Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
We have had 50 years of playing the "peacemaker" with a bunch of ninnies that can't think here way of a wet paper bag but can tie up the entire communion with absolute nonsense. We cannot seem to do what is right; accept LGBT persons as full participants in the life of the Episcopal Church; we do not or cannot accept those who have cultures different than ours participate fully in the life of the Episcopal Church; we cannot even seem to build ramps and access to altar rails to allow handicapped persons to fully participate in the life of the church and so we are dying.
You say, "But look at the court cases, we are winning!" Well if you call winning getting a bunch or property back then yep I guess we are. But where is the strategy to bring these parishes back into the Episcopal fold? No one is thinking very creatively. What we have are parishes residing in the same city in the same neighborhoods and neither group can make it on their own so what do we do? We simply do nothing. That is exactly what we have been doing since all this nonsense began way back when. Our strategy is we fight like hell and then we do nothing. Then we say, but look at us we are winning. We are good enough just the way we are so why change? Why move in any direction when we can stand here and look pretty.
Let me put this in very crass, military terms. We are caught in a withering crossfire. The "conealonialists" along with the Moderator and Big Pete are laying down a series of killing crosses that is destroying the Episcopal Church. What have decided to do? Absolutely NOTHING! We are sitting right where we were caught and have been stunned into doing nothing. Now, I do not know about anyone else but sitting in the middle of this kind of firefight leads to but one thing, certain death. We either move or die. Yep, any move is going to cost us dearly, but not moving is going to cost more. So let's get up and get going.
Let me put it into terms the vast majority of those who wear turned around collars can understand. We have buried our two talents. The Master is coming and I do not know about you but I already understand this sermon and I do not want to be around when the Master comes if all we are going to do is say, "But Master, I knew your were a hard taskmaster and I did not want to risk losing my two talents and your wrath."
So, for today two quick thoughts. First, one does not grow if one does not accept people where they are. Let's make a stand and let everyone know that we are not about kicking people out of the church we are about bringing people into the church. We want everyone to know that everyone is warmly and actively accepted into the Episcopal Church. That means the handicapped, those with different languages and cultures are welcome and those LGBT persons have a warm and abiding home with the Episcopal Church. Second, lets figure out a strategy that will regroup all our parishes so that when the time comes we don't kill those parishes that have stayed with us all along just so we can "welcome back" those who have euphemistically "wandered off". Let's spend the kind of time and money we are putting into litigation to figure out ways to move our church forward.
How about some creative thinking here folks? How about we stop chasing these poor conealoneialist fools and their knaves around and we get back on the track of positive creative thinking that puts our beloved Episcopal Church back into Christ's fold. The Master is indeed coming and I would like to take our two talents and make four. How about 2 and a half?
Saturday, May 23, 2009
I have no interest, honestly, in what Nigeria or Uganda do in selecting their bishops, any more than I have an interest in how the COE selects its bishops; otherwise I'd be hoping that the ACNA would also introduce a Queen somewhere in the mix. The one thing that the bishops of TEC have not been able to corral, in fact, is their Rebellious Wicked Laity, despite attempting to do so by enacting some new disciplinary standards at GC 2006. The primary thing that has led to the excellent chaos and resistance in TEC dioceses is groups of laity standing together and saying "no way, Hosea.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
25"Now his older son was in the field, and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing.
26"And he summoned one of the servants and began inquiring what these things could be.
27"And he said to him, 'Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has received him back safe and sound.'
28"But he became angry and was not willing to go in; and his father came out and began pleading with him.
29"But he answered and said to his father, 'Look! For so many years I have been serving you and I have never neglected a command of yours; and yet you have never given me a young goat, so that I might celebrate with my friends;
30but when this son of yours came, who has devoured your wealth with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.'
31"And he said to him, 'Son, you have always been with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32'But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.'"
Well, here we sit, those who have faithfully weathered the storm of discontent. We have hung around and struggled to keep our doors open and our parishes operating. We have dumped the custodial service and cleaned the restrooms. We have held bake sales until we thought the cakes and cookies were a main dish. We have dug deep and come up with as much as we could to keep rectors from jumping ship because of the potential cash shortage and failing budget. We have talked with each other and buoyed each other when it looked like all was lost and we had no where to go. We fought heartily for the Episcopal Church when we were being criticized for well you know, "letting them be in church." We struggled to make ends meet we struggled to retain the Episcopal Church presence when it was swirl ling around the toilet bowl.
Now, here is the brilliant plan. Let's celebrate the return of one or our fellow churches by NOT holding services at your church while we go over to the other church (the group that had left) and hold services there. BRILLIANT, just a brilliant plan. This is really hard to understand. We are so close in geographic proximity and we have received into our parish many of the disaffected from the parish we are welcoming back that the real fear is that we will now go under in order to return the first parish back to the Episcopal fold. Is there a committee of some sort studying the return of parishes to the diocese? We are told there is but if this is the best thinking they can come up with I would hazard a guess that there meetings have been held at the H-B saloon. What are they thinking? 'Member that old saying "Looks like the lights are on but ain't nobody home."
I have railed about a plan for months. Practically begged for the National Church and the diocese to come together and set up a strategy that would return to the fold these breakaway folks while not dishonoring those who remained Episcopal.
Looks like the score is now Episcopalians 1 and Conealoneialists 1.
Monday, May 18, 2009
And while we are speaking of the ACC, it is interesting to see where the bulk of the support money is coming from. The largest donors for 2008 are England at $405,000 GBP, grants and donations (including Trinity Church Wall Street, NY, the largest contributor in this category) at $371,259 GBP, and The Episcopal Church (TEC) at $363,902 GBP. Compass Rose Society was fourth at $164,040 GBP. It is clear that the influence of TEC money, either directly or indirectly, steers the ship. The provinces who gave nothing in 2008 included Central Africa, Central America, Congo, Indian Ocean, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, Southern Cone, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa, Pakistan, South India and the Spanish Reformed EC.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
You folks are farmers and cattle people and dairymen and agri-business folks. You must be willing to wait, because that is the nature of the businesses you are in. But how long? Sheesh, has Duncan been here to see how you are doing? Has the diocese of Pittsburgh kicked in a few bucks for court costs? How about Forth Worth? How about the Province of the Southern Cone? Certainly you are patient, but for how long? And, perhaps, just perhaps, you have been
Look, we weren't perfect. We all know that. We have a lot of differences, we all know that. We need to talk a bunch and we all know that. But criminy, we love and care for you. We would not leave you holding the bag. Your diocesan folks are spending tons of dough going here and there and in a losing cause and what do you get out of it? A bigger assessment. More letters from the Bishop saying there is light at the end of the tunnel? Come on home, let's work this out. Bring your friends and neighbors and we will celebrate and then get to work. We have much to do.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Once upon a time I lived in the diocese of Virginia. During our stay in this great state I had an occasion to talk with Bishop David Lewis about the tenure of any given rector in the diocese. Bishop Lewis at that time set me straight. Vestries hire rectors but a bishop can fire a rector. Clearly, a rector serves at the pleasure of the Bishop of the diocese in which the rector serves. That conversation has stuck with me always. Rectors are at the beckon call of the Bishop.
In the diocese of San Joaquin this was never clearer than when the Conealonialists hijacked the diocese. Now, we get this statement from the Communion Partner Rectors:
For those of us who faithfully serve in dioceses that choose to reject or ignore the covenant, we ask our Diocesans not to impede the adoption of the Covenant by parishes in our dioceses. Such grace will allow these parishes and clergy to obey their consciences and calling to be members of the Anglican Communion and the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
The Communion Partner Rectors want desperately to follow their conscience and ignore the Bishop of their diocese in order to follow the bishop of Canterbury. Let's see, I do not like you as my bishop, despite the fact you gave me a job and through you I continue to gain both spiritual and physical sustenance in order to be a "a part of" the communion headed up by the bishop (okay, archbishop) of Canterbury. Does it not stand to reason if one will turn over one bishop in favor of another then that other bishop stands no better chance in the future? I get to be congregational when it serves me and diocesan when it serves me? Wow, what chutzpah?!
Clearly the Communion Partner Bishops are interested in an internal insurrection and now the Communion Partner Rectors are clearly a part of that. For those who may have one or more of these rectors please be very, very careful. They are not mavericks, as they would have us believe, these folks are scorpions waiting for one or more frogs to take them across the river.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
TITLE: Provisional Acceptance of the Episcopalian Bill of Rights
Preamble: The the Episcopal Church of the United States of America recognizes the revealing nature of our salvation given to us by the Lord Jesus Christ in the two great commandments. Love the Lord your God with all your mind and all your heart and all your soul. And the second, love your neighbor as yourself. Furthermore recognizing that each and every person is a sinner but that we have an Advocate with the Father. Be it therefore,
Resolved, the House of _____________ concurring, that this 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church make a commitment to revoke, rescind and reject Resolution B033 ; and be it further
Resolved, that the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies fully, completely and sincerely apologize to all those who have been marginalized by the Episcopal Church including but not limited to LGBT persons, those who are handicapped, and those whose culture and person have been ignored and ridiculed; and be it further
Resolved, that in accordance with the two great commandments the Episcopal Church does hereby recognize, support and defend every person's right to fully and completely participate in every aspect of the Episcopal Church both liturgically and politically; and be it further
Resolved, that this proposed Episcopalian Bill of Rights be commended to the various dioceses of this church for study and comment during the coming triennium; and be it further
Resolved, that the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies appoint a Special Task Force to determine what constitutional and/or canonical measures may be necessary in order to make a permanent commitment to the Episcopalian Bill of Rights; and be it further
Resolved, that this Special Task Force prepare a report to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church that includes draft legislation that could be considered for the convention to institutionalize this Episcopal Bill of Rights.
Help me get this onto the floor of General Convention. What must be done?
Monday, May 4, 2009
In the Church of Ireland Gazette Mr. Jensen
. . . issued a rallying call to Church of Ireland evangelicals to be vigilant that no "official act which endorses sin" should take place in the Church of Ireland.
Archbishop Jensen, . . .
told his audience that this was a "solemn time" for Anglicans, as the Anglican Communion was facing a crisis over the authority of Scripture. Dr Jensen said that the Anglican Communion was "a very significant body of Christians" in today’s world and that anything that divided it was bad.
Clearly the entire GAFCON crowd has determined that if you are not with me, then you are against me. Shades of John Foster Dulles. That stupidity in foreign policy brought us Viet Nam and lately Iraq. Now a bunch of old white men would like for us to believe that Christ said "it's my way or the highway".
Jensen then gives us this fine statement,
the 2003 consecration of Bishop Gene Robinson, a practising gay man, had deeply torn the Communion. Bishop Robinson’s consecration, he added, had been the culmination of years of liberal teaching and had taken place despite the guidance of the 1998 Lambeth Conference, the view of which had been "set aside" by the US Episcopal Church.
What really has this old men on their toes is the fact that TEC elected a woman presiding bishop and that has torn their fabric right down their zippers! The Episcopal Church in the United States elects a woman and Jack Iker, a chief apostle of these culturally dominant boys, says, "She is NOT my bishop, never has been and never will be!" and then they want us to believe that +Robinson is the issue? As they say down under, "Are you nuts?".
Now, we get to the only real point that we should be taking seriously, Jensen says,
. . . but a fundamental issue concerned the "locus of authority".That locus of authority is THEM! The GAFCONEERS and the Conealoneialists want to be in charge. They want POWER. This whole thing is about power. They could not get their way in any real body of the Anglican Communion so now they just make stuff up so they can have some power. GAFCON, Fellowship of Confessing Anglicans, Common Cause, Anglican Communion in North America -- it is all just so they can have power. The terrible thing is that we are duplicitous in this. We (the TEC, ACoC, Anglican Communion) have allowed them to do this -- rather than just saying No.
Apparently Dr. Jensen, along with all his cronies rejects the Hooker concept of a three legged stool balancing scripture with reason and history.
Dr Jensen said that among Christians there were differing emphases on the place of reason, magisterium, experience and Scripture in terms of authority, but he went on to assert that in the events in North America "culture has trumped Scripture".
Clearly, the faith once given is in the Bible and God no longer speaks to us -- and apparently hasn't since a bunch of old men got together in about 325 or so.
Here is what I refer to as the "gem of Jensen"
An over-emphasis on the individual’s rights had led to an increasing trend towards cohabitation, as people did not want the restrictions of marital commitment.
We were not given free will and a mind to think and an ability to enter into a loving covenant with God, no free will is bad and Dr. Jensen and Mr. Akinola (and only these guys) can tell you what is good. It sounds to me like these great thinkers would like to take the Bible away from everyone. I think that was tried in the middle ages and what did we get for that? Oh, the inquisition. And when we tried free will and democracy and the like what did we get? Oh, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution and not only a great and Godly country but an open, loving and caring church that has moved to full inclusion.
And now, as if to add emphasis to GAFCON and their anti-Christian behavior,
Archbishop Jensen told his Dollingstown audience that, at the recent meeting of Anglican Communion primates in Alexandria, Egypt, some of the primates would not receive Holy Communion with others and some had not wished even to be photographed with others . . .
Didn't our Lord say something about this? Yep, he did. And yet these men call themselves Christian?
Finally, Mr. Jensen tries to "win" (as if this were some game) the Irish to GAFCON and hatred: However, this was an emergency, Dr Jensen said.
• There was a need to plan ahead and to know what to do if an "official act which endorses sin" were to take place, such vigilance stemming any "drift";
• There should be a strengthening of the Church of Ireland’s biblical identity;
• There was a need to understand the issues and to be able to refute subtle arguments;
• Responsibility should be taken for the Church of Ireland as a denomination and conservative evangelicals, who generally tended to be focused on their congregations, should go forward for membership of boards, committees and synods and should speak with leaders to make their position clear;
• There should be a new commitment to the Gospel in mission, the Church needing "to invade the culture";
• The laity should become more active in taking responsibility in this proactive agenda, because "the Church belongs to the laity, not to some bureaucracy";
• Leaders needed to be supported in putting aside all pride and being ready for sacrifice for the sake of biblical teaching. During a question and answer session, Archbishop Jensen stressed the need for the pastoral care of same sex orientated people. He declined to comment on the fact that all the Irish bishops had attended last year’s Lambeth Conference, which he himself had not attended for "fellowship" reasons. He said that some of his friends had attended, and some had not.
Now, folks, are we not tired of this old nonsense? Isn't it time for something radically different? How about we here in the Episcopal Church get one step ahead of these folks who aid and abet hatred -- hatred of women, hatred of handicapped, hatred of culturally different peoples and hatred of LGBT persons. How about we pass a resolution in the upcoming General Convention that allows EVERYONE to participate fully in the life of the Episcopal Church and allows everyone to fully approach their God in a loving and caring relationship. How about an Episcopalian Bill of Rights. It is time.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Diocese of Western Louisiana Bishop D. Bruce MacPherson told ENS April 28 that "one common thing [the Communion Partners bishops and rectors who signed the statement] have, and this has been shared from the beginning with the Presiding Bishop, [is that] we are committed to remaining a part of the Episcopal Church as opposed to some of the other directions that have been taken by others."