Wednesday, December 26, 2007

St. Nicholas, Atwater under siege

The title isn't hype, friends. I described it more mildly when I first posted, precisely because I was furious and didn't want to overstate my case. But John-David has resorted to what can only be described as thuggery. The following was posted in the comments at Fr. Jake's place, here, Wednesday evening. It was written by the Rev. Mark Hall, rector of St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Stockton, CA.

This in an update on St. Nicholas, Atwater. The following e-mail was received on Christmas morning:

Dear Jo and Deacon Buck,
The attached document is the letter notifying Fr. Risard that his
deployment at St. Nicholas is now over. We wish you to know that the
Bishop and the Diocese are fully behind the continuation of your church in
Atwater and will do all that we are able to support you during this

There are many details to take care of, and many questions which you
probably have for the Bishop or me.
The most important Directions from the Bishop to accomplish immediately

Change the exterior locks immediately, including the interior lock to the
priest's offices and any file cabinets.
Retrieve the bank statements of any accounts that Fr. Risard had signature
authority to: the discretionary account, and any other accounts.
Notify me of any minutes from past Bishop's Committee meetings for the
past three months and forward them to me. This is especially important if
there are commitments made to Mr. Michael Glass, an attorney referenced in
the letter of Fr. Risard to the Bishop.

We will assume that the Deacon will be able to lead worship for a short
period of time, especially this next Sunday. Reserved sacrament will be
provided by the Rural Dean, Fr. Ron Parry, or by me if necessary.

Our prayers are with you during this time of transition.

Yours faithfully,
The Rev. Canon Bill Gandenberger

Fr. Fred has removed himself from the church building, but is reorganizing the mission to meet in another location. This will match what is happening in Turlock, Bakersfield, and other places. We who are loyal to the Episcopal Church will continue to support Fr. Fred and his congregation.
Mark Hall 12.27.07 - 1:36 am #


Leslie said...

Oh Kirstin,
This is just awful. How can all of this be happening?
God help us...
Leslie (sat in front of you at St. Nicholas)
St. Francis in Exile

Kirstin said...

Leslie, I don't know. I thought I was still shell-shocked from Sunday.

You have my prayers, and anything else I can do. My e-mail is in my profile.

Strength and courage.

FranIAm said...

This is heartbreaking. I just linked to the St. Nicholas website from a post below. Fr. Fred is still listed as Rector.

The painful irony of the "All are welcome here" words on their site is clear.

My prayers to all.

Paul said...

A friend was asking me why I wanted the loyal Episcopalians to change the locks last week in a pre-emptive act against the former bishop. Here's the answer.

I cannot say more without either startling horses or endangering my own soul.

This--and I woke up to news on the radio that Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in Pakistan.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Oh, this is terrible! You think it can't get worse, but it does.

Nathan Empsall said...

As a parish holds property in trust for the Diocese and the Diocese holds property in trust for the national church, why don't rectors loyal to the Episcopal Church and Anglican rules regarding territorial jurisdiction say no? Perhaps Fr. Risard and loyal vestry members should remain in their building, as it does not belong to the Diocese but to TEC, and refuse to change the locks?

My head hurts as much as my heart. :(

Kirstin said...

So does mine, Nathan.

Thank you, everyone, for caring about this and for helping get the word out. The only way we can stop it is to bring it to light.

eileen said...


I have nothing else to say, because it wouldn't be nice, and my momma said to say nothing at those times.

maah taahng iss beeedng...