Turmoil in Newport Beach

bp-bruno-rec-la“The people of St. James the Great Church in Newport Beach, California, thought they had their bishop’s long-term support when they moved into the building in October 2013, after the diocese’s long-term property battle with former members who joined the Anglican Church in North America. He was at the ceremony and offered his blessing.

But now they have no building because the Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno signed a deal in May to sell it for $15 million to a luxury housing developer. They feel betrayed, and they are fighting back.

In July church members filed a lengthy complaint, or presentment, against the bishop. It charges Bishop Bruno with 147 violations of church law…”

The Living Church has the latest on St. James, Newport Beach.

Newport Beach Episcopal church to be sold

bp-bruno-rec-la“The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles is nearing the end of negotiations to sell St. James the Great Episcopal Church in Newport Beach to real estate developers.

Bishop J. Jon Bruno announced the sale to congregants Sunday, Diocese spokesman Robert Williams said. The sale of the church could bring in roughly $15 million …

A majority of congregants in 2004 voted to disaffiliate with the Episcopal Church for theological and ideological reasons and later aligned with the Anglican Church.”

– See the full report from The Orange County Register. Earlier related stories.

(Photo: J. J. Bruno, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.)

Anglican TV on St James Newport Beach vs. the Diocese of Los Angeles

Last week, Kevin Kallsen of Anglican TV interviewed Attorney Eric Sohlgren about the continued court case of St James Newport Beach vs. the Diocese of Los Angeles.

Helpful in understanding what’s happening to many churches which have left TEC.

Bishop of Los Angeles ‘caught between a rock and a hard place’

“The Rt. Rev. J. Jon Bruno, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, has landed himself in a difficult spot. As detailed in this earlier post, he entered into a contract in 2015 to sell the property of St. James the Great in Newport Beach to a developer for a price of $15 million, without bothering to inform its parishioners beforehand. When the congregation and its vicar protested, he changed the locks and kicked them out. …”

– A S Haley, ‘The Anglican Curmudgeon” comments on the latest in the saga of the Bishop of Los Angeles and his desire to sell the property of a resistant parish.

(Photo: Bishop J. Jon Bruno of Los Angeles.)

Complicating factors for the TEC Diocese of Los Angeles

bp-bruno-rec-laThe Diocese of Los Angeles’ proposed sale of St. James’ Episcopal Church property in Newport Beach, California is proving more complicated thna expected…

“It turns out that the original developer of the area, Griffith Company, donated in 1945 the land on which the beautiful St. James building was erected, to the Protestant Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles, upon ‘the condition, covenant and restriction’ that –

The property conveyed shall be used for church purposes exclusively and no building other than a church and appurtenances shall be erected, placed or maintained thereon. The foregoing restriction shall be binding upon the [Bishop], his successors…

story from the Anglican Curmudgeon, A.S. Haley.

(Photo: J. J. Bruno, Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles.)

Stories you may have missed — 23 May 2015

Dr Stuart PigginHere are a few stories you may have missed:

Dr Stuart Piggin spoke on revival in rural Australia at a conference at Goulburn Cathedral. (Link to audio.)

Anglican Priests ‘beaten to stupor’ by agents of the state government in Enugu State, Nigeria, over a land dispute.

Canon Phil Ashey of the American Anglican Council remembers growing up at St. James’ Newport Beach in California and reflects on reports the site is to be sold for $15 million.

Christians flee Aleppo in their thousands after fresh fighting in Syria, and Iraq’s Christians wonder where to flee after Islamic State militants take Ramadi city – reports from Barnabas Fund.

Coming to a church meeting near you: Indaba funded from Atlanta, Georgia

ACC JamaicaChris Sugden in Jamaica reports on Day 5 of the Anglican Consultative Council’s meeting:

The Lambeth centre continues to impose its hegemony by introducing into all the central meetings of the Communion, Lambeth, the Primates’ Meeting in Egypt and the ACC meeting in Jamaica, the indaba process. This is designed to maintain matters as they are and avoid all discussion and decision about Anglican identity, membership and morality.  Worse, this process claims to use a deracinated process that those from the Global South are expected to acknowledge as a tribute to their cultural contribution.

– Via Anglican Mainstream.

See also this report on Day 5 by Robert Lundy, Communications Officer for The American Anglican Council:

On a day when the cloud of litigation surrounding The Episcopal Church grows darker, many couldn’t help but notice it even from the sunny shores of Jamaica. However this litigious church tempest seems to have escaped the sight of the 14th meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council and some of the Anglican Communion’s top officials.

Today, a pastor and his wife are being evicted from their home in Colorado Springs. At the same time, the individual members of the vestry of Saint James Newport Beach are being sued by the Diocese of Los Angeles for $500,000 a piece in legal fees for a total of $6 million being sought by the diocese.…

– at The American Anglican Council. (Photo: AAC.)

Rick Warren offers support for ACNA

Common CausePastor and best-selling author Rick Warren has entered the conflict within The Episcopal Church over title to church property, offering his full support to the breakaway congregation of St. James in Newport Beach, Calif., and the third province movement known as the Anglican Church in North America (ACNA). …

“We stand in solidarity with them, and with all orthodox, evangelical Anglicans,” he wrote, and offered the “campus of Saddleback Church to any Anglican congregation who needs a place to meet, or if you want to plant a new congregation in south Orange County.”

– Report from The Living Church.