VA Laity for a Win Win Settlement is reporting that the original submitters of the two resolutions that have all ready been proposed for the Diocese of Virginia Annual Council next week have drafted a proposed substitute resolution that VA Laity calls "quite promising."
The Diocesan Annual Council meets in Reston VA from January 20-22. Two resolutions related to the property litigation were submitted in advance. One called on the Diocese to enter into negotiations with the departing congregations "so that a bilaterally beneficial outcome might be achieved and an increasingly prolonged and mutually destructive process of civil litigation be avoided." (Read the full text here.) The other called on the Bishop to pursue recovery of the disputed property "by all available means.” (Read the full text here.)
In the time-honored Episcopal tradition of finding an approach that everyone can support, those who submitted these mutually-exclusive resolutions have drafted a proposed substitute resolution which turns out to be quite promising. The resolution and background statement read as follows:
PROPOSED SUBSTITUTION FOR R-8 AND R-9
Resolved, That the 216th Annual Council request the members of the Diocese of Virginia, corporately and individually, to commit to praying regularly for God's guidance for the resolution of the property issues in the Diocese that are presently the subject of litigation.
We agree that this matter of property ownership needs to come to a resolution that is according to God's will and that brings him glory. What we may not agree upon is what our expectations of that outcome should be. Therefore, we will lay our differences and our desires before God in the faith that through the Holy Spirit the path of the Diocese in this matter will be his path.
"Negotiation becomes attractive when all parties believe that it is a feasible alternative to achieving their objectives. The same is true, of course, for litigation," Virginia Laity writes their commentary on the proposed substitute resolution. "In the end, there is a better chance that all parties will be satisfied when they negotiate; if they litigate, it is certain that one or all will be unhappy with the outcome. We think it makes sense to give negotiations a try."