by Winston Chua
SAN GABRIEL – With Michael Battle and the members of thechurch vestry still at odds with other members of the vestry and many parishmembers, a well-known arbitrator has stepped in to see what he can do to solvethe dispute at Church of Our Savior.
That man is Bishop J. Jon Bruno. On Tuesday night not anempty seat could be found at one of the church’s largest halls as he spoke ofhis role in this delicate, yet volatile matter. Several parishioners were ableto voice their concerns as well.
The purpose of his presence in the church is “to look at thewhole situation and act as the arbitrator and decide what’s going to happen,” hesaid.
Concerned parishioners of the church set out to discuss twogoals Tuesday. The first was to talk about alleged illegal acts by the vestryand/or the rector. The second was to vote to remove the following vestrymembers: Ed Andersen, Mike Goodrich, Tom Shenk, Harry Baldwin, Faith Sand,Barbara Robertson, Maureen Conn, Dinah Roberts, Craig Watson, Rodney Reynolds,Pat Shirley, Stephen Godwin, Gayle Richardson and Judy Hill.
While discussion did take place, no removal of any vestrymembers took place.
Bruno, since the 15th of September has been atvarious vestry and committee meetings, as well as a Sunday, to learn as much ashe can about the church and what course of action COOS should take as it movesalong. He will continue to make his presence felt. So how long will he bethere?
“For as long as I have to be,” he said. “I know it’s goingto be a minimum of six months that I’m here. And it could be longer.”
Bruno has been the Bishop of the Diocese of Los Angeles for11 years. He was a professional in various fields, including law enforcement,seminary and church administration and has been a pastor for 33 years.
At Tuesday’s meeting, various issues were addressed,including finances, church therapy, transparency and the church’s vettingprocess.
In the event there will be a swift and gracious conclusionto the conflict, the bishop will continue to administer 147 congregations, 44schools and 20 institutions.
“[COOS] is a wonderful congregation. It has a great historyof social justice ministry under Dennis O’Pray,” he said. “And it’s continuingnow at Church of Our Savior Center and at Kid’s Place.”
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