Bishop Stewart Ruch responds to notice of his ecclesiastical trial

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Dear Brothers and Sisters of the Upper Midwest Diocese,

Today the ACNA Provincial Office announced that a Board of Inquiry found reasonable grounds to take me to an ecclesiastical trial. The charges are based on a presentment circulated by an attendee of one of our diocesan churches, which some of you received in your inbox a few months ago. You can read the Province’s announcement here and the Board of Inquiry’s declaration here.

While this may seem unexpected, the canonical process to bring a bishop to trial is meant to be confidential unless and until a Board of Inquiry determines there are sufficient grounds to send the case to trial. An ecclesiastical trial will provide an opportunity for all the evidence to be considered.While this is difficult news, I am thankful that we are engaged in a canonical process that is moving forward. I am relieved that there will be an occasion to hear all sides and gain some resolution after two years. It is my desire to walk in openness and humility. Please keep me in your prayers!

As I am informed of what to expect in this trial, I will remain in dialogue with the Bishop’s Council, clergy, and leaders and communicate with you as much as possible. Please bring your concerns to your clergy, vestry, or parish councils, who will offer care in every way possible. I am so thankful for your faithfulness in praying for healing for all and for the Lord’s leading during this painful season.

Please pray for everyone involved in these proceedings. And pray that, in the meantime, our diocesan churches receive God’s blessing as they continue to carry out their Gospel work.

Yours in Christ,

+Stewart