Wednesday, November 26, 2008


     Much has been made over the last few years about numbers.   Here in the diocese of San Joaquin Mr. Schofield for years has pounced on each parish exhorting them to get out and "evangelize".  Drag those poor unfortunate suckers into your churches and make them Christians!  Oh, and by the way, make sure they pledge, don't want anyone to think this Christianity thingy is free.  Schofield had his henchman, Bill Gandenberger on the circuit preaching Friendship Evangelism to anyone and everyone that would listen.  In fact, if a parish were ailing financially, the Friendship Evangelism package was a prerequisite for any assistance at all.  NUMBERS, NUMBERS,NUMBERS!

    Fast forward to the GAFCON folks who frequently explain that they have  35 million people they are speaking for and those 35 million people want TEC and the Church of Canada to end this wild goose chase of providing equal rights and full inclusion for this "silly little minority of people".  These few folks tucked away in small corners of churches in America and Canada threaten the very lives of these 35 million worldwide Anglicans that could be killed at any moment because of the actions to protect this minority.

     Now, if you travel over to Father Mark Harris' blog you will frequently find a lively discussion on the numbers.  Generally the numbers discussion goes something like "the most Episcopalians in the world have now left the Episcopal Church in favor of the new improved North American Province".  200,000 Episcopalians can't be wrong, TEC must be deaf and hard of hearing.  The average Sunday Attendance for the entire Episcopal Church in America is 6 (counting the babies in the crying room) while the average Sunday attendance in the Southern Cone Diocese of Fort Worth is forty eleven million so TEC is a dying.   Then there is the old saw about how can the will of the people be denied?  Gee whiz, how can we give LGBT persons basic rights and full inclusion when clearly the votes are in  and the will of the people says they have no rights. TEC and Canada cannot deny the will of the people.  Can they?  Should they?  What the heck is going on?  

     Well, here are at least two relative good answers to all those issues.  First, the two mixed logical fallacies.  
Appeal to Popularity

Appeals to popularity suggest that an idea must be true simply because it is widely held. This is a fallacy because popular opinion can be, and quite often is, mistaken. Hindsight makes this clear: there were times when the majority of the population believed that the Earth is the still centre of the universe, and that diseases are caused by evil spirits; neither of these ideas was true, despite its popularity.

Appeal to Authority

An appeal to authority is an argument from the fact that a person judged to be an authority affirms a proposition to the claim that the proposition is true.

Appeals to authority are always deductively fallacious; even a legitimate authority speaking on his area of expertise may affirm a falsehood, so no testimony of any authority is guaranteed to be true.

Both of these arguments are indeed telling but I have a couple more.  First, there is the parable of the woman who had committed some grievous sin and was about to be stoned to death.  Jesus comes along and says to the assembled men, "Let any man who is without sin cast the first stone."  That woman would be alive today were it not for old age that caught up with her.  But the most compelling argument I can make against all this numbers nonsense is that of Calvary.  When it came time to pony up, when the time was right, God gave us his ONLY (I assume meaning 1) son.  And Jesus, deserted by everyone (save his mom), including the Pharisees and the Saduccees and the assembled masses who screamed for crucifixion, knew that it takes only one person to change the world.  AND, what was his last action?  He took the criminal with him!  

Numbers don't mean diddly.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's That "Wimmin" Thingy!

Mr. Iker begins to reveal that which is at the heart of this lame attempt to split the Episcopal Church.  He states in an article in the Living Church:
“Katharine Jefferts Schori has no authority over me or my ministry as a Bishop in the Church ofGod. She never has and she never will,” he said. “Since Nov. 15, both the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and I as the diocesan Bishop have been members of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone. As a result, canonical declarations of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church pertaining to us are irrelevant and of no consequence.”

The entire article can be found here:

I do not wish to downplay the LGBT denial of rights issue one iota but what turned Mr. Schofield and apparently Mr. Iker is the fact that a woman -- yes a woman - has the gall to depose him, the mighty Mr. Iker!  

The process of leaving the Episcopal Church by John David Schofield never took a leap forward until +Schori became the Presiding Bishop.  Before, she was an irrelevant Bishop in backwater Nevada that could be ignored without any pain at all.  Then suddenly she becomes the Presiding Bishop for TEC and the San Joaquin diocese hit fifth gear moving faster than ever to leave.  During that time JDS spent as much time in consultation with Mr. Iker and Mr. Duncan and should be Mr. Wantland as he did in his own diocese tending to his clergy.   Sure, they have had a run up to this day and the issue that they find palatable is the LGBT issue because, as was seen in California, these Bishops can bamboozle the general public into believing that hatred trumps love.  Could you imagine if they took on the woman as clergy issue head on?  Gee, I'd guess there are about half the people in the world that would rise up in arms and the other half would support them.  They cannot take on the woman issue because they know they would lose.  So these thugs use the LGBT issue instead.  It is in this article, for perhaps the first time, one of them made a slip.  I can only hope that those powers that be, Fr. Harris, will recognize the real issue .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


It is reported elsewhere that Bishop Wantland now wants ++Schori to admit him as an honorary member of the House of Bishops.  Honorary means, at least under one definition, given as an honor without the normal duties.   This is the same person who invented the idea of stealing the name of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  See the following url:

You should recognize all the names there but the point is that this person would like to have a complimentary membership in the House of Bishops.  May I suggest that he could get his friends  including +Howe, Mr. Duncan, Mr. Schofield, soon to be Mr. Iker, retired bishop Ackerman, and a few other of his close friends and he could create a new House of Bishops just like he created PECUSA.  They could then sit around and recognize the pretend Province of North America. They could also pretend that they were all Anglicans and one could be elected as the new Archbishop of Canterbury.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Well, we are coming to the "turn card".  The turn card in Texas Hold'em is the fourth card of the deck.  It is not the finish, that is the river card, it is merely the point where one reads one's cards and says "Oh sh*t" or pushes the remaining stack of chips in and says "all in".  The mighty Minns, along with Mr. Duncan, Mr. Schfield, ++Akinola, ++Nizimbi, soon to be Mr. Iker and the whole redefining, reasserting, thieving, mean-spirited purple shirted thugs have now pushed all their chips in and have called the bluff of the Archbishop of Canterbury.  A new province is "coming" according to an interview over at the SFiF site.  It never ceases to amaze me how these folks tell everyone they have discovered a new truth, such as those at GAFCON and the Jerusalem Declaration and then proceed to tells us exactly what that new truth is.  I am always entertained by those who say that no one can hear God's voice but me and then proceed to tell us what God is saying.  I think Elmer Gantry used this technique. In this instance they, the GAFCON leadership, now shares with us the unholy reality of what they discovered all by themselves in Jerusalem.  Of course it is God's word because how could the spokespersons for over 35 million Anglicans be anything but truthful?

The incredible genius of this whole silly little plan for a few bishops to become king of the hill is that in this game they believe they have read ++Williams thoroughly and have decided to make this play.  It seems apparent that we could only wait and see how the Archbishop of Canterbury plays his hand.  There are however, a few other players at the table.  Will these players think on their feet? Will they think creatively and respond with a gambit of their own?  Unfortunately, our Constitution and canons do not allow the laity to play at his level, at least not directly. We are stuck -- so we will get to hang around and watch the card game finish.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Will The Real Thomas Cranmer Please Answer His Phone!

"Now we need another movement to keep the Church faithful. I want to keep orthodox Anglicans together."

The Bishop of Rochester told clergy that the new movement was equivalent to the Reformation in the sixteenth century, which led to the establishment of the Church of England.

Traditionalists have been upset that the Episcopal Church escaped punishment despite consecrating Gene Robinson as Anglicanism's first openly gay bishop.
-- Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali

The picture is coming clearer.  There are a number of bishops who are suffering from the disease I can only characterize "as delusions of grandeur".  We have a growing number of ego-maniacal folks who want desperately and are willing to give up everything and everyone to become the next "Thomas Cranmer".  

Who are these people?  Well we know for sure the numbers include ++Venables, ++Orambi,  ++Akinola, +Nazir-Ali, Mr. Schofield, Mr. Duncan, soon to be Mr. Iker, maybe retired Mr. Ackerman, and a few others.

Now, you may want to know how to tell who is the next person to vie for the coveted title of the New and Improved Thomas Cranmer.  Well, I do not know by name but I can tell you a little about the person.  The person hates women, thinks that women have a place in church, it just happens to be way in the back.  The person hates anyone that is not wealthy and can contribute large sums of money to this person's expense account.  This person wants to maintain second class citizenship for all those who do not think or act or live like they do. The person preaches repentance and punishment instead of reconciliation and love.  This person is interested in big church instead of Christianity.  This person preaches exclusivity rather than inclusivity.  The person tends to throw friends, colleagues and neighbors "under the bus" in order to further their own agenda.  Yes, these are some of the characteristics of the man who would be "Thomas Cranmer".  

Here is where the rubber hits the road.  All of these identified "Cranmer in-waiting" have signed on to the GAFCON Jerusalem Declaration identifying the Archbishop of Canterbury as being colonial and outdated and therefore superfluous to the Anglican Communion (never mind the seeming oxymoron for the moment).  But is Thomas Cranmer who we need or do we need someone else?  I think we need a bishop who is willing to go to all lengths to include everyone in their flock.  Jesus looked for that 99th sheep that went wandering away can a bishop do less?  I think we need a bishop who reconciles like Jesus did when the group of pharisees wanted to stone the woman for adultery and Jesus said "Hey there is no one else here to condemn you so neither shall I ('cept he said it in his own language).  Isn't that the bishop we want?  I think we need a bishop who shares the Eucharist with everyone just as Jesus did when he was at the last supper.  I want a bishop who is willing to sweat blood for his flock like Jesus did in the Garden of Gethsemane.  I want a loving bishop who says to the doubting , "here put your hand in the holes" instead of let's all go to GAFCON.  I want a bishop that builds on the cornerstone not tears apart the fabric of the communion. 

Think about it.  What do you want?

So, in essence these identified bishops want to become the person that they have already identified as being obsolete?  Here is my suggestion, why wait?  Let's just declare all of these fine older gentlemen to be obsolete and be done with it!  Then we go find bishops that know what bishops are all about.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Reading Katie Sherrod's blog over the last few days has brought tears to my eyes.  This weekend there will be the diocesan convention for the diocese of Forth Worth.  I believe this is +Iker's diocese.  It has been almost exactly one year to the date when Mr. Schofield (then Bishop Schofield) decided to move his diocese from Fresno, California to Buenos Aires, Argentina.  That was December 7, 1941 oops 2007.  Then in March there was a convention here in Lodi in which our ++Katherine came and visited.  She wanted to know what questions we had.  One question that was posed was, "What is the National Church doing/learning in order to stop this from happening in other diocese?".  The answer now is apparently no better than it was then.  The answer is NOTHING!  

We have seen Pittsburgh and Quincy both fly south for the winter.  We have in fact seen the Moderator, Mr. Duncan also fly east for a conversation with ++Rowan Williams.  Please do not try to convince anyone that ++Williams would have seen any old Mr. because that would be just foolish.  Now, the diocese of Fort Worth is about to "hop on board the train to Buenos Aires".  And there is to be one more day of weeping and gnashing of teeth as once again the "purple-shirted thugs" are allowed to do what they please with impunity.  Don't get me wrong, there will be lots of help as the diocese splits into little pieces and the laity is forced to pick up those pieces and find that one cannot "put humpty dumpty together again".  It seems that those of us in the outer reaches of The Episcopal Church are left to go through this process over and over and over and over again until there is but a shell left and the people are broken and property is stolen and the history and love that we have all had is laid to waste by these power hungry purple shirted folks who proclaim the love of Christ all the while laying waste to everything in their paths and those that could help stand idly by and send us money and support for the long journey into night.  

I just wanted to say to those that can do something to stop this insanity -- "Hey, wake up!  There are thousands of people out here that need your help.  That want your help.  When ya'll gonna stop messin' around and do something proactive?  Life is tough out here and it is getting tougher.  People are hurting and yet the program of dis-information and hatred continues. "  I do not want to belittle that which has been done for the diocese of San Joaquin but we were first, caught you off guard maybe.  But crimenee sakes folks, this is number 4 -- NUMBER 4 how about you do something in advance so there is no number 5?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Rowan Williams and Neville Chamberlain

Archbishop Rowan Williams                            Neville Chamberlain

I have struggled with this posting for sometime.  It gives me no great pleasure to now write this but write it I must.  Why do you ask?  Well, here, in a nutshell form is the answer:

Dissident Anglican churches in Canada and the United States say they will form a new conservative jurisdiction in the next year, adding that the Archbishop of Canterbury has lost the moral authority to have any real say in blocking the radical move.

You may read the entire article here:

The Archbishop of Canterbury has, through a series of appeasement moves, given away the Anglican Communion.  More specifically, The Anglican Church of Canada and The Episcopal Church in the United States of America.  

Lets take the above statement and dissect it for just a brief moment.  We know where ++Rowan Williams personally stands on the issues that separate.   That being said he has had a series of meetings with all sides but most recently with Moderator Duncan in an attempt to keep everyone together.  On the final day of the Lambeth Conference he gave up our LGBT brothers.  On the other hand he has steadfastly refused, according to the conservative fold, to replace all of the apostate churches with the "real deal".  He stands neither for TEC/ACoC, nor for his own beliefs and not for the reasseerters.  In effect, he has given up all the moral ground and so it is easy to see how the conservative blowhards can utter the words above.

It is way past time to make a decision and to act on that decision.  It is time to declare those interloping archbishops inside North America to be legally and morally out of bounds - literally. Furthermore, they each must relinquish ANY claim real or imaginary, permanent or temporary immediately.   It is time to declare those bishops that have been deposed to in fact be deposed throughout the Anglican Communion.  It is time to take a stand and tell those who would destroy the Episcopal Church in the United States that they have 60 days to be reconciled or to be gone -- yes gone.  Out of the Anglican Communion.  Don't go away mad just go away.  If you all want to start a Church of your own then please do, we wish you well.  Just be sure you do it on your time and with your money and not with ours.  Mssrs. Duncan, Iker, Ackerman, Schofield, if you want to evangelize then do it the old fashion way -- earn it, stop stealing it.  And, by the way, do it without the benefit of orders.

Archbishop Rowan Williams you have been had.  Appeasement does not become you any more than it became Mr. Chamberlain.  You know it, they know it  and we know it.   

Friday, November 7, 2008

Let's Talk? No Let's Act!

There is an article in the Living Church on the results of the Executive Council meeting in Helena, Montana.  This was the lead paragraph:

"Executive Council has called for a reconciliation-oriented conversation with members of Common Cause Partnership, according to the two top officials of The Episcopal Church. They spoke to members of the media Oct. 23 during a brief conference call at the conclusion of the council’s four-day meeting in Helena, Mont."

Now, I enjoy a good meeting as much as the next guy.  A reconciliation conversation with folks who want to reconcile would be a truly great thing.  Now, if we could find three people in Common Cause that would like to reconcile with the Episcopal Church one might be able to have a meeting with a reconciliation conversation.  As it stands there are not three people, in fact there is not one person in the Common Cause Partnership that wants to reconcile with The Episcopal Church.    The Moderator ,aka Mr. Robert Duncan, went to Canterbury about a week or so ago to have a reconciliation conversation with the Archbishop of Canterbury and it did not include The Episcopal Church.  

Note to the Executive Council, "When you find yourself in a hole the first thing one needs to do is stop digging."  Members of the Executive Council, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh and now Quincy have "decided to leave" the Episcopal Church.  While the concept of " a diocese cannot leave the Episcopal Church" is a great legal argument, but  as a practical matter, can we "get past that issue".   Folks, there is the Fort Worth Diocese standing in the wings and if you think for one minute that a "reconciliation conversation with Common Cause Partnership members" is going to stem the bleeding then you folks have not studied the diplomatic negotiations leading up to World War II.  I suggest that you ask +Cantuar for the tapes from Chamberlain. 

 Keep this in mind, you guys smacked the stuffing out of the Moderator of the Common Cause Partnership.  He is a proud and an arrogant man.  Do you think for one moment that he is now going to come and have a reconciling conversation with the very persons who publicly beat the crap out of him?  Please, this would be an embarrassment to him.  Oh sure, someone may show up because we want to talk and the more we talk the more they get done and the less we are prepared for the inevitable.

Here is an idea -- how about we develop and execute a plan of action that begins the long process back of rebuilding the Episcopal Church?  How about we stop talking with those that would bury us (see the Chapman Memorandum for a refresher)  and start some form of an proactive plan the brings us all together and then rebuilds the "big tent" that we once had. 

If we do what we have always done we will get what we always got.

Moderator Duncan's "Re-election"

It has been a week for elections, hasn't it? Today's news is that a group of clergy and laity in the Western Pennsylvania area have elected Robert Duncan as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh.

There is one small problem, however. This same group of people voted to separate themselves from said Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. and affiliate with the Province of the Southern Cone. If this group has decided they do not wish to leave the Episcopal Church, we can celebrate that reconciliation has begun in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. But that leaves one little step in the selection process: the Diocese's choice must be approved by the TEC House of Bishops. This might be difficult because Robert Duncan was recently deposed by that same body.

Yes, we know that Moderator Duncan's deposition is not recognized by the leadership of some churches in the Anglican Communion - and those churches have a very large number of members. However, they have no power to decide who is a bishop in the Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. And TEC has no power to select their bishops, either.

Presiding Bishop Gregory Venables, another of your flock has gone astray. Are you going to make an announcement similar to the one you issued when John-David Schofield pulled the same maneuver in the San Joaquin Valley of California?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


On the eve of one of the most important elections held in the State of California ever the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin made a statement to the rest of the church.  That statement is that this church will no longer be the refuge of the "few privileged".  That the Episcopal Church in San Joaquin has for too long marginalized every class of people they do not understand and do not like and the time is now to begin to unravel that intricate and insidious process we have used to exclude people. The continuing diocese of San Joaquin, in convention, approved the creation of an Equity Commission.   Here is what the Episcopal Life On-line wrote last week:

The commission is to include at least nine lay and (nine)(added for clarity) clergy members to support, engage and affirm marginalized communities within the diocese. Echoing the baptismal promise to "respect the dignity of every human being" the resolution identified the marginalized as "gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender persons; women; various ethnic communities; the disabled and those adversely affected by socioeconomic circumstance in the life and worship of the Church, as the Diocese works toward justice, reconciliation and peace."
Commission members would also partner with congregations and other dioceses, provinces and organizations, identify resources and meet the pastoral needs of the marginalized, according to Cindy Smith, president of the diocesan standing committee.
"We look at it as creating a structure that encourages the gathering of information, dialogue and gives a means for making recommendations for us to move forward," said Smith, a parishioner at Grace Church, Bakersfield

Here is the link for the entire article:

What does that mean?  Well ,we could surely focus on the issue about to be decided in California on Proposition 8.  An entire class of people has been pushed into a closet and left there to die of suffocation.  This resolution means that the Episcopal diocese of San Joaquin will explore those ways in which the church has had a hand in this despicable process and remove the impediments to full inclusivity in our church.  But the resolution does way more than that! First it deals with the issue of marginalized women. Here is a quote directly from Mr. Schofield, "Even women have a place in the Episcopal church." But apparently not in any capacity that could be seen and valued. It deals with those ethnic minority groups that have been locked out of our churches and it deals with the disabled and the poor.  No longer can we simply send a buck to ERD and believe we have "done our fair share to help the poor and homeless."  Think back to when you went to Church today -- was your building completely handicap accessible?  Many, many are not.  And I don't mean did you all throw up a ramp to appease your discomfort with those in wheel chairs and scooters. Your altar rails and your aisles and your restrooms and the ability for the hearing impaired to hear the word of God and the blind to see the word of God. Time to really create handicap accessibility.  
There is a Church in Southern California, Messiah of Santa Ana and the rector is Fr. Brad Karileus.  This parish is in the heart of the city with the most Spanish speaking individuals outside of the Mexico City in the world.  This parish has held up as part of their mission the full inclusion of everyone including Spanish speakers.  It should be a beacon to the rest of us to get our act together.  We need to reach out to everyone -- to make our house of worship friendly for everyone.

Now, the soap box is done but for one more issue.  This commission is charged with ONLY conducting a survey to explore the reasons for marginalization and create recommendations on how to correct these past sins.  It does not put into action anything!  It will bring back to the next convention the commission recommendations for the entire assembly to review and perhaps act upon. 

While I applaud the movement forward we need to keep in mind that these classes of people continue to suffer from second class citizenship. With voting around the corner, how would you like it if when you went to vote the precinct officer said, "Sorry, you cannot vote.  We are studying the problem and may act on it in the future but right now, sorry!"