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BIRMINGHAM, AL: Covenant Allows Diocese and Advent Cathedral to Move Forward

BIRMINGHAM, AL: Covenant Allows Diocese and Advent Cathedral to Move Forward

By David W. Virtue, DD
June 29, 2021

A Covenant has been approved between TEC progressive Alabama Bishop Glenda Curry and theologically conservative Advent Cathedral, allowing the latter to stay in TEC and move forward without further acrimony.

According to the Rev. Canon R. Craig Smalley, Interim Dean and Rector, the Covenant allows "ultimate security" and "makes a way forward together".

"We are given assurance of the ability to call clergy who share our biblical convictions, including our next Dean," said Smalley.

"We are able to develop and support those who are being called to ministry. In all aspects of our ministry going forward, we remain firmly rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Noting "points of difference", Smalley said that as part of the Covenant, we will return to Rite I as found in our Book of Common Prayer and remove the explicit option of "Advent Only" from our pledge cards. "For decades Rite I was the framework for our worship and will provide a solid foundation going forward. The substance and focus of our worship remains. Though we are removing "Advent Only" from our pledge cards, as always, each of us is free to give as we are led by God."

In April, Dean and rector Andrew Pearson resigned over tensions with The Episcopal Church. Pearson said he could no longer serve as the spiritual leader of the Advent.

Former Dean Paul Zahl got into trouble when he left a black flag Black up `too long' as a symbolic move following the approval of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

"I got severe criticism," Zahl said. "I got a tremendous amount of support. It was an important symbolic gesture to make it plain that something very important was at stake."

Advent, with more than 3,600 members, is one of the largest Episcopal churches in the country.

To read the Covenant, click here. https://gmwbtazfg11d2prc2pnthafy-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Final-Draft-Advent-Diocesan-Joint-Statement-and-Covenant.pdf

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