Tension cited in removal of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church priest in California

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rev. Brian O'Rourke, who oversaw family ministries, was dismissed from the post Thursday. In an open letter to the congregation, the Rev. James R. Mathes said he had worked for several months “regarding various problems” between the rector, the Rev. Lane Hensley, and O'Rourke.

“This relationship has deteriorated to the point where it can no longer be sustained,” Mathes wrote. “After considerable effort and prayer, I have come to the conclusion that for this reason, it is time to end Brian's ministry at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church effective immediately.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyPastoral Theology

7 Comments
Posted May 11, 2012 at 3:01 pm

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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/42819/



1. A Senior Priest wrote:

With great respect, I just don’t think this ought to be the subject of news reports, and shouldn’t be linked to on an ecclesiastical site. I feel sad for everyone concerned.

May 11, 7:58 pm | [comment link]
2. Timothy Fountain wrote:

Just a technical question: why is the bishop involved in a rector’s selection of assisting clergy?  Is this a mission church?  Have the canons changed as to rector’s authority over assisting staff?

May 11, 8:09 pm | [comment link]
3. Timothy Fountain wrote:

On review, perhaps this has something to do with the priest coming from/going to a different diocese - in that case there is a role for the bishop, of course.  And it might be that the bp. was asked into this by the rector, to try and work things out.  MSM wouldn’t know to ask about that, so those details are not present.

May 11, 8:23 pm | [comment link]
4. Marie Blocher wrote:

The Diocese of Dallas regularly places newly graduated seminarians in parishes and pays their salaries for two years. The parish gains an assistant they might not otherwise be able to afford and the person placed gains the mentoring of a seasoned priest. During that time the person usually becomes an ordained priest.
The person is an employee of the Diocese,
not the parish, so if there were to be a dispute or complaint, the Bishop would be the logical one to resolve it.
At the end of the two years the parish has
the option to either hire the priest directly
or else the priest looks for a job elsewhere.
I suspect there is/was some similar arrangement between St Margaret’s and their diocese.

May 11, 9:50 pm | [comment link]
5. paradoxymoron wrote:

Why don’t they just “live into the tension”?

May 12, 1:42 am | [comment link]
6. SC blu cat lady wrote:

Senior Priest. Agreed, why is this subject of a news report? Truthfully, unless there was some wrong doing on the assistant’s part, why should anyone else need to know what happened at this parish?  Don’t people get let go all the time and yet those firings are not the subject of news report. Is there another story that is not being written about in this report? I don’t get it.

Love it #5 wink

May 12, 9:30 am | [comment link]
7. Statmann wrote:

There may be a story behing the decine in ASA from about 620 in 2002 to avout 460 in 2010.  Also, Plate & Pledge decined from a high of $ 1.7 million in 2005 to $ 1.3 million in 2010.  Statmann

May 12, 4:54 pm | [comment link]


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