STOCKTON, CA: Rector Writes Pastoral Letter to the Congregation of St. John the Evangelist

by Fr. Lee M. Nelson
April 11, 2010

I am saddened to report to you that the Episcopal Church USA and its local affiliates will soon be filing litigation against our parish in an effort to shut down St. John’s and to seize all of our property and our operating funds. Despite our best efforts to reach out to them and to find a resolution, our efforts have been rebuffed and we have been informed that they have no interest in anything other than shutting down our parish, seizing our church property, and confiscating our operating funds.

They have refused to even speak with us about settling our differences, despite two attempts on our part to invite them to meet with us. They intend to use the virtually unlimited resources of the national Episcopal Church to ensure that we are overwhelmed and extinguished into submission. The reason for this action is apparent: We are being punished for remaining faithful to orthodox, Biblical Christianity and traditional Anglicanism.

Some history is essential for you to understand what has occurred and what will likely occur as we move forward. In 2007, our parish and our Diocese, after lengthy and extensive consultation with canonical experts and civil attorneys, with an overwhelming majority withdrew our affiliation with The Episcopal Church USA and realigned ourselves with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone, one of the world’s 38 recognized provinces in the Anglican Communion.

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