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.