A not-so-warm welcome for reporters

ecwugifIf you are a steady consumer of Anglican Civil War coverage, you probably turned to this morning's Washington, D.C., newspapers with a sense of anticipation -- knowing that members in some of America's most prosperous and historic Episcopal parishes started voting Sunday (emphasis on the word "started") on proposals to exit the Diocese of Virginia and the progressive national church. You were, I imagine, looking for the latest story by veteran Godbeat reporter Julia Duin in The Washington Times. Or you were looking for another Associated Press report in The Washington Post (cue: rim shot). Or perhaps you've been scanning the usual alternative, non-establishment websites -- like this, this or this.

But there really isn't much out there to read at the moment, is there?

Do you think this lack of news might have something to do with this remarkable document [PDF] that has been posted at The Falls Church's website? Check this out:

Media Advisory

Protocol for Media Interactions Sunday, December 10 at Truro Church; Prohibitions at The Falls Church

December 8, 2006

Fairfax and Falls Church, VA -- Representatives of Truro Church in Fairfax are planning on coordinating journalists reporting on its upcoming parish vote on its relationship with The Episcopal Church. Voting begins this Sunday, Dec. 10. The ground rules are spelled out below.

Please note that leaders of The Falls Church, which also begins voting Dec. 10, will prohibit any journalist who is not a regular worshiper from filming, researching or seeking to interview clergy or congregants about their votes on church property or inside a church facility. Journalists seeking to interview clergy or congregants off church property are asked to respect their individual wishes about dealings with the media.

Rules at Truro Church:

1. Journalists should register their intent by emailing or calling, by 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8: a. Jim Robb, jim@wslogic.com or 202-285-4390; and b. Jim Pierobon, jim.pierobon@yahoo.com or 301-520-1758

2. Interviews with Truro parishioners will need to occur between the church's parking lot and main sanctuary and parish office. Journalists are encouraged to find Jim Robb, who will answer questions and direct you to church members for interviews. Camera crews will need to rely on exterior shots, since room in Truro's facilities is extremely tight. Some limited filming may be allowed at the back of the sanctuary during services.

Truro is a block west of the intersection of Route 123 / Chain Bridge Road and Main Street in downtown Fairfax. The address: 10520 Main Street, Fairfax, VA 22030. Truro's services start at 8:30 a.m. and 11:15 a.m.

That memo kind of makes you feel warm all over just reading it, doesn't it? Are they planning to frisk newcomers, looking for spiral notepads?

Stay tuned.

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