Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Struggle Continues

I have to admit, I am absolutely perplexed at the continuing difficulty both the Episcopal Church, the Church of England and the great Anglican Communion have with ordaining women and ultimately consecrating women bishops. Logically, once ordained how can one be denied consecration?

If we are, at least in part, what we experience, then let me share with you two truly great experiences.

A way back in 1980 or so I was with a parish in Woodbridge, Virginia that had just moved from mission to parish in about record time. Clearly, the spirit was moving in this parish. We started as a mission, quickly merged with another declining parish and through that process regrouped and started to grow. The Vicar, a kindly old retired Navy Captain, retired. The Bishop, then David Lewis, placed a new priest at our parish as the priest-in-charge. The Reverend Paula Woods (some of you may know her) guided the parish through some stunning growth and into a new Rector (wouldn't ya know it would be John Guernsey, but that is a story for another time). During this time I was on the vestry and watched this holy, spirit-filled person build Christ's kingdom here on earth. It was an amazing time! When the rector was called, Paula moved on to become the first woman rector in the state of Virginia. The Spirit was indeed moving in, through and around this wonderful person.

So fast forward to about 1986 and we are now living behind the "Orange Curtain" and attending a Parish in Orange, CA. The rector retires/moves on and we go into our find a new rector mode. I was asked and agreed to serve on a calling committee. What a delight and a real challenge. So, I get to go visit a priest in Banning (I think it was Banning). it was one of those original visitation thingys. Well, a group of us came back from Banning absolutely stunned by a young woman by the name of Victoria Hatch. The Reverend Hatch was an amazing preacher and clearly we needed to get some greater group out there to see this priest. So, we all went and we, the calling committee, ultimately were unanimous in floating her name to the vestry for appointment to the position of Rector. Well, it was unfortunate, I will not go into the terrible battle that ensued, but Reverend Hatch was not called and the parish suffered from an interminable new guy that had no experience and no ability.

Anyway, my point is a simple one.The ordained women I have known, if they are any indication of all the ordained women are an incredible group of clergy. They are spirit filled, love Christ and show it every day. Are great pastors and care givers in the very best sense. Outstanding preachers and clearly, above all else, called by Jesus Christ to do what they do. They are, as a rule, better, faster, smarter and more capable than most clergy. Let's face it, we, the laity still require that of our women clergy, don't ask me why, the standard just seems to be higher for women than for men.

All of this was over 25 years ago. What I cannot figure out, is why we continue to stubmle and fumble and spit and spew about it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How AreThe Episcopalians Doing In the Diocese San Joaquin?

Glad you asked! What follows is an excerpt from a M.Div. study by Angela Guida. Ms. Guida interviewed San Joaquin Episcopalians during the first official convention of the diocese after the split. This study, answers among other things, the issue of "reclaiming Episcopalianism" that was spoken about in a prior posting.

At some point during the period of time I was conducting interviews, I began to realize that even though I was uncovering plenty of testimony about sadness, loss, pain and confusion, I was not exactly finding what I had expected. That is, I did not uncover signs or symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome in anyone; nor did I have the sense that any of the interviewees were plagued with negative or residual emotional fall-out.

Rather, I noticed that what I was hearing most strongly, and what impressed me as overshadowing the so-called negative emotions I expected to undercover, was:

· Pride for standing up for what they believed in,

· Commitment to their new congregations and the Episcopal Church,

· Love and concern for their sister and brother Episcopalians; and often for their former co-congregants,

· A clear sense of what they believe and of their Christian identity.

I am not implying that the stories I heard did not contain feelings of sadness, loss, pain and confusion; but what I am saying is that during every interview and by the end of every interview I was left with a sense that I had been with a person or people that were, as someone in the trauma field might say, “thrivers, not just survivors.” Unlike what I had expected, as I mulled over and internally debriefed each session, most of my thoughts whirled around the strength, the faith, the triumph and victory I had been a witness to.

Was there pain expressed? And sadness, loss and confusion, and even anger and profound disappointment? Yes, you bet, there was. Did I leave feeling that I had been with a sad, confused or angry person? Absolutely not. I did often feel that I had been with a disappointed person. But not a person in whom her or his disappointment was keeping her or him from moving forward into a future filled with hope, love and faith. In fact, I mostly left feeling that these were some of the most courageous, faith-filled and loving people I had ever met in my life. A fair number of them I have added to my “heroine/hero list.”

Some of the questions I had when what I heard and observed was different than what I had expected were: Why? Why was I not finding more “broken” people? Did they not exist? Did they exist, but somehow I was just not connecting with them? I came up with the two types of hypotheses for answering these questions:

1. I just happened to end up only interviewing highly functional, surprisingly well-adjusted people, or,

2. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin now exists primarily, if not exclusively, with highly functional and surprisingly well-adjusted people.

My analysis of these two hypotheses follows:

One: I was only able to interview (formally) twenty people. The people I interviewed came from probably only a half-dozen congregations in as many communities. I was given dozens of additional names to contact, and at least another one to two dozen people consented or signed up to be interviewed. Had time and other necessary resources not been a limitation, I believe I could have easily interviewed 40-50 people. In that scenario, perhaps I would have found some people that at least partially bore out my original notion of finding lingering feelings of pain, sadness, loss and confusion, or even signs and symptoms of post-traumatic syndrome.

Two: The people who ended up resisting the tide of their congregations moving out of the Episcopal Church, who took a stand against the prevailing “wind” and who took proactive steps to create new Episcopalian congregations, even at great cost to self, were leaders. That is to say, they either already possessed well-developed leadership skills or they found that they could and did develop latent leadership skills, that they felt compelled to bring to bear when their values were threatened. They also perhaps more strongly identified their Christian faith with the Episcopal Church and an Anglican ethos than did those who chose to stay with the congregations that became part of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

I now believe that the latter hypothesis best represents reality.

Prior to the Split, feelings of confusion, frustration and even anger seemed to have predominated. There were a number of times when interviewees also expressed strong senses of incredulity (as to what was happening or what was being said to them or was being said at meetings and conventions). At times these feelings of incredulity increased and transformed into anger, even outrage. Several people spoke of embarrassing situations that their priest had placed them in, and it sounded like these situations were hurtful, or even very hurtful, to them. Most of the people I interviewed seemed to try to focus on the positive things that they were experiencing in their lives or in their ministries within the Diocese, even as they also felt distressed, disappointed and confused.

The individuals that I spoke to all seem to be doing “fine” in terms of moving forward, maintaining their faith and a deep commitment to inclusion and to their worshipping communities. A number of people have found new and exciting ministries, and several people expressed a confidence that in the future they would be even more prepared to stand up for what they believe in. One woman in particular related surety about how she responded and spoke up at an event and how that had given her a new sense of self-confidence in living out her faith.

In talking with and observing people in this Diocese, one senses that they have a strong and unwavering commitment to living out their baptismal vow of respecting “the dignity of every human being.” They each seem to take seriously that they are personally responsible for promoting the Gospel value of love. They each seem to feel that they are called to use their own initiative, gifts and talents to create church spaces and communities that are welcoming and inclusive of others. For the individuals I interviewed, realizing what they value, and finding and creating a community that embraces those values has been healing.

What do they need to continue the healing process? All other things being equal, I would say that one could apply the truism “a tincture of time” to this situation. Though the things and people that they lost in the process of “before” and “during” the Split cannot be replaced, the people I spoke to are resilient, with deep faith, and a commitment to continue an Episcopal presence in San Joaquin. Continuing to bond with each other, to enjoy the support of each other and from the Diocese are all important in the continuation of healing. Having a strong and thriving Diocese would be, in itself, healing.

We are doing very well, thank you very much!

Thank you Angela Guida!

I forgot one thing. How are we doing in San Joaquin? Well, we grew by at least one last week and here she is:

You may recognize the Presiding Bishop's right hand person (he is now wearing glasses) but the one you do not is Kiera Lindsay. She joined us just last Wednesday.

Hat Tip to Mimi, I think it was she who once said "If I knew how much fun grandchildren would be I would have had them first".

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Old Icons and Older Farts

Over at Wounded Bird, Granmere Mimi picked up this headline/blog posting. Earliest Known Icons Discovered in the Catacombs of Rome. I encourage everyone to read that as it is an incredible find involving Sts Peter, Paul, Andrew and John. Just picture yourself wandering through an old and dusty catacomb to be the first to find these marvelous icons. What an exhilarating feeling, don't you think?

Well, you'll never guess what has just been found in some crypts in England. And, I think the Presiding Bishop of the episcopal Church was the first to make this discovery. Turns out ++Jefferts-Schori went to England a short while ago to preach and celebrate the Eucharist and made the discovery while in Southwark. Prior to actually celebrating the Eucharist turned out ++Katherine toured the crypts below the Cathedral and discovered two of the oldest known farts ever. A picture of what she discovered is set below for the world to see. Upon first opening the crypt, everyone gasped, "Holy s***" and sure enough, it smelled that way. later, the Archbishop of York, himself approaching old fart status said, "It takes one to know one and by golly, those are the oldest farts around these parts." The old farts, captured in two mayonnaise jars and with the lids screwed down tight, were shipped to Lambeth for further testing according the the laws of the Church of England. One of the Archbishop of Canterbury's trusted aides saying, "One can't be too careful, old farts can disguise themselves as trusted roses and so we must have full and complete disclosure based on the papers found with the old farts." More later.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Hold On To Your Hat, It's Going To Be A Bumpy Ride

". . . looked out at a room that was at least nearly half full of people of color, and the first thing he said was the "problem of increased and growing diversity in the Anglican Communion has been an issue for many years." He said that by the 1990s leaders in the communion has begun to name "the diversity of opinions in the communion and diversity in general as a problem and sought some mechanisms to address it."

When, where, and from whom do you think this quote came from? (Sorry Winston). Okay, some of you may guess Strom Thurmond, the fiery Senator form South Carolina. Or perhaps you might guess the former governor from Alabama, George Wallace. Or, how about Lester Maddox, the old axe wielder from Georgia? Well, you would all be wrong.

And when would you guess the time frame for this infamous quote might be? 1920's -- 1930's -- 1940's or surely not later than the 1960's you would guess. Well, you would be wrong.

Would you believe it if I said this quote came from the great state of Mississippi and maybe Jefferson Davis of John Stennis or Trent Lott? Maybe Utah and Joseph Smith or Gordon Hinckley? No, you are way off the mark.

Ready for this, while the Episcopal Church in the United States of America has been working in fits and starts to be all inclusive for all people but especially those marginalized by the mainstream culture all that time the Archbishop of Canterbury and Canon Kenneth Kearon (probably others in the church of England) certainly some of those who were resident in the Diocese of San Joaquin (now have left) and more have viewed us as a growing problem. Diversity is a growing problem? Diversity is a growing problem! These are ordained priests, many bishops, one an Archbishop that views people (diversity?) as a growing problem.

I think I have said this before -- Archbishop Rowan Williams, Canon Kenneth Kearon, shame on you! Time for both of you to retire.

Hat Tip to Katie Sherrod
Hat Tip to Mark Harris

Monday, June 21, 2010

The BS that is The ABC

As one wanders around the blog sphere one encounters a great degree of back-pedalling, explanations, and "slack cutting" - just a sliver for the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Purportedly there was some "legal action" contemplated if ++Rowan Williams did not enforce the silly-a** rule of requiring tribute and doffing the hat before the Presiding Bishop, Katherine Jefferts-Schori could preach in England. Furthermore, now everyone is standing on opprobrium. Never mind that there have been bishops deposed and priests defrocked by TEC that were 'welcomed" by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Never mind that there have been cross border incursions by Southern conealonialists and Missionaries from Africa that were really from Virginia. The Lead has a very nice and polite explanation of what "really happened" complete with examples. Never mind that the ABC has decided that the "Communion Partners" are the one true church in the US.

All that hooey not with standing, the facts still remain. ++Williams created a stir on the heels of his perfectly inane Pentecost aka TECacost letter. Then, decided that he just had to require the PB to verify her orders (although she had done this before) and did not permit her full regalia as he would any other bishop. He was either mean, rude, spiteful, sinful and a misogynist or he is old, senile and coming down with Alzheimer's. A person occupying the position that ++Rowan Williams does, does not make mistakes and does not do anything without the process being vetted three ways to breakfast. No, this was intentional and it was hurtful and it was specifically designed to insult ++Jefferts-Schori and more generally to punish TEC.

Time for the ABC to retire.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The New Revised "Our Father"

This is a special treat for those of you that are "out there".

And, so if you are lost in the music, here are the words:

our father (the new, revised edition)

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from those who think they're You

Lord send us forth to be of service
To build the schools, to dig the wells
And deliver us from the creepy preachers
With their narrow minds and very wide lapels

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from those who think they're You

Lord send us forth to bring compassion to every corner of the world
And please allow for women as our consecrated bishops
And remind Rowan that he could have been a girl

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from those who think they're You

And deliver us from politicians
Who drop Your name in every speech
As if they're Your best friend from high school
As if they practice what they preach

Thy kingdom come to every nation
Thy will be done in everything we do
Lord, lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from those who think they're You

Lord, lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from those who think they're You


Susan Werner (with a little help from her friends).

The AMiA Bishop's Rag

As I walked out on the streets of Pennsylvania.
As I walked out on Pittsburgh one day,
I spied a young archbishop all dressed in red linen,
Dressed in red linen as hot as the clay.
"I can see by your outfit that you are an archbishop."
"I see by your outfit you are a archbishop too."
"We see by our outfits that we are both archbishops.
If you get an outfit, you can be a archbishop too."

Note: With grateful acknowledgement to the Smothers Brothers (among others).

Friday, June 18, 2010

Other Issues In the ABC's Pentecost Letter

While the Executive Council discusses with Canon Kearon the intricacies and finer points of hats and committees there are still points to the ++Williams letter that have gone unspoken/unnoticed. Shall we discuss just a few:

The ABC takes us to task on our court cases:

In several places, not only in North America, Anglicans have not hesitated to involve the law courts in settling disputes, often at great expense and at the cost of the Church’s good name.

It seems that the ABC simply wishes us to give the silver to the interlopers such as John David Schofield and Robert Duncan and Jack Iker and be happy about that. See our "good name" has been besmirched. So, I ask the ABC to simply make the diocese of Virginia, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, Forth Worth, Quincy and all the others whole forthe porpeorty taken. Seems like a simple task.

The ABC seems to be concerned about what has happened to the Anglican Communion:

We have not, in other words, found a way of shaping our consciences and convictions as a worldwide body. We have not fully received the Pentecostal gift of mutual understanding for common mission.

++Williams is now convinced that we have to speak with one voice? Okay, I vote it be Bishop Katherine's voice! Oh, no one on that side of the pond likes that do they?

Then, the Archbishop of Canterbury enters directly into the mess continually trying to be created by the "suck ups" that are called the "Communion Partners".

It is significant that there are still very many in The Episcopal Church, bishops, clergy and faithful, who want to be aligned with the Communion’s general commitments and directions, such as those who identify as ‘Communion Partners’, who disagree strongly with recent decisions, yet want to remain in visible fellowship within TEC so far as they can.

For the record, this is 19 bishops and 79 priests (apparently that constitutes many) that cannot decide what side of the pond they are really on. It appears to me they just want to be on the winning side so they take a wishy-washy position on most things, afraid to make a stand. They slip off in the middle of the night and go talk to "Dad" in order to position themselves in a better light. To the "Communion Partners' I remind them of the parable of the dull tasteless "crap" being spit out.

There is much more to be digested from the ABC's "Pentecost" letter but let's start with that.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Parable of Rowan Williams: UPDATED

The gospel according to Fred Schwartz:

Rowan Williams invited Katherine Jefferts-Schori to dine with him,
and she entered the Archbisop Williams house and reclined at table.
Now there was a sinful woman in the city
who learned that Bishop Schori was at table in the house of the Archbishop
Bringing an alabaster flask of ointment,
she stood behind her at her feet weeping
and began to bathe her feet with her tears.
Then she wiped them with her hair,
kissed them, and anointed them with the ointment.
When Archbishop Rowan Williams who had invited Bishop Schori saw this he said to himself,
“If this woman were a real Anglican,
she would know who and what sort of woman this is who is touching her,
that she is a sinner.”
Bishop Katherine said to him in reply,
“Rowan, I have something to say to you.”
“Tell me, Katherine, ” he said.
“Two people were in debt to a certain creditor;
one owed five hundred day’s wages and the other owed fifty.
Since they were unable to repay the debt, he forgave it for both.
Which of them will love him more?”
Archbishop Williams said in reply,
“The one, I suppose, whose larger debt was forgiven.”
Bishop Schori said to him, “You have judged rightly.”
Then she turned to the woman and said to Rowan,
“Do you see this woman?
When I entered your house, you did not give me water for my feet,
but she has bathed them with her tears
and wiped them with her hair.
You did not give me a kiss,
but she has not ceased kissing my feet since the time I entered.
You did not anoint my head with oil,
but she anointed my feet with ointment.
So I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven
because she has shown great love.
But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.”
She said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.”
The others at table said to themselves,
“Who is this who even forgives sins?”
But she said to the woman,
“Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
And Archbishop Rowan Williams became so enraged that he removed all of
Bishop Schori’s representatives to the various inter-faith councils.


See Leonardo Ricardo's post on this topic. It is wonderful!

Rowan Williams, ¨the petty¨ Archbishop of Canterbury, doesn´t approve of high placed women at Church of England wearing ¨symbols of their office¨

PS: If you have not discovered Leonardo's artwork go visit his site anyway. He is a magnificient artist with a flair for color that is second to none.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

San Joaquin Episcopalians Not Episcopalians

Well folks, life gets stranger by the moment here in the Central Valley. Now, in fairness, this really hit me raw -- I am and Episcopalian and to the best of my knowledge, maintained that even in the depths of the semi-grand-tuffti stealing the silver and going south of the border. But, hold on to your mitres and croziers 'cause here it comes.

There was an event in Fresno, training if you will and here is the upshot of the training:

At our recent “Strength for the Journey” conference in the diocese, Dr. Glen Kreiner of Penn State University presented some of the findings from the Episcopal Identity Project “Around One Table.” The entire report is available at This project is now six years old, and has involved input from over 3,000 people in the church. The reason why this study and the results are important was summed up by The Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas (Bishop of Connecticut): “If we have a sense of who we are . . . then we can be more fully who God has called us to be.”

I find this statement and training to be a little patronizing but that is not really what rankled me. Canon Hall writes further in his reflection for the San Joaquin diocese:

Why is this important for us? As a “continuing” and rebuilding diocese we desire to reclaim our identity as Episcopalians.

Now, I cannot reclaim something I never gave up. I cannot find something I did not lose and I will not admit that John David Schofield took anything from me. I remained Christ-centered and grounded in the "three-legged stool". I did not permit myself to be fooled for one second by the guy trying to sneak out the southern border with all the property. I belong to a parish that never waivered and never lost it's way and those I spoke with during that time felt exactly like I did. Please, now we begin to rewrite history? We are not victims, we are those who brought San Joaquin out of darkness into light. We refused to give up or give in even when the National Church sputtered and spewed and lost it's way in terms of support for our diocese we never lost faith with them. Now, they send us this tripe? Please, we are better and we are smarter than that.

How about some real help?

Isn't There something About Lying ++Rowan Williams?

I am not a very good counter but I thought, in one of those tablety thingy's that Moses brought down there was something about lying. I would like to know if Archbishop Williams forgot that little ditty? Why, might you ask? Well here is a recent sermon (actually segments) from just the other day. The recipient was among others, George Osbourne.

Give Caesar what belongs to him, says Jesus. And how do we know what belongs to him? It has his image on it. Then: give God what belongs to God. The implication isn’t spelled out, but it’s clear enough. What belongs to God can be identified in the same way; it has his image on it.

The archbishop tells us exactly what he means.

Human beings, who are made in God’s image, ‘belong’ to God – not in the sense that they are God’s property but – like Caesar’s coinage – they carry the stamp of his authority.

Apparently, based on the archbishop's most recent missive to the church world in general and specifically to TEC, LGBT must not project that image. Why else would he recommend and then carry out punitive measures against a body that sees Christ's image in virtually everyone?

Friday, June 11, 2010

TEC and the Anglican Communion Trade Body Punches

Ya know, I believed that the English were over the Revolutionary War but I guess not. The way the Archbishop of Canterbury has come after the colonies one would think that we had just thrown tea into the harbor. Come to think of it, maybe we just did. And then wrote home about it. Of course good old Canada wasn't around then and appears to have faded again. So we are left to our own devices.

I think that there are two things that no one really understands about the Episcopal Church in the United States. First and foremost our love of independence and how we operate in that independence. We like to talk, we like to debate, we like to sit next to each other even when we do not agree. That is all because we respect the worth of each other. We respect the ideas of each other. Simply put, we respect each other. We may not like each other, we may not agree with each other, we may want to strangle each other from time to time but we still respect the basic dignity and worth of the individual.

Second, from that basic respect comes a constant need to protect each other. sometimes it takes us a while to get there but when we do look out! Mess with one of us and you mess with all of us.

Where does that leave us in relation to the rest of the world? We picked a woman to lead our church. It may of taken us too long but by God we picked one and you mess with this lady you mess with the entire TEC. We have come to the conclusion that LGBT need to, through this basic respect, be fully included in all that we do in TEC. May have taken us some time but by God we got there. Mess with the LGBT community and you mess with the entire TEC.

What the rest of the world is truly about to discover is just why we had a Revolution in 1776.

Watch the following and see for yourself:

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What Happens to the Archbishop of Canterbury

Got ya! Well, here is the process for selection of the Archbishop of Canterbury. I am hopeful we will see this occur soon -- real soon -- like this year.

Appointment of the next Archbishop of Canterbury

Outline of procedures for the appointment of an Archbishop of Canterbury

o The Archbishop of Canterbury having informed the Queen of his intentions and Her Majesty having accepted the resignation, the Archbishop announces his decision and the date of his retirement; the Privy Council subsequently declares the See and Archbishopric of Canterbury vacant.

o The Prime Minister, after consultation, appoints a communicant lay member of the Church of England to chair the Crown Appointments Commission, which oversees the selection of a new Archbishop of Canterbury.

o The Vacancy-In-See Committee in the Diocese of Canterbury meets to:
- produce a Statement of Needs (the diocese's assessment of the qualities and skills required of the next occupant).
- choose four members to sit on the Crown Appointments Commission.

o The Crown Appointments Commission is formed, comprising the Chair, the four members from the diocese, the Archbishop of York, a bishop elected by the bishops to take the place of the retiring Archbishop and the three clergy and three lay members elected by General Synod as standing members. (In addition, the Secretary General of the Anglican Consultative Council, the Archbishops' Appointments Secretary and the Prime Minister's Appointments Secretary are non-voting members.)

o Names are suggested to the members of the CAC, from a wide variety of sources including the general public. The members decide which names to put forward for formal consideration by the Commission.

o The Crown Appointments Commission meets, following an extensive consultation process. The gathering continues over two and a half days - in three phases:
- Review of background material gathered from consultations in the diocese, the Church and the wider country, including the Vacancy-In-See Committee's Statement of Needs.
- Consideration of candidates
- Shortlisting and voting: through prayer, discussion and voting, two names are elected, each of which commands a two-thirds majority of the Commission.

o The Commission sends the two names to the Prime Minister for consideration.

o Assuming he is content with them, the Prime Minister commends one of those names to the Queen. (The Prime Minister may request a further name or names through the same Commission process). Once the chosen candidate has indicated a willingness to serve, 10 Downing Street announces the name of the Archbishop-designate.

o The Archbishop-designate is presented at a news conference.

o The Dean and Chapter of the diocese of Canterbury formally elect the new Archbishop of Canterbury. The election is confirmed in a legal ceremony.

o The new Archbishop takes up office and is formally enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The First Response From ++Katherine

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I bring you a little known video response to ++Rowan's Pentecost "Fart" that was made by the Presiding Bishop but later shelved.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Can A Theocracy Be Far Behind?

Well friends and neighbors, the Archbishop of Canterbury has issued his proclamation and the the Presiding Bishop has countered with a Pentecostal Statement of her own. As a side note, since Sundays after Pentecost (also called ordinary times) is 23 Sundays long we have much to look forward to. These times are generally quiet but it appears that ++Rowan and ++Jefferts-Schori are about to change all of that,but I digress.

The understanding upon which the Episcopal Church in the United States of America was founded seems to continually escape more and more persons. Certainly those out side these United States could be excused for their ignorance but those inside the US (AMiA, ACNA, etc.) should know better. Now we have ++Rowan's blessing on those "Communion Partners" as the one true and abiding presence in the US.

Furthermore, as one listens to the election rhetoric heating to a frenzy and more and more there are candidates running for office explaining that they are outsiders and they are going to fix whatever is wrong inside. These would be politicians talk about "government' as if we were a third world country and all they want to do is make a little revolution. Here in California we have a woman running for governor who is deadset on throwing out the incumbent politician -- a person who ran on a outside person business ticket to fix government when he ousted the then insider Gray Davis.

The burning issues across this great land are not poverty, lack of jobs, lack of eduction, prison reform and so forth, the burning issues are right to life, what goes on in your (not mine mind you) bedroom, whether you are a Christian or "one of those", illegal immigration, gay marriage or more significantly, and how to prevent gay marriage from happening. There is a huge push on for no taxes and more services. pretty soon we will pay absolutely no taxes whatsoever and get all the services we want (not need).

There is a growing lack of understanding that we are the government and that we , the citizens of this country are the politicians of this country. That taxes are the price we pay for living in a civilized society and that what goes on in the bedroom is no one's business. That good government is worth paying for and good services are worth paying for. That government is really a good thing, or it least it beats the alternative.

What everyone wants, it seems to me, is a new and better theocracy, with "them" interpreting the bible and what is God's will for His people. I for one, am unwilling to give in to these self-absorbed, narrow-minded, minimalist Biblical scholars that can't grab their a** with both hands if their life depended on it.

What ACNA and AMiA and that group wants, along with the Communion Partners, is license. Yes, they are the best and the brightest and they want to run the show. How they have managed to bamboozle the laity in diocese such my own or Pittsburgh or Texas is beyond me. One thing is sure, they all need to be stopped -- starting with the Communion Partners.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Is There Any Group More Hung Up on Sex?

Sex, what an interesting word. Three letters, not four, not two and not five -- just three letters. More ink has been used on this word and more brain power expended than on any other topic in the last 20th century (Possible exception would be war. Another three letter word but that is for another time.)

Can you imagine any organized group outside of the pornography industry being more interested in the ins and outs of this fine old habit other than the church? And any church more interested in it than the Anglican Communion? My word, one would think someone has died and left someone else God! Why are we so obsessed with this one habit? Could you imagine, for example, that the FCA, ACNA, AMiA and all the other "leetle letters" spend all their time on, oh say, feeding the hungry? Wow! I'll bet that hunger would have been wiped out about the year 2003! Could you imagine if the Roman Catholic Church had spent the same amount of time and energy on oh say, wiping out malaria worldwide, would malaria still exist today? How about if the Archbishop of Canterbury spent as much time worrying about all the priests that need jobs would there be any unemployed clergy worldwide?

How about this--- suppose we all spent as much time worrying and writing and working on the issue of poverty in the world? If we all wrote about and the TEC and the Anglican Communion and all the others went out into the community to educate and build new houses and clean up the streets and find work for those unemployed would there still be poverty?

How about if all the lawyers, A.S.Haley included, spent all their time working on prison reform and rehabilitation? Would our prison system be as screwed up as it is?

Why can't we stop wringing our hands over this topic and get on with the business at hand? We do not have enough to do with unemployment and poverty and hunger and disease and unwanted children and poor to no education that we as Christians need to "peek into the bedroom" to occupy our minds?

How about this? You want to work on some really tough issues like war and hunger we take up the cross and follow Jesus? You want to work on sex ya'll move to San Fernando Valley and you take a course in 8 mm film making?