Bishop’s Letter Regarding Notice of Order and Sentencing of Deposition

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Dear Members of ECCT’s Clergy & ECCT’s Lay Leaders,

Grace and Peace to you.

I write today to inform you of the deposition (see definition) from ordained ministry of the Rev. Amjad Samuel. Notification of this deposition on the grounds of abandonment will be communicated to the larger church tomorrow, as is required by the Canon IV.14.12(a) of The Episcopal Church (TEC), but I wanted you to hear it directly from me first.

As I shared with you in early May, the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut (ECCT) conducted an independent inquiry and determined that the Rev. Amjad Samuel had abandoned The Episcopal Church according to Canon IV.16.B. I affirmed this determination and, following the process outlined in TEC Canons, notified him of his right to “make a good faith retraction of declarations or denial that he committed acts that constitute abandonment.” During these sixty days, the Rev. Samuel did not provide me with any retraction or denial. Therefore, it was my canonical responsibility to depose the Rev. Samuel from ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church and I did that today (July 10, 2024) at 3 pm in the context of a liturgy at The Commons.

The Title IV website is a resource to help you understand each step in the process if you would like additional information.

It may be helpful to note that this Title IV process for abandonment was a separate proceeding from an earlier Title IV process initiated by disciplinary complaints against the Rev. Samuel. Given that the Title IV canons are applicable only to members of the clergy, the finding of abandonment and resulting deposition renders the earlier Title IV process no longer in order. This does not end the work of healing and reconciling we must do with those who have been harmed. Nor does it end our work to examine the way the Title IV Canons are implemented in our diocese.

This has been a long and difficult experience for many in our diocese, and especially for the people of St. Paul’s, Shelton. The ECCT pastoral team continues to walk with the parish as they form a new vestry and envision a new future. I ask you to join me in praying for them and for all in ECCT who have been impacted by these matters. May we also remember that we follow a God who makes a way when there appears to be no way, and thereby we continue to hold out hope.

Yours in Christ, 

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey W. Mello