Category : TEC Conflicts

(Gafcon) Stories of sacrifice from the USA – How God sustained two faithful churches through tough times

Indeed, in an almost unbelievable twist, the diocese sold the property for a third of the price Good Shepherd had offered to a local Muslim Group! The building, now no longer a place of faithful gospel witness, stands as an ‘Islamic Awareness Centre.’ Tragically, the diocese preferred to sell to an organisation spreading the message of Islam than to a church who had for years preached Jesus and the true biblical gospel.

And so, the Kennedys (who lived in the rectory) were now homeless and the congregation had nowhere to meet. Game over, right?

Wrong! Following their untimely eviction, the congregation was provided with temporary space to worship by a local Baptist Church. And then, in a stunning example of God’s providence, they were later offered a permanent building that had been vacated in a Catholic parish merger. And so, it was settled; 360 Conklin Avenue would become the new home of the Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd.

Read it all.

Posted in Katherine Jefferts Schori, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

(OC Register) TEC Los Angeles Diocese denies family’s request to hold funeral at Newport Beach church in middle of dispute

The daughters of a long-time member of a displaced local congregation say they are disappointed by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles’ decision to reject their request to hold their mother’s funeral service at their former church home.

Nancy Knight, who has been a member of St. James the Great Episcopal since 1956, died of complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease April 7, her daughter Ellen Knight Gordon said Monday. She was 86.

The family told their pastor, the Rev. Cindy Voorhees, that they wanted to honor Knight’s wishes by holding her service at the church, where she had served as a volunteer for about 60 years. Three weeks after they made that request, the family heard from the diocese through an email: “This is not going to work.”

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Posted in Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles

A S Haley on the Bishop Stacy Sauls Lawsuit–Is TEC getting a Taste of Their Own Medicine?

The ever-litigious bunch at 815 Second Avenue, the New York headquarters of ECUSA, may be getting a taste of their own medicine. Or it may just be a case of litigation inculturated beyond the point of no return: the litigators at ECUSA have been sued by the Rt. Rev. Stacy Sauls, one of their own (and a former lawyer in his own right), who worked there as Chief Operating Officer until the Presiding Bishop terminated him last April.

The complaint, unusually filed in Alabama’s Mobile County Circuit Court (see remarks below), makes for an absorbing read (or maybe that’s just a lawyer talking): you may download it here. (A big tip o’ the Rumpolean bowler to The Living Church, which first broke the story.) It names ECUSA and its corporate arm, the DFMS, as defendants, along with 30 unidentified “John Does”, who allegedly participated in some manner in the actions alleged

Read it all and note the download link.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Economics, Politics, - Anglican: Analysis, Anthropology, Economy, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Katherine Jefferts Schori, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market, Law & Legal Issues, Michael Curry, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, Theology

TEC's Bishop Bruno blocks Newport Beach congregation from attending convention

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Parishes, Theology

JB Simmons: The Falls Church Anglican””A Story of Gospel Awakening

It Happened to George Washington’s Church
In 2012, this historic church in Northern Virginia took a stand for their faith and lost everything to the Episcopal Church. After crushing defeats in the courts, the church moved out of the property George Washington had graced centuries before. They walked away from their colonial building and history. They left the soaring sanctuary they built, one that had hosted hundreds (if not thousands) of weddings and baptisms. They left the prayer books, the sound equipment, and the $2.8 million in cash that members had donated to church accounts specifically designated not to go to the Episcopal Church.

Everything exterior about the church had to change””the worship space, the offices, the website, even the name. Now there was the The Falls Church Episcopal at the historic property, and The Falls Church Anglican without a place to call its own.

But the church didn’t fade. They’d simply been pruned of material things. They were ready to grow and thrive as never before, planting new churches and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. God had long prepared The Falls Church Anglican for this journey.
……..
After sending out clergy and parishioners to plant six churches, The Falls Church has grown by over a third in nine years, and the combined average Sunday attendance of The Falls Church and these six church plants is more than double what The Falls Church’s was in 2003.

The Falls Church Anglican has now purchased a new property on a busy highway leading into Washington, D.C. Designs are underway for a sanctuary within the next two years. Many in the congregation look forward to bringing the gospel to a new neighborhood. They’ve taken to heart that biblical faith faces persecution but promises eternal reward, as it always has.

Times of cultural drift and opposition call for renewal and awakening. They call for powerful stories of God’s sovereign work. This is one of those stories. This is the awakening of Washington’s church.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Virginia

A S Haley on the recent developments with the Canonical Charges vs TEC Bp of Los Angeles Jon Bruno

Comes now Bishop Bruno, he of the forkèd tongue, and for a response to the charges files a motion to dismiss the Title IV proceedings against him in their entirety. His reasons stated are twofold:

(1) The complainants violated the confidentiality provisions of Title IV by disclosing the substance of their charges, and of ECUSA’s responses to them; and

(2) [Now get this] The complainants violated Canon IV.19.2 by resorting to a proceeding in the secular civil courts before filing their charges against +Bruno under Title IV.

Note that while +Bruno is technically correct that the earlier stages of the Title IV proceedings against him were confidential, the violation of that confidentiality by the Complainant (i.e., the members of St. James the Great) does not furnish canonical grounds for a dismissal of the charges. Under the Canon he cites (IV.13.9[a]), it is only misconduct “that the Hearing Panel deems to be disruptive, dilatory or otherwise contrary to the integrity of the proceedings” on the part of the Respondent (i.e., Bishop Bruno) or the Church Attorney that can provide grounds for the imposition of sanctions — which, by the way, do not include the dismissal of all charges, as +Bruno requests.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Polity & Canons, Theology

AS Haley-San Joaquin Appeal Rebuffed in Anglican/Episcopal Legal fracas by California Supreme Court

I have held off writing about the case of the Episcopal Church (USA)’s lawsuit against the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin as it was going through its final stages in the California courts. Today I can do so no longer, because today the California Supreme Court slammed the door shut by denying review of the abysmally egregious decision by the Fifth District Court of Appeal that I wrote about in this post, and this one. Naturally, it wrote no opinion justifying its refusal to grant review, but just issued a one-sentence order.

The result is that the Episcopal Church (USA)’s Machiavellian strategy of organizing a minority group that pretends to be the only diocese in the region after one of its former dioceses votes (by an overwhelming majority of laity and clergy) to realign with a more orthodox denomination has succeeded in California, much the same as it did in Pittsburgh. (But not — Deo gratias — in Illinois (Quincy), or [yet] in Fort Worth or in South Carolina [whose highest court has yet to issue its decision, ten months after the oral argument].) So the lawyers for 815 Second Avenue managed to hoodwink the highest judges in both Pennsylvania and California, but not everywhere.

In Pennsylvania, the appellate decisions were unpublished, so no lasting precedent was (thankfully) created….

Read it all and there is more there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

(Touchstone) SM Hutchens–The Mess Amongst Conservative Episcopalians

For more than thirty years now I have been an observer and sometime participant in what I will here call the conservative Episcopalian mess. The departure of more orthodox Episcopalians from an apostatizing mainstream headed by weak and clownish English archbishops and astoundingly aggressive heretics in North America, contained no real surprises, for this is the predictable fruit of religious liberalism hatched upon an ignorant, passive, and venal laity, that we have seen in other major Protestant churches, and from which modern Roman Catholicism, especially under a Nice Pope, is unlikely to be much of a refuge.

What I have found somewhat surprising, I suppose because my knowledge of the ecclesial geography was not very deep early on, was what a hard time conservative Anglicans have had getting their act (literally) together. Now to be sure, my “geographical” knowledge has increased over the years, so that I understand quite well that “conservative” applies to a number of incompatible or barely compatible attitudes….

Read it all.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Church in North America (ACNA), Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Departing Parishes, Theology

[Fr Dale Matson] Contending For The Faith

..The most important thing for us is not what happens but how we respond to what happens. If our legal case is not heard, do we respond with righteous indignation or like our Lord from the cross? Forgive them for they know not what they do. And if they get the property, what will come of it? I sometimes smile when I think about what happened when the Philistines captured the Ark Of The Covenant. The property has been a blessing to us like the Ark was a blessing to Israel. Like the Ark, the property could become a curse to those who may capture it.

The author of the spirit of the ages is Satan who is the ruler of this world and this age. As a church our marching orders remain the same against the spirit of this age. Preach the Good News of Jesus Christ. “O God, from whom all good proceeds: Grant that by your inspiration we may think those things that are right, and by your merciful guiding may do them”. Lord, with Your inspiration, may we help others come into the light of Your Truth. Amen

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

[Diocese of Quincy] Bishop Morales responds to the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court Decision

16 May, AD 2016

To All the Faithful in the Diocese of Quincy,

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court has ruled in our favor in our ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against us by the Episcopal Church. In their unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that our Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of our assets.
……
While all of this is fantastic news and is a further answer to our prayers, it does not mean we are done with legal challenges. The Episcopal Church still has a lawsuit pending against us in Peoria County and another pending against us in Rock Island County. These lawsuits are essentially asking for the courts to award the assets of our individual congregations to the Episcopal Church. These cases have been “stayed” or put on hold pending the decision of the Appellate Court discussed above, but are now likely to become active again in the very near future. While we all hope and pray that the Episcopal Church will cease these attacks upon our Diocese, our Diocese and its attorneys will continue to vigorously defend our rights to proclaim the Gospel without fear and to worship as traditional Anglicans.

Upholding all of the faithful in the Diocese of Quincy in unceasing prayer and all love in Christ Jesus,..

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

Diocese of Quincy Press Release: Appellate Court Unanimously Rejects Episcopal Case

The Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court ruled in favor of the Anglican Diocese of Quincy in their ongoing defense against legal challenges brought against them by the Episcopal Church. In the unanimous decision of May 13th, the Appellate Court for the second time ruled that the Diocese had the ability not only to leave the Episcopal Church, but also to keep all of its assets.

While the Episcopal Church had claimed that prior Court rulings did not encompass “all” of the Diocese’s assets, the trial court of Adams County, Illinois ruled that it had in fact awarded all of the Diocesan assets to the Diocese free of any claim by the Episcopal Church.

The trial court noted that its original decision had been affirmed by the Fourth District Appellate Court and that the Illinois Supreme Court had declined the Episcopal Church’s Petition for Leave to File further appeal. Further, the Appellate Court affirmed the trial court’s sanction against the Episcopal Church, whereby the trial court had ordered the Episcopal Church to pay attorney’s fees for the Diocese.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy

A S Haley–TEC Loses (Again) in Quincy; San Joaquin Seeks Review

Now that the case will return to Adams County (assuming the Church litigators do not waste everyone’s time and money with a request for leave to appeal again to the Illinois Supreme Court), the stay against those actions will be lifted, and they can proceed. However, like the claim to the moneys in the bank, the claims in these suits will not be proceeding in a vacuum. Twice now the Illinois Court of Appeals has held that ECUSA had no enforceable trust interest in property held for parishes. The first of those decisions also dealt with the ineffectiveness of the Dennis Canon to create any such trust under Illinois law. It is likely, therefore, but not certain, that these last few isolated claims will fare the same fate as the others. (No one ever made anything by trying to predict what a particular court will decide to do.)

It is nonetheless deplorable that the new Presiding Bishop of ECUSA sees fit to allow his litigators to continue to waste the Church’s trust funds and pledge income on litigation for purely punitive purposes. One has to wonder, when it comes to going after realigning dioceses and parishes, just who is in charge of ECUSA after all these years. The irony is that a person who acts as his own attorney (or lets his attorney make all the decisions, which comes to the same thing) has, as those of us in the profession happily admit, “a fool for a client.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Katherine Jefferts Schori, Law & Legal Issues, Michael Curry, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Quincy, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin, Theology

TEC Bishop Jon Bruno's hearing date set for June 20

A hearing date of 20 June 2016 has been set for the Bishop of Los Angeles, the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, to answer charges of misconduct brought by St James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach, California. On 6 July 2015 members of the Orange County congregation filed a complaint under Title IV alleging “140 canon violations” by their bishop including: “negligent, grossly negligent, reckless or intentional misrepresentation”, “conduct unbecoming” a bishop, and unlawful sale or conversion of consecrated property.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Pastoral Theology, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Los Angeles, TEC Parishes, Theology

[AS Haley] San Joaquin Diocese Files for Rehearing (I)

Yesterday the attorneys for the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin (of which your Curmudgeon is one) filed a petition with the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Fresno to grant a rehearing (and re-briefing) of the case which that Court decided on April 5, as reported in this earlier post. The link to the Court’s April 5 decision is here, and you may download the petition for rehearing here (a 45-page Adobe Acrobat file; nothing about this case is short and sweet).

Based on what the Court wrote in its decision, the petition recites a number of grounds for granting a rehearing (Petition, pp. 6-7). Let me deal with them one-by-one…

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

[A Haley] San Joaquin: Fifth District Holds that Minority Controls Corp Sole

..The key question in the California case is: which diocese — the Anglican one that withdrew from ECUSA in December 2007, or the newbie Episcopal one that started up on March 29, 2008 — has the legal control of the corporation sole under California law?

The decision by the Court of Appeal does not address this key question. Indeed, it barely mentions the Anglican Diocese, and does not acknowledge its separate existence under California law, let alone its connection to the corporation sole. (The Episcopal plaintiffs made a strategic decision not to name the Anglican Diocese in their lawsuit, and to make the corp sole a plaintiff as though they already controlled it, because they wanted to pretend that they were the “only” diocese in San Joaquin. It looks as though the strategy confused the civil courts — as it was doubtlessly intended to do.)

The case is not over yet — the Anglican parties can ask the Court for a rehearing based on the factual mistakes it made in its opinion, and if the Court refuses to grant that request, they can ask the California Supreme Court to review the decision, which the Court of Appeal ordered be published in the official reports. (The California Supreme Court tends not to review unpublished opinions.) If such a request is filed, the parties will not know the disposition of the case for another 60 to 120 days.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: San Joaquin