Good and gentle readers, lest you think I am foolish for having attempted to aide the good people at St. Mark's, Port Royal, South Carolina let me recall if you will, the strange and ugly case of St. Dunstan's Modesto, CA.
St. Dnstan's was a "mission" in the diocese of San Joaquin under the tutelage of the now deposed bishop, John David Mercer Schofield. This mission "owed" the diocese some money, about $150,000.00. The diocese, as it turned out, closed this mission ostensibly to recoup the funds owed and close a mission with "no promise". What really happened was the land and building was worth over $1.5 million and JDS was scooping up capital for the big trip down south and the subsequent legal fees he knew he would encounter. Here is the full story by none other than the righter of wrongs Mr. David Virtue.
My motivation in trying to rescue St. Mark's, well okay, simply trying to help them in some fashion was to see if we, Christ The King parish could help before St. Mark's ends up like St. Dunstan's. See, many of the St. Dunstan's people came to CTK after the debacle. Stories of all the personal items such as processional crosses that were donated to St. Dunstan's and now being sold, stained glass windows being lost to the new owner, parishioners being shunned and bad mouthed by the bishop came to us first hand. Tears, lamentations and emotional wrecks were the order of the day. The deposed bishop could care less! He had his war chest. And the worst of it is that none of that is reversible. One cannot get back that building, the land, the mission or the group of people known as St. Dunstan's. Fool that I was, I believed we at CTK in the now Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin could help another mission avoid a fate worse than death! How crazy I am! We cannot/could not help this mission because we need permission from bishops to help their diocese. Could you imagine? I surely thought that we could cut through the "red tape" to help someone who might not be there tomorrow in order to spare them from the apparent fate staring them in the face! Alas, we must stand by and watch Bishop Lawrence grind this mission into dust because we must follow the duly ordained process. How terribly sad. How pitifully depressing! How utterly useless we must be. And, how silly we must look to those who could care less. I have no idea how I am going to face those parishioners at CTK who joined us from St. Dunstan's.