Sunday, December 6, 2009

Feed My Sheep: A Token of Trust

Here is the immediate response by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the election of Mary Glasspool as one of two new suffragan bishops in the diocese of Los Angeles. Keep in mind, ++Williams has NOT taken a stance on the "creation of an open season on LBGT brothers and sisters in Uganda.

Anglican Communion News Service

Archbishop of Canterbury's Statement on Los Angeles Episcopal Elections
Posted On : December 6, 2009 9:54 AM | Posted By : Webmaster

The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.

The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.

The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.

Many folks have written about this already. I would like to add just a few comments from the Archbishop's own book, Tokens of Trust.

++Williams writes, "So an explanation that even hinted that some lives were less important than others would be a betrayal of one of the basic insights of faith."

"God is always at work, but the work is not always visible."

"So it is appropriate that in the universe there should be beings who show something of God's liberty, God's love, God's ability to make new things and to make relationships."

"Things are going on in the universe, glorious and wonderful things, of which we know nothing."

"There's no kind of thing or person that is objectionable to God by nature or insignificant for God, nothing that isn't his responsibility."


"We have grounds for hoping that our lives here within the complex system of created reality can show in some degree the gratuitous and generous love out of which everything comes, the love of the Creator in whose image we are made."

Archbishop Rowan Williams, you have written about it and I would hope that what you wrote you believe. It is time to act on that belief. As an ordained priest in the Anglican communion your first responsibility is to the laity, to whom you wrote so eloquently, and not to the Anglican Global South, or to the FCA or to the ACNA or even to the Anglican Communion. With all due respect, we ask that you live up to your vows as a priest, "feed my sheep".

Thursday, December 3, 2009

How Many Books of Common Prayer Can You Juggle

Item 6 from the Jerusalem Declaration has this to say about the prayer book:

We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.

during the course of the First Convention of the new Anglican diocese of San Joaquin the diocese adopted the Jerusalem Declaration lock, stock and barrel. So, naturally, being the good diocesan folks that they are, the dean of the Cathedral now writes the following in a blog called soundings.

The Dean of the Anglican Cathedral of St. James has this to say about the prayer book:

The newly formed North American expression of the Anglican Communion, ACNA is in new territory. This is true in liturgics as much as every other area of our common life. Recently I have heard numerous voices expressing deep suspicion directed at the 1979 Prayer Book and calling for a return to the 1928 BCP or even a return to the 1662 Prayer Book (though some call for a kind of “modernization” of the language of the 1662 Book). The reasons for this desire are no doubt many, ranging from the well known and sustained attacks on the theology of the new prayer book expressed by the Prayer Book Society in their publications, to a kind of general angst that connects the '79 prayer book with the theological misadventures of the past thirty years in the Episcopal Church. Recently I read an article telling of the duplicity of Urban T. Holmes, exposing his alleged cover-up when challenged by traditionalists that the new prayer book under his oversight represented an enormous change in theology. Furthermore, a great many seem to think that by jettisoning the '79 prayer book the new Province will somehow be made safer from a return to the heresies of TEC.

Either they are confused, cannot get it straight, or just plain do what they want when they want.

And, as an added thought, The Book of Comon prayer, in the Episcopal Church is a foundational document that can only be changed by natioanl Convention. It is not a document to be played with by every tom, dick and dean.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Updated: Stop The Madness

For this one post I am stepping away from the theme and the issues of the Episcopal Church in San Joaquin and the Episcopal Church at large and religion in general. I am dismayed to say the least at what president Obama is about to say and do and I will no longer stay quiet.

As a combat veteran of Viet Nam 1968-1969, Alpha Company, 3rd Tanks, 3rd Marine Division, sending troops to anywhere with a purpose and an intent that is good and sufficient is not a problem for me. My father served in WWII and my son sits in the Gulf of Oman as I write this little ditty. I also have no problem with those that protested the war some 40+ years ago and I have made my peace with even those who left the country to avoid the war. I have also learned the lessons that Viet Nam taught us, particularly those of us that served. I have had people die in my arms, so yes, I understand only too well that lesson. My interpretation is do not send anyone anywhere without a specific cause and a specific plan, a life is way to precious to waste for any other reason. I also fully understand that we have the most professional military of any country in the world. We also have the most efficient military of anywhere in the world, and most of the world knows this also.

So, when we sent troops to Afghanistan many years ago to capture or kill Osama Bin Laden for the bold and dastardly attack on the twin towers, I did not lose one moment of sleep and I did not hesitate one moment even though I was deeply concerned about the president that did this. Clearly, the mission was to capture or kill Osama and I was all for that. I understand collateral damage and if someone got in the way of that goal either step aside or be run over is an okay answer.

Then for some reason that I will never understand, we engaged Iraq. What a stupid thing to do, I thought. It takes troops away from the mission in Afghanistan and makes it all that much more difficult and to be honest (as if former President Bush could), I thought getting even with Saddam for trying to kill George HW Bush was a pretty petty reason for sending American troops into harms way. But it seems that everyone got over that and we are on the verge of an orderly removal of that. (The secondary reason of "They [Iraq} have our [US} oil under their ground was also never very convincing). At any rate, troops are coming home and now President Obama turns to Afghanistan and is about to send another 30-40,000 troops into harms way to help the government of Afghanistan get a start? What the heck happened to the original idea? When did we change our goals to something like propping up a government in a country we have no real interest in and no real reason for even being there? Did we not learn the lessons of Vietnam? Did somebody suffer a concussion in which that part of the collective memory was lost?

Let me end this with where I began. My son is in the Gulf of Oman. He and his friends are professionals, they go where they are told to go, and do what they are told to do. That is the beauty of our military; actually, that is the brilliance of our military. It is up to our civilian government to say where and when and how and for how long. I for one, do not want my son and his friends, pilots and his shipmates, to be there for one more second than needs be. If, we are there for "the long haul" and we will continue a mission that is ill-defined and ill-conceived and we are unwilling to do what we started to do in the first place, then it is time to stop the madness.


With all due respect, President Obama's arguments in favor of the differences between Viet Nam and Afghanistan were unconvincing. The people are an insurgent group; the twin towers and the gulf of Tonkin incident are very similar. Sorry, he did not mention resolving the Osama Bin Laden issue. I am unconvinced and I am sorely disappointed.