ceiling-high windows on either side.
By the time the service began—the first of two consecration services that would draw 2,000 people total—the sanctuary was packed to standing room only. Even folding chairs placed in the aisles had been filled.
Guernsey and recently installed rector Samuel Ferguson invited the congregation to participate in the blessing of the new space, with special prayers for the musical instruments, communion table, baptismal font, pulpit, and even the sound system. With every step, the congregation prayed responsively and sang in praise to God for bringing them home.
My family started attending TFCA in 2006, when I was in college, and my mom has worked for the church since 2011. I am now a member of a sister Anglican parish in the area, Church of the Ascension, …
February 27, 2020
February 27, 2020