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St James allowed back into their building

St James allowed back into their building

To the People of God in the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles:

Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ as we take our Triduum walk together through Gesthemane, to Calvary, and on toward the light of Resurrection.


Below please find a letter from the president of the Standing Committee, the Rev. Abel Lopez, and me to the people of St. James Episcopal Church and the Rev. Canon Cindy Evans Voorhees regarding their application for mission status on a trial basis. It is the result of hard work enabled by many open, carefully discerning minds and hearts. Please keep all involved in your prayers as this new season of worship, ministry, and close collaboration for the glory of God begins.

Canon Voorhees and we have agreed on plans for the first worship service at St. James as it takes on its work as a mission station on a trial basis: Sunday, April 8 (the Second Sunday of Easter) at 10 a.m. at 3209 Via Lido, Newport Beach. I will have the privilege of presiding and preaching. All will be welcome.

As with our Holy Week walk on the way to Easter, today we are taking an important step, but only a step, on a long road of truth-telling and reconciliation. On behalf of the Rt. Rev. Diane Jardine Bruce and the Rev. Canon Melissa McCarthy, I take this opportunity again to commend all our bishops, deacons, laypeople, and priests to the reconciliation process that Canon McCarthy and the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center have devised.

Yours in Christ’s love,


March 29, 2018


Dear Canon Voorhees and Applicant Congregation:

We are writing to inform you that the Standing Committee, affirmed by the Bishop Diocesan, has approved your application for mission station status on a trial basis. Your congregation is invited to resume use of the facilities on Via Lido owned by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. Bishop Taylor hereby appoints you as the bishop’s chaplain to the mission station, serving under the authority of your bishop and rector as specified by the canons, procedures, and customs of our diocese.

Under the provisions of the agreement entitled “Making All Things New,” your congregation will use the facilities of the Redeemer Center for Diocesan Ministries. To provide for collegial coordination of your use for the sake of all and the glory of God, Bishop Taylor will appoint a facilities committee, reporting to him and comprising representatives of the diocese, congregation, and ministries using the Redeemer Center.

Every congregation in the diocese is expected to share fully in the life and ministry of the broader diocesan community. Acknowledging the strain recent events have placed on relationships within the body of Christ, necessitating the current reconciliation process facilitated by the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, it is essential that your congregation meaningfully join the whole diocesan community in this reconciliation process. You can expect that the Special Committee of Convention on the Incorporation of Parishes and the Admission of Missions will weigh this factor carefully in the event that the congregation chooses to apply for mission status.

On a provisional basis, we authorize the use of this name and this name only for the mission station: “St. James Episcopal Church.” In the weeks and months ahead, we invite you and your congregation to a time of prayerful discernment about whether – in view of prior events at the Via Lido property as well as those of 2013-17 – it may be in the interests of the congregation and diocesan community for the bishop to designate a different name.

We look forward to continuing to work with you in this work of restoration, reconciliation, and reimagining.

Together in the service of Christ,

The Right Reverend John Harvey Taylor, Bishop Diocesan


The Reverend Abel Lopez, President, Standing Committee

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Rev. David Justin Lynch

Alleluia! Justice prevails. This has been too long a time in coming. We will remember this congregation by name at our Mass this Sunday.

Rev. David Justin Lynch


Marshall Scott

I do have a similar confusion about this. I don’t see it as “probation” or “punishment;” but I have to wonder what happened (perhaps under the previous Bishop) that the congregation is, as it were, readmitted to Diocesan Convention as a Mission Station. Something administrative happened to change the status of the congregation in the diocese, whether parish or mission before losing the building.

Mary Anne Chesarek

The Standing Committee’s letter sounds less like reconciliation and more like probation. I have followed this story and I cannot understand what the St. James parishioners’ crime was.

Val Hillsdon-Hutton

Thanks be to God. Prayers for this new beginning.

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