SAN JOAQUIN: Interloper Bishop Calls Parishes to Return to the Episcopal Church

david at virtueonline.org david at virtueonline.org
Thu Jan 22 22:41:13 EST 2009


SAN JOAQUIN: Interloper Bishop Calls Parishes to Return to the Episcopal Church 
Bishop Lamb Cites California Court Decision

By David W. Virtue 
www.virtueonline.org 
1/16/2009

The fly-in Bishop of San Joaquin, The Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb has sent out a letter inviting the priests and parishes that fled TEC for the Province of the Southern Cone to return to the Episcopal Church.

Clearly energized by a court decision ruling that the diocese and the national church own the properties of parishes in the Diocese of Los Angeles who fled TEC Lamb wrote that the vote to disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church could meet with the same fate as the parishes in Los Angeles.

The California State Supreme Court concluded, "...individual defendants are free to disassociate themselves from  and to affiliate themselves with another religious denomination.... The problem lies in defendants' efforts to take the church property with them. This they may not do."

"The Court's decision in this case is extremely helpful to the Diocese of San Joaquin's position in the present litigation with respect to the former bishop," according to diocesan chancellor Michael Glass, Esq. "It also clarifies, beyond a doubt, the rights of the Diocese regarding parish and mission properties occupied by groups that have disaffiliated from the Episcopal Church."

"It is my sincere desire that the decision of the Supreme Court will prompt groups that have left the Episcopal Church to seriously consider and accept my invitations to conversations of reconciliation, and return to the Episcopal Church," Lamb said.

"There has been enough pain and suffering on all sides of the issue," he wrote. "It is time for us to speak to one another face to face."

An attorney who asked not be named pointed out that "the court decision has no application to the right of a diocese to withdraw from The Episcopal Church. The withdrawal of the diocese also brought the parishes out of The Episcopal Church".

The Diocese of San Joaquin and its Bishop John-David Schofield are now under the ecclesiastical authority of the Province of the Southern Cone.

*****

Letters from Bishop Lamb are below.

The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin 
The Central Third of California 

The Rt. Rev. Jerry A. Lamb, Bishop 
The Rev. Canon Mark H. Hall, Canon to the Ordinary 

January 14, 2009 

Dear People of God, 

I send you greetings during this season after Epiphany, a season that reminds us that we are called to proclaim the Gospel to all the peoples of the world. 

I write to you to invite you into conversations with me regarding your relationship with the Episcopal Church in view of the January 5, 2009 California Supreme Court decision on property. 

I am, of course, not an attorney, but the decision is clear that all property and assets of a parish are held in trust for the wider Episcopal Church, and upon any attempted disaffiliation from the Episcopal Church, such property must be returned to the Episcopal Church and its Diocese. 

There has been enough pain and suffering on all sides of the issue of separation from the Episcopal Church. It is time for us to speak to one another face to face about returning to the fold of the Episcopal Church or setting forth a plan for gracious leave taking. 

I remain ready to speak to clergy, the laity, those in leadership, or congregations. Please be in touch with me. 

In peace, 

+Jerry A. Lamb 
Bishop of San Joaquin Diocesan 
Office: 6702 Inglewood Ave Stockton, CA 95207 

*****

January 14, 2009

Dear Friends,

Enclosed with this letter is a letter I am sending to clergy and congregations that attempted to remove parishes and missions from the Episcopal Church. I am once again inviting people to speak to me about their relationship to the Episcopal Church. 

The decision by the California Supreme Court was very clear, and it may result in some people rethinking their decision to leave the church. 

I urge the laity and clergy of the Episcopal Diocese to engage their friends and acquaintances from the other group in personal conversations, and based on long-standing friendships, move toward healing in the diocese.

Remember, I am ready and more than willing to speak to clergy, the laity, those in leadership, or congregations.

In peace,

+Jerry A. Lamb 
Bishop of San Joaquin 
The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin 




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