In the Diocese of San Joaquin, letters have been sent to nine parishes in the diocese inviting the leaders of the parishes to arrange the transition of all properties and assets back to the Episcopal Church.
The nine parishes are St. Columba, Fresno; St. Francis, Turlock; St. John’s, Porterville; St. John’s, Stockton; St. Paul’s, Bakersfield; St.Paul’s, Visalia; St. James, Sonora; St. Michael’s, Ridgecrest; Redeemer and Hope, Delano.
Bishop Jerry A. Lamb reflected, “I hope these churches will respond to this invitation, and that we can begin a conversation to move forward with this transition.”
Earlier this year, two landmark decisions were issued by the California Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal that clearly uphold the Episcopal Church and its Dioceses’ property rights. These cases held that a parish church’s disaffiliation with the general church caused parish property to revert to the general church. In other recent activity the Episcopal Church of St. John’s in Petaluma, California was returned to the Diocese of Northern California. St. Paul’s Church in Modesto has entered into agreement to return its property to the Diocese of San Joaquin on July 1, 2009