News Briefs

December 28 – January 3, 2006

Nigerian Bishop Clarifies Stand on Homosexuality

In their first letters of greeting to the eight Virginia churches who voted themselves out of the Episcopal Church this month, the U.S. and Nigerian heads of the new configuration these churches are now affiliated with jumped immediately on the issue of homosexuality. “Our vote was not an anti-gay vote,” wrote the Rev. Martyn Minns of the Truro Church in Fairfax, now head of the so-called “Convocation of Anglicans in North America” (CANA), last week. On the same note, the Archibishop Peter J. Akinola of Nigeria, who, in an extraordinary move within Anglicanism, has reached outside his assigned jurisdiction to assume control over the total of 21 CANA churches in the U.S., wrote, “Sadly, I have heard that some are suggesting that you are now affiliated with a church that seeks to punish homosexual persons. That is a distortion of our true position.”  The push for the eight churches, including the Falls Church Episcopal, to sever ties with the Episcopal Church followed the consecration of an openly-gay clergyman as a bishop in the Episcopal Church in 2003 and an allowance for churches to bless same-sex unions. On top of that, Archbishop Akinola is described as “a man whose international reputation has largely been built on his tough stance against homosexuality,” according to a lengthy New York Times feature on him published this week. In his letter last week, Akinola stated, “Every person, regardless of their religion or sexual orientation, is made in the image of God, loved by God, and deserving of the utmost respect.” However, he then defended his support for a proposed new law in Nigeria that, according to the Times, would make it a crime for two gay people to even dine together or go to a movie. “We have no desire to see our nation follow the path of license and immorality that we have witnessed in other parts of the world,” Akinola wrote, defending his support for the bill.


Sen.-Elect Webb Hosts Swearing In Party Next Week

Senator-elect Jim Webb of Virginia will be officially sworn in as a U.S. Senator on the floor of the U.S. Senate at noon on Thursday, Jan. 4, and he will welcome supporters and friends at a large, open celebration the night before at the Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington. Similar to the free event to honor his campaign workers and volunteers at Aldo’s Restaurant earlier this month, next Wednesday’s bash will be open to the public from 5 to 7 p.m. It will feature live music by the Locust Mountain Boys Bluegrass Band. Following Thursday’s swearing in ceremony, Webb will also host an open house and reception at his now Senate office on Capitol Hill, starting at 1 p.m. Greeters will meet guests in the courtyard of the Russell Office Building and the reception will be held in Room 432, which will be Webb’s new office digs.


Pedestrian Struck, Killed on Rt. 7 in Bailey’s Crossroads

Fairfax County Police identified Fredis Monjares, 34, no fixed address, as the victim of a fatal collision on Tuesday, Dec. 26, just before 8 p.m. on Rt. 7 at Payne Street. A 34-year-old Arlington area man was driving a 1995 Lexus sedan westbound on Rt. 7 when Monjares attempted to cross the road from north to south and was struck. Monjares was transported to the Inova Fairfax Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Lexus was not hurt. Speed and alcohol do not appear to have been factors for the driver at this time, Fairfax Police report.


Three McLean Area Clerks Caught in Police Sting

Clerks at three McLean area stores were caught by Fairfax County police selling alcohol to underage buyers during a sting operation run Dec. 21. Underage Fairfax County police cadets, dressed in plain clothes, attempted to purchase alcohol at 34 locations in the McLean, Falls Church and Vienna area. Clerks at the Rite Aid, 8224 Old Dominion Dr., Total Wine, 1451-B Chain Bridge Road and the Safeway Food, 3043 Nutley St., were improperly selling alcoholic beverages. Each was issued a summons for violation of the Virginia state code. The sting operation is part of the on-going youth alcohol enforcement campaign during the “Safe December” program of the Fairfax Police.


 100 Expected at F.C. Community Center New Year’s Party

The annual middle schooler party on New Year’s Eve at the Falls Church Community Center will attract about 100 again this year, according to F.C. Recreation and Parks officials. Deadline for registering is Dec. 30, or up until the day of the event for an additional $5. Kids are free if parents agree to chaperone for at least three hours. It will go from 7 p.m. in the Community Center to 1 a.m. Not like the old days when it went all night long! For more information, call (703) 248-5077.