The Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, bishop for the Diocese of San Joaquin has sent out letters to the clergy, leaders and others in the Diocese following the California Supreme Court ruling on property in the Diocese of Los Angeles. To the members of the diocese he writes:
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.
To all affected persons he writes:
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.
+Jerry A. Lamb
Bishop of San Joaquin