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Midwest Conservative Journal ^ | 12/27/2006 | Christopher Johnson

Posted on 12/27/2006 4:36:33 PM PST by sionnsar

And so it begins.  Christ Church of Savannah, the oldest parish in the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia(two of its rectors were John Wesley and George Whitefield) and a member of the Anglican Communion Network, recently received the following letter from the Diocese:

This follows our meeting of November 7, 2006. You have asked Bishop Louttit and the Diocese of Georgia for time and continued accommodation in making a proportionate financial contribution to the program and administrative costs of the Diocese as required of all parishes by the canons of this diocese. Specifically, you have asked that you be given until Lambeth 2008 after which time you feel you will be able to decide whether you can remain faithful to the Episcopal Church.

After much thought, prayer and consultation with the leadership of the Diocese, your Bishop has concluded that the Diocese cannot allow this situation to continue for as long as you have asked. Bishop Louttit is concerned that Lambeth 2008 may not even take place and it is certainly not clear that our Presiding Bishop will even be invited to attend. In addition, it is impossible to predict what action if any might come from that meeting should it take place.

However, the Diocese is willing to allow you until June 30, 2007 for you to choose your path so long as we agree on certain conditions in exchange for this continued accommodation. Those conditions are as follows.

First, Christ Church must make a financial contribution to the Diocese of $60,000.00 on or before December 31, 2006. This amount is only 40% of the “asking” requested of Christ Church by the Diocese for 2006. These funds will be applied directly to the following programs:

1. One-third to support Honey Creek Conference center;
2. One-third to support college campus ministries; and
3. One-third to support church starts in the Diocese.
Second, Christ Church must make a financial contribution to the Diocese of $30,000.00
in six (6) monthly installments of $5,000.00 from January to June 2007.
These funds would be applied directly to the programs set forth above in the same proportion.

Third, Christ Church, through its Rector, Wardens and Vestry must acknowledge that it is bound by the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church and of the Diocese of Georgia. Specifically, you must agree that all church property, both real and personal, of every kind and type and all of the signs and symbols of the church are and remain the property of the Diocese of Georgia and the Episcopal Church.

Fourth, you must agree that you may only spend church funds in the ordinary course of the operation of the church and that no funds will be wasted, diverted to others or otherwise squandered. In this connection, diocesan representatives must be given immediate access to all financial records of Christ Church and must also be given regular access to those records in the future.

Fifth, should you decide to remain faithful to the Episcopal Church by June 30, 2007, Christ Church must make an unrestricted $30,000.00 contribution in six (6) monthly installments of $5,000.00 from July to December, 2007, as well as an unrestricted proportionate financial contribution to the program and administrative costs of the Diocese for 2008.

Sixth, should you decide you cannot stay in the Episcopal Church, you must immediately relinquish to the Diocese all property held by Christ Church so that the Diocese may continue its ministry and mission at Christ Church with those remaining faithful to the Episcopal Church.

Should you accept this proposal, I will prepare a memorandum of agreement. Should you not accept this proposal, we will make arrangements for your peaceful and orderly withdrawal from the Episcopal Church. This would include, at a minimum

1. Renunciation of holy orders by all ordained clergy leaving the Episcopal Church;
2. Vacation of the church premises by all who cannot remain faithful to the Episcopal Church;
3. Relinquishing to the Diocese all bank accounts, financial records and books and all other property of the church including all signs and symbols of the church.

The Diocese of Georgia will then carry on the ministry and mission of the Episcopal Church with those parishioners at Christ Church wishing to remain faithful to the Episcopal Church.

Please let me have your response by December 8, 2006.


James L. Elliott
Chancellor, Diocese of Georgia

120 large, huh?  Georgia's consigliere is aiming low.  Needless to say, Christ Church was taken aback considering that it was still an Episcopal church and had no plans to stop being one.

As to your demand that Christ Church increase its 2006 Diocesan offering to $60,000, we are financially unable to comply at this time. This figure constitutes 250% of the amount budgeted at the beginning of this year for the contribution. Christ Church, like the Diocese, has suffered significant reductions in contributions as a result of the actions of the national church. Consequently, we have been forced to cut back on our Christian education, outreach and other programs. We simply do not have any more money to give the Diocese at this time.

Touching on the other demand made in your letter, viz., that the Rector, Wardens and Vestry make various representations and undertakings as to what will happen should it be determined that Christ Church “cannot remain faithful to the Episcopal Church”, I must observe that neither Christ Church nor any of its leaders have been unfaithful to the Episcopal Church, either by act or by omission, nor are there any plans to do so. It is not unfaithful for Christ Church, as a member parish of this diocese and of the Episcopal Church, to defend the authority of Holy Scripture and seek to preserve “the faith once delivered”. We hope and pray that those in authority will recognize the error into which they are leading God’s people, and turn from this path. Unless and until the Episcopal Church falls irrevocably into apostasy we will not give up this hope. It may seem easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for the Episcopal Church to remain faithful to the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and to “the historic Faith and Order as set forth in the Book of Common Prayer,” but our Lord tells us that although “[w]ith man this is impossible, … with God all things are possible.”

Let's see.  Christ Church must fork over to the Diocese 250% more than it budgeted.  It isn't allowed to send any money to the Network and diocesan representatives must have access to Christ Church's financial records to make sure that it doesn't.  And if it doesn't meet these conditions, the Diocese will no doubt decide that Christ Church doesn't want to be an Episcopal Church anymore and will seize control of its buildings and grounds.

The Episcopal Church.  The mitered Mafia.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant; Other non-Christian

1 posted on 12/27/2006 4:36:35 PM PST by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; piperpilot; ex-Texan; ableLight; rogue yam; neodad; Tribemike; rabscuttle385; ...
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2 posted on 12/27/2006 4:37:25 PM PST by sionnsar (|Iran Azadi| 5yst3m 0wn3d - it's N0t Y0ur5 (SONY) | UN: Useless Nations)
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To: sionnsar
No parish that is leaving, or contemplating doing so, has yet responded to threats like this with what I would call the "scorched earth" response. To witr, a two pronged strategy..

1. Take all of the cash presently in the parish accounts and by a unanimous vote of the vestry, donate it to any suitable Anglican charity that meets with everyone's approval. 2. Assume, hypothetically, that the parish ground and strctures are worth $2 million, and are unencumberbered by a loan. ( which would make them most attractive to the diocese and the national church. Well, the parish should take a 50% ($ 1 million) mortgage, non recourse to the vestry, and donate the sum to the same, or other charities...and THEN mail the bishop the keys..

3 posted on 12/27/2006 5:18:25 PM PST by ken5050
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To: ken5050; sionnsar
The letter smacks of extortion, of fear, and of desperation on the part of the Diocese. Perhaps they are scared now that large colonial era churches in Northern Virginia have already seceded from TEC.

TEC's leadership is disintegrating. The end is near for them, and they know it.

4 posted on 12/27/2006 6:06:10 PM PST by rabscuttle385 (Sic Semper Tyrannis * Allen for U.S. Senate in '08)
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