Yesterday was a real chance to let loose! Today, I have more questions. For example, why, with a crippled diocese would one have the bishop turnover of approximately one every two years? The first thing that any manager anywhere else does is establish credibility with those who follow. It is pretty hard to establish credibility when the top post is a musical chair.
Next, why, when only five of about 19 parishes remained loyal to the National Episcopal Church would those who suffered the most, get to pay for the crimes of those who left. Permit me to explain. By the time those renegade parishes left the financial affairs of the remaining parishes was a mess. Now, a renegade parish comes back, actually is chased down and returned to the real Episcopal Church and of course is in financial disarray. One would think that the parish that had left and was dragged back would have to pay for the transgressions that created the financial hardship. (In the Diocese of San Joaquin those parishes that left were forced to contribute to the general coffers for the purpose of legal services. In our case, the parish of St. Paul had a nice comfortable office for Bishop Rice. It appears he betrayed Christ the King for his own comfort. After all, why would a Bishop create his/her own discomfort? That would be taking pastoral care off hi/her flock to the extreme.
Next, in the midst of all the financial destruction going on, and in continuing for the diocese to borrow money for litigation, the Bishop decides he needs a new car. The natural thing would be to wait for the diocesan budget and cut in one or two places to free up money to buy a new car. Well, that just cannot be done! See, the diocese is in such financial straits that Bishop Rice had to ask each parish to come up with extra funds to give to the diocese for the purpose purchasing a car for the bishop. Now, Christ the King, clearly to be merged into St. Paul's, was asked to give to the diocese for the purpose of a car for the bishop. So, the bishop gets his car in part on the back of the parish that held firm when the winds of John David blew not only got to help buy a car for the bishop but the bishop saw to it that Christ the King parish.
The diocese from early 2008 until September of 2014 one would think that there would be two full scale long range plans developed. One for the financial side of churches being returned to the diocese and how they would fit or not fit or be sold. The second should have been for the purpose of re-establishing a long range mission plan for the diocese to bring to fruition. Nothing was done in either case. I was told by the bishop, our rector, the diocesan office, and the Standing Committee that there was a plan but no one in any place could produce the long range plans. Supposedly it was in some form of transition but there is no plan. How in the world does our diocese seek the return of every piece of property if there was not a plan and a plan on how to integrate the return of these buildings and grounds. And develop a new mission for the diocese and adopted by the parishes--- why would we need that? Bishop Rice said he was "known as a missioner bishop" so why would he need a plan? Plan, plans, we don't need no stinkin' plans!
Finally, for now, why in the world would the following happen in an Episcopal diocese? Most of the parishes of a diocese are ripped from the comfort of the arms of the National Episcopal Church, placed in the hands of the "Anglican diocese of the Southern Cone", and told that the Anglican Church was the only true denomination? That diocese then turns right back around and elects an Anglican bishop from New Zealand? Is there any need to explain why parishioners in te diocese would be skeptical? Well, turns out Bishop Rice wants to come back to his homeland of the United States and needs to have a place to work for immigration purposes. What better pace to put an Anglican Bishop than the nearly destroyed diocese of San Joaquin. Bishop Rice, gets to come home, gets to have a new car, and gets to keep his comfortable office while Christ the King, faithful follower of the National Episcopal Church. gets less than spit.