Letter from the Rt Revd Frank Allan, Bishop of Atlanta, to the members of that diocese


25 February 2000


Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I have been greatly distressed and grieved by the events of the last week that have resulted in the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Atlanta withdrawing its consent to the ordination of the Rev. Robert Trache as the ninth bishop of the diocese of Atlanta. The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold, the one who must take order for the ordination of a bishop, Robert Johnson of Western North Carolina, the chief consecrating bishop, and I fully support this decision.

I am grateful for the long, hard and prayerful work of our Standing Committee that, even though it was the last hour, had the courage to do what they firmly felt was the right thing. Theirs was not an easy decision, and it was not without tears.

It had been my hope to end my tenure as your bishop on a note of celebration instead of grief and disappointment. There is no doubt in my mind that it is appropriate for me to move on, but I will be staying on a week longer than I had planned to meet with the Standing Committee and Executive Board of the diocese to chart a course for the interim time.

I am inviting any clergy and lay people of the Diocese who wish to do so to come together on Saturday, March 4 at the Cathedral from 10 A.M. to 12 P.M. to talk about the events of the past and plans for the future, and to celebrate the Eucharist, the sacrament of unity.

I am deeply sorry for what both the Traches and our diocese are going through at this time, but I also know that this is a strong and resilient diocese and that, in spite of all, God reigns and Grace will prevail.

The words of Julian of Norwich have brought me through some difficult times, and I hear them even now: "And all shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well."

Grace and Peace to you in Jesus Christ.

  +Frank Allan,
  Bishop of Atlanta