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CENTRAL FLORIDA: Bishop Writes to Fleeing Parish


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Many of you are aware that the clergy, vestry and people of St. John's,
Melbourne have been reexamining their relationship to the Episcopal
Church, and considering the possibility of severing their ties with it,
and with the Diocese of Central Florida, since (at least) the General
Convention of 2003.

Last week the Rector, Fr. John Miller, informed me that all but one of
the clergy, and all but one of the vestry, have decided to join the
Anglican Mission in America. They informed the congregation of this
decision at the Annual Meeting, which began last Sunday afternoon. The
Meeting began between the services on Sunday morning, and then it was
recessed - to be reconvened on this Saturday afternoon, January 31, at 1 PM.

I will be meeting with them at that time, accompanied by Fr. Dabney
Smith, representing the Standing Committee. In a letter I asked Fr.
Miller to read to the congregation last Sunday, I said that I do not
want to argue with anyone who wishes to leave, but I want to present the
position of the Diocese of Central Florida, and my own commitment to
those who decide to stay, and I want to examine with them some of the
options available to them.

I was not planning to announce anything until after that meeting has
taken place, but it appears the secular press has gotten at least some
parts of the story, so I am writing to bring all of you up to date. And
to ask your prayers for all parties concerned.

Warmly in our Lord,

+John W. Howe
Episcopal Bishop of Central Florida

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