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The Very Revd Andrew Pearson, Dean and Rector of the Cathedral Church of the Advent in Birmingham, Alabama has resigned. The large, downtown parish has long been a bulwark against an increasing departure from biblical standards within the Episcopal Church, USA.

Pearson, whose predecessors included Frank Limehouse and Paul Zahl, bowed out after a 10 year tenure filled with theological conflict between the parish, diocese, and national church.

A letter outlining the news of Pearson’s departure seems to indicate that there may be a shift in position by the laity of the parish in dealing with the conflict.

The letter signed by the Senior and Junior Wardens of the church said:

“Although the Advent has its own tension with the Episcopal Church, we are hopeful that the new leadership of Bishop Glenda Curry has provided an opportunity to build a foundation for a continued and generational peace between the Advent and the Diocese. Accordingly, the Vestry of the Advent appointed a team to talk with Bishop Curry to find a better, amicable path forward while protecting the essential attributes of the Advent. During these discussions, the Bishop has affirmed the Advent’s ability to express its theology and its ability to call, develop, and maintain clergy who are committed to the Advent’s theological expression. This work is still ongoing, but we are hopeful that these efforts will ultimately be fruitful and will provide a clear pathway for the Advent to continue its gospel ministry with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ as the Cathedral of the Diocese of Alabama. We look forward to sharing this work with you when we are able.”

Zahl, author of The Protestant Face of Anglicanism, left the church to become Dean President of Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, Pennsylvania.

Pearson has not announced his future plans but has been at the forefront of establishing the Center for Reformation Anglicanism. His last Sunday at the Cathedral Church of the Advent will be 16 May.

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