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The Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas and the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd issued this statement on August 31, 2013 following the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion in the Masterson case. In Masterson, a San Angelo trial court and the Austin Court of Appeals both found that breakaway parties had no right to take historic Episcopal Church property that they had sworn to protect, just as the Fort Worth trial court found in our diocesan case.

Dear Friends in Christ,

We wanted to let you know that this morning, the Texas Supreme Court issued an opinion that remanded the Good Shepherd case back to trial court. We are disappointed that the Court did not uphold the original summary judgment ruling, but we’re also evaluating our options to determine what our next steps will be.

For now, nothing has changed as far as the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd is concerned. Good Shepherd will continue to be church together with our Lutheran friends and continue in our common mission of spreading the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. As Julian of Norwich reminds us, “All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” We trust the Holy Spirit in all of these matters, knowing that God’s vision for His church far exceeds our own.

When we hear of any further developments in the case, we will let you know. Until then, know that you are being held in thoughts and prayers by friends both around the Diocese and throughout the Episcopal Church.

God’s peace,

The Rt. Rev. Scott Mayer, Bishop
Diocese of Northwest Texas
Lubbock, TX

The Rev. Celia Ellery, Rector
Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
San Angelo, TX

Read the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion

Read a concurring opinion from the Texas Supreme Court 

Read a dissenting opinion from the Texas Supreme Court