December 20, 2014

June 12, 2012


Bishop of Mississippi Really Pumped about Annual Gay Retreat

Let’s just get right to the point: Bishop Duncan Gray is really, really pleased to be hosting the annual gay sleepover weekend at the diocesan retreat center that bears his (and his father’s, and his grandfather’s) name:

Dear Friends

I am pleased to send information about the Seventh Annual Spiritual Renewal Retreat which is sponsored by my office and the Diocesan Committee on Ministry with LGBT Persons. This year’s retreat will be August 24-26 at Gray Center.

I announced at Council that I have invited The Rt. Rev. Mary Douglas Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan, of the Diocese of Los Angeles to be our leader. We are very fortunate to have her here, and I know we will benefit from her many gifts.

Please look over the attachments to this email (agenda, registration form, and retreat flyer) and give the information the widest possible distribution in your parish/mission, i.e. newsletters, bulletin board postings, service bulletins, etc. I will be sending an additional mailing in July.

I plan to attend, as I have in the past, and encourage your participation as well. If you can only come on Saturday, I think that one day will help you understand the nature of this retreat.

Thanks for all that you do.

Faithfully,
+Duncan

The information he sent is a registration form, a flyer, and this agenda [PDF], which consists solely of “Sessions with The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool.” Oh, and an “Opportunity for a Private Meeting with The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool.”

Note that, as usual, registration includes options for “double occupancy.” That’s right, Mississippi Episcopalians: Non-celibate gay couples spending the weekend in the rooms at Gray Center. Think about that next time you go there for an event.

Or when your kids go.


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100 comments

Do you recall what the usual attendance is at this annual retreat, Greg?

[1] Posted by Sarah on 6-12-2012 at 12:07 PM · [top]

Greg, posts like this just won’t be as much fun until they finally pass some disciplinary canons to deal with traditional Christian bloggers in Mississippi - uh - I mean lay people.

[2] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-12-2012 at 12:16 PM · [top]

I don’t, actually, but please everyone - won’t you do your part? Share this with all your friends. After all, the goal is “the widest possible distribution.”

[3] Posted by Greg Griffith on 6-12-2012 at 12:20 PM · [top]

This merges with Sarah’s “Anglitania and dialogue” thread.  Why in the world would any significant Christian body talk to us with this stuff in play?

[4] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-12-2012 at 12:22 PM · [top]

I just checked.

Some 65 laity and clergy from four different states attended the 2009 gay retreat in Mississippi.

So let’s assume that it was more like 50 from the Diocese of MS, with 15 from the other three states.

Then let’s go ahead and assume that ten of those 50 were clergy.

What we’re left with is 40 laity in the Diocese of Mississippi attended the gay retreat.

Bishop Gray is willing to promote a non-celibate gay speaker like Bishop Glasspool in order to appeal to 40 laity in the Diocese of Mississippi.  That’s the number for which he’s willing to promote a false teacher and a person engaged in public scandalous sinful activity.

I cannot imagine why conservative laypeople in that diocese are willing to support such actions by Bishop Gray by sending a percentage of the money that they pledge to their parishes to the diocese of Mississippi.

There are quite a number of great ministries to which folks can give their tithe or redirect their pledges.

[5] Posted by Sarah on 6-12-2012 at 12:22 PM · [top]

Think about that next time you go there for an event.

Or when your kids go.

I think about it mostly when I have an urge to write out a check to make a donation to a Tec dominated entity.  That usually cures those inclinations.  I have found some wonderful charities to support outside areas where Tec has a stranglehold. 

You know, these thoughts don’t arise when I donate in the Diocese of S.C.  I wonder why????

[6] Posted by Jackie on 6-12-2012 at 12:47 PM · [top]

Maybe some of you Mississippi Episcopalians can explain something to me because I just don’t get it.

I live in northern Mississippi, and I cannot in good conscience in keeping with Christ attend the local Episcopal church in my small town (the rector here is Pelagius come to Mayberry: a.k.a. ‘the Christ in everyone’—except ‘right winger Tea Party nuts’ who dare to think Christ is revealed through Holy Scripture and that we have to choose to accept God’s Son before He can be ‘in us’, etc.).

However, I am still active in the Diocese of Mississippi—I have lots of Episcopal friends (clergy and laity) in the area who are very orthodox in their Christian beliefs.

Nevertheless, all of them like Ducan Gray, and I can’t figure out why. To me, a bishop has two main duties: (1) told hold us accountable to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and (2) to defend our faith against all who seek to destroy it.

By these two standards of measurement, Duncan Gray is a failure. At best, he is a so called ‘moderate’ who wears the guise of an Episcopal diplomat because he doesn’t know what else to do and is afraid to take a stand. At worst, he is just a quiet revisionist playing a chess game with the remaining orthodox Christians in his diocese…and that would make him more dangerous than if he were a fool with a big mouth like the rector in my town.

So why does everyone, orthodox and revisionist, put up with this guy? Why do many people seem reluctant to criticize him?

I think he is a big bishop. I try to pray for him, but I think he is a loser who has refused to take a stand for the faith. Mississippi needed a +Mark Lawrence, but we got this guy because, it seems, too many Mississippi Episcopalians didn’t want to rock the boat and hurt other people’s feelings. 

If that’s not it, then what is it? What is the history?

Though I grew up in Mississippi, I was raised in the Assemblies of God until high school, and then my family left and started attending a United Methodist church instead. I moved away for college and grad school in Texas where I was confirmed some years ago by Bishop Iker (who is quite a contrast to Gray) in the Diocese of Fort Worth.

As you can see, though I am Anglican, I didn’t grow up going to barbecues at the Gray Center, and so I don’t really know the people who make up the ‘big fuss’ at all the diocese’s cocktail parties.

From what I can gather, I take it that Duncan Gray got to be bishop because of (1) who is father was, (2) because he was easy to get along with…friendly to the kids and chatty to the old ladies, etc., (3) I figure the liberals (whether he likes them or not) had a hand in electing him in order to prevent a more conservative candidate from winning, (4) unlike people at my old parish in Texas, quite a few Episcopal churchgoers here don’t seem to appreciate a priest who is too outspoken about the Gospel and its implications, and it seems as if Gray is the sort of priest they prefer.

[7] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-12-2012 at 01:02 PM · [top]

“I think he is a bad bishop.”

[8] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-12-2012 at 01:06 PM · [top]

From the statistics, it looks like despite a drop in ASA from 2003-2010, plate and pledge for the Diocese of Miss. has increased. This could just represent what Matt described to us a few years ago as the dying gasps of a failing organization (when the curves of ASA and plate and pledge are discordant).

I agree with some of the comments above that Mississippians should stop paying this bishop’s salary.

With more events like this, I fully expect that in a few years this will be another Episcopal Camp and Conference Center to close.

[9] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-12-2012 at 01:44 PM · [top]

One can usually make a designated gift to a parish (to the altar guild fund, or whatever), with the stipulation that none of it may go outside the parish. One might consider also stipulating that in the event of a church split, the gift (and anything it might have purchased) would be the property of the conservative group. While that may not work, it’s worth trying.

The retreat agenda can be found here:
http://www.dioms.org/digital_faith/events/3150289

5 groups sessions, and the opportunity for a private meeting. There’s also an “Open AA meeting.”

My understanding is that the person occupying the office of Bishop Suffragan of the Diocese of Los Angeles is an highly adept linguist who could make a sailor blush. That should make for an interesting retreat.

It sounds as if this diocesan bishop is trying to defile the conference center by turning it into a homosexual bath house, a cesspool (as it were) of sexual immorality. By his actions, this bishop is showing the world that he is NOT a moderate - whatever that is. Surely there are enough conservatives (and perhaps moderates) in Mississippi to zero out his salary.

One wonders how the sermon will go. Take a look at the Sunday lessons:
http://www.lectionarypage.net/YearB_RCL/Pentecost/BProp16_RCL.html

One option includes Psalm 84:11
grin

[10] Posted by Ralph on 6-12-2012 at 03:54 PM · [top]

I’m looking at that rainbow symbol at the link and all I can think is, “It says, ‘The Episcopal Church: We Make Mississippi Gay.’”

[11] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-12-2012 at 03:56 PM · [top]

This sure makes me glad to be an old Mississippi Episcopalian.  I have been messed on by TEO in SD, theAnglican Province of Christ the Good Shepherd, the former AMiA, and the ACNA.

But, I have never felt the knife so much as now when a very infinitesimal, yet vocal and politically connected, minority can ruin what is left of a formerly great religious organisation.  There is NO mission left in the Foreign and Domestic Missionary Society, just the sustaining of the heirarchyas witnessed by the proposed budget for 2012 GC.

But, I digress, I am sick of the pandering that has taken the Grand Old Episcopal Church into the depths of oblivion.  Those of you who are still in…cash out your retirement quickly, and flee the wrath that is to come!

Kyrie eleison!
.

[12] Posted by Fr. Chip, SF on 6-12-2012 at 03:56 PM · [top]

Is it just me or do I detect a tongue planted in the double entendre cheek with the headline for this article?  I’m just sayin’.  Hearing about this TEC sexuality stuff all the time has a way of messing with your mind.  red face

[13] Posted by Daniel on 6-12-2012 at 04:04 PM · [top]

[10]

“One can usually make a designated gift to a parish (to the altar guild fund, or whatever), with the stipulation that none of it may go outside the parish. One might consider also stipulating that in the event of a church split, the gift (and anything it might have purchased) would be the property of the conservative group. While that may not work, it’s worth trying.”

Ralph, I hate to pull you further into the heart of darkness, but I’ve seen designated gifts like that secretly re-directed even by evangelicals in the TEC to all kinds of stuff.  Thirty grand here, the Souper Trust there, it starts to add up.  I only know this because a church staffer friend was illegally pushed out of his job when he developed a life threatening illness and was then pressured into signing a non-disclosure agreement.  He lawyered up and started posting stuff on Facebook instead until they paid him off.  People who will betray Jesus like that will betray you too.

[14] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-12-2012 at 05:19 PM · [top]

And actually, designated gifts are *still* considered as a whole as part of the operating budget of a parish—and that operating budget item is the amount that is used to determine the amount of the pledge to the diocese.

In order to keep your dollars away from the diocese, the parish must allow one of two things: 1) two different bookkeeping accounts, one that registers donations that are counted as a part of the operating budget, and one that registers donations *away* from the operating budget, or 2) donations that are “off-book” or in-kind donations.  For instance, if the youth group needs a flier, you can contribute to the development of the flier, but without giving to the non-profit that is the Church—which means your donations are not tax-deductible.

Those are the only two ways to keep the diocesan mitts off the money donated to parishes.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 6-12-2012 at 05:32 PM · [top]

Infant Baptisms declined from 2002 to 2010 in Dio Miss by 37 percent.  Double occupancy at this retreat will harly reverse that trend.  Statmann

[16] Posted by Statmann on 6-12-2012 at 06:37 PM · [top]

Two things.  First, I do not believe that there are any so called “moderates” on the gay issue.  Its too black and white.  There may be moderates when it comes to liturgy, or music, or high-to-low church, etc.  I just don’t get how one can be moderate or in the middle on homosexuality.  Moderate in this case sounds like want to please everybody or play nice or support the institution of TEC or just avoid the issue.  This is an issue on which there are two distinct sides.

Second, some parishes are adjacent to a separate 501c3 corporation for another entity loosely related to the ministry of the church such as a thrift shop or food pantry or battered womens shelter and I think you can give to the separately incorporated entity and the money does not go to the diocese.  If you believe in that ministry you could give to that and then you are still supporting the ministry of some in TEC whose ministries are useful.

[17] Posted by Matthew on 6-12-2012 at 06:58 PM · [top]

Thanks for the clarification, Sarah.

This should be very fertile mission territory for ACNA. A search at their website shows only 4 associated congregations in Mississippi.

[18] Posted by Ralph on 6-12-2012 at 07:07 PM · [top]

[15] Great point, Sarah.  I’m sure you don’t need to be reminded of this, but for the record, I caution everyone to still beware because the commies will invent ways to come after you.  I met a priest who is an alumni trustee at major liberal divinity school who bribed the sub-lessee or security guard of a nearby skyscraper into giving her a building key, so she could smuggle homeless people in at night.  Basically, she was committing criminal trespass to establish a covert, unsupervised shantytown in vacant high-end commercial real estate.  How do I know this?  She bragged about it in a SERMON.

[19] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-12-2012 at 07:21 PM · [top]

That logo will go over well.  Dunc’s pushing all-in, isn’t he?

[20] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 6-12-2012 at 07:26 PM · [top]

I asked a few questions that no one seems interested in so far.

Here is a different question.

When we moved back to Mississippi a few years ago and were trying to find out more about the diocese, my wife found the LG outreach part of the diocese’s website. True, it was placed in a fairly obscure part of the website, but it has been there since at least 2009 if not later. Furthermore, it was clear from what I read that Ducan Gray supported them having the retreat and even attended their meetings, advocating the ‘inclusiveness’ clause that they came up with be put on all church bulletins and websites, etc. It is always better late than never, but why are many orthodox Episcopalians in Mississippi just now talking about this?

[21] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-12-2012 at 07:42 PM · [top]

RE: “why are many orthodox Episcopalians in Mississippi just now talking about this?”

Eh?

This blog has been blogging about it for years now.

[22] Posted by Sarah on 6-12-2012 at 08:54 PM · [top]

We shall call it….Sodopalooza!

[23] Posted by Jeffersonian on 6-12-2012 at 09:17 PM · [top]

@Sarah:

That might well be. I’ve only been reading for the last year and a half.

I think part of this is a problem of perception.

I’ve heard about 25 different people from the diocese (blessed followers of Christ and none of them revisionists…but strongly biblical and theologically-sound) call Duncan Gray a ‘right of center’ or ‘moderate-orthodox’ bishop. I say perception is the main thing because in the Diocese of Fort Worth (or the Diocese of Dallas for that matter) Duncan Gray would not considered a ‘moderate’ or ‘center’ anything. He would be a soft-core revisionist who would have (mercifully) left by now.

I guess I am confused: Are my fellow bother and sisters in Christ correct when it comes to Gray? Or am I correct? If I am wrong, then show me where Mr. Gray was stood up for the Apostolic faith, and I will take it back. If I am correct, then why are so many Mississippi churchmen and women who are not ‘moderate’ not informed about Mr. Gray’s radicalism?

[24] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-12-2012 at 09:49 PM · [top]

All-is-true,

You are correct. I suspect it is a matter of selective hearing that others don’t listen to what is evident from this bishop’s actions. Also many are still easily deceived by someone who on the surface appears likeable and a nice guy.

[25] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-12-2012 at 09:55 PM · [top]

RE: “I’ve heard about 25 different people from the diocese (blessed followers of Christ and none of them revisionists…but strongly biblical and theologically-sound) call Duncan Gray a ‘right of center’ or ‘moderate-orthodox’ bishop.”

Sounds like you have an ideal group of people to which to forward helpful and informative links!  ; > )

[26] Posted by Sarah on 6-12-2012 at 10:06 PM · [top]

Ralph makes a good point. I think there are reasons why ACNA has not developed many churches in Mississippi, mainly because revisionist rectors (many of whom have since left the diocese, but the damage is done) dispersed their congregations after Gene Robinson was consecrated in 2003. In one example, my life insurance agent and his wife went to the church in Clinton, raised their children there, etc. Shortly after 2003, he and his wife started going to 1st Baptist where he had gone before marrying his wife (who was raised Episcopal). None of their children attend an Episcopal church anymore. In a second example, the rector of the local church here in Holly Springs, when we were still on speaking terms (divergence of opinion as well as stating a contrary opinion openly and ceasing to attend their church means being an ‘anathema’ in the eyes of a ordained heretic), told me that in 2003 he had chased off about three or four families from the church after they had raised the possibility of leaving TEC. This is from the horse’s mouth: not only did he rebuff them privately (and he is one of these shrill people who can suddenly get scary emotional in a heartbeat), but later on he attacked them from the pulpit…not naming them, of course, but setting up some strawman argument of theirs and vilifying their objectives. Most of these people left: one family goes to an AMiA church 30 miles away, another attends a TEC church 30 miles away, another joined the Presbyterian church, etc. I wish it were as simple as planting an ACNA church here and stitching the best parts of the congregation together again for a mission church…but I think too much time as past, too many hard feelings, etc. I bet this is a common story for many Mississippi Episcopal churches.

However, I can think of at least one big opportunity for ACNA church planting in Mississippi in the Jackson area. I have visited St. Stephen’s Reformed in Flowood recently, and the church seems to be growing well beyond its walls. I saw that the congregation is expanding its church building to accommodate its many worshipers. I also saw lots of kids, young families, pregnant moms, babies, etc. (In other words, everything that is missing from the graying Episcopal congregations of today.)

Anglican 1000 should get in touch with someone at Saint Stephen’s. There might be an opportunity to make them the mother church for many new Anglican churches in the Jackson area.

[27] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-12-2012 at 11:10 PM · [top]

Good to see that this is getting publicity.

The short answer to the questions being asked by All-is-true and others may simply be that not enough people know about it yet.  But you are all playing a part by discussing this and spreading it.

I reckon you should pass the information to people who you believe will be interested, discuss, pray, be patient, and otherwise maintain your own life and witness unstained.

And yes, if you are interested in church planting, then take it to the Lord in prayer - ask that if it seems good to Him to establish new and faithful congregations in Mississippi, can he let you be a part of it.  Then get on with your life and wait for his call, in his time.

[28] Posted by MichaelA on 6-12-2012 at 11:28 PM · [top]

[21] [28]  MichaelA, I love that can do Aussie spirit and prayerful consideration too.  AiT, I think it’s also worth reversing your question to ask why this situation bothers you and why people should spend time on this instead of other worthy causes.  Self-analysis doesn’t make the injustice or disgrace any better, but it can help you figure out what’s so wrong and how to get that across to others.  For me personally, the answer has a lot to do with responsibility, duty, and the unique power and opportunity the Church has to foster real change in hearts, to preach salvation.  In my case, figuring that out made me want to distinguish God from the Church more clearly instead of farming my conscience out to “hired hands.”  Your answer probably varies.

I wish I had some insight into the great state of Mississippi to answer your questions, but I don’t.  More broadly, this organizational behavior article on political correctness in mainline religious elites may interest you.  The Philip Turner articles in the bibliography are short and excellent too.

http://www.sba.oakland.edu/faculty/schwartz/ReligionagainstItself.pdf

[29] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-13-2012 at 04:38 AM · [top]

I think it’s also worth reversing your question to ask why this situation bothers you and why people should spend time on this instead of other worthy causes…For me personally, the answer has a lot to do with responsibility, duty, and the unique power and opportunity the Church has to foster real change in hearts, to preach salvation.  In my case, figuring that out made me want to distinguish God from the Church more clearly instead of farming my conscience out to “hired hands.” 

The reason it bothers me is that Jesus, who is distinct from church organizations, never the less founded a Church here on earth. A church is a community of believers, and this community has (fortunately or unfortunately) many different neighborhoods: one of them is Anglican. In the past, American Anglicanism was a real force that helped to spread the gospel not only on this area but to others. Now we are a farce of a church that is not worthy of Christ, and I think that bothers lots of us. Our community of believers is important because Christ wanted us to commune together during our short time on Earth: He told us that whenever two or three are gathered together in His name, he would be there.

In light of all this, I think it should bother us that Duncan Gray is basically chiseling out the suicide note of our churches by proclaiming that God doesn’t really care about Holiness and that the Scriptures passed down to us by the Apostles inspired by the Holy Spirit is a lie. Also, should it not bother us that by libeling God, Duncan Gray is destroying this community of faith…basically holding a pistol to its head? Yes, even if a heretic like Gray does destroy the Episcopal faith in Mississippi, Christ is still Christ, and we will continue to do His work on earth and to worship him as God. But if that is to happen, I think we cannot help but look back at all the good work in Christ that Anglicanism has given us in the form of mission, theology, common prayer, the arts, etc., and wonder why it had to happen and why we let people like Gray get away with so much for so long.

[30] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-13-2012 at 06:31 AM · [top]

#29. The Plantagenets,
I read the interesting link you posted. As Father’s day approaches, it is interesting that the UCC (and really TEC also) want to maternalize the church to the point of excluding the paternal aspect. I also see this happening in TV advertisements such as an insurance commercial with a mother and daughter but no father. We seem to have gone from the stereotype of a woman being weak and inferior to a man being unjust and evil.

[31] Posted by Fr. Dale on 6-13-2012 at 07:29 AM · [top]

Most interesting to say the least.  And it explains some things…........

Since this all broke in the Dio of MS newsletter, I have started getting phone calls about it from folks in the Dio of MS on the coast who may be looking for relief from what the Dio of MS is pushing.  Some of the comments I have received have been pretty blunt about their feelings.  Anyone on the coast who wants to talk can reach us through rachurch1 [at] gmail.com

The Rev. Warren Mueller, Vicar
Resurrection Anglican Church on the Gulf
Long Beach, MS

[32] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 6-13-2012 at 08:15 AM · [top]

Oh man.  I’ll bet the bishop is really going to be bummed to find out he JUST missed Target’s gay pride campaign.  Think of the t-shirts they could have bought. 
[smacks hand on head]

[33] Posted by Jackie on 6-13-2012 at 08:37 AM · [top]

#33, I’d think that the Mississippi rainbow graphic with the Episcopal shield in the middle would look very good on a t-shirt. It could also be silk-screened on underwear in strategic locations.

The accompanying photo of the smiling person occupying the office of Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles could be transformed by a caricature artist, and put on the back of the shirt with some sort of double-entendre caption. Or, on the back of the underwear.

There’s plenty of time to get these made before the retreat.

Should sell like hotcakes in the modern, liberal DioMiss. If they sell enough, the profits could keep the diocese out of bankruptcy.

Describing Bp. Gray as “right of center” or “moderate-orthodox” would be laughable if the situation weren’t so tragic. It appears that he’s merely another radical revisionist who frequently wipes the foam away from his mouth. His true nature will come out for all to see.

[34] Posted by Ralph on 6-13-2012 at 09:08 AM · [top]

Capt. Father Warren, Interesting indeed.  Hopefully this will bring your parish and other Anglican parishes to the attention of many who want to remain within Anglicanism but are tired of TECs agendas.

Does TEC really understand how whenever these sorts of events are promoted, how many people are wanting to run the other way?  Are there really enough LBGTS to make this “opportunity” worth scaring away others??If recent TEC numbers are any indication, the safe answer is “no”. Why???????

[35] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-13-2012 at 09:36 AM · [top]

RE: “Are there really enough LBGTS to make this “opportunity” worth scaring away others??”

Yes—around 40 in Mississippi!  ; > )

Seriously, we’re talking about around 1-2%, maybe less in a state like MS.

And of that percentage, you’ve got to carve out the teensy percentage that’s actually interested in “religious things” and then you’ve got to carve out from that teensy percentage those who are interested in liturgical formal worship.

A very very very very very small “potential market”—like 40!  ; > )

[36] Posted by Sarah on 6-13-2012 at 09:48 AM · [top]

I guess I am confused: Are my fellow bother and sisters in Christ correct when it comes to Gray? Or am I correct? If I am wrong, then show me where Mr. Gray was stood up for the Apostolic faith, and I will take it back. If I am correct, then why are so many Mississippi churchmen and women who are not ‘moderate’ not informed about Mr. Gray’s radicalism?

I suggest they are probably the same 94% who have never led another to Christ. Real substance is not important (to some).

[37] Posted by Festivus on 6-13-2012 at 10:36 AM · [top]

I wish I lived on your end of the state, Captain Father.

Isn’t it time for biblical Anglican congregations to seek alternative oversight within TEC? (Is that called DEPO?) Until the courts clear the way (invalidating the illegal Dennis Cannon) for Mississippi churchgoers to discern where God is leading them, isn’t the most practical step to ask +Mark Lawrence or another orthodox bishop to oversee their parishes? Since Duncan Gray seems willing to use Episcopal funds and facilities to encourage sin and heretical justifications of theological thought, it seems that biblical Anglican parishes would have a hard time accepting his pastoral oversight.

[38] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-13-2012 at 11:36 AM · [top]

DEPO - egads! I haven’t heard that since 2005! DEPO under a progressive bishop (I’m being nice) was always denied or impractical.

[39] Posted by Festivus on 6-13-2012 at 12:13 PM · [top]

Was there not a case where progressive congregations in an conservative diocese asked for DEPO?  They got it.

[40] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-13-2012 at 01:08 PM · [top]

A couple of years ago, I called the Dio. of Miss., and spoke to Rev David Johnson (Canon to the Ordinary).  I politely explained that I was having problems with the churches’ stance on these matters, and explained why.  He listened for 4 or 5 minutes, and I never will forget, he said, “Well, you know, there are alot of churches in Mississippi besides the Episcopal church.  You might feel better suited in another denomination.”

He then thanked me for calling, wished me good luck finding a church, and got off the phone.  I remember being furious for a minute or 2, and then it dawned on me.  He was exactly right.  For the diocese, I am the problem. 

Most Mississippi Episcopalian families have generational ties to the church, and just wish this junk away.  It’s not important enough to leave the church over.  It irks them when it comes up, but the embarrasment and discomfort are temporary.  There are many, who just close their eyes, and don’t want anyone to ask them about it, and don’t want anything to come up in the news about it.  If they can just get through it, and get their children through it, and it doesn’t come up, they are cool.

The dioceses’ bet on this inaction has been a winning hand to play.  They know that these people most likely are not leaving.  The dio. staff feels safe as long as they don’t do or say anything that is too noticeably offensive.  They have been dead on the money right so far.  These are older men, and they are playing out the string till their time is over.  They have not lost a bet yet.  They are still there, and despite all the normal blather we hear about the burden of being a bishop (or priest), how heavy a burden it is, etc….. to me, they have played this out almost perfectly to their own advantage.

[41] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 6-13-2012 at 01:33 PM · [top]

SC Blu Cat Lady:  I believe it was in the Diocese of Albany

[42] Posted by Carpe DCN on 6-13-2012 at 01:50 PM · [top]

Thanks, that is what I thought but could not remember.

[43] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-13-2012 at 02:19 PM · [top]

#41. I think there are many with the same attitude in many places- just wait it out. nothing needs to change and so on and so on. Fortunately, others are finding out differently and are having remarkable success.  Eventually one will succeed and the other will fail.

[44] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-13-2012 at 02:25 PM · [top]

[30] AiT, I hear you.  God Bless you and your work!

[45] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-13-2012 at 02:46 PM · [top]

A couple of years ago, I called the Dio. of Miss., and spoke to Rev David Johnson (Canon to the Ordinary).  I politely explained that I was having problems with the churches’ stance on these matters, and explained why.  He listened for 4 or 5 minutes, and I never will forget, he said, “Well, you know, there are alot of churches in Mississippi besides the Episcopal church.  You might feel better suited in another denomination.”

OMG, LfL!

I don’t know who or what David Johnson is or who got him his post as Canon to the Ordinary, but he sure sounds like a TEC company man to me. wink

Another word for that crowd is “the Episcopal church, right or wrong!” gang…sort of like the Irishman who says “Me mother is me mum, drunk or sober!” Don’t get me wrong…just because some doofus like Mr. Gray or Mr. Johnson say or do something asinine (as they are prone to do), that doesn’t mean I’m going to abandon Anglicanism. But this whole ‘my church right or wrong’ thing is stupid. When the Episcopal church follows the commission of Christ rightly, keep it right; when it fails it should be put right and we should not cease to remonstrate until it is.

After all, when your mom is sober you try to keep her sober…when she’s had too much ale, you dry her out.

To be fair, Mr. Johnson’s attitude doesn’t represent the Diocese. If I may be permitted to brag (if I were criticizing I would withhold names): Fr. George Woodliff at Trinity-Yazoo; Fr. William Ndishabandi at All Saints-South Jackson; the clergy at Chapel of the Cross-Madison; I’ve never met Bryan Owen at the cathedral, but I like his blog. It seems like most of the newer clergy are more serious about the Gospel than some of the batch we had before.

Maybe we should put together a list of theologically-solid churches so that those of us like LfL and me don’t have to call clowns like Mr. Johnson to find the ministry we need?

[46] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-13-2012 at 03:38 PM · [top]

Was Duncan Gray elected under the “moderate” banner or was he an “all in” for the GLBTQXYZ agenda?

[47] Posted by Bill2 on 6-13-2012 at 03:55 PM · [top]

@Bill2: I wasn’t here, but it was my understanding that he ran as a ‘missions’ bishop…more of an ‘institutional man’ than a flaming revisionist. Someone who was here when that decision was made would know better.

[48] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-13-2012 at 04:03 PM · [top]

I can’t say that I am shocked or surprised over the double-occupancy thing. I have never seen, if such a thing even exists, an Episcopal diocesan conference center that prohibits couples who are not married from sharing a room. I attended a Cursillo and we had three unmarried couples, who lived together in their own respective homes, and each couple shared a room. And this was a couple of decades ago. So unless Mississippi is different and has such a policy in place, or if people in Mississippi have ever raised a fuss over non-married couples sharing a room at the Duncan Center, the double occupancy thing barely blips on the radar.

[49] Posted by Pressing On on 6-13-2012 at 04:38 PM · [top]

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Isaiah 5:19-21

You poor, poor Mississippi Episcopalians

[50] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 6-13-2012 at 05:33 PM · [top]

Whether DEPO, or founding new congregations, or some other tactic, it is important that faithful Anglicans in Dio. Mississippi don’t just give up.  Turning this situation around will take time (many years) and much prayer and tears, but it is a good fight and it is winnable. 

Do talk to each other and build up the contacts between you whenever you can.  There are no doubt many thinking “I must be the only one”, but it isn’t so.

[51] Posted by MichaelA on 6-13-2012 at 05:39 PM · [top]

Don’t forget that this is the same Bishop that is on the record as saying he would never ordain an admitted homosexual.  He has told me to my face and by letter that same statement.  His stance must have evolved because earlier this month in Hattiesburg, MS he ordained an openly gay man to the priesthood.  This Bishop has talked out of both sides of his mouth for years.  I don’t know if it is because he has no backbone, he wants to avoid radical confrontation, he wants to be included on the National scene or he is just keeping the chair warm until retirement.  Unfortunately he also has not stopped local parishes from becoming a microcosm of the national church and its agenda.  As was told to me by a parishioner, there is no place in the Episcopal church for someone like me that is conservative and does not think the Bible needs to be rewritten.  The three-legged stool is no longer a part of TEC.  As a cradle Episcopalian with ancestors that were members for the past 6 generations, I no longer attend the Episcopal church.  I truly wish an Anglican affiliation would look at growing a church here.

[52] Posted by fsbill on 6-14-2012 at 08:49 AM · [top]

@fsbill: Are there a few more folks who feel as you do? If so, I really think you should talk to Saint Stephens Reformed about planting a mission.

[53] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-14-2012 at 08:52 AM · [top]

I bet this goes over really well in Mississippi.  People there must be just flocking to The Episcopal Church!

Oh, they aren’t?  Never mind.

[54] Posted by Newbie Anglican on 6-14-2012 at 09:03 AM · [top]

AiT at 46: Re creating a list—here’s one:  http://www.shelterinthestorm.org/  I’m assuming it’s staying updated.

[55] Posted by Geosez on 6-14-2012 at 09:41 AM · [top]

Shelter in the Storm is an excellent resource but is only updated by the efforts of the member churches that are listed.  The person running the site does not have the time to keep track of the 1500 or so churches they list.

Its great for when you are traveling: but I would independently check out a church that you find on the site.

One example I know personally:  St. Luke’s in Baton Rouge, LA is now different than it was when it was listed.

[56] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 6-14-2012 at 10:02 AM · [top]

Thanks Geosez:

I’ve seen lists like this, though this list does add a few congregations to the ones I already new about. Someone needs to develop a more comprehensive list sort of on a three-tier grouping. Tier one would be these congregations that are solidly orthodox; the second tier would be for ones that we’re not sure about (either they are 50-50, too diplomatic, or just not enough info, etc.); the third tier could be for those parishes that are basically run either by (1) Democrats who need to placate their ‘religious instinct’, (2) people who want to make Jesus their mascot for their social progressive causes, or (3) the rector who is getting it on with the male choir director, etc.

An example:

Tier One
Trinity—Yazoo City
Chapel of the Cross—Madison

Tier Two
Church of the Creator—Clinton
St. Andrews Cathedral—Jackson

Tier Three
Christ Church—Holly Springs

Between all of us, we could come up with such a list that would be helpful.

[57] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-14-2012 at 10:19 AM · [top]

Trinity Church (Episcopal) in Pass Christian is a sound parish.  My so attended when he was at tech school a Keesler AFB last summer and I visited and had a good chat with their rector.

[58] Posted by evan miller on 6-14-2012 at 10:23 AM · [top]

I would love to see as many people as possible submit their own lists, and see what happens.

In the whole ‘market place of ideas’ grand scheme of things, I think such a list would be really beneficial because I believe completely that those churches in Tier One would grow in members and families because people want what they offer. Let’s have some open and honest competition: give people information, and then let them choose whether they want a church that preaches about the Jesus who transforms us verses the consumer-friendly version of Jesus as ‘high therapist’ nice guy who gives us a spiritual fix for the week. Let’s do it, and let the chips fall where they may.

[59] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-14-2012 at 10:29 AM · [top]

I echo Captain Father Warren.  I’ve contacted Granny Kay at least 3 times to update various parishes I could speak for and those changes have always been posted very quickly.  Everyone should take a look and see how (or even if!) you are listed.  It’s a great resource but relies on _your_ participation.

[60] Posted by James Manley on 6-14-2012 at 12:17 PM · [top]

There is a church in Memphis on her list which, just from its own website (as reliable as those are), is clearly more trendy than orthodox. Also, I think more about know about Stand Firm than they do about Granny Kay. Bottom line, there needs to be more information about these issues.

Here is a more completed list: I only included churches that I know something about, not from second hand information. I figured one day we could have a conflated list for either Granny Kay or Stand Firm.

Tier One
Trinity—Yazoo City
Chapel of the Cross—Madison
All Saints—South Jackson
Saint Stephens Reformed—Flowood
Holy Innocents—Como
The Fountain Mission—Oxford (no nursery)
Gracie Mission—Olive Branch

Tier Two
Church of the Creator—Clinton
St. Andrews Cathedral—Jackson
Saint Mark—Raymond

Tier Three
Christ Church—Holly Springs

We definitely need someone from each diocese to volunteer to keep the list updated, establish a criteria, etc. It’s a lot of work, but it is important.

[61] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-14-2012 at 12:31 PM · [top]

#52, fsbill,
The ordinand you referred to is a committed celibate.  May God bless him and his ministry.

[62] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 6-14-2012 at 02:03 PM · [top]

I think Bishop Gray is a quiet man, whose father, and grandfather were Bishops for the Miss. diocese.  He seems to me to be quite pleasant and bland.  He wants the church to stay together.  He wants it to be just like it always has been.

Unfortunately for him, it can’t be.  I think he is truly torn by these issues.  He can’t make a hard stand, and I think that for him, he doesn’t believe that these issues call for a hard stand.  I think he truly believes that the long arc of history will come down in favor of the gay lobby.

He wants to keep the thing patched up, keep the gay stuff on the down low, keep the diocese, and the church together, and time will heal.

I am cynical, but not cynical enough to say that he is only concerned about his pension, though I do believe we have those types in droves in the church.  Alot of these guys that are in leadership in the church, were they not in the church, they would not be leaders in the private sector.  We do have rare exceptions, who would be successful outside the church, and can make decisions (Matt).  However, many of them can’t seem to make tough decisions.

I’ve also noticed a tremendous ability to capitalize on any outside event (think Katrina) to pull the parishoner’s attention away from these very divisive issues.  I have joked with other men that these guys love them some disasters, so they don’t have to answer questions about these overarching, fundamental issues.  They throw everything into natural disasters, or apologies for stuff that happened 100 years ago, or any current local political issue that they can “safely” philosophize about.

Before anybody gets onto to me about the natural disaster thing, I’ve lived in Miss. all my life, have been hit by tornadoes, had the next little town up the road from me completely blown away by a particularly vicious storm, etc…  If you grow up in Miss., believe me, you come to know that these things are going to happen.  Everyone pitches in, helps, and we get on with our lives.  The Ep. priests have almost seemed happy for something that will get peoples’ minds off the running of the church into the ditch.  They are happy not for a disaster, but for the diversion the disaster creates.

On the other hand, maybe I am getting too cynical.

[63] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 6-14-2012 at 03:44 PM · [top]

Speaking of cynicism, in this era of nuanced double-speak (where the same word can have very different meanings) and schism, the phrase “committed celibate” (#62) really needs to be defined. Remember the storm surrounding Jeffrey John?

If the phrase means that he made, and intends to carry out, a vow not to have sexual relations outside of Christian marriage, then OK. That’s a Scripturally-appropriate response to the challenge of same-sex attraction.

However, if the new ordinand in question were an activist going around teaching that homosexual practice is OK, then there would a problem, eh? Is this new ordinand involved with the DioMS LGBTXQUMXYZPTLK committee, which does not appear to be promoting abstinence from same-sex practice? Would this new ordinand be planning to attend the upcoming retreat, and (if so) who will be his roommate?

While these are very personal questions that ought not to be answered here, in this era of schism they are very relevant to the spiritual health of that diocese, its radical revisionist bishop, and to the new ordinand himself.

If he is indeed a “committed celibate” who intends to teach that abstinence from sex outside of Christian marriage is consistent with Scripture, then I second the blessing in #62. If otherwise, well, God will sort that out in due time.

Cynical Rafe

[64] Posted by Ralph on 6-14-2012 at 04:42 PM · [top]

A couple of days ago I was ready to write a brief response to the question way upstream about how Duncan Gray got elected as bishop of Mississippi, when I realized it couldn’t be brief at all and still do justice to the question.

So settle in, folks - the story of the last 12 years in the Diocese of Mississippi is sordid, at times unbelievable, and thoroughly steeped in southern gothic weirdness. If Faulkner had written what follows, they would have laughed at him for being so over-the-top.

+Gray’s election had to a lot to do with the fact that he was “Mr. Inevitable” - his father and his grandfather were both bishops, and Mississippians love that kind of continuity.

But looking back, I believe it was also partly because that kind of continuity gave Mississippi Episcopalians some hope that he would bring some stability to the diocese.

Stability was much in demand at the time because his predecessor, Chip Marble, had presided over one of the most chaotic and disastrous periods in the history of the diocese. The drowning death of a teenage camper on a diocesan rafting trip has been largely forgotten, and his full-on embrace of everything gay seems almost quaint compared to what we’ve seen in other dioceses, but few have forgotten the most high-profile crisis in recent memory, which involved the diocese being sued by Julie Mabus, the ex-wife of the state’s former governor Ray Mabus.

The Mabuses were having problems in their marriage, and Ray Mabus, governor of Mississippi from 1988-1992, suggested they get counseling in their home from their priest, Jerry McBride. McBride was the rector of their church, St. James, the wealthiest parish in the diocese.

Ray Mabus informed McBride that he would be audio-taping all the sessions, but neither man told Julie Mabus. Ray Mabus later used these tapes in the couple’s divorce proceedings to gain legal custody of the couple’s children.

Afterward, Julie Mabus sued McBride, St. James, and the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi for fraud and malpractice.

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/06/30/us/woman-sues-priest-over-secret-tape-recording-used-in-custody-battle.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

If I’m not mistaken, the diocese avoided a judgement but later settled with Julie Mabus for some non-trivial sum of cash.

Around the same time, a depraved series of events unfolded:

- Bishop Marble and his wife separated.

- Jerry McBride began having an affair with none other than… Bishop Marble’s wife.

- Duncan Gray, III was consecrated Bishop of Mississippi, and when the affair came to light between McBride and Mrs. Marble, he inhibited McBride, who was then forced to leave St. James.

- While I was on the vestry at St. Philip in Jackson, our rector came to us with Bishop Gray’s request that we offer a sort of “safe harbor” for McBride’s ex-wife, also a priest, as she attempted to restore her standing in the diocese following her own affair during the time her husband was sleeping with the wife of the retired bishop.

A few years later our rector had to leave St. Philip because it was discovered he had been cheating on his wife.

Who, at the time, had cancer.

On a side note, I later left St. Philip to seek a more orthodox parish, and ironically enough found it at Chapel of the Cross, which a couple of years earlier had bid farewell to its longtime rector. He was replaced by a priest who was there for… oh, I don’t know, a couple of months, when it came to light that he had recently impregnated a woman - not his wife - who was a member of his former parish in Hattiesburg. Gray had to run him out as well.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yeah: The need for stability in the diocese.

[65] Posted by Greg Griffith on 6-16-2012 at 09:31 AM · [top]

Oh, and as an addendum to Looking For Leader’s post about calling Canon to the Ordinary David Johnson and having him invite LfL to leave the Episcopal Church:

It was at the end of my run on the St. Philip vestry that I got involved in an email exchange among several longtime parish leaders about the church’s continuing crisis.

One of them finally told me that perhaps my wife and I should go elsewhere, to a church that “believed the Bible as much as we did.”

My wife and I did.

A couple of years later, so did this gentleman… following his divorce from his wife.

[66] Posted by Greg Griffith on 6-16-2012 at 09:59 AM · [top]

Lord, have mercy!

So the fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.

The next time you tell a story like that, could you put the names of all the principal parties involved on a chart of some kind, with arrows pointing in all the appropriate directions? 

I’m easily confused and I had trouble following all that.  tongue rolleye

[67] Posted by episcopalienated on 6-16-2012 at 10:08 AM · [top]

Greg,

That story would have torn any other denomination apart. In TEc the shoulders shrug and the agenda moves forward.

[68] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-16-2012 at 10:55 AM · [top]

Would it do any good if a few conservatives showed up for the retreat and demanded private sessions with Bishop Gray instead of Ms. Glasspool?

In all seriousness, I had no idea things were that bad in the Diocese of Mississippi.

[69] Posted by episcopalienated on 6-16-2012 at 11:14 AM · [top]

#s 65 & 66 should remind us that the LGBT&c TEc did not land from Mars - it was enabled by its “straight” members, especially clergy and lay leaders, ignoring God’s Word and behaving worse than pagans. 

One could depose every last LGBT&c cleric, expunge every SSU from parish records, discipline every clergy person who provided SSU…

AND THE DENOMINATION WOULD STILL BE A CORRUPT MESS.

[70] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-16-2012 at 11:23 AM · [top]

The church is indeed a hospital for sinners.  The problem comes in when the inmates refuse to accept the cure.

[71] Posted by Jackie on 6-16-2012 at 11:33 AM · [top]

The problem comes in when the inmates refuse to accept the cure.

Yes indeed, Jackie,  your words remind me of what C. S. Lewis wrote in his essay “God in the Dock” from his book Undeceptions: Essays on Theology and Ethics:

“We have to convince our hearers of the unwelcome diagnosis before we can expect them to welcome the news of the remedy. The ancient man approached God(or even the gods) as the accused person approaches his judge. For the modern man the roses are reversed. He is the judge: God is in the Dock”.

My quote is from The Essential C. S. Lewis

[72] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-16-2012 at 11:47 AM · [top]

drat….. the roles are reversed not roses…

[73] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-16-2012 at 11:50 AM · [top]

Jackie:

The problem comes in when the inmates refuse to accept the cure.

It gets even worse when those who reject the cure refuse to leave the hospital and somehow manage to become administrators instead.  There goes the ER and the trauma ward. 

Plenty of space and easy access to the morgue, though.

[74] Posted by episcopalienated on 6-16-2012 at 12:37 PM · [top]

Plenty of space and easy access to the morgue, though.

You betcha!

[75] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 6-16-2012 at 12:43 PM · [top]

I guess I should have said members rather than inmates.

[76] Posted by Jackie on 6-16-2012 at 02:38 PM · [top]

[65] That’s hardcore.  I’ve never heard of a marriage counselee needing to bring an electronic countermeasures package to let’s face it, a sit-down.  What’s next Lethal Weapon style meetings in the desert that are basically a race between counter-sniper teams?  Body doubles?  If you want to contact Father Bob, leave two chalk marks on the stairs at the base of the Lenin statue?

I try to laugh, but those poor people had to go through a lot of tragedy (much self-inflicted) to get to the farce.  God save us all.

My first instinct is to say that [65] is the culmination of many terrible, sinful choices by individuals.  My second move is to say this whole sordid tale is what happens in a closed, incestuous workplace http://www.amazon.com/Incestuous-Workplace-Stress-Distress-Organizational/dp/1568381549 and/or one where clergy are thrown in counseling roles where they don’t have adequate training, boundaries, support, or legal consequences http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Clergy-Misconduct-Religious-Systems/dp/0789004518  My third instinct is to say all this systems talk is wonderful, but I learned all this after a situation at my old parish that prompted me to dig up some information.  Years later I learned that two of the best resources—the Rev. Anne Richards TEC of NY and the Interfaith Sexual Trauma Institute—were themselves later exposed in dreadful scandals, the first an affair with her bishop and the second pedophilia http://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/05_06/2011_06_07_French_NewYork.htm

Jeremiah was right.  “The heart is deceitful above all things.”  God Bless you in Mississippi!

[77] Posted by The Plantagenets on 6-16-2012 at 08:26 PM · [top]

Plantagenets - It’s definitely a petri dish of sexual morality in which the idea that “this is the way God made me” can easily multiply and infect the whole place. Small wonder gay activists found a pliable and amenable group of allies in the Episcopal Church.

[78] Posted by Greg Griffith on 6-16-2012 at 09:09 PM · [top]

In response to All-Is-True ([7]) and Greg Griffith ([65]).

I was vestry member of a conservative Episcopal parish on the Mississippi Gulf Coast at the time of the episcopal election, and was delegated to attend and vote at the special election convention at the cathedral in Jackson. I think I can say something, from my perspective, about the circumstances of that election.

First, I want to note my agreement with Greg Griffith when he refers to the “inevitability” of Duncan Gray III’s election, and the need for stability in the diocese after the Chip Marble years.

I will limit myself to saying something about the election itself. I will try to relate what happened as well as I can remember it.

As I recall, there were actually two meetings which the delegates were asked to attend. The first was a sort of one day “get to know the candidates” affair. We were given copies of all the candidates’ resumes etc., and then meetings were scheduled with the individual candidates, where the electors were able to ask questions about any issues of concern. Of course, questions about homosexual marriage and the ordination of homosexuals were certainly asked.

I had not met, or encountered, any of the candidates before. When the question about “ordination of homosexuals” was asked to Duncan Gray (I am not sure of the exact wording), I noted, as the words were spoken by the man chairing the meeting, that the reference was not to the “ordination of PRACTISING homosexuals,” and I watched to see if Gray would use the omission of the word “practising” to nuance his answer to the question. (Of course, homosexuals have certainly been ordained priests and bishops in the Church before, just as have adulterers and fornicators. The issue is whether they acknowledge the sinfulness of the behavior, and truly repent and abstain from any personal involvement in it.) Sure enough, Gray used the omission to fudge his response, and to avoid giving a straight answer to the clear intent of the question. From this answer, and his similar well crafted and nuanced responses to other questions, I formed the opinion of him that he was obviously a skillful political maneuverer. However, I did not come away with any sense that he was a godly man or a good pastor, or likely to be an inspiring Christian leader. I didn’t feel then, and certainly don’t feel now, that I could go to him for spiritual counsel.

The only things Duncan Gray had going for him, as far as I was concerned (I wasn’t personally impressed by the Gray dynasty aspect), were the other four candidates, who were all much, much worse. As a firm conservative evangelical, I wouldn’t touch any of those ultra-liberals with a ten foot pole.

When it came to the election itself, about two weeks later, I voted for Gray as the best of a poor bunch, and to keep the others out. As it happened, the Mississipian affinity for the Gray dynasty won the day, the other candidates were quickly eliminated in the voting, and he won the election as a favorite son on the 3rd or 4th ballot.

[79] Posted by Topper on 6-17-2012 at 08:32 PM · [top]

All that is missing from your narrative, Greg, is some sort of E.A. Poe self-morbid erotica mixed with some cheap paperback ‘pistols at dawn’ sort of stuff. 

“I loove that woman, and I challenge you,” he said as he removed the white glove from his hand to strike his enemy. Then he killed his rival, when home, and buried his beloved alive in a cellar. But love her he did, and it was all for love!

The problem is that Mr. Gray did not fire enough people from the Diocese of Mississippi. There are lots of these people left. I think the diocese would have been better off in 2005 choosing its bishop from another diocese. In other words,  choosing someone who could promote, hire, fire, and demote individuals with a clear sense of mission and without too much personal sentimentality or fear of being shunned by that particular reprobate’s congregation at the next bishop’s barbecue, etc.

[80] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-17-2012 at 08:38 PM · [top]

Dear Topper:

That is amazing. You are basically saying that there was no orthodox candidate in 2005? There was like 3 revisionists and one polite heterodox candidate for a fairy traditional diocese? I guess it is not surprising, given how nontransparent Episcopal governance has been up until Gene Robinson and the creation of news blogs like this one. Still. 

@Greg et al:

Whenever anyone questions Gray’s theological orthodoxy, does he ever bring up the Jerry McBride case in the same way that our arrogant and politicizing president does his whole “Ask Osama bin Laden” thing whenever anyone questions his national security credentials? I’m always amused how our President misses the point that this is the least we would have expected of him when it comes to issues of national security. Firing McBride is the least I would have expected of Gray concerning issues of church discipline and defending the gospel.

[81] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-17-2012 at 09:00 PM · [top]

PS: While this sort of behavior is crazy for clergy, I’ve heard of it before. After 10 years of working in college academia (where lots of people are more egotistical, with more to prove, and more willing to smash the personal/professional lives of others than the very business leaders and so called ‘capitalists’ they attack in their papers and classrooms), I’ve heard lots of stories. But the sacerdotal vocation, where people profess to put God before themselves and all worldliness, is supposed to be different.

[82] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-17-2012 at 10:10 PM · [top]

Dear All-Is-True

The election of Bp. Gray was before 2005. I think it was early in 2000.

Sometime after the election, Bp. Gray came to our parish for a visit. I think it was while he was still Bishop co-adjutor. He met with the vestry, and we put our concerns about various issues to him. I remember mentioning my own theological background as a conservative evangelical, to which he responded in kind. I think he said something like: “I consider that I too come from that background.” I think he probably does (or did) consider himself conservative in his theological positions. I certainly did not think he was a liberal like the other candidates in the election.

The opinion I formed of him though was that, in a pinch, he could well allow the political need to keep the diocese together to trump his theology if that is what he felt the situation demanded. Because of what seemed to me to be very questionable answers to the questions in the meeting I described in the previous post, I just felt I couldn’t trust him to firmly uphold the Christian faith which I believe. That is why I didn’t really want to vote for him at the election.

I believe Bp. Gray is a moral and upright family man, and I have found him personally very friendly and courteous. I also believe, if he had his druthers, that he would like to maintain the traditional conservative Diocese of Mississippi he probably knew when he was growing up. But perhaps he may feel that that option is no longer open to him.

[83] Posted by Topper on 6-17-2012 at 10:28 PM · [top]

@Topper:

I’ve talked to a couple of people who say Gray has the wrong people in his inner-circle…people like David Johnson (mentioned much further upstream), etc. Gray needs more biblical-minded Anglicans around him (I’m not saying he doesn’t have any…but they are the far minority in his circle). If he did have better society of Christians around him, Gray would perhaps understsand that maintaining ‘the traditional conservative Diocese of Mississippi’ is indeed a viable option, and he could look at the salubrious Diocese of South Carolina as his example. Regrettably,  he seems to pull in the other direction.

I came from the Diocese of Ft. Worth, and I was really disappointed when I read Gray’s comments about the TEC loyalists as being ‘abandoned by their bishop’! I swear Gray must swallow every drop of TEC Executive Counsel propaganda that he is fed. 85% of Ft. Worth voted to leave the General Convention…their bishop did not abandon them. If anything, I feel that it is Gray and bishops like him who have abandoned their flock to the ravenous wolves who occupy 815. So sad to me.

Also, his decisions seem anything put transparent. I was a supporter of i26, and my mom is the president of one of the pro-life movements in the state, so I kept up with all the developments. In my wildest imagination, I never ever in my life expected ‘moderate’ Gray to come out and support us. But when he, in his capacity as bishop, issued a public statement opposing i26 (keep in mind, he has yet to make his assurances about not blessing same-sex marriages, regardless of what GC decides, public…those have been made private to my knowledge…unless he made it months ago and I missed it), I was flummoxed and bewildered. Also, he issued a justification about his reasoning behind his decision to throw the administrative-wing of the Diocese against i26, and it was so full of Grayisms, gasbag circumlocutions, that I wondered if he’d had anyone review it before he posted it on the worldwide web.

[84] Posted by All-Is-True on 6-18-2012 at 08:40 AM · [top]

It seems to me that Bishop Gray, like many Mississippians, is more interested “who says it” rather than what is being said and as a result much more weight is given to arguments made by those who the Bishop respects, such as other Bishops, Doctors and professional people even if their arguments are flawed and in direct opposition to Scripture or acknowledged Christian beliefs.

[85] Posted by Betty See on 6-18-2012 at 12:11 PM · [top]

RE 52 and 62, This is indeed the case.  The ordinand is committed to be celibate.  In addition, at the last Diocesan Council in his Episcopal
Address Bishop Gray specifically stated that regardless of the actions of General Convention in July, he would NOT authorize any same sex marriages/blessings in the Diocese of Mississippi.  There was much grumbling about that at the Gay booth in the display area which was next to my booth for The Brotherhood of Saint Andrew.  I would not say that Gray is a revisionist.  Also, the conference center is named for his grandfather, the V Bishop of Mississippi

[86] Posted by BrAthanasius on 6-24-2012 at 05:41 PM · [top]

BrAthanasius,

How does this gel with the comment made by tjmcmahon at #29 on this thread:

http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/sf/page/28978/


I don’t know +Gray nor the diocese (I’m in Australia).  But if he says he will not authorise any same sex marriages in Dio Mississippi, but at the same time he has invited Mary Glasspool to lead a 3-day gay retreat which he is sponsoring, then isn’t the most likely explanation that he is simply biding his time until he builds up a core group of supporters in Dio Mississippi before he starts to authorise SSMs?

[87] Posted by MichaelA on 6-24-2012 at 05:55 PM · [top]

RE: “then isn’t the most likely explanation that he is simply biding his time until he builds up a core group of supporters in Dio Mississippi before he starts to authorise SSMs?”

I think that’s kinda hard to do when you’ve got maybe gay 40-50 revisionist activists in the entire diocese.  I see his actions as more “pacifying” than anything else.

But it doesn’t matter—the actions are still wrong, and he is importing a noted false teacher into the diocese to offer poison to those who will receive it.  That’s wrong, and it’s not acting as a pastor.

[88] Posted by Sarah on 6-24-2012 at 06:10 PM · [top]

#86 writes, “The ordinand is committed to be celibate.”
1. What do you mean by “celibate”? There are lots of definitions of that word floating around these days.
2. Is this ordinand one of the 40-50 homosexual activists in the diocese?

#86 also writes, “I would not say that Gray is a revisionist.”
1. Really? An orthodox Anglican would invite Mary Douglas Glasspool to a diocesan retreat?
2. Thanks for the Sunday evening laugh.

#86 writes, “...Bishop Gray specifically stated that regardless of the actions of General Convention in July, he would NOT authorize any same sex marriages/blessings in the Diocese of Mississippi.”
1. Well, that’s comforting.
2. Let’s see how long that lasts.

Very Cynical Rafe

[89] Posted by Ralph on 6-24-2012 at 08:20 PM · [top]

Rafe,  your cynical side really does come through.  As to the ordinand being one of the “activists” I would say probably not.  After all he was at General Theological Seminary for the last three plus years, and not taking advantage of their provision for cohabitation.  And, when the retreat is for the “gay” community, it would make sense to invite Ms. Glasspoolno sensorship!!!

[90] Posted by BrAthanasius on 6-24-2012 at 09:15 PM · [top]

Not wanting (for some odd reason) to be the Meanest Commenter in the World today, I’d gently chuckle at #90’s “And, when the retreat is for the “gay” community, it would make sense to invite Ms. Glasspoolno sensorship!!!” and simply observe that Miss Glasspool (being the notoriously evil shepherd that she is), is an extremely poor choice for that or any group. Now, if Bp. Gray had invited Rob Gagnon to the retreat, that would make sense.

So, in light of Jeremiah 23:1-6, I would question whether Bp. Gray is looking out for all of his sheep.

I’m truly comforted to learn that the ordinand in question did not take advantage of the GTS “provision for cohabitation” (suppressing a wave of nausea) and to hear that he is “probably not” a homosexual activist in that diocese.

Gentle, but Still Very Cynical, Rafe

[91] Posted by Ralph on 6-25-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

Oh my gosh: Prof Gagnon for the Dio of MS LGBTXYZ@# retreat!  That is both the most unlikely and funniest thing I have heard in quite a while.

Very good sir Ralph!

[92] Posted by Capt. Father Warren on 6-25-2012 at 09:54 AM · [top]

Actually, Captain Father, Fr. Mario Bergner would be a better choice—keeping it in the Anglican family.  One must wonder about Calvinistic Presbyterians!!

[93] Posted by BrAthanasius on 6-25-2012 at 11:02 AM · [top]

I don’t usually post comments, but the Glasspool at Bratton Green thing is kind of like the last straw for me.  I am disappointed and disillusioned.  I have been naive enough to think that Duncan Gray would never do anything like this.  I am very conflicted, and I do not know what to do.  I am a cradle Episcopalian.  My great grandfather was rector at St. Andrew’s Cathedral 100 yrs. ago, and my family has been involved, in one way or another, for over 3 generations.  I spent most of my life as an on again - off again member until I experienced a true re-birth and conviction about 7 yrs. ago.  I am now one of those eccentrics who attends the noon Eucharist every day.  (We don’t have a service on Saturday.) 

My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing in my life.  I believe that the Word of God - the Truth - has not changed one iota from the date of Ascension to the present; and I want to think that at least some of our clergy feels the same, ie - how would Paul address this issue?  Sadly, those who do are a distinct minority.  Those who believe that the Word has evolved, and therefore revised, (and those who are afraid to stand up to them) are now firmly in charge here in Mississippi; and we, those who, for reasons of naivete and conflict avoidance, sat back and did nothing, have no one to blame but ourselves.

The words of David Johnson, who I also thought was one of the good guys, might be the most painful.  Just go away and don’t bother us with any of your orthodoxy.  1st Pres is just down the road.  It’s just too sad.

If anyone reads this and has the notion, I would invite counsel and advice - because I need it.  I just don’t know if I am ready to become a Presbyterian.

[94] Posted by Great Western Heresy on 6-25-2012 at 11:29 AM · [top]

#93. You are right.  That has a snowball’s chance in h#ll of happening.  Father Bergner could speak from a Anglican pastoral perspective- you are right abut that. Gagnon is the best when wanting a NT scholar’s perspective on the NT scriptures about sexuality and homosexuality. The chance of either getting invited to this conference is nil which is truly unfortunate.

#94. Just remember, you are called to be a disciple of Christ. I know…...  thinking of breaking that connection with a tradition that has been part of your life and your family is incredibly difficult. I too have generations of Episcopalians and Anglicans behind me. If I weren’t in the Diocese of South Carolina, I am not sure what I would do. If you want to remain in the Anglican family, I suggest a good look at ACNA.  There was a post here earlier that mentioned a couple of good Episcopal parishes in Mississippi.  Prayers ascending for you that you will be able to find a good parish.

[95] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-25-2012 at 11:51 AM · [top]

#94. OK just prayed for you. I found this from an earlier post in this discussion. I don’t know where you are in MS. However,  if a priest is willing to put contact info here, I would contact him. He and his parish may not be near you but he may be able to put you in touch with others closer to you. No guarantees but heck simply a sympathetic ‘ear’ via email could do a lot for the anguish you feel right now.

Anyone on the coast who wants to talk can reach us through rachurch1 [at] gmail.com

The Rev. Warren Mueller, Vicar
Resurrection Anglican Church on the Gulf
Long Beach, MS

[96] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 6-25-2012 at 12:00 PM · [top]

#94 Great Western Heresy,

A forum like this may not be the best place to formulate counsel and advice. As SC blue cat lady suggests, connect with the faithful near to you. This points out to me the need for a traditional organization of some sort to support those like yourself. I don’t want to divert this thread into a stay or go dialog.

[97] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 6-25-2012 at 12:18 PM · [top]

BrAthanasius writes at #90,

“And, when the retreat is for the “gay” community, it would make sense to invite Ms. Glasspoolno sensorship!!!”

Ummm, why does it make sense?  You appear to view all gays as the same, which in turn makes me wonder if you really understand the issues at stake.

The issue with clergy who have homosexual inclinations is whether they are prepared to remain celibate, as e.g. ++Hope did in CofE some years ago.  His example was exemplary (pardon the pun), it was courageous, and he was pilloried by the LGBT community for it.

Mary Glasspool is a flag bearer for the opposite position:  She happily caused a scandal throughout the Anglican Communion by putting herself forward for consecration as a bishop whilst being openly partnered with another woman. 

There are many gay clergy who could have been invited to lead this retreat - why choose the very one who is so publicly known for opposing the idea that homosexuality should not be practiced by those who are leaders in the church? 

She is not being invited to state an opposing point of view (which I don’t agree is necessary or appropriate anyway), she is being invited to LEAD this retreat.

I am not cynical BrAthanasius, just watchful and analytical.  I would really like to see your response to the foregoing questions.

[98] Posted by MichaelA on 6-25-2012 at 06:05 PM · [top]

I most certainly do not view all gays as being alike.  I think we need to remember that quite a few years back there was a presbyters conference, at which Bishop Fred Borsch and Prof Gagnon entered into the debate in detail.  Some who were supportive of the gay agenda were actually challenged to think diffierently and changed their attitudes.  I personally think that Ms Glasspool’s blatant approach may actually make some folks think about what she is actually saying and supporting.  (comments about her being able to make a sailor blush have been verified to me by members of Saint Ann’s in Annapolis, Maryland, where she at one time served)  Following this year with a person such as Fr. Mario Bergner would make an interesting contrast!!  I personally believe that when we give wholehearted, unthinking support to the “gay agenda” were are practicing the ultimate in hatred to those who have been deceived into accepting the gay lifestyle as right and normative for themselves.  I agree that we need to tell the truth about Scripture and sin, but it also needs to be done in a loving, caring way, and I really think that Ms Glasspool is incapable of doing this.  I do wish I could attend and hear what she has to say, but medical treatment prevents me from any travel until September.  I am sure this is not satisfying to you, but I really don’t know what else to say.  Every story with regard to homosexual tendencies is different, but from my experience at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel, New Jersey, when they were actually treating people, not warehousing them, I observed that in every instance men who were sentenced to that program because of sexual relations with young boys, came in protesting that they were being persecuted for being gay.  If they would enter seriously into therapy, usually within 18 months to two years it would come out that they had been molested at a young age, often it was not initially remembered, and this is what had turned them in the direction of a gay lifestyle.  I know there are those who will protest that being gay and being a pederast (pedophile is not the correct word—think about the Greek words from which these two terms are derived) do not go together, but that is simply not so!!

[99] Posted by BrAthanasius on 6-25-2012 at 07:23 PM · [top]

BrAthanasius,

I agree with most of your post, but mine really went to a different issue: Why would +Gray invite (or allow) Ms Glasspool to be the leader of a gay retreat?

As a speaker at a convention, to show an alternative viewpoint - yes, possibly. 

But as the leader of a retreat run by the church? 

Subject to a reasonable explanation, surely this only leads us to conclude that +Gray favours the liberal agenda, and in particular, that he wants to push the line that it is acceptable to ordain priests and bishops who are practicing homosexuals?

[100] Posted by MichaelA on 6-28-2012 at 02:26 AM · [top]

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