Sunday, August 26, 2012

John David Schofield II

I would like to begin with a quote from South Carolina Episcopalians.  The actual story is entitled "Diocese Adrift as Bishop's Options Narrow".

Bishop Lawrence has generally surrounded himself with a cadre of admiring friends and advisors who uniformly reflect his Biblical literalism and hostility to authority. Lawrence has revamped key governing structures of the Diocese such that they are now little more than an extension of that cadre. The direction of the Diocese is generally believed to be directed by God through revelation to Bishop Lawrence, who in turn, shares it with the Standng Committee, then the clergy, then the lay people of the Diocese.
While Bishop Lawrence has used many things similar to John David Schofield in bringing his diocese to the brink the above quote is an encapsulation of the exact formula Schofield used in cutting San Joaquin out of the Episcopal Church.  But, here is (I think) the unique part: See the highlighted part of the quote, that is my emphasis.  But, before I say anything, since I am just a blogger of no repute let me provide the reader with the quote that the South Carolinians used to open their story:

“Hooker articulates for Anglicanism its answer to the question of what is our authority. Our authority is the association of scripture, tradition and reason … Scripture for the Anglican is a fundamental source of authority for the church; but apart from reason it is dangerous. It becomes the mirror for the misdirected person to project his or her own opinions and give them the authority of God. The sin of schism is the result."
– Urban T. Holmes in What Is Anglicanism? 

Bishop Lawrence came to his diocese with the promise of staying within the Episcopal Church.  On that basis he garnered sufficient votes to be ratified.  So much for truth in the church.  I suppose he had his hands behind his back and his fingers crossed.  Just like John David Schofield.

Now, in closing and perhaps my main point (after  an obligatory I told you so. Okay, got that out of my system) is that here is at least one more bishop who has done the same thing.  I will let you guess who I am talking about but his initials stand for Daniel Martins.

Will we  ever learn???!!!???

H/T Preludium

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lance Armstrong, The poor, and Oil Depletion

Once again the idea of  "smacking" the poor raises it's ugly head.  See, those who are less fortunate, those who lost their jobs and those who are just down on their luck receive cash payments and food stamps and WIC in order to merely keep them alive.  The operative words here are "keep them alive".  Someone has this great plan of drug testing those who receive government "handouts" prior to providing them with the necessary funds to merely subsist.  Not, live like kings, not reap huge windfall tax relief, not stock market wealth up the proverbial you know what, merely to subsist.  We all know that almost all of those people are druggies anyway using the money Uncle Sam gives them to buy heroin or crack or meth or weed.

Well, fair is fair, right?  We should have a fair and just society so here is a modest proposal.  Anyone who receives a government subsidy of any sort should be drug tested:

1, those who receive oil depletion allowances should be drug tested.  Most of the owners and CEOs probably use cocaine regularly.  We all have seen movies about it.
2, those who receive crop subsidies or payments to allow fields to lie fallow or water subsidies would be drug tested.  We all know that corporate farms grow weed on their farms to "subsidize" their income.
3, All those who receive capital gains reductions or investment credits should be tested.  They probably use illegal performance enhancement drugs that make them angry and unable to listen.
4, GM, Chrysler, and all the banks and investment firms that received handouts from the government should be drug tested.  Lord knows  their actions leading up to the economy falling apart clearly indicates drug use.  Should check those beady little eyes.
5, All the veterans who receive service related disability pensions should be tested.  After all, we all know that service people drink to excess and use those funny little things they pick up in Afghanistan and Vietnam and other places around the world.
6, then let's drug test all those on social security since they buy drugs of all kinds with their medicare and medicaid payments. 

Got everyone covered?  Hope so.  Think of the money the government will save.  Not only all the cash but we can do away with health and Human Services, Internal Revenue, Social security, Veterans Affairs, EPA, Natural Resources.  Oh, and while we are at it let's drug test EVERYONE in government -- they all receive cash handouts from the feds.  I have one better idea-- Let's not just start with congress but let's start with the Republicans in Congress who are so eager to drug test the poor and downtrodden.  Anyone who takes money from the government and then denies it to everyone else clearly is on some kind of drug!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Happy News

I suppose I can be depressing at times, Lord knows I get depressed, however, this time I wish to share some personal and happy news.

First, our daughter, after studying hard for many years, having two children and a myriad of other things happen in her life, has now completed her credential.  Not only that, but she now has a teaching position -- in California no less! 

Second, today our son begins his quest to become a Naval Officer.  He is a Petty Officer, currently, or more correctly (as of today) an Officer Candidate.  He was trained as a nuclear type and did one deployment in the gulf. Already, he has moved a number of times and will do so many more times. He has a very patient wife and two children also.

So that I can tie this into the  blog, both families are practicing Episcopalians.  Our daughter is very, very active and has done a mission to Chile.   Currently serving on a vestry as the fund raising person.  Her son has been featured with the Presiding Bishop and has never missed a convention.

I just wanted my readers, indeed anyone who stumbles across this humble blog to know that there are young families who love the Episcopal Church and are willing to make Christ the center of their lives and to make the Episcopal Church the center of their earthly attention.

We are a small family that has struggled through the trials and tribulations of the diocese of San Joaquin.  But, take heart, a new generation is coming to take over.  A generation of people willing to work for what they believe in, Christ made manifest through the Episcopal Church.

By the way, my wife and I could not be prouder of two children (and of course four grandchildren) who are on their way to success both spiritually and physically.  We love them very much and hold them up for all to see, the torch is not only passing to a new generation (thanks JFK) but the torch has been accepted.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Let The Dead bury the dead

Here is the best reason I can give for not allowing those who return from the ACNA diocese to not be allowed any voice or vote in the Episcopal Church at least for 5 years.  This quote comes from another blog whose name will remain not spoken and he comment is on the process we follow as a democratic organization, one of the few in the Anglican Communion.  This writer is ,presumably still in the Episcopal Church which makes me very very nervous:

It's not the fault of Committees 9 and 10 that those resolutions take up so much time. The resolutions come in from CCABs, dioceses, bishops and deputies and have to go somewhere - if we eliminated those committees then they would have to be taken up by others. Speaking for committee 10, we took five health-related resolutions and combined them into three; and a whopping SEVEN poverty-related resolutions were combined into ONE. So in that respect, I'd say that Committee 10 actually *saved* us all a lot of time. The only way to improve the situation would be to somehow prevent the resolves from being made in the first place.

Improve what situation?  The need for democratic process?  The need for all voices to be heard?  The desire to  not run over the weak, the minority voice, those who you feel have no real say in the matters of the church?

Please, go join the Anglican Communion of North America if you feel as strongly as you seem to.  We practice and live by the big tent theory and we have no need of "bishops" telling us what we believe especially in public and especially speaking for me.  I have my own voice and can speak when I feel it necessary.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Next Bus Has Arrived

Folks, apropos of the last posting the next bus has arrived and gone and I was not there.  Yep, the GAFCONites have demanded that they have a say in the selection of the next archbishop of Canterbury.  A letter was received last July by the Crown Nominating Committee from the "most holy" archbishops of the Global South (BTW, I now fully understand the old adage, "Things went south").

Here is the letter, not in its purist form, I  thank The Lead for the use of the letter, as is:

20 July 2012
The Rt Hon the Lord Luce KG, GCVO
Crown Nominations Commission
Appointment of a new Archbishop of Canterbury
The Global South of the Anglican Communion, comprising more than fifty-five million of the eighty million members of the Anglican Communion, deeply appreciate our historical relation with the See of Canterbury. We therefore commend the following to the Crown Nominations Commission for your serious consideration.
It is the reality of the Anglican Communion in the 21st Century that the majority of Anglicans are found within the Global South, especially in Africa. Resulting from the faithful witness of Western missionaries over the past two hundred years, Anglicans today stand in worship and witness amidst diverse cultures, among ancient traditions and often in inter-religious tensions.
As noted in the media release of the Church of England on the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury, one of his responsibilities is to be "the Focus of Unity of the Anglican Communion... primus inter pares among the bishops." This role calls for the new Archbishop of Canterbury to always act in a conciliar and collegial manner with his fellow Primates because his decisions will affect the life and witness of Provinces worldwide.
The new Archbishop of Canterbury should have the experience and cross-cultural sensitivity to understand the concerns and conflicts in the worldwide Communion. He has to be able to communicate effectively with, and gain the respect and confidence of, his fellow Primates in the Global South. He has to be able, together with his fellow Primates, to more effectively restructure the Anglican Communion Office and the Anglican Consultative Council to better serve the Communion.
At a time when the Christian faith faces challenges from other religious as well as secular worldviews, the new Archbishop of Canterbury must be committed to uphold the orthodoxy of the Christian "faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints" (Jude 3). To fulfil his calling and vow as Guardian of Faith, he must have the capacity to collectively put into effect the decisions taken at Lambeth Conferences and Primates Meetings, especially on issues that have led to the present crisis in the Communion.
To secure the future and unity of the Communion at a foundational level, the new Archbishop of Canterbury has to work with his fellow Primates to address the ecclesial deficit of the Anglican Communion highlighted in the report of the Windsor Continuation Group.
The Archbishop of Canterbury is also responsible to work with ecumenical partners for the unity of the "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". The new Archbishop of Canterbury must be able to build upon the work of his predecessors while avoiding any further actions that may widen the gap between us and these partners.
In conclusion, the Global South Primates expect to be consulted on this decision of great importance for the Communion, and look forward eagerly to the new Archbishop of Canterbury to uplift God's people in the Anglican fold worldwide in obedience to God's Word.
We wholeheartedly pray and hope that the unity of our beloved Anglican Communion will be restored and strengthened.
Faithfully in Christ,
Most Rev Dr Mouneer Anis
Primate, The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & Middle East
Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Nicholas Okoh
Primate, The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)
Vice-Chairman, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Ian Ernest
Primate, The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean
Honorary Secretary, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Bolly Lapok
Primate, The Church of the Province of South East Asia
Honorary Treasurer, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Stephen Than
Primate, The Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma)
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Henri Isingoma
Primate, Province de l'Eglise Angicane du Congo
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Daniel Deng
Primate, The Episcopal Church of the Sudan
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev Dr Eliud Wabukala
Primate, The Anglican Church of Kenya
Member, Global South Primates Steering Committee
Most Rev David Vunagi
Primate, The Church of the Province of Melanesia
Most Rev Joseph Kopapa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea
Most Rev Onesphore Rwaje
Primate, Province de l'Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda
Most Rev Bernard Ntahoturi
Primate, The Anglican Church of Burundi
Most Rev Valentino Mokiwa
Primate, The Anglican Church of Tanzania
Right Rev Dr Chad Gandiya
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of Central Africa
Right Rev Dr Johannes Seoka
Representing the Primate of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa
Right Rev Matthias Medadues-Badohu
Representing the Primate of The Church of the Province of West Africa
Right Rev Peter Bartlett [not signed -ed.]
Representing the Primate of Iglesia Anglicana del Cono Sur de America
cc: Most Rev Dr Barry Morgan
Primate representing the Anglican Communion, Crown Nominations Commission

Let's begin with the logical fallacy of "we represent 50 million Anglicans", like numbers make a decision.  Do you suppose that Christ would not have died for just one?  Secondly, "they represent" is like me saying I represent all the veterans of the world.  I am a veteran therefore I represent them all?  The 50 M do not vote and do not even get an opinion.  Is a spiritual appointment (made by the Queen of England) supposed to be done on how many Anglicans want someone to be some grand poohbah?  I certainly hope not?  Kind of arrogant -- but hey, they got one vote, why not try for fifty?  Let's stack the deck because "we are great". 

Cross-cultural sensitivity is a major issue for the GSFCON bishops?  And the bishops want "defense of the faith".  Let's see, defense of the faith by waging war on Moslems in Nigeria?  Waging war on women in Central Africa?  Cross cultural sensitivity to the Hutus that were slaughtered in Rwanda?  Cross-cultural sensitivity to the thousands of children kidnapped and pressed into military service in Uganda?  I strongly believe in a faith that accepts all, the big tent concept if you will, including our LGBT brethren.  Opps, I don't think the bishops signing this letter mean that!

What we have here, is a thinly veiled  attempt  to put certain segments of the Worldwide Anglican Communion out of the Communion.  They want, need to be, find it their sacred duty to become the magesterium of the Anglican Communion. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

That bus is gone but the next one is on it's way!

Why does it now "feel" like the Anglican Covenant has become irrelevant?  Because, IMHO it has.  The real question(s) is/are who made it so?  Was it father time that made it irrelevant?  That is, things in motion tend to stay in motion while things at rest tend to stay at rest.  So, perhaps time has just past the Anglican Covenant by.  In essence they don't care and we don't care.

Or, did the Episcopal church, in some clever and well hidden way, make it irrelevant?  The general conventions have managed to sidestep the issue in such a way as to finesse the program right into oblivion.  Dodging the bullet, while not very stalwart, does have it's advantages.  It does simply make one wonder if there is anything that the Episcopal Church will address head on.

Or, did the fellows from the Anglican Church in North America set this whole thing up as an exercise in distraction so that other things could be accomplished?  If this is the case then ACNA has made progress of sorts in formation and implementation without so much as a by your leave, sir.  While the world passed the hot potato around the horn the ACNA folks did all sorts of things in both England and in the United States. One has to give them credit for their plan, at least according to the Chapman Memo (as amended) they have followed the plan and not a thing of importance has happened.  They have made the Episcopal Church almost impotent.  If you disagree please explain why not a single soul in Canterbury did anything to stop the plan from unfolding and for allowing the United States to fall into a state of disarray? 

Well,, choose one or all, I do believe that that bus has passed us by and probably most everyone else in the world.  But hey, wait, just like a bus, the next ACNA move will be along in a few minutes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Shadow Knows!

This post will be short, brief and I will standfirm in it's moral. 

There is an old joke that goes something like this: What do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of the sea?  A good start."

I have no idea why that popped into my head today but it did.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

How Is San Joaquin Doing?

How is the Diocese of San Joaquin doing now?  I have no idea if this is a burning question in any one's mind outside of this diocese (except for the Executive Council and a few others in god ole NY -- I explain in a moment or two).  Also, let me say this, this is a person in the pew review with no special knowledge.  I stopped having whatever "special knowledge" sometime ago due to "issues".

Litigation: Have you ever witnessed grass grow?  Well, litigation is slower than that (I'd like to think that is a joke but it is not!)  All the bad guys who gave in early, precious few as they may be, did so and the rest are in a continuing litigious mood.  By and large we do okay but I expect that most people directly involved in the illegal split may be forgotten by the time it all ends.  True, we make progress but ever so slowly.

Returning Anglicans:  you know the ones I mean.  Much to my chagrin they return and like the prodigal son are welcomed with open arms.  The diocese believes that for those returning no harm no foul.  Grates on me personally since the Anglicans are neither repented or sorry or anything but slightly arrogant.  I fear we may have part two here in the Central Valley, but o well.

Liturgy and Worship:  Wow! we are good!

Outreach:  While we are better, it appears to be backsliding into "same o same o".  Too bad because there is so much need in the world.  But hope springs eternal and we may reach out to the many downtrodden.

Doctrine:  We are modern for the first time since Noah floated a boat. We are the "Big Tent". 

Finances:  The potential for the life of the diocese lies squarely on the shoulders of financial affairs.  We have received help from lots of places and continue to do so.  But the lack of a full complement of Episcopalians is the issue.  EVERYONE is working on this because it is so crucial.

There is great joy in this diocese.  Two great bishops! A revitalized clergy and laity stepping up to the plate,  For the most part the pall is gone.  But, we begin to slip back into the old ways.  Let the clergy do it.  From the clergy, you can trust us.  This is the second abyss.  Laity have stepped up but clergy have begun to flex again.

There you have it -- everything fit to print.  Any questions?