By Mary O’KEEFE
The Diocese of Los Angeles will resume ministry at St. Luke’s of the Mountains on Oct. 13 pursuant to a Superior Court order directing transfer of the property, according to a press release from the L.A. Diocese.
St. Luke’s has been embroiled in a legal battle since its split from the L.A. Diocese in 2006 and aligned itself under the jurisdiction of Uganda Anglican Church. On June 9 the Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District Division One ruled that the buildings and property belonged to the diocese and national Episcopal Church. St. Luke’s continued the process of appeal until, on Sept. 17, the California Supreme Court denied the congregation’s request for review therefore upholding the June 9 ruling.
Attorneys were back in court on Wednesday where the judge placed a date of Oct. 12 for St. Luke’s Anglican congregation to vacate the property at 2563 Foothill Blvd.
“It was a mixed situation this morning,” said Father Rob Holman, of St. Luke’s.
Mixed because they were given a date to vacate but there was a caveat that intertwined the fate of St. James in Newport Beach with St. Luke’s.
The Newport church left the L.A. Diocese about five years ago and like St. Luke’s has been battling its way through the court system.
“On Oct. 5 the St. James church will find out if the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to hear their case,” Holman said.
“If they do then Judge [John] Wiley requested that the attorneys [for both sides] conference,” said Eric Sohlgren, St. Luke’s attorney.
At that time it will be left up to the judge whether the St. Luke’s Anglican congregation can have more time to stay at the location.
In the meantime, the L.A. Diocese is working on creating a smooth transition from Anglican back to Episcopal.
“Reconciliation and renewal in Christ continue to be our priorities in this transition, with our baptismal covenant calling us to respect every person’s dignity,” said L.A. Episcopal Bishop J. Jon Bruno in a statement released on Wednesday.
An Episcopal “Service of Reconciliation and Renewal” is scheduled at 10 a.m. on Oct. 18 at St. Luke’s, which is coincidentally the traditional Feast of St. Luke.
“It is fitting that the congregation is named for St. Luke the apostle, a physician skilled in the arts and science of healing. Together we will work to achieve new healing in the life of St. Luke’s,” Bruno added.