Monday, March 30, 2009


What if you had a chance to do it all over again?  What would you do?  How would you do it?  How and why would you prioritize?  Well, we are about to get that chance.  There is a piece of property with land and buildings and a school that will be returned to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin on the first day of July 2009.  It is right next door to an Episcopal Church that remained Episcopal Church that never left and in fact picked up some of the remaining folks from this other church. Let's assume that both parishes can survive but barely and one or the other parish would do very well if it was just that parish.  To complicate matters, there is another parish within about 10 miles that will be returning at or around the same time.  That parish is small, not so much a parish as a group of Anglicans looking for a chaplain, as opposed to a parish that reaches out they would rather stay within themselves.  So there you have a thumbnail sketch of a very complicated process that was spawned under the prior administration but now we have the opportunity to sort it all out.  
So, what would you do?  Close one; close two, open two and close one or close them all; split a single clergy and have multiple facilities, i.e., one parish and three churches;  just what would you do?  How would you do it? Priorities?  Please, no slapdash answers, no "let's feed hemlock to one or the other" and no "pie in the sky in the by and by (anyone remember Reverend Ike?) well none of that.  What I would like to have are thoughtful, prayerful ideas on how to view this opportunity and from all sides.  Please do not whine about who got what -- that does not matter anymore.  We must be about our Father's business and I truly believe whining and crying and thinking about coulda woulda shoulda are all gone.  I am not going to worry about those that will leave and I know there may be a "bigger picture" but we need to worry about just this picture right now.  
So, give it your best shot -- I am all ears.

I was going to publish this in Latin but I  would rather be understood than cute.
Where charity and love are, there God is.
The love of Christ has gathered us into one flock.
Let us exult, and in Him be joyful.
Let us fear and let us love the living God.
And from a sincere heart let us love each other (and Him).

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Therefore, whensoever we are gathered as one:
Lest we in mind be divided, let us beware.
Let cease malicious quarrels, let strife give way.
And in the midst of us be Christ our God.

Where charity and love are, there God is.
Together also with the blessed may we see,
Gloriously, Thy countenance, O Christ our God:
A joy which is immense, and also approved:
Through infinite ages of ages.

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