Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pastoral Letter from Bishop Henry Louttit concerning Christ Church, Savannah
VirtueOnline-News ^ | 1/17/2007 | ishop Henry Louttit

Posted on 01/17/2007 4:52:08 PM PST by sionnsar

The Episcopal Church
The Diocese of Georgia
January 16, 2007

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As many of you know, there have been on-going consultations between the Diocese and the clergy and lay leadership of Christ Church, Savannah. The first indication that many of you had about this was the letter sent out by our Diocesan Chancellor, Mr. James L. Elliott, to the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of Christ Church.

Although there was an expressed mutual desire on the part of both Christ Church and me to resolve our issues in confidence with one another and without the specter of public debate, parts of the letter became the basis of a parish meeting at Christ Church. Our action in sending this letter out to parishioners and to diocesan clergy was in the interest of assuring that the full text be made available for all concerned.

In the absence of a larger context and some background, this letter probably seemed to reflect a radical action taken with a 'zero-tolerance' approach, however this was not the intent. Suffice it to say that our Chancellor's letter represents only part of a process that has being going on for the last few years.

In meetings over the last few years, and more recently, in meetings involving the President of the Standing Committee, the Chancellor, and the Canon to the Ordinary, I have met with the clergy and lay leadership of Christ Church to discuss these issues and their concerns. Our on-going conversation has covered a number of issues, with Christ Church's financial support of the diocese (a canonical requirement of a parish) as only one of them.

The issues have revolved around the question of whether the Rector, Wardens and Vestry of Christ Church desire to remain a part of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America, and therefore, whether they are willing to acknowledge me as their bishop, and whether they can live into their responsibilities under the canons and constitution of the church.

The actions and words of the clergy and lay leadership have indicated to me a desire to leave this part of Christ's Church, but at our most recent meeting, which was subsequent to the publication of the chancellor's letter, they have assured me that, at this time, they intend to be members of this diocese. We will continue to be in dialogue, seeking, with God's help, a way forward for all of us.

I trust that many of you know how willing I am to understand the other side of issues that arise. Many of you also know that it grieves me deeply to take any actions that might bring great sadness or division. Yet, as your bishop, I believe I am doing the right thing. The Standing Committee has been kept fully apprised of the on-going dialogue, has participated in this journey with their prayers and counsel, and is unanimous in their support.

It has been my fervent prayer that we in the Diocese of Georgia be spared the difficulties some other dioceses are going through. I have worked, and will continue to work, to celebrate our diversity. I ask for your continued prayers for me, the clergy and the people Christ Church, Savannah, and the clergy and people of the Diocese of Georgia.


Henry I. Louttit
Bishop of Georgia

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant

1 posted on 01/17/2007 4:52:10 PM PST by sionnsar
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson