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May 8, 2012


I Don’t Know, Therefore I Sue

“I certainly can’t claim to know the details of this emerging church – no one can, yet – but it will need to be more flexible and open to varied expressions of church community.”  Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

It is difficult to write rationally and charitably about this statement. 

First, I want to avoid the temptation (strong though it is) to rip just the Presiding Bishop for words so manifestly untrue to her actions.  That this statement even shows up on our denominational website is the ugly evidence of sin and death “emerging” all over our church.

So let me make and be done with the point that her time as PB, judged by her deeds and her use of church money, gives the lie to her pretense of being a person “flexible and open” to “varied expressions of church community.”  Her actions are so full of personal and ideological certainties that her claim to “not know the details of the emerging church” is fake humility, unctuous and sickening to read:

This PB sets records for purging the church of clergy representing “varied expressions of church community.”  Her flunkies ultimately rewrote the disciplinary canons of the denomination, removing pretty much all substantial legal protections for clergy.  Team Schori attempted to create sanctions for use against lay people, an idea at first turned back but on stand by for an opportune time.

Fellow SF blogger Allan Haley, in his Anglican Curmudgeon incarnation, investigates the PB’s litigation campaign to stamp out “varied expressions of church community.”  At least $25,000,000 (twenty five million dollars) fueled at least 75 (seventy five) lawsuits against dioceses, congregations and even lay volunteers who disagreed with the PB’s ideology of a lockstep LGBT&c church.  This is the single most measurable undertaking of her time as PB.

Most damning is her nonstop assertion of “hierarchy” as the defining quality of Episcopal Church organization.  “Flexible, open and varied” indeed.

But as I said above, the denominational rot cannot be blamed on this one person.

She was elected to her office - she is our denomination’s choice.

There have been numerous efforts to get an accounting of the lawsuit spending.  Most of these didn’t have to reach her desk to be ignored - they were shouted down by clergy and laity at the diocesan level.  “We shouldn’t make problems for Bishop Katharine” was just one of the objections used to defeat a call for accountability put forward at the Diocese of South Dakota’s Convention a few years ago.

Too many clergy and congregations (I and my own being no exception) make do by ignoring the excesses of the PB and the “hierarchy” she’s invented.  We have an array of excuses for “keeping things local”  and “not upsetting the good work we are doing here.”  Despite several years of preaching, blogging, teaching and otherwise outing and confronting denominational problems, I find that a significant chunk of my congregation has no idea what’s going on.  Among those who do, only a few want to differentiate as a “varied expression of church community;” most just want to duck and cover and a few, it turns out, want to kneel and pledge fealty to her.

The biggest problem is our willingness to sit and cluck and never recognize that you can’t have all of our purported “flexibility, openess, variety, inclusion, tolerance, freedom of thought, etc.” and then accept the unilateral spending, actions and claims of a “hierarchy” or (even worse since a hierarchy has at least some coherent order) a cult of personality.

That “Bishop Katharine” can blush and softly proclaim herself “unknowing, open and flexible” while initiating lawsuits to stamp out those who question her views reveals that we have a great many empty hearts inhabiting our increasingly empty pews and pulpits.


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44 comments

Wow, powerful and well stated!!

Ladson Mills

[1] Posted by Ladson Mills on 5-8-2012 at 11:23 AM · [top]

The Presiding Bishop (well, they got the first 2 letters of “Bishop” right anyways wink) does what all good flaming liberals do - they lie, twist the plain meaning of words, avoid accountability by not answering direct questions and stomp out anyone or anything that gets in the way.  How’s THAT for “inclusion and tolerance”?

I think most of us are so amazed by this behavior, since we don’t really think like liberals and expect most folks to be honest and respectful that we don’t have a clue what to do or say about it. 

The liberals have been plotting and strategizing for years how they would change things when they get into power.  It’s pretty hard to fight them and throw them out once they are entrenched, because THEY DON’T OBEY THE RULES. 

$25,000,000 in lawsuits/support of runt dioceses.  Who would have thought this would be the case in 2003?  Just awful…

BTW, I do believe her when she says “...flexible and open to varied expressions of church community”.  She isn’t talking about ORTHODOXY - she is talking about Muslim, Buddist. Hindu and whatever else the south wind blows into town.  I hate to say it, but we are only seeing the tip of the iceburg…

[2] Posted by B. Hunter on 5-8-2012 at 01:05 PM · [top]

Also, suing vestry folks PERSONALLY is beneath contempt.  This clearly demonstrates the mindset of the TEC leadership - the end justifies the means - to hell with Holy Scripture.

[3] Posted by B. Hunter on 5-8-2012 at 01:14 PM · [top]

Plus, some of her bishops have sumarrily disrespected the miniserial histories of persons who follow the dictates of their superiors in rhe course of ther work for the Kingdom.

[4] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 5-8-2012 at 02:10 PM · [top]

“I find that a significant chunk of my congregation has no idea what’s going on.”

My mother, God love her, has no desire to know what’s going on.  I once had a discussion with her about the PB. The response I got back: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She grew up Episcopalian and that’s all there is to it.  Period. No discussion.

[5] Posted by flaanglican on 5-8-2012 at 02:30 PM · [top]

One day someone (the feds, an endowment group, etc.) is going to audit TEC’s books. Oh think of the irony…KJS in a ‘white collar’ prison. wink

[6] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-8-2012 at 02:40 PM · [top]

flaanglican:

My mother, God love her, has no desire to know what’s going on.  I once had a discussion with her about the PB. The response I got back: “I don’t want to talk about it.”

She grew up Episcopalian and that’s all there is to it.  Period. No discussion.

In my view, the Episcopal church has suffered most of all not because of revisionists, bad rectors, gay bishops, too much attachment to silly old buildings, or even KJS:

It has been 30 years of almost no evangelism. My old ACNA church in Texas is starting to see more people coming through the doors who were not raised Episcopal. My TEC church where I am now, which has a solid orthodox rector, has not seen so much.

[7] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-8-2012 at 02:45 PM · [top]

All-Is-True,

I agree.  Many have left my parents’ church and have gone on to ACNA plants or are in the the midst of the AMiA business (a different story, I know).  Regardless, her church is aging, although there are still families with young children there.

In her church at least, they DON’T want to know.  The mantra is “We will not let what’s going on in the Episcopal Church affect what we do.”  Except, we all know it does.  And the bishop is perfectly happy having one less church to worry about.  The less “splaining” he has to do the better.  Check that church off.

[8] Posted by flaanglican on 5-8-2012 at 03:31 PM · [top]

All-Is-True, my ACNA church is the same way.  40% to almost half are from other denominations, Gospel-oriented in background but love the linkage to liturgy at the same time.  We are no longer a “former Episcopalian” church.  And tha’s a good thing. We are moving on.

[9] Posted by flaanglican on 5-8-2012 at 03:35 PM · [top]

flaanglican, you could be talking about my own mother, who has a long history of denial on several levels.  She just ignored what was going on around her as long as it didn’t change the service and everyone just got along.  She was raised Missouri Synod Lutheran, but joined TEC because my father was a cradle Episcopalian.  She has always been very active in her church.  Both my brother and I left TEC and are now in different Anglican bodies.

[10] Posted by Gartenfrau on 5-8-2012 at 04:17 PM · [top]

That “Bishop Katharine” can blush and softly proclaim herself “unknowing, open and flexible” while initiating lawsuits to stamp out those who question her views reveals that we have a great many empty hearts inhabiting our increasingly empty pews and pulpits.

That’s a sad testimony to the state of today’s Episcopal Church. One has to wonder how much worse it will get before her term as PB ends in 2015.

[11] Posted by the virginian on 5-8-2012 at 04:42 PM · [top]

Sometimes the Church is like a lover, sometimes like a parent, sometimes like a child, sometimes like a therapist, sometimes like a family, sometimes like a business, sometimes like a polis, sometimes like a movement, sometimes like the State, sometimes like God (idolatry!), sometimes like a Church.

The key is who controls the toggle and if they can avoid conflicts of interest/spiritual incest.  I’ve seen priests do the whole emerging kumbaya—we’re horizontal, we love social media, no boundaries, bottom up, feel that postmodern Spirit, etc.  But when something goes wrong, they toggle right over to multinational corporation and you’ll have to speak to our lawyers.

It’s all fun and games until Trinity Wall Street calls the cops on Occupy Wall Street.

[12] Posted by The Plantagenets on 5-8-2012 at 04:43 PM · [top]

#12 I like your comment and have shared it on some fb threads.  Will we ever get back to concepts like “evangelical faith and apostolic order,” or are we stuck with these faux-emergent, elitist institutionalists with too much old money sitting around?

[13] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-8-2012 at 04:59 PM · [top]

Well, Fr. Tim, when will you have had enough? I’m rather surprised that you are still there.

Friend of the late Shirley Shinn,
rdr. James Morgan
now happily Eastern orthodox

[14] Posted by rdrjames on 5-8-2012 at 09:03 PM · [top]

“when will you have had enough?”

Of what?  The call of God to be where we are to be?

Hopefully never.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 5-8-2012 at 09:41 PM · [top]

The biggest problem is our willingness to sit and cluck and never recognize that you can’t have all of our purported “flexibility, openess, variety, inclusion, tolerance, freedom of thought, etc.” and then accept the unilateral spending, actions and claims of a “hierarchy” or (even worse since a hierarchy has at least some coherent order) a cult of personality.

That “Bishop Katharine” can blush and softly proclaim herself “unknowing, open and flexible” while initiating lawsuits to stamp out those who question her views reveals that we have a great many empty hearts inhabiting our increasingly empty pews and pulpits.

This all sounds so Orwellian (viz. Animal Farm) - All views are to be ‘tolerated’ but some must be more ‘tolerated’ than others.

[16] Posted by Rich Gabrielson on 5-8-2012 at 10:11 PM · [top]

Thank you, Mr. Fountain.  I’m glad to see you pointing out this gap between the emerging church rhetoric and legal reality.

Individuals, therapists, and businesses are currently strengthening relative to families and governments.  I suppose that like everyone else it’s thus easier for the Church to behave more individualistically, therapeutically, and corporately while paradoxically the demand for Church as family or as government increases.  That’s a gross oversimplification, but in the current way the mobile young value Church as franchise family, playing State Department in Israel seems pointless, and philosophical individualism leads to political anarchy plus pension anxiety to tyranny, you can see manifestations. 

Contra unqualified praise of “community,” Simone Weil argued that society taken as end in itself functions as the Great Beast, “irremediably the domain of the devil.”  But the society of service sacramentally reflects the Trinity’s gifts.
 
http://www.spiritualitytoday.org/spir2day/904233grote.html

In my dangerous former coastal Church, everyone spoke of “community” as a product: “hey, kid, come here.  I’ll hook you up with ten grams of community, make you forget all your problems.”  At my seemingly safer middle American congregation, “community” isn’t the Church; it’s the city: “we need to help the community.”

So I answer that our current mix of evangelical faith and corruption is deeply but not insuperably rooted both broadly and individually.  I wonder how the Church can grow without slipping further into quasi-therapeutic enterprise.

[17] Posted by The Plantagenets on 5-8-2012 at 11:22 PM · [top]

Ok, I just tracked down and skimmed KJS’s full speech, “Church for the 21st century.”

1)  The opening is a whopper:

“Who are we, and who is here?  I would invite you to reflect for a moment and remember what God has been saying to you for a very long time:  you are my beloved, and in you I am well pleased.  That is our primary identity…”

Ummm, someone should tell the Presiding Bishop that the “beloved, and in you I am well pleased” line from Mark 1:11 refers to JESUS at his baptism, NOT humanity.  In the Gospels, humans get lines like “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:11 and “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.”  John 3:19.  There’s more to it, of course; Jesus fondly refers to the disciples as “little children” and his love for humanity is abundant, but Jesus also explicitly states “No one is good—except God alone.” Mark 10:18

2)  Accordingly, there’s nothing on salvation.

3)  There is some good stuff on self-giving and service.

4)  The most interesting stuff is on changing church governance.  An extended image of the Trinity as communal dance is the exemplar.  KJS’ Trinity: “The Trinitarian icon shares authority and leadership; those gifts are dynamic, fluid, and distributed.”  Kind of like a computer cluster at a rave!  There is no hint of Christ’s obedience to the Father, e.g. “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.”  John 6:38

4.1)  What she does advance are, “other democratic ways of decision-making that are more deliberative, that depend on conversation and consensus more than on up-down, yes-no voting.”  Stuff like indaba, mass communal discernment of the Spirit, crowd sourcing, and networked micro-volunteering.  What is networked micro-volunteering?  “I have 20 seconds, what good will I do with it?  Possible answers – say a prayer, measure the air quality and share it with a network, take a picture of injustice, greet a stranger…”

4.2)  In totally unrelated news, the number one article in _Philosophy Now_ argues that postmodernism has been replaced by pseudo-modernism:

“This pseudo-modern world, so frightening and seemingly uncontrollable, inevitably feeds a desire to return to the infantile playing with toys which also characterises the pseudo-modern cultural world. Here, the typical emotional state, radically superseding the hyper-consciousness of irony, is the trance – the state of being swallowed up by your activity. In place of the neurosis of modernism and the narcissism of postmodernism, pseudo-modernism takes the world away, by creating a new weightless nowhere of silent autism. You click, you punch the keys, you are ‘involved’, engulfed, deciding. You are the text, there is no-one else, no ‘author’; there is nowhere else, no other time or place. You are free: you are the text: the text is superseded.”
http://www.philosophynow.org/issues/58/The_Death_of_Postmodernism_And_Beyond

4.3)  Which has absolutely nothing to do with the perverse regression to the maternal womb that a famous organizational behavior report on liberal Protestantism found characterizes the Episcopal Church hierarchy:

“an approach to religion based on an exclusively maternal identification, rather than the traditional biparental model of the Christian church. The dynamics of the maternal church are discussed and compared with those of the biparental church. The exclusively maternal identification involves rejection of the father, who is represented as “organized religion,” rather than taking him as a model. It also makes psychological demands on the Church elite that they cannot fulfill.”
http://www.sba.oakland.edu/faculty/schwartz/ReligionagainstItself.pdf

4.4)  How is any sense of proportion built into a post-voting network model detached from firm international communion commitments and Scripture?  Snooki’s 5m Twitter followers are free and ordered in rich communicative connectivity and yet Snooki has the power.  One can easily gerrymander micro-diversity into macro-polarity.

5)  It was a terrible movie, but maybe the _Matrix Revolutions_ was on to more than we realized in its dystopian vision of hyper-rational systems ruling pseudo-free slave networks over a tiny core rave/orgy.  At least, they had Monica Belluci.

[18] Posted by The Plantagenets on 5-9-2012 at 03:59 AM · [top]

Plantagenet,
She HAS been told, often, directly, my humble attempt included.
It must be noted when she says, “..remember what God has been saying to you for a very long time:  you are my beloved..” she is saying “I have been saying to you for a long time….”  I am not necessarily implying idolatry of self in her statement.  What this should tell us, though, is not the investment GOD has made (as she has continued to misuse the scriptural moment), but the investment SHE has made in attempting to make this the groundwork of her holely theology on inclusion.
The only question in response to slow her down after she comes out swinging with this is to ask, To whom do you say God is declaring as the Beloved of God? 

If she insists on making use of such personal application, then her only correct answer will be those who have believed in Jesus and his resurrection, follow his commands, and accept him as the only begotten Son of God; and thus those who are “clothed with or in Christ.”

[19] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-9-2012 at 04:28 AM · [top]

Right, Sarah.
I remember the friendly sit-down and conversational survey at a table in a hotel restaurant in Anaheim:
“Why didn’t you leave TEC when most everybody else around you did?”
“Because the Lord has told me clearly I am to be a priest in the Episcopal Church.”
“What will have to happen for you to leave?”
“When the Lord tells me to go.”

I can’t say I haven’t hoped for some other purpose.  But when I do voice that kind of hope for a change in course, the response through the Holy Spirit is clear, and reinvigorating in the hope of God’s consistent and seemingl unwavering call to be right where I am.

Tim+ seems to be in the same place.  Rather than turn our backs on this mess of a church, we are saying - in our own callings -  not “I’ve had enough”, but speaking to it and declaring, “Enough!”

[20] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-9-2012 at 04:50 AM · [top]

flaanglican: I totally understand what you are saying.  I have a very dear friend who is a cradle Episcopalian.  Whenever I try to talk to her about the state of the Church, her response is always to go into great detail about all the social ministries her parish is involved in.  She simply doesn’t want to hear.  The other thing that really gets to me is that she stays in her parish because of their music program.  She is a professional musician and teacher and simply cannot worship with the awful praise music which characterizes so many ACNA, AMIA, whatever parishes.

She KNOWS what is going on, but cannot bring herself to deal with it.  Sigh!

[21] Posted by Ann Castro on 5-9-2012 at 07:14 AM · [top]

fwiw I don’t think she’s wrong about the profound changes facing the church.  Over at T19, there’s an RC article in which then-Cardinal Ratzinger (Pope Benedict) says similar things about challenging times for the church, leading to a different and as yet unclear on-the-ground reality for it.

The PB, it seems to me, is a classic case of St. Paul’s teaching that our conduct can disqualify us to preach a message.  She’s using all the words about open and flexible, when her conduct totally contradicts that message.

And emergent?  The LAST thing any of the emergents I know desire would be self-proclaimed “hierarchs” unilaterally spending gazillions of donated dollars on lawsuits for buildings and personal vendettas.  That’s totally the old elitist, institutionalist model of church against which emergents are reacting.

[22] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-9-2012 at 07:19 AM · [top]

“you are my beloved, and in you I am well pleased”

A friend of mine has twice heard her lead a guided meditation on that. She apparently has a very hypnotic voice and manner, and several people in the room apparently had out-of-body experiences, or whatever. My friend was of course astonished, for the reason given in #18 - we aspire to be like Jesus someday, but we are not Jesus, who is God.

One doubts that God is “well pleased” by the PB’s actions while in Holy Orders. (If, of course, she is actually in Holy Orders.)

I’m sure she goes around humming, “Here I Am Lord.”

[23] Posted by Ralph on 5-9-2012 at 07:21 AM · [top]

Sounds like the Green Witch and her false teachings.

[24] Posted by Pb on 5-9-2012 at 08:44 AM · [top]

Again, I know a lot of decent people who just don’t want to know and don’t want to find out what Ms. Jefferts Schori (she is under divine interdict, and will soon be under GAFCON interdict, so I refuse to call her bishop) is up to. I respect these people, and I don’t want to make them feel like a fierce caged animal (which is how a few of them will react if you continue to push the issue…some people will cling to half-truths out of desperation, and they will burn your house down if you show them too much light).

Part of it might be that they mistakenly identify with the Episcopal institution or its name brand (whatever that is anymore… spaghetti dinners and book clubs where everyone just comes for coffee and no one really reads the books, etc.) rather than Christ or the Gospel.

However, mistaken or not, if I were in their place…I mean…I would want to know if my pledge money was being used to support lawsuits not only against realigning ECUSA churches, but also against individuals in the church who were just volunteering their time at the church. I would feel a duty to know, and if I found that it were true, I would feel a duty to do something about it! I don’t want to judge these people. Some of them are just sort of slow, or focused on other things, and they might come to the truth…but they have to come to it in their own time, as I did.

However, I think we have to face the facts that some people will stay with the Episcopal establishment until their dying day, and while they might never actively support Jefferts Schori, they may even come to vocally support her as their churches shrink because they themselves ‘have always been Episcopal…” or something. These people seem to lack something, either in their hearts or in their heads. Or both? I just don’t k now anymore.

Sometimes I think about leaving Anglicanism altogether. Between evil leaders, heterodox ‘company men’ priests, uninformed and stupid churchgoers, and so many battles that take our focus away from the Cross of Christ, I wonder why I stay. I think the only thing that keeps me here is the memories of when I first knew I was in the presence of God Almighty.

Otherwise, I would have hit the door long ago.

[25] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-9-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

When someone abruptly rises from obscurity to a high position, and then starts assuming more and more authority and power (beyond the boundaries of that position), and then using it in a despotic way - well, that’s not witchcraft.

But, over the centuries, it’s happened time and time again.

Perhaps some sort of bargain has been made.

[26] Posted by Ralph on 5-9-2012 at 09:16 AM · [top]

KJS is hosting a live webcast TODAY at 1pm Eastern on the subject of General Convention.  It would be good for her to get some questions about her vision for the “dancing” church of the 21st century. 

——-

Questions now accepted for live webcast
addressing Episcopal Church General Convention 2012

Presiding Bishop, PHOD, others participate May 9 at 1 pm Eastern

[May 7, 2012] Questions for panelists about the General Convention 2012 of the Episcopal Church can be submitted now at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) as well as during the May 9 live webcast.

The live webcast, originating from Indianapolis, the site of this year’s General Convention, can be accessed live or on demand at http://www.episcopalchurch.org. It will begin at 1 pm Eastern (noon Central, 11 am Mountain, 10 am Pacific, 9 am Alaska, 8 am Hawaii).

Participants in the live webcast will be: Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori; President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson; Executive Officer and Secretary of the General Convention, the Rev. Gregory Straub; and Bishop Catherine Waynick of the Diocese of Indianapolis, the host diocese.

Questions will be accepted via email at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and from the invited guests in the audience.

To access the live webcast, go to the Episcopal Church website:  here

[27] Posted by Pigeon on 5-9-2012 at 10:05 AM · [top]

#27 Pigeon - wow, great find!  Thanks for getting that out there, and I hope that many of us will send questions!

I want to mention that one of my church members who I would classify as “liberal” in many ways wrote a very respectful letter to the PB back when the lawsuits were starting, opining that the church could seek a better way.

He got nothing back - not so much as a form letter or email to say “Thanks for writing.”  Nothing.

The guy works in academia and has very high professional standards.  Needless to say, even with his more liberal leanings, he lost all respect for this PB.

[28] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-9-2012 at 10:16 AM · [top]

If I were to send in a question, I think it would get the deep six.

[29] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 5-9-2012 at 10:33 AM · [top]

Sent my question…

“Will either house of GC address the precedence of lawsuit spending over the “stated mission of Millennium Development Goals, the subsequent failure of our denomination to meet its goal for giving to the MDGs, and the refusal of the denomination to make a detailed report of lawsuit spending?

The Rev. Timothy Fountain
Church of the Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls
Diocese of South Dakota” ...

and got a quick reply from Neva Rae Fox:

“Thank you I I have one similar”

[30] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-9-2012 at 10:34 AM · [top]

#29 Pewster: Send it.  I hope that all who do send questions that are not addressed will then send them in to SF or post them on this thread.

I am at the altar today at noon, and have meetings following, so I can’t catch the webcast.  Who among our readers might be able to catch it?

[31] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-9-2012 at 10:42 AM · [top]

Mine was going to be,

“Show me the steps to the Trinitarian Dance.”

[32] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 5-9-2012 at 10:53 AM · [top]

What I sent in:

As the American Anglican Council (AAC) has pointed out in its recently published 2012 report, punitive lawsuits against individual members (as opposed to the lawsuits against the church corporation itself) of Episcopal parishes and dioceses seeking to realign themselves with another General Convention has heavily burdened these persons both financially, personally, and spiritually. Will the Presiding Bishop and her deputies please explain the necessity of filing such lawsuits against laypersons and church volunteers, and how this does not go against Saint Paul’s warnings in 1 Corinthians 6:1-8? How does this legal strategy square with what Our Lord said in Luke 6:31?

[33] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-9-2012 at 11:09 AM · [top]

#32 Pewster - God help us if she does !

Thanks, All-Is-True #33.  I think you’ll get a similar response to mine… there seems to be a lawsuit question already in the hopper.  My guess is that it will be a softball of some sort, not as pointed as yours or mine. 

Hope folks are able to watch and endure… will be interesting to know how the litigation is addressed (if at all).  Neva Rae Fox says she has a question in hand about this.

[34] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 5-9-2012 at 11:13 AM · [top]

#32, Pewster—the alleged Trinitarian dance goes like this:

It’s just a jump to the left
And then a step to the right
With your hands on your hips
You bring your knees in tight
But it’s the pelvic thrust
That really drives you insane
Let’s do the Time Warp again

[35] Posted by Ralinda on 5-9-2012 at 11:30 AM · [top]

#35, ha ha! I pet TEC has a few ‘sweet transvestites’ in its ranks…not in the pews, but in the sacristy. wink

[36] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-9-2012 at 11:32 AM · [top]

Tim+,
I got an email from Neva Rae yesterday re: questions, but missed it due to dental surgery.  Now, there’s a conflation.
Anyway, wouldn’t you have received a similar email? 
Glad this has come up, though.  I’ve had a question on the back burner, and this seems an opportune time:

“It is often proclaimed that “the Holy Spirit has spoken” once a vote on a resolution or election has been accomplished.  The implication is the Will of God is always equivalent to the actions of the designated majority.  Where is the teaching and orientation for deputies to General Convention regarding this theological presumption?”

[37] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-9-2012 at 11:33 AM · [top]

All-is-true,
I got an answer to that question last year from the interim bishop here in San Joaquin.  Clearly and intently an act of intimidation, and bluff, since he and they stated they would not carry out legal action against individuals.  “That would be wrong”, was said.

[38] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 5-9-2012 at 11:37 AM · [top]

I’ve actually been wanting to know how soon after General Convention will pet funerals and memorial services start to be held in our churches, now that there is a full Burial Office developed for them (p. 347 of the blue book, for whoever might be interested). I understand the “saying a prayer in the backyard for a deceased pet” concept, but a full-up burial office? Isn’t this just one more indication of TEC’s misplaced priorities?

[39] Posted by advocate on 5-9-2012 at 01:31 PM · [top]

This all makes sense when you realizes this is spiritual warfare and that Satan presently controls much of the mainline churches and God has given them over to their unrighteousness.  The Holy Spirit has left.

[40] Posted by Jim the Puritan on 5-9-2012 at 01:32 PM · [top]

I’ve actually been wanting to know how soon after General Convention will pet funerals and memorial services start to be held in our churches, now that there is a full Burial Office developed for them (p. 347 of the blue book, for whoever might be interested)

Note to TEC: Pets can’t tithe or leave endowments. :-(

[41] Posted by All-Is-True on 5-9-2012 at 01:49 PM · [top]

I listened to the ECUSA Webcast that Pigeon told us about in #27. It was a complete waste of time.  They went for only half an hour, and the questions Neva Rae Fox read were all softballs. “What will General Convention do about the MDG?” “What is the most important thing you think General Convention will have to face/decide?” The PB got one questions about SSBs, and one about the Covenant, and she sidestepped them both. Anderson was asked about the budget process, and said nothing of substance, only that everyone’s input would be sought. Bishop Waynick got questions about how long her Diocese had been working to prepare, and how they got volunteers, etc. Canon Straub was asked why there would be no free WiFi on the Convention floor.

In other words, all the really important stuff—not those trivial questions that the SF commenters above emailed in.

[42] Posted by A. S. Haley on 5-9-2012 at 05:06 PM · [top]

[25] All-Is-True,


You write:

if I were in their place…I mean…I would want to know if my pledge money was being used to support lawsuits not only against realigning ECUSA churches, but also against individuals in the church who were just volunteering their time at the church.

I firmly believe that one issue more pressing than the use of your pledges in the pursuit of unChristian lawsuits is the fact that, unless you are in a diocese with a policy like that of Bishop Lillibridge in West Texas, some portion of your pledge is that some portion of your pledge, however minuscule, is being used to further the cause of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice [RCRC], an avowedly pro-abortion organization, which the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church formally joined in January of 2006. Lawsuits between Christians are clearly scripturally unacceptable, but the material support of abortion is unquestionably a grave evil. Further once an individual cooperates knowingly in that evil, one is guilty of both material and formal cooperation in a grave evil.

By way of clarification Bishop Lillibridge permits any parishioner who objects to having any part of his pledge being sent to the national offices of TEC, to so indicate. The assessment on the diocese from TEC is for external missions, i.e., for missionary purposes outside of the diocese. The parishioner need only identify a suitable missionary effort outside of the diocese and that portion of the diocesan assessment from that parish goes to the designated missionary effort, not to TEC.

The reason I bring up that it was Executive Council which made the decision to join RCRC is that, as I understand it, the Executive Council is empowered to act on those issues which are too urgent to be held in abeyance until the next triennial General Convention. I would submit that joining a pro-abortion political advocacy organization was arguably insufficiently urgent to authorize Executive Council to have acted in the name of the Church. There was also very little publicity surrounding this action of Executive Council.

Nevertheless, whether urgent or not, or widely or narrowly publicized, their actions ensured that every donor to an Episcopal parish other than those in dioceses with policies equivalent to that of West Texas, has been made guilty of material cooperation in enabling abortions. My becoming aware of this in 2008 was the decisive factor in my realizing that I had no choice but to dissociate myself from TEC—my conscience left me no alternative. And to be quite bluntly frank, I fail to understand how any Christian can remain a contributing member of a TEC parish in good standing in the typical TEC diocese.


Pax et bonum,
Keith Töpfer

[43] Posted by Militaris Artifex on 5-9-2012 at 06:33 PM · [top]

Tim+, thanks for a great article.

From the fourth trumpet of the Global South Encounter (conference) held in Singapore in April 2010:

“19. We were pleased to welcome two Communion Partner bishops from The Episcopal Church USA (TEC) and acknowledge that with them there are many within TEC who do not accept their church’s innovations. We assure them of our loving and prayerful support.  We are grateful that the recently formed Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) is a faithful expression of Anglicanism. We welcomed them as partners in the Gospel and our hope is that all provinces will be in full communion with the clergy and people of the ACNA and the Communion Partners.”

The Global South Primates thus signalled their acceptance that Anglicans may faithfully witness within TEC or ACNA.

[44] Posted by MichaelA on 5-18-2012 at 03:54 AM · [top]

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