Don’t touch that dial: Judge rules that Colorado Church and Episcopal Diocese must go to trial

From the Denver Post:

COLORADO SPRINGS — An El Paso County District judge ruled Tuesday that the Episcopal Diocese of Colorado and officials of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish in Colorado Springs must resolve their $17 million property dispute at trial.

District Judge Larry E. Schwartz concluded that he cannot make a decision based solely on matters of law because “there is virtually no agreement as to the facts.”

In May 2007, the pastor, Don Armstrong, and most voting congregants of Grace Church and St. Stephen’s Parish voted to leave the American Episcopal Church and Denver diocese to join the more conservative Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

Breakaway parishioners filed a lawsuit on April 6, 2007, asking the court to determine ownership of the parish’s property. Episcopal Bishop Rob O’Neil countersued the parish and 18 members to gain possession of the $17 million landmark church.