Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
For twenty years and more we have watched The Episcopal Church lose its way: straying, at first, from Scripture... to the point of dismissing the Word of God, in some instances, as mere historical documents – of value, perhaps in bygone eras – but no longer applicable to us, to appropriating powers to itself through the General Convention it had never had and, finally, on to unilateral decisions about theology, sexuality, and ordination potentially cutting itself off from the Anglican Communion."
The Primates request, through the Presiding Bishop, that the House of Bishops of The Episcopal Church
We also urge both parties to give assurances that no steps will be taken to alienate property from The Episcopal Church without its consent or to deny the use of that property to those congregations.Did anyone follow this little ditty? I think not. In fact, Mr. Schofield sold St. Dunstan's with the idea that he needed a "legal warchest". When next you see him, ask him where this money is?
"In the end, it is all about freedom."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
"No one is being abandoned. Those at the local level are indeed being included in the decision making process.
I know this time is painful. But please do not assume that anyone is being forgotten. That is not the case.
I commend to you Fr. Rick Cluett, who will be offering pastoral care to all of the reorganizing dioceses, for specific answers to your concerns."
And just as sure as the Son rises this comes from Episcopal Life On-Line:
The Ven. Richard Cluett named to new position to assist reorganizing dioceses
You may read the article here:
As you read the article pay close attention to the job description. Fr. Cluett sounds like a very capable and very thoughtful selection but what is he going to do? Well he is going to help those diocese reorganizing and reconstituting ourselves. That is great but what does it mean? Here are just a few questions for general contemplation:
* What exactly is he going to do? Basic job description. Who drafted this job description and did anyone from any of the diocese he is going to help have any input into the functions?
* Prior to Fr. Cluett's appointment was a plan of action formulated and if so by whom and did any of the diocese have any input into the plan?
* Will the staff, including Fr. Cluett, be compensated by those diocese that he is to help? Will he be paid separately from a national account or will he be paid from the funds allocated by the Executive Council for all of us this year?
* What type of powers does Fr. Cluett have? For example, could he merge all the current diocese reconstituting into a single diocese? Could he blend those four diocese into other existing neighboring diocese? Is he staff to all the bishops of these diocese or are the bishops supporting Fr. Cluett?
* How long is Fr. Cluett's tenure and what are his measures of success? Is he for reconciliation purposes, litigation purposes, organizational purposes, or liturgical purposes?
* Anybody ask the existing diocese what we want/need/ can use? Anybody form an ad hoc committee of all those affected by these machinations for the purpose of continuing those diocese and for the purpose of developing a plan to stave off any more of this nonsense?
* Anybody want to back this stuff up so we can move forward all together?
Thursday, December 4, 2008
In all of the machinations from both our beloved Episcopal Church and from the reasserters, a policy, a manner of approach is coming clear. It appears that we are being abandoned. At a minimum, benign neglect and at worst, abandonment. Now, before everyone goes crazy about this let's look at the facts. First, the reasserter side. In San Joaquin we have a wonderful bishop, Jerry Lamb, who is doing all he can to pull this diocese together after a horrendous first few months. The laity and clergy left behind in the aftermath of the split up of the diocese is suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome brought on by the insensitivity with which Mr. Schofield and ++Venables has treated them. The selling of churches out from underneath parishes, the locking out of the clergy and laity of their own churches, the mean-spirited way in which those that occupy the buildings treat those that have been removed is all well documented. When confronted with these actions, those that have gone with John David are silent. They clearly do not give a damn about the toll in human suffering they have caused. They refuse to answer the human question. Questions about God's love for us and our response. They refuse to answer questions about the ethical and Godly treatment of our fellow LGBT Episcopalians as they continue to heap abuse upon them. The Schofield, Venables, Akinola, Duncan, Iker, Orambi, Wantland, Ackerman, etal group simply believes that "what is a few dead people" along the path to righteousness. Their path is clear, their plan is out in the open and they believe that if they run a few people down in order to get their the sacrifice is well worth it.
I have grown to understand why they cannot deal in human suffering. If they stopped to deal in the toll that they have exacted along the way they might become distracted from their main destiny -- power and prestige, Lord knows they cannot have that!
But what of our friends? What of the Episcopal Church? Where are they? What are they doing to slow down and stop this inane trip to Argentina, Nigeria, Uganda or Australia? Well, it appears they have cooled to the idea that we need help. Let's take a look at but one of our Executive Council's ideas about what is going on:
Father Mark Harris, a member of the Executive Committee has given us this rationale for the split:
"Hostility is a good motivator, but as a sustainable and rational basis for creative new understandings of a faith community it fails miserably."
Explain this to those who lost their church, had it sold out from underneath them. On a global perspective you may indeed be correct but in the microcosm it destroys the lives of those who were in that church.
and then this:
"First most of the fight is irrelevant at best and obscene at worse. Outside a small circle of friends and enemies who give a damn about all this, the world’s issues are of much greater importance, and the churches’ issues much less importance, for this to make any difference in their lives. Even the plan as played out in the forgoing appears as an absurdity and an irrelevance."
Apparently, those of us in those diocese of Pittsburgh, Quincy, Fort Worth and San Joaquin are merely irrelevant -- we are fighting an obscene fight and who is it that doesn't give a damn about us?
"For many people, including my family and most of the people I love, the machinations of the Anglican Communion or its churches, as regards the current possibilities of a split in the Communion, are mildly interesting but of no ultimate importance. They are right."
See, those of us left behind would be more important to Father Harris if we were members of his family? Hey, we are members of your family -- we are Episcopalians Father Harris. I thought that made us members of your family!
"“So what?” Very little will change in what we do or how we proclaim the Gospel because of the plots and plans of those who have left.""
For those of us in San Joaquin very much has changed. Friends have turned into foes. How we look at this world and how we treat each other has been radically altered. Trusted clergy are now suspect. The joyful trips on Sundays are for some, grim reminders of a terrible time. We now ask, as we pass a church, "Is that an Episcopal church or a church that is Southern Cone?"
"We are very proud of who we are and what we have done and our stance on Bishop Robinson, on full inclusion and on women's ordination has put us in an unenviable position apparently."
So are we! But we are also proud of our inclusiveness of our parishes and we miss the multiplicity of voices that have historically echoed in our halls. We want to stay open and positive and working hard or the kingdom of God. But we are slowly drifting, swirling around the drain.
"But when they have finished doing whatever it is that they purport to do, there will still be The Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and churches throughout the world that remain willing to work together as the Anglican Communion we know and to which we belong. "
What about the rest of us? Where will we be? Last year the Executive Council sent a little under $600,000.00 to San Joaquin. This year the Executive Council will send a little over $700,000.00 to San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Quincy, and Pittsburgh. What have they done to stave the tide? Nothing. What have they done to slow the process down? Nothing. What have they done to bring us back into the Episcopal Church? Not much. The presiding Bishop, ++Katherine is concerned. But it appears that as a plan of action abandonment is the best the Executive Council can come up with, after all, we are just some back water places that are irrelevant.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Appeals to popularity suggest that an idea must be true simply because it is widely held. This is a fallacy because popular opinion can be, and quite often is, mistaken. Hindsight makes this clear: there were times when the majority of the population believed that the Earth is the still centre of the universe, and that diseases are caused by evil spirits; neither of these ideas was true, despite its popularity.
Appeal to Authority
An appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true.
Appeals to authority are always deductively fallacious; even a legitimate authority speaking on his area of expertise may affirm a falsehood, so no testimony of any authority is guaranteed to be true.
Both of these arguments are indeed telling but I have a couple more. First, there is the parable of the woman who had committed some grievous sin and was about to be stoned to death. Jesus comes along and says to the assembled men, "Let any man who is without sin cast the first stone." That woman would be alive today were it not for old age that caught up with her. But the most compelling argument I can make against all this numbers nonsense is that of Calvary. When it came time to pony up, when the time was right, God gave us his ONLY (I assume meaning 1) son. And Jesus, deserted by everyone (save his mom), including the Pharisees and the Saduccees and the assembled masses who screamed for crucifixion, knew that it takes only one person to change the world. AND, what was his last action? He took the criminal with him!
Numbers don't mean diddly.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
There is one small problem, however. This same group of people voted to separate themselves from said Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. and affiliate with the Province of the Southern Cone. If this group has decided they do not wish to leave the Episcopal Church, we can celebrate that reconciliation has begun in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. But that leaves one little step in the selection process: the Diocese's choice must be approved by the TEC House of Bishops. This might be difficult because Robert Duncan was recently deposed by that same body.
Yes, we know that Moderator Duncan's deposition is not recognized by the leadership of some churches in the Anglican Communion - and those churches have a very large number of members. However, they have no power to decide who is a bishop in the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. And TEC has no power to select their bishops, either.
Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, another of your flock has gone astray. Are you going to make an announcement similar to the one you issued when John-David Schofield pulled the same maneuver in the San Joaquin Valley of California?
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Commission members would also partner with congregations and other dioceses, provinces and organizations, identify resources and meet the pastoral needs of the marginalized, according to Cindy Smith, president of the diocesan standing committee.
"We look at it as creating a structure that encourages the gathering of information, dialogue and gives a means for making recommendations for us to move forward," said Smith, a parishioner at Grace Church, Bakersfield