February 28, 2023
Our Dear Diocese of Florida,
Since receiving the Court of Review report on February 16, the Standing Committee has been prayerfully seeking a way forward. As complex as the issues would have been surrounding the report itself, the purportedly accidental leak of the report and subsequent media storm have amplified the complexity and fragility of the situation considerably. Many voices from around the Church are involved at this point.
As hard as we are working, we know that our silence likely gives the opposite impression. So with love in our heart for you, we want to let you know where we are right now, as best we can.
Both the Standing Committee and the Rev. Charlie Holt are resolute in the decision to ask for consent to the November 19 election. However, given the circumstances we know we can’t just ask for consent in the usual way. We must find a way to make our case to the Standing Committees and Bishops of the Episcopal Church in a way that is clear, concise, confident, and canonically sound.
They must understand our context and our challenges, and understand why the majority of the Diocese of Florida believes that the Rev. Charlie Holt is the priest God has called to lead us at this fractured time.
We are ever mindful that we must make this request in such a way that will help the Diocese of Florida and the Episcopal Church begin to heal from the conflict of the last several months and move towards the peace that God intends for us.
At this point, we are making good progress. However, any response we release to the Diocese will automatically become part of the wider conversation. Therefore, we have made the decision to release all of the necessary communications together at a date that is surely near, but yet to be determined.
We know that emotions on all sides are raw right now. We are grateful to all of you for your patience and forbearance during this difficult season and for the generous time and support we have received from so many people across the Episcopal Church. We will be in touch again soon as we finalize our plans to begin the consent process.
In the meantime, we implore you to be gentle with one another, and to be careful with the words you use, in any format or context. In this holy and penitential season, let us commit moment by moment to love God and neighbor, sacrificially, in thought, word, and deed.
You are in our prayers and ask that you keep us in yours.
Your Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
The Standing Committee