Around F.C., News

News Briefs: October 13th – 19th

The Falls Church to Host Gay Bishop Robinson

The Falls Church Episcopal in downtown Falls Church announced this week a forum entitled, “Love, Despite; A Conversation with Bishop Gene Robinson,” on Saturday, October 29, 2022, from 9:00 a.m. — 12:00 p.m. in the Historic Church on S. Washington and E. Fairfax Streets. The event is free and open to the public though reservations are highly recommended.
Bishop Robinson will also preach the following day, Sunday, October 30, at both the 9:00 a.m. and the 11:15 a.m. services of The Falls Church. The public is invited to attend worship as well.
Elected and ordained bishop in 2003, The Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson, Retired Bishop of New Hampshire, was the first partnered, openly LGBTQ bishop in The Episcopal Church as well as the Anglican Communion.
His election and the subsequent approval by a necessary majority of diocesan authorities within The Episcopal Church caused shockwaves within the Anglican Communion and began a movement of some parishioners, including at The Falls Church, to disaffiliate from The Episcopal Church over issues of sexuality.
Beginning with his ordination, at which he wore a bullet-proof vest to shield himself from assassination threats from theological conservatives, Robinson has served as a symbol of progressive Christianity and expanded inclusion of LGBTQ persons of faith within The Episcopal Church. After retirement from the episcopacy in 2013, Robinson served as a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and Vice President and Senior Pastor of the Chautauqua Institution.
In 2006, a majority of The Falls Church congregation voted to leave The Episcopal Church in response to Robinson’s ordination, beginning a legal battle with The Diocese of Virginia and The Episcopal Church that ended in 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, thus allowing an earlier Virginia Court decision to stand that sided with The Diocese of Virginia.
Fewer than forty Episcopalians, who had been invited to worship at the nearby F.C. Presbyterian Church, returned to The Falls Church campus, and the congregation has grown exponentially in the intervening years, following its launch of a mission of radical welcome and ministry to those on the margins.
In 2021 The Falls Church called the first gay, married rector in its nearly three-hundred-year history and has identified ministry to and with the LGBTQ faithful as one of the parish values.

Rt. 7 Bus Rapid Transit Plans Presented Here

Route 7 is the second busiest corridor in Northern Virginia, and ridership remained strong during the Covid-19 pandemic due to the essential workers who rely on this service. The long awaited Northern Virginia Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) plan would upgrade transit quality through the 14-mile corridor, connect major job centers, connect one Metrorail station and one BRT service, serve more than 7,500 transit dependent riders weekly and increase pedestrian access to transit.
The first in an ambitious plan to disseminate information about this project and the benefits of BRT, was held at the Meridian High School this Tuesday that included participation by Falls Church City Council member David Snyder and Deputy City Manager Cindy Mester.
Mester and Snyder told the News-Press the major issue with the plan involves some relatively narrow bottlenecks and turn lanes, including some along Route 7 in Falls Church, and the delays in progress overall.

Beyer to Counter GOP Medicare, Social Security Cuts

U.S. Rep. Don Beyer of Falls Church, chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, released the following statement after House Republicans made clear their intentions to leverage future debt-limit negotiations to force cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
“While Democrats are passing legislation to cut costs for households, expand access to health insurance and spur job growth, Republicans have made clear their plans to gut Social Security and Medicare.
“House Republicans announced their intentions to hold the debt limit hostage in order to slash vital programs as part of a political game that would be economically catastrophic for seniors, families and our entire economy. Past debt-limit brinksmanship resulted in the first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating and cost the country billions of dollars in lost economic activity, even though a default was ultimately avoided. This announcement comes after a previous proposal from the leader of the Senate Republicans’ campaign committee to sunset Social Security, Medicare and veterans’ benefits in five years.
“Republicans are once again getting in line to raise costs for low- and middle-income workers and families while offering giveaways to the wealthiest and corporate interests. Not only are these economically disastrous—resulting in fewer jobs, slower economic growth, and higher household costs—they are morally reprehensible.”