Friday, February 18, 2011

Episcopal Diocese Offers Guidelines to Encourage Parish Property Settlements

From The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh-

Building on two recent amicable agreements that settled parish property disputes, the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh has invited all other local congregations leaving the Episcopal Church to begin conversations aimed at reaching similar negotiated settlements.

In a February 17th letter mailed to the rector, wardens, and vestry of each congregation, Bishop Kenneth L. Price, Jr. of the Episcopal Diocese offered a Pastoral Direction for resolving property issues, including an 8-point overview of what would be involved in those conversations.

The documents were sent to 41 parishes that have not participated in the Episcopal Diocese since October 2008. Copies were sent as a courtesy to the many parishes that have remained active in the Diocese. The bishop’s letter also pointed to consequences required by church law for parishes that keep themselves removed from the Diocese for a prolonged time.

Both the letter and the Pastoral Direction state that while a reconciliation and return are hoped for, where that is not be possible, an amicable resolution of differences can be achieved.

“[We] understand that some from our community feel compelled to disaffiliate from the Episcopal Church and our Diocese,” reads the introduction to the Pastoral Direction. It continues, “We seek to respect those who feel called to leave.”

More here-

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