Friday, February 27, 2009

Language of Saints? Part Deaux

Well, no sooner did I wax somewhat wistfully about things then did one of the "great" linguists of the Orthodites jump up and demonstrate for me. Yep, good Ol' Moderator Duncan has written a "pastoral letter" (thought one had to be a bishop to write one of those?) on the issue of what the Calvary Church litigation REALLY means.

BTW, Thinking Anglicans has taken a decidedly strange bent. Read their last few releases including the one on this and it seems (stress seems) they are word smithing more toward the "odd" of the world.

Here is the cite for the letter:

When is a new diocese new? Do you think when Bob takes it to the Southern Cone? Oh no, it is when the Episcopalians who are left try to rebuild the shambles left behind by Bob Duncan. Read and weep:

First, this paragraph addresses “parishes in the Diocese” deciding “not to remain in the Episcopal Church.” It does not address the Diocese as an entity deciding “not to remain in the Episcopal Church.”

Also, he adds this nonsensical paragraph:
There is only one way that Diocesan assets could “stay in the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church”, and that is if the “Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church” was a continuing entity, i.e., the Diocese’s realignment was invalid. If, on the other hand, the Diocese’s realignment was valid – which it was – then the Diocese “continues” to exist as it always has, but is now aligned with the Province of the Southern Cone (and very soon with the Anglican Church in North America.) A new diocese may form in Pittsburgh and align with TEC, but this is not a “continuing” Diocese.

So, as you can see, the language of Saint Bob is nothing like the language of us sinners. The only thing that comes close to this is the issue with Bill Clinton and the meaning of "is". Now, we can discuss the meaning of "new". Did anyone ever think that Bob Duncan and Bill Clinton would share the same entomological razor?

Finally, Bob actually gets the litigation flat out wrong:
The leaders of the new diocese, and many within TEC, will insist on a legal fight over the validity of our withdrawal from TEC. We will engage in this battle, as we must. But there should be no mistake on the following points: the Stipulation and Order does not address the Diocese leaving TEC, and the leaders of the new diocese want nothing less than all Diocesan assets.
No one said you could not go to wherever you want to, we just said (as the courts have) that you cannot take the property that belongs to someone else with you. Bob, is really does mean is and new really does mean new. Take your folks and don't let the door hit you on the way out. If you need money to build a church get it from Greg Venables, I'm sure he will help.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Language of Sinners and The Language of Saints

It is Lent! Yes, we are knee deep into the 40 days in the desert and I am tired and frustrated and borderline despair. I just wrapped up a discussion over at Father Mark Harris's PRELUDIUM" blog with "YBIC, Phil."

I really should know better. I write and he mis-reads, somewhat intentionally, as he describes. We do not speak the same language and I am coming to the conclusion I speak the language of the sinner and Phil (and most of his friends and neighbors) speak the language of saints. Now, before one jumps to conclusions I am not trying to be disparaging, though it may seem that way. Phil and his bunch speak from a position of commanding attention. They use the commandments like they know them and can keep them. I speak the language of Matthew and Peter, I am never quite sure of my position and I need to continue to search until I find the right answers. I envy them to some extent, they seem to have the right answers. I only wish I could so readily and easily accept those same answers.

The Phil bunch talks of covenants - making them and keeping them. I am leery of covenants because I know I am human and I am unconvinced that I could keep one if I made one. The Phil bunch talks of those who should be shunned, or better, who need to make peace with their God before they can break bread with each other. I am willing to break bread with everyone and then talk about who should be shunned or not.

I speak a language that is apparently imprecise. I do not know all that the Bible has revealed but I am working on it. The Phil group look to the Bible as the LAW and I look to the Bible as a love poem between me and my God. I am willing to interpret and reinterpret the Bible as I grow and live. I do not hear that from the Phil group.

I am willing to exchange the peace and share the table with everyone because every time I pass a beggar on the streets and do not give something I am scared that I have just passed up Christ on the road to Emmaeus. I do not hear that from Phil and his group. They seem to be convinced that there are people set to just not get to heaven. Buddhists, Jainists, Shintoists, all sorts because they are different and do not follow "the formula". I am just not that sure -- really.

Finally, my world view is that of a sinner. I know cannot live up to all the commandments and I rely solely on Jesus and his sacrifice to save me. As a result I look to others as I would have them look to me. I am not a saint and I know I cannot get there without the Savior. But by the same token, I cannot say that about anyone else nor would I. My sinner's language tells me that God is all powerful and as soon s I try to limit God by way of who has the formula, who gets into heaven, who goes to hell, who I break bread with and who I make peace with I shrink that God. As a sinner, I cannot do that. As a sinner I better not do that, I need the largest, greatest biggest, most magnificent God I can get!

The long and the short of it is some of us do not speak the same language. I am coming to the conclusion I do not live in the same world, certainly not in the same desert.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rebuilding Continues

The Epsicopal Diocese of San Jaoquin continues to rebuild and renew itself in preparation for the days when  we are once again reunited with all our brothers and sisters.  The process is slow and the process is difficult at times.  We are challenged to think in a way we have never thought before.  

              Father Paul Colbert led the days work.                                                                                              

The day began with a rousing discussion of what it means to be a part of Remain Episcopal.  Marshall Johnston, current president, talked with the 50 or so participants.   It was a great day for the Episcopal Church.  We blended Rite III (a little known rite as it turned out) with a great three topic discussion day ending with a wonderful Eucharist.  

Bishop Lamb introduced the Reverend Basil Mathews as having formally transferred from the Church of England to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  Yahoo!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Out Of Touch

I believe that one of our growing number of deposed bishops moves further away from reality. John David Mercer Schofield writes a pile in his most current "Mister's Desk".

First let me get the obvious out of the way. Mr. Schofield says, "Greed, grab and selfishness have placed the whole nation at risk." Must have been looking in the mirror.

Okay, here is the heart of this post. JDS starts his column with "There are whole households where families are wondering how they are going to pay this months mortgage or keep healthy meals on the table."

I have first hand knowledge of families that eat one meal a day; that meal generally consists of beans as a main course (actually the only course). I know of at least three families that have given up their homes to foreclosure. I know many more that are on the brink. And, everyone thinks this started last November/December but the truth is it has been going on since November/December of 2007. The crisis didn't affect the middle class until just late last year but the working poor have been struggling with these issues for over a year.

Anyway, JDS goes on to describe his recent trip to Israel and how relaxing and how much fun it was. He couches his vacation on funds that came from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin as time for "renewal". How about renewal at The Episcopal Conference Center at Oakhurst? JDS goes on to talk about all the free time he has to reflect and dream. I know a mother that works three jobs to keep a roof over the family and food on the table. She doesn't have time to sit with her children and help them with their homework. Many a father and mother I know when they are not doing odd jobs are looking for the next odd job. Fathers that come in and ask for an extension because they were not able to work the fields because of the rain.

Clearly, here is a person that has grown out of touch with the working world. He reflects to a "friend" that worked a lot, on this person's work habits, "Apart from the fact you are breaking one of the ten commandments . . ." I believe that JDS has never been hungry a day in his life. Never lived on the brink of losing his home and his family. Never had to worry about the next job. He lectures those who eek out a living on a daily basis. Break the commandments? Please, how about the need for basic sustenance and basic housing. What, pray tell, has JDS done to help those in real need? How about taking the money he traveled on to Israel and give it to those who need it for food and shelter? Oh, they are breaking the ten commandments, they can't be helped until they repent.

This high toned lecture on the need for rest in the middle of nothing less than a catastrophe for the working poor (and many middle class families) is just beyond reality. AND, he does this travel on Episcopal funds. Perhaps he knows his funds are about to disappear.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

OP Ed Shoots TEC in Foot

There is an editorial by Stuart Dunnan, headmaster at St. James School in St. James Maryland.  Now I do not know The Reverend Dunnan but it appears that he supports the inclusion of a "new province" within the Episcopal Church.  I am disappointed for his very first point.  He says,
  I am reminded of the defensive and dismissive response of the Church of England bishops to the Methodist Movement in the 18th century. The result, of course, was the founding and development of a separate Methodist Church, which is now much larger than the 'Anglican" Church (at least as we are now constituted) on this continent."
 For some reason everyone wants to believe that because there are more of them than us they are doing something right and we are doing something wrong.  My logic professor used to tell me "figures never lie but liars always figure".  Sheesh, I will leave that argument where I found it.  Next we get this old saw,
 Now, what I wonder is this: What would happen if the Presiding Bishop with the support of the House of Bishops were to welcome the formation of a new province for 'traditionalists" within the Episcopal Church, 
.  It appears to me that there is a lack of respect for those who have undergone an upheaval in their lives that is more than gas or indigestion.  Churches have been ripped apart, clergy have been used and abused, property has been absconded with and personal property has been lost and not returned.  Does no one count the toll in human cost?  We count the numbers of persons who have gone here, the number of people on any given Sunday, the numbers of people every purple shirted wanna be represents but no one wants to talk about toil, sweat, emotional distress, psychological damage, spiritual mayhem that innumerable persons have suffered.  Now, we are going to vote to let those who have done this damage return like they went on a week-end retreat.  
We could, for instance, continue to share the Church Pension Fund and Episcopal Relief and Development, and our primates and bishops could continue to meet on a regular basis to look for areas of agreement, common witness, shared costs and joint projects, but in a way that is more representative, more conducive to collegiality and more focused on results than our present General,/blockquote> Convention.
 So, what I get out of this is that we let them take our buildings, our personal property, we let them continue in the church pension fund, we let them destroy the Episcopal Church.  

No, I am sorry, this is just a bad idea and as was once uttered at Jake's Place, " When one mud wrestles with a pig two things happen. I get muddy and the pig has a good time."  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


As we approach the last dance for the evening I am wondering if anyone (anywhere) has thought about outcomes?  I know of at least one, Fatter Christian Troll has this much to say about some of the people involved in this catastrophe:
" If we siphon off a few grand from parish expenses and donate it the appropriate agency could we please have a few centuries added to Martyn Minns’ time of suffering? And how much would it cost to have Rick Warren tortured where the sun don’t shine for a few weeks? If we all chip in I'm sure we could afford it: heaven knows we'd probably get a discount rate in his instance."

But you you suppose there is a plan in place for the outcomes?  For example, the laity that left for the hinterlands and became the conealoneialists.  Upon return to the Episcopal Church, one their land and buildings come back what will become of them?  Nothing?  They return and rejoin TEC and nothing happens?  For us here in San Joaquin the tilt to the right, that is to say the ability to be inclusive is truly questionable.  The immediate impact will be measurable in all forms of elections including vestry, diocesan council, standing committee, etc. and it is possible we could head into the dark ages II.  What about holding office?  On the other hand, what about reconciliation?  For the laity perhaps a  truth and reconciliation commission in each diocese would go a ways to smoothing the re-entry.

How about priests and deacons?  Do we allow their deposition to stay?  Do we ask them to go through truth and reconciliation as well?  Remember, many of these priests are the very ones that "love JDS" and would do anything for him!  Should they be allowed to resume their clerical duties not only here but in the rest of TEC?  Do we work on the side of a shortage of priests and in full reconciliation and chance another coup d'etat?  Do we just send them packing to the old RC monasteries? 

And of course our favorite former bishops?  Will they come home?  Can they come home? Should they be allowed to come home?  In the diocese?  In TEC?  

There are a ton of questions and almost no one discussing these things nationally?  Once again is there planning going on somewhere?  At some point does the diocese come together in some way to discuss these issues?  Sure it may be slightly premature but the discussion is as valid for ones and twos as it is for the entire break apart conealoneialists. 

On the other hand, we could just pray for indulgences (or the lack thereof).

Thursday, February 12, 2009

My Boyfriend's Back

He went away and you hung around
And bothered me, every night
And when I wouldn't go out with you
You said things that weren't very nice
My boyfriend's back and you're gonna be in trouble
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back)
You see him comin' better cut out on the double
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back)
You been spreading lies that I was untrue
(Hey-la-day-la my boyfriend's back)
So look out now cause he's comin' after you

Well, apparently it took Mr. Iker all of about 30 seconds to decide that, hey, Mr. Akinola and Mr. Venables and Mr. Orombi will protect me so I am once again going on/to be offensive.

In Mr. Iker's own version of My boyfriend is back and there is gonna be trouble he states:
So let the “professionally mediated conversation” begin at the earliest opportunity. But let there also be a halt to the litigation and law suits against all parties at the same time. How can we expect to resolve the impasse we are in when TEC still seeks to use the civil courts to eliminate all opposition?

And this,
As this scheme proceeds, so must the work of the Common Cause Partnership in forming the Anglican Church in North America at its constitutional assembly in June 2009 in Bedford, Texas. The Pastoral Council and the ACNA must cooperate together in finding a way to establish “a provisional holding arrangement” for the new Province as the formal recognition process unfolds.

Well, isn't that special?  We, ACNA will continue to do what we want and you, TEC, will cease doing what you do and we will then have a professionally mediated conversation of reconciliation.  Jack, we may have fallen off the truck, we just didn't fall off last night.  I hope that we do not do stupid, at least I have never seen TEC do stupid and now is not a good time to start.  

And then, Mr. Iker tells us it is not HIS fault that everyone is leaving.  Certainly he is not "proselytizing" but if all those others want to leave he certainly is going to accept them.  Jack what did you and your friends in Pittsburgh and San Joaquin do if not take a bunch of people with you?  And by the way, TEC has never said you could not go -- just leave the property where you found it, in the hands of the TEC diocese (BTW, saying your Episcopal is a little like saying that Big Pete has got clothes on, that dog don't hunt neither).  

The best way to begin the reconciliation process is to give back the property you have taken with you.  You want the lawsuits to end, give back the land and the buildings that you never owned in the first place.  When all is said and done, don't think for one instant that any of those guys in the Global south are going to stand up for you and ACNA.  Wait till they are threatened and see how quickly they melt.  I tell you what, let's wait until the last dance and see who is there to take you home?  Don't be surprised if you end up walking.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We Have Come Too FAR!

This is Dust to Dust updated from the newest releases from Peter Akinola.

" Sometimes we think that we can replace the need for repentance with activities, programmes, endless meetings, conventions and
communiqués --- we are wrong!"

"In preparation for the meeting I asked The American Anglican Council to prepare the  attached report on the continuing situation of The Episcopal Church to enable people in the wider Communion to have a fuller perspective of the circumstances in North America. I shared it with my colleagues in the Global South but did not release it more widely in the hope that we would receive assurances from the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and the Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada that they were willing to exercise genuine restraint towards those Anglicans in North America unwilling to embrace their several innovations."

These are two quotes from letters from Archbishop Akinola.  This second quote/letter is supported by tired old saws from the American Anglican Council about how heresies have been "foisted" on the likes of John David Schofield, John Guernsey, Robert Duncan,  Jack Leo Iker and the rest of those tired old men who just want a little piece of the action.  About how the Episcopal Church continues to insist that he property taken by the scalawags be returned now!  That lawsuits continue when the Episcopal Church should just allow millions and millions of dollars be taken from it with no retort and in the name of gracious restraint.   

The first quote is from ++Akinola's address to the Church of Nigeria after the meeting in Alexandria.  I think it is time to once again ask what is going on?  Well, it could be that there are far too many bishops and "diocese" hanging out in "Limbo" (the place not the game) and they cannot come back since most were deposed and in on case renounced his vows.  It could be that the ACNA desperately needs to find existence and ++Akinola means to give it to them (strangely enough Greg Venables has been very quite of late).  But I prefer to think that ++Akinola has decided he no longer wants to be "under the thumb" of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  He figures he can be Anglican and in fact be the new Archbishop of the revised Anglican Communion.  In essence, the end game envisioned by the Chapman Memorandum and extrapolated by the Jerusalem Declaration.   

But what if reconciliation were to occur? Well let's take a look.  If reconciliation were to occur the likes of Duncan and Iker and MInns and Guernsey and Schofield would be history.  The laity that followed these folks would be OUT.  Physically and literally out of the communion.  They have come to far and have stepped beyond the point of no return.  They cannot go back.  Those that supported this coup de'tat, Akinola, Venables, Orombi, Jensen and the rest stand to lose not only prestige but ALL THAT MONEY.  Not just cash, but buildings, grounds and real and personal property.  It would all be gone and they would all be out.  Real and very large egos are at stake here.  

In essence, what he is saying is I want what I want and you cannot stop me.  Sure, there are all types of rationale that are thrown at this.  There is an abundance of mostly old testament stuff.  Very little new testament is ever quoted by the Global South.  Very little of "the words of Jesus" are quoted.  

These folks, AAC, CANA, ACNA, AMiA, etc. claim that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada are playing a "zero-sum game".   Of the two sides, who stands to lose more upon reconciliation? I suggest that ECUSA and Anglican Church of Canada have far less to lose. We get back what we have always held.  We speak of inclusivity and we mean what we say.  No one returning has to necessarily change his or her mind and everybody worships in the same building they always have.  Ah, but what about the orthodites?  Well for starters, Schofield, Iker, Duncan, Wantland, Guernsey, Minns, at the rest are out - if not physically then certainly clerically.  The millions of dollars in property never get to Venables, Akinola, Orambi and the likes.  In addition, and IMHO, the worst of it, they each and everyone lose face in their own provinces and with their own people.  

There is no question that the fix is in.  Not because of anything that the Episcopal Church or the Anglican Church of Canada have done, but rather because the many "old men's group" want it that way and by God we are going to have it!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Bloggers, Friends and Granfaloons

The Episcopal Diocese of  Fort Worth has now finished their primary work for the intervening period.  Tomorrow, there will be a celebratory Eucharist and then they must come down from the mountain top and once again go to work.  This is a good time to pause and salute those folks who have come so far since Jake's Place.  Let's begin with Father Jake,  The WorldStopper.  The blog to beget all blogs.  From this blog sprang a bunch of "them thar libral types".  

Father Mark Harris has of course been blogging for a longer time than even perhaps Jake, but deserves honorary mention since he has/was/is a stalwart in the blogosphere and one of threads we all hold dear,  "Preludium"

To a wonderful Lynn, who is my cohort in crime and both a stabilizer and a defender.  Also, a pretty good "recipier".  You all need to resurrect those recipes from Jake's place and give them to Lynn so we can put a WorldStopper Recipe Book together.  "Off-Topic"is the place to drop those recipes, we'll take it from there.

Father Scott, a great friend and a visitor to our convention.  He also works with Lynn and me but also does his "own thingy".  His blog is "Father Scott and Co ask some new questions"

Then, our much love Leonardo Ricardo.  An incomparable artist that paints not only with color but as effectively with words.   You can mostly find Leonardo  at "Eruptions at the  foot of the Volcano"

Then our good friend from the almost central Coast, James.  Ever the scholar James has some of the most devout postings of any  of us.  He also sponsors a great prayer blog and I for one am most grateful.  Also, a good repository of Episcopal knowledge.  "The Three Legged Stool"

Then there is our gang of four over at "The Friends  of Jake" .  They are the always scientific IT, Padre Mickey, Eileen, Ann and David.  Their blog is far reaching and always inclusive.  Sometimes deeply poetic and other times wonderfully grounded.  This group always keeps us up on the hot LGBT issues in and around our Episcopal Church.

Then there is our dear grandmother, GRANDMÈRE MIMI. Over at "Wounded Bird" she keeps us up on the latest goings on south of the Mason-Dixon line.  As a gulf coast survivor she also knows what it is like to really evacuate the premises.  She also "indulges in irony" from time to time.  Someone once said she had a mildly successful blog -- I think that is an understatement.

Then there is our person behind the Orange Curtain.  Also no stranger to evacuations cany has a wonderful blog that keeps us up on all the rescue work as well as Sarah Palin.  Maybe sometime she may put the two together and rescue Sarah Palin -- okay, maybe NOT! Her blog is "Just Another Black Sheep"

There is the "Grapevine" that began at the same time as the rest and is an up to the minute blog on all things San Joaquin. 

Another honorable mention (or maybe dishonorable, I am never quite sure what Fr. Christian is up to) is our own Father Christian Troll.  His "GAFCON" God and Father Christian: Obscuring Nothing is generally a hoot! 
Oh, and there is our own music machine Padre Mickey.  His blog "Padre Mickey's Dance Party" I think is one begun as an outgrowth of Father Jake but if I am wrong, someone will set me straight, I mean correct me.

Not bad for a bunch of liberal types that just decided to do our own thing, with a big push from Father Jake.  We actually, from time to time have drive-bys similar to those that Jake's Place used to get so I believe we are being read by "you know who".   And lest I forget the one that started us all,  "Father T. Listens to The World" .  We are deeply in your debt.  Thank you for your love and care and nurturing.  

I almost forgot but I did not.  A high five to GÖRAN.  He is not an outgrowth of Jake's Place but for me, he has taught me so much about the Bible and he is gracious and patient.  Along with IT (sorry IT but I do believe you qualify) one of the finest defenders of the faith I know.    Look up  "GÖRAN KOCH-SWAHNE"

Father Jake we thank you for all you have done for us.  We are growing in strength and faith.   A year ago I would ahve said no way.  Now, I have found many great friends and fine apologists.  

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A Gift For The Epsicopal Diocese of Fort Worth

The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth continues afresh today.  I am mindful of our (Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin) continuing last March, almost to the day.  I offer the following as a gift to all the members of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.  Crank up your sound because this is somewhat of a softer side of Noel Paul but tell me if the words do not spur you on in the work you are doing?

I am hopeful that somewhere within the next day or so you all have a chance to experience 
a service of healing. We began with that and it started us off perfectly. May the Lord bless 
and keep you all.

As we used to say what seems to be a century ago, Peace out+.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

More on the "Covenant Thingy"

From the primates final communication to those of us out in the world:

" We affirm the recommendation of the Windsor Continuation Group that work will need to be done to develop the Instruments of Communion and the Anglican Covenant. "  Here we go again!  And to add to the already messy situation we have this comment:

" We affirm the decision to establish the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission for Unity, Faith and Order.   We recognise the need for the Primates' Meeting to be engaged at every stage with all these developments."  Another group trying to "rule the universe?" Unity does not bother me half as much as faith and not nearly as greatly as ORDER!.

Now we come to the main event: "If a way forward is to be found and mutual trust to be re-established, it is imperative that further aggravation and acts which cause offence, misunderstanding or hostility cease. "   Once again we have sold our LGBT brethren down the river for what?  Unity, faith and order?! 

Here is the "bone" they throw to us "We earnestly desire reconciliation with these dear sisters and brothers for whom we understand membership of the Anglican Communion is profoundly important.  We recognise that these processes cannot be rushed, but neither should they be postponed."   Dare I say what a crock? Or, holy crap on a cracker!

Then we get back to the covenant thingy once more with this tidbit: 

" We believe the securing of the covenant to be a vital element in strengthening the life of the Communion.  We welcome the Covenant Design Group's intention to produce a covenant text which has a relational basis and tone. It is about invitation and reconciliation in order to lead to the deepening of our koinonia in Christ, and which entails both freedom and robust accountability. "

Once again, holy crap on a cracker!   Janis said it best, "Covenant is just another word for nothin' left to lose."  No, we do not need another covenant.  And I do not believe for one moment that the likes of Duncan and Akinola and Schofield and Iker and Jansen and Venables are going to hold on to anything.  Let's look at this semi-logically.  There are a bunch of wannabes that are left hanging out in the cold.  Let's examine but one ego.  Mr. Duncan, the arch something or other in waiting.  Can you see this person just hanging around waiting for some time in the future when he gets his province?  No, that is just not going to happen.  Let's face it, there are three diocese hanging in "LIMBO" a Roman idea but most fitting in this setting.  The folks that run those faux diocese are not going to wait.  They made promises to their constituents.  They will need to carry through on them.  

We are a group of provinces led by bishops.  We love and tolerate each other --- or not.  We do not need one more "covenant thingy".  

What Part of 'No Thank You' Don't You Understand

A report coming out of the last Executive Council Meeting was quoted in the Living Church Foundation as saying:
"Care needs to be taken that our conversations around an Anglican Covenant do not draw us necessarily toward a hierarchical model of a church union or even the perception of Anglicanism as a singular global church,” the reports states in its introduction. “Matters of moral authority and interdependence amongst the churches result from mutuality, not from regulation.”
I, as one lone voice crying in the wilderness (of San Joaquin) echo that sentiment.  I realize that these kinds of quotes are often a groupspeak non-attributable almost accurate type of quotation but it is the first thing that has made any sense to me in a ling time.
The gentlemen that had spun-off from TEC as well as the pretenders to the throne, as well as those who like poaching all have but one thing in common, they want hierarchical power.  They want nothing more than for a group of them, ah, "The Primates Council" (GAFCON nonsense) to rule on certain matters.  Those who have left TEC have done so because there is no one, no group, no body to "spank" those evil apostate folks in TEC and Wales and Canada.  Those who have left could not get traction in General Convention for "their good and holy" commandments and so they left to go with a group that would like nothing more than to exercise moral authority over "bad people".  
I am hopeful that the primary reason why the Anglican Communion is having such an incredibly difficult time with this is that we just do not know how to come with the idea of a "single head" making decisions that are binding for everyone.  The Primates in the Southern Cone do not like the Archbishop of Canterbury and do not believe that he represents them since he is not willing to "set rules and commandments and punish those who break those rules or commandments".  Well boys, here is  news flash all by itself, Long ago, in a far off land known as England, for reasons that may be transparent, Henry VIII told that single, all-knowing, all-powerful dictator that "it don't work like that no more."  From that time, and with TEC adding to the relative Independence of the episcopate, we have worked as a collegial group.  We do not know how to work any other way and this covenant thingy flies in the face of that collegial operation.  I never thought I would say something like this but, it has worked well for over the 200+ years here in TEC and we ought not give it up in favor of playing nice, or being in communion with or any other reason.  I am not anxious to bury John Locke or Thomas Hobbes for that matter. 
 I do not want a hierarchical model of any kind.  I like the way we play now.  To those GAFCON primates, "Thanks, but no thanks!"

Off topic, and before my friend thinks I am forgetful or worse.  I had an opportunity to meet a fellow blogger in the last couple weeks.  The Executive Committee  happened to be nearby and we took the opportunity to break bread.  I must say that while we bloggers enjoy the opportunities of mix that the internet gives there is just no substitute for breaking bread with a friend.  Gee, wonder where I heard that before? 

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Latest Graphic For The Conealoneialist

In reading the blog over at Bus Slogans and Graphs, while waiting on the Primates  Mark Harris describes the uses and construction of several graphs.  Well, that set me to thinking about the best way to graph the growth rate of the Southern Cone.
We have seen the orthodites continually harp on the numbers.  We have more people than you have.  We have more churches than you have.  We have more bishops than you have.  We have more priests than you have.  So, finally, after a great deal of anguish and frustration, I have been able to graph their entire program as they have laid it out.   
 I believe it looks something like this: 


Clearly this shows the relative growth, the pinnacle and then the decline of the Southern Cone.    


(Thanks to Lynn)

Hey folks, Colin Coward has now produced a document that reads a little like a fairy tale. Not that I am fond of pointing to documents on the blog, particularly those I am not sure what to make of but here it is:

Mr. Coward says, "We have moved on from where we were two years ago. The work that has been done by Archbishop Rowan, the staff at Lambeth Palace and the Anglican Communion Office in relation to the Lambeth Conference, but more especially I suspect, in quiet work building relationships and understanding behind the scenes, have radically changed the dynamics. However the conservatives might like to spin it, last year’s Lambeth Conference was a great success despite the absence of nearly a third of the bishops."

Anyone notice the Primates have moved on? The Chapman memo seems to still be in play. It seems to me that the only thing the Primates have given up is asking permission. Keep in mind there is another way of doing this. One way is to ask permission, the other is to ask for forgiveness, and that is exactly what these Primates are counting on. Remember "if I say it enough everyone will believe it." That is a comment from Archbishop in waiting Bobby Duncan and Mr. Minns and everyone else that has "bought into the ACNA." We seem to reach out and want to forgive so they are going to give us something for which they can be forgiven. If ACNA is not your cup of tea how about the legislation pending in Akinola's homeland, the let's imprison all LGBT folks and right now is a good time. Sure, the Primates have changed.

I do not see any evidence that anyone has "moved on", unless you mean moved to the fantasy land of the province of the Anglican Church of North America. I would love to see movement and the first thing ought to be moving ACNA to the scrap heap. There should be no ifs, ands, or buts (pardon the expression).

Coward ends with this wonderful comment, "The advantage of having come to Alexandria is that personal conversation and encounter is the only way to grow together and achieve a real change of heart on all sides. This is what is already happening for us."

What a great opportunity to be taken advantage of. Let's not sell the LGBT community up or down the river any more. Let's not make any deals without a strong representation by those most affected. Let's not get ahead of ourselves and agree to something some pretend "archduke" has decided is in everyone's best interest.

I decided I am not quite done yet. Some one is trying to tell me that the collective egos of Iker, Duncan, Schofield, Wantland, Ackerman, Guernsey, Minns, Akinola, Orambi, Jensen et al have suddenly gone away? GAFCON has disappeared? Foward in Faith, AMiA is gone, and CANA has given up the ghost? Everyone has decided that we are going to play nice. That the split and all the aggravation that these bishops have gone through is now going to be turned over in favor of a little kumbaya? I must be way too cynical.