7th October, A.D. 2009
A pastoral letter to be read in all the churches on Sunday, October
11th, A.D. 2009 and in Saturday services preceding.
TO ALL THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE:
Beloved in the Lord,
We lost. In human terms we lost. Bishop and Standing Committee,
together with Board of Trustees, thought we understood the document that was
signed on our behalf in 2005 that ended the first phase of the Calvary lawsuit.
But yesterday, the judge found against us on the basis of that document.
The team that has provided extraordinary legal counsel to us, and to
others in similar cases across the country, has issued the following statement:
"We believe the opinion and order is contrary to applicable law, disregards the
agreed assumption of valid withdrawal by the Diocese from TEC, violates the
assurances given us that the issue of the 'true diocese' was not part of this
proceeding and denies us due process of law." Accordingly we reserve all of our
rights to appeal.
We will take a time for further counsel and prayer, seeking God's
guidance on whether to file an appeal. After that, we will, of course, fully
comply with the court's order to facilitate an orderly transfer of DIOCESAN
assets to the Episcopal Church Diocese. We have mostly lived without benefit of
these assets since January. We have demonstrated that we can live without them.
It will be sad not to have the resources left by previous generations to draw
on, but God will be faithful. Two hundred and fifty years ago the first
Anglicans at Fort Pitt had nothing. One hundred and forty five years ago the
Anglicans who first organized our diocese had nothing. God was faithful to them.
He will be faithful to us.
The court's decision has nothing to do with PARISH property, including
the funds held in trust for you. The stipulation of 2005 spelled out a mediated
process for parishes wishing to leave the "diocese." Your bishop, your standing
committee, your diocesan council and your board of trustees will all work with
your parish leadership toward this end. We invite the leadership of the
Episcopal Church Diocese into working with us for the good of all congregations,
both Episcopal Church and Anglican Church congregations.
The gospel for this Sunday is Mark 10:17-31, the rich young man. In the
passage Jesus promises that those who are willing to leave everything to follow
him "will receive back a hundredfold." Jesus is speaking to us and to our
situation. Now is the moment we are called to trust Him at His word. I am
willing. Your leadership is willing. Are you?
Our future is so bright in the Anglican Church in North America:
Converted individuals, in multiplying congregations, fueled by the Holy Spirit.
Do not despair. "He who has called you is faithful, and He will do it." (I
On Friday night November 6th I invite as many of you as can to join
together, physically or by internet or in spirit, in St. Stephen's Church in
Sewickley (beginning at 6 p.m.) to thank God for his goodness to us, to offer up
the immense transition of this last year, and to celebrate the prospect of our
life in our new Anglican Province. The best is still ahead. Our God
You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long
last? Have you left no sense of decency?