Chancellor Update 9-6-2016
Corp Sole Case. We have been making progress with respect to the orderly turnover of properties and assets that were the subject of the Corp Sole case. As you may have read in other Diocesan communications, ECCO has been fully transitioned to the Diocese and looking forward to hosting the upcoming Diocesan Convention. Physical possession of Cathedral will be delivered to the Diocese around the first of October and more information regarding that transition will be disseminated in the coming weeks. We are working with Merrill Lynch to get the endowment and trust funds will be handed over shortly.
With regards to the other 26 or so properties, we are working with our Anglican counterparts to make sure that the transition continues to be orderly and comply with the Bishop, Standing Committee, and Diocesan Council's guidelines and necessary approvals. These guidelines involve allowing where appropriate some of the Anglican congregations to remain at some of these properties for a time certain, provided that they reimburse the Diocese for associated costs, utilities, insurance, etc. The Bishop, Standing Committee and Diocesan Council believe that this is the right pastoral approach as well as being cost effective for the Diocese. As negotiations unfold with these Anglican congregations unfold, Diocesan Council, Standing Committee and the Bishop will approve the specifics of any such arrangements in advance.
Sustainability Plan. Many of you have asked what the "plan" is for the properties coming back to the Diocese via the litigation, especially those returned in connection with the Corp Sole case. For a number of years the Diocese has been working on a sustainability plan that provides for the sale of properties to fund an endowment and retire any debt that Diocese has incurred with The Episcopal Church and most importantly provide resources to support and grow the ministry of the Church in the San Joaquin Valley.
As regularly reported, the formulation of this plan commenced just over five years ago with the Sustainability Committee which formulated the HUB concept and compiled a detailed recommendation in the form of the "Sustainability Plan", which was reviewed in presentations at Deanery meetings in 2014. After the Committee received feedback from the Deaneries, the recommendations were revised and sent to the Bishop, Diocesan Council, and Standing Committee, which has met (in two joint meetings) reviewed and refined the original recommendations with the assistance of our Diocesan Treasurer. In light of the conclusion of the Corp Sole Case, the Diocesan Council and Standing Committee will be sharing their latest work on the Sustainability Plan at the upcoming Diocesan Convention.
Remaining Incorporated Parish Cases. While much progress has occurred in our efforts to recover the assets of the Diocese for the mission and ministry of the Church, more work remains. Specifically, the three remaining incorporated parish cases, St. John's, Porterville, St. Paul's, Visalia, and St. Columba, Fresno. While the Corp Sole case was pending, these cases were stayed, but are now active. The Court in the St. Paul's and St. John's cases has set them for trial (St. John's March 27th and St. Paul's May 19th), but has also ordered that the parties mediate these cases in light of the outcome of the Corp Sole Case prior to those trial dates.
As always, please feel free to call or email me with any questions, concerns, or insights. I can be reached at 415-453-9433 ext. 122 or email me at email@example.com (please note that if you reply to this email I will not receive it directly, so please use firstname.lastname@example.org to insure a speedy response). Thank you!