A Statement from the Bishop of Georgia

Statement of the Right Reverend Henry I Louttit, Ninth Bishop of Georgia concerning the recent announcement by the present leadership of Christ Church (Episcopal), Savannah of their intention to leave the Episcopal Church:

I have just been informed that the rector and wardens of Christ Church, Savannah have voted to leave the Episcopal Church. It is important to clarify the ecclesiastical structure of our denomination. Parishes in our church are not separate congregations but are integral and constituent parts of a diocese and of the larger church. Should some individuals in a parish decide they can no longer be Episcopalians, that in no way changes the fact that Christ Church is and will remain a parish of the Episcopal Church in this diocese and will continue to occupy its present facilities.

Even though some parishioners of Christ Church have chosen to leave the Episcopal Church, I will work with those who remain to ensure that they will have newly empowered leaders, vestry members and clergy to lead them and carry forward the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church at Christ Church, Savannah. To that end the continuing members of the Parish of Christ Church will meet in St. Paul the Apostle Episcopal Church, 34th & Abercorn, at 5 p.m. Sunday October 7 for the liturgy of Holy Communion and for a time of fellowship.

No matter what path any individual or any group may choose, Christ Church in its present facilities will carry on its portion of the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church here in Savannah and in the broader community and world. Should some decide that they can no longer take part in that mission and ministry, we will wish them well. However, we will continue to do God’s work at Christ Church, a parish of the Diocese of Georgia in the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church has weathered many storms over the last two hundred years and we will weather the present one as well. Please know that I want no one at Christ Church or elsewhere in this diocese to leave this part of God’s church that we call the Episcopal Church. But also know that should anyone choose to leave us, the doors of the Episcopal Church in this diocese will remain open for their return.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes

13 comments on “A Statement from the Bishop of Georgia

  1. Hakkatan says:

    Standard party line. I wonder how many at Christ Church will want to remain within ECUSA — and if they will have the gifts needed to organize a new vestry, etc.

    The odds of there being enough of a “remnant” to do more ministry than holding a regular Sunday service are pretty low.

  2. DRT says:

    It will be entertaining, at the very least, to watch the bishop actually evict the Christ Church parishioners from their church. Lot’s of luck……LOL

  3. R S Bunker says:

    Yes, it is easy to hear the care and compassion in +Louttit’s statement. The way he went on and on about how sad he was that it had come to this, the way he spoke about his love and compassion for those who felt forced leave TEC over it’s break with the faith once delivered. My you can just tell that this is a man of God.

    Oh, wait – sorry I was reading something else….


  4. chips says:

    TEC has sown the wind they shall now reap the whirlwind. Interesting that the Church is worth only 3 million – that amount can be raised it needed.

  5. David+ says:

    Unless TEC changes its position on departing congregations, law suits are unavoidable. At least until TEC runs out of cash to pay the lawyers. Hope that happens real soon!

  6. chips says:

    Although I very much disagree with PTCandy’s point of view – at least he did not allege theft. Mis-apropriation would be the correct claim (repeat only a claim) to make for one taking his view. Now if only our lawyer friend Brian from T19 would stop using theft …..

  7. William#2 says:

    Ptcandy, thats awesome. But what Gospel do you hear? The one that says I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me, or the one that says there are many paths to God and Jesus is but one of them, the one “we” prefer.
    How do you “try to mis-appropriate” property by the way? All the grace and peace sounded great until you threw that zinger in right off the bat.

  8. palagious says:

    I imagine, as elsewhere, that where there is a will to fight for property, that issue will be decided in court. I don’t know of any examples of where congregations have been forcibly evicted if the preponderant group holds the deed. I think it was tried in California but go well for the diocese. I know that those cases have headed to the CA Supreme Court — but the congregations are still there worshiping in their “misappropriated” buildings. I would imagine that the signatures on the deed for Chirst Church, Savannah are not in the name of the diocese of GA. Its an entirely different matter, as in FL, where the parish does not own the deed or the congregation decides to move on of its own accord. Then there is always the “leave the diocese with a big-fat mortgage option” since its “their” property like in CO…each to their own, I suppose.

  9. Pb says:

    Christ Church is located on its original site from 1733 and is 100 years older than the Diocese of Georgia. The church is associated with John Wesley and Whitefield. The present building is on the registry of historical buildings. It has a Revere bell. My guess is that the diocese will get it and not be able to maintain the buildings.

  10. Cennydd says:

    William, “I am the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father but through me.” It means the same now as it meant nearly 2000 year ago, and there is no other. Period! And by the way, we believe as you do…….too bad you can’t accept that others really DO believe what Holy Scripture tells us all, and they’re willing to risk everything for what they believe.

  11. William#2 says:

    PTCANDY, well its nice to hear from you but actually it is a message of exclusion–those that exclude themselves, like those who lead your church by not accepting it as Gospel, and those who don’t, who do accept it, so I don’t see your point at all.
    CENNYDD, its nice to hear from you also, even though your comment doesn’t make sense. Do you “accept that others really DO believe what Holy Scripture tells us all, and they’re willing to risk everything for what they believe?” Some do, and some don’t, right? Or have you been absorbed into the TEC Universalist philosophy that we’re all saved no matter what because God loves us so much? Whats your point?

  12. Dallasite says:

    I think that if Christ Church is truly serious about this it should simply pick up and leave and start with new facilities. I have no idea how big the “remnant” will be at Christ Church, but the Bishop’s responsibility is to minister to those he is obligated to serve, not to those who choose to go elsewhere.

  13. palagious says:

    #14. I’m sure the good people of Christ Church have thought this through over the last couple of years. Read some of their correspondence to the Diocese from their website. I don’t think they are going to abandon their posterity and quite honestly that of the Methodist tradition without their day in court, “The Bishop’s responsibility” not withstanding. Your concern for the wellbeing of the “remnant” is touching though.