The Episcopal News Service reports that an agreement has been reached over the property, assets, and records of a number of parishes that joined the Episcopal Diocese of Chicago after their former diocese, the Diocese of Quincy, left the Episcopal Church for the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA).
A majority of the clergy and members of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy voted to leave The Episcopal Church in November 2008 over issues including the church’s decision to include gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender members more fully in its life and ministry. The remaining members of the continuing Episcopal Diocese of Quincy reunited with the Diocese of Chicago in September 2013 and form its Peoria Deanery.
A suit was filed on behalf of those members in 2013 over the property associated with their congregations.
The Rt Revd Jeffrey D. Lee, Bishop of Chicago, wrote to the Diocese today:
With thanksgiving, I am writing to tell you that we have reached a settlement with the Diocese of Quincy in the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) in our efforts to recover some of the property, assets and records that were part of the former Episcopal Diocese of Quincy.
The congregations of St. James, Griggsville; St. James, Lewistown; the Episcopal Church of St. George, Macomb; and All Saints, Rock Island will directly benefit from the settlement. In addition, other funds recovered in the settlement will be held in the Bishop’s Funds for the benefit of the entire Peoria Deanery and will administered by the bishop’s office with the assistance of the Congregations Commission.
The terms of the settlement are largely confidential, as is often the case when legal proceedings are concluded by agreement. However, my staff and I have communicated with the vestry or bishop’s committee at the congregations that are directly affected to share with them the settlement terms relevant to them and the specific ways in which its arrangements will foster their mission both now and in the future.
The perseverance and courage of the people of the Peoria Deanery during the past eleven years has been remarkable, and I am grateful that this settlement will benefit their participation in God’s mission for many years to come. In addition to the many lay and clergy leaders in that deanery who have helped us arrive at this day, our chancellor emeritus, Richard Hoskins, and Director of Operations Courtney Reid have worked for years to make this settlement possible.
With this settlement, the Diocese of Chicago has just two remaining legal matters with congregations in the ACNA Diocese of Quincy. Those concern the property and assets of both Grace Episcopal Church in Galesburg and Christ Church in Moline, whose Episcopal congregation is now part of All Saints, Rock Island. We hope that these ongoing proceedings will also conclude by bringing us to a place of reconciliation and mutual respect in Christ.
Read more via the Episcopal News Service and the Diocese of Chicago.