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July 10, 2012


The Only Letter That Matters To Your Rector, Vestry & Bishop

Dear Father/Bishop [name],

Yesterday the House of Bishops voted to approve forcing parishes to consider cross-dressers, those who surgically mutilate themselves in order to pretend to be the opposite sex, and any others who differ from “majority societal gender norms” as possible appropriate candidates for rector, vestry member, nursery worker, or any other leadership or volunteer role in the church.

Further, the General Convention has approved rites for same sex blessings—purporting to “bless” sinful behavior that is in clear violation of Holy Scripture, tradition, and reason.

I’ve also noticed that the General Convention wants to have the national church receive 19% of the pledge money that is sent to Episcopal dioceses. Our own diocese has budgeted to send $323,881* to the national church—13%* of the pledge money that our diocese receives. In the meantime, the national church has spent some $21 million and counting on suing departing parishioners for their church property, much of which property was titled directly to the vestries of the parishes.

In no way can I support with financial assistance such incompetent, shameful, and deeply harmful actions from obviously corrupt church leaders. I love our parish dearly and will of course continue to worship here as a member. But it would be wrong to give the money with which God has blessed me to such terrible leaders, and in support of such harmful leadership policies. I will not be pledging money to this parish until there is a publicly known and well-delineated process for assuring parishioners that God’s treasure does not go to support such policies, either at the diocesan level or, of course, the national level. I recognize that that may mean I cannot vote in parish elections. But voting in parish elections is trivial when compared with sending money to support such outrageous and damaging policies.

I have also made an appointment with my lawyer to modify my will and other financial instruments so that The Episcopal Church will not receive the financial support I had intended for it after my death.

It is the right thing to do as I strive to exercise good stewardship over the material goods which God has entrusted to me.


Yours in faith,

[name]

If you have a scared moderate rector or scared revisionist rector, this is the only letter that matters to them [nothing matters to angry revisionist rectors, so leave them alone]. If they receive it, they will most likely want to learn about your feelings, strive to “listen” carefully, and help you feel “heard” and “understood.” They will “mirror” your concerns and repeat back to you what you just said to show that they understand what you are saying. They will talk about “mission and ministry.” And “unity in Christ.” And “that which divides us is not as great as that which brings us together.”

But that’s all just glitter and froth.

What matters is that letter. That letter is the only voice you have that they care about.

Write it and send it. Hand mail it to each vestry member too. And your bishop.

They don’t care about your theology. They don’t care how long you have been a member, even if you’re cradle-born. They don’t care that your grandparents are buried in the cemetery. They don’t care that you’re outraged or grieving. They don’t care about what you think about Scripture. Or tradition. Or reason. Don’t bother them with those trivial details—they’ve heard all that before and for years now. They care about one thing, as hirelings. Keeping their jobs while getting money out of your wallet and into their budgets.

Write the letter. And make certain you show it to all of your friends at the parish and around the diocese too.


* Replace these two numbers with numbers from your own diocese


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113 comments

While your diagnosis is correct, this might have worked 20-25 years ago, the only thing that matters now is the sound of feet leaving the building with their wallets.

I heard it several years ago that “moderates” are just liberals in slow motion.  In the end they’ll go along with this nonsense because they agree with it.  Time to pay the piper and look out over empty pews.  Moderates won’t change their mind because of budgets.  They’ll be relieved because they’ll be able to drop the pretense even if they have to sell Amway on the side.

[1] Posted by Bill2 on 7-10-2012 at 07:26 AM · [top]

They seem as convinced of their rightness as we are of a simple reading of Holy Scripture.  They’ve told themselves the Holy Spirit is leading them BEYOND a book penned by old white guys thousands of years ago.  They feel every dollar that leaves, every foot that falls, will be replaced by the multitudes flocking to their big tent, open arms, inclusive words.

Short of being struck blind while travelling and being challenged verbally by Christ Himself, I don’t know what would turn them.

[2] Posted by Father Wash-Ashore on 7-10-2012 at 07:40 AM · [top]

Pretty much been there, done that, moved to ACNA.  Personal problem solved.  My best wishes and prayers for those who stay to witness.

I will add something to include in any discussions with your clergy or vestry, should they beg you to keep the conversation going.  Ask them to tell you in detail, their plans to roll back the actions of the past 10 years, since the problems have been caused by deeds, not words.  No not let them slip this one by.

[3] Posted by APB on 7-10-2012 at 07:51 AM · [top]

Nothing will turn them, as they are political idealogues.  How the world actually works is of very little use to them.  They have an idea in their head about how things should be, about their need for being considered “ok” by society.  I have concluded that many of these people are desperate for validation by society.  They have glommed on to the church as a very easy target for their political machinations.  They are quite willing to do the things that most busy parents and grandparents, and productive people aren’t willing to do to achieve validation.  The church is a political institution, and once you master the minutae of how it operates, you can, over time, hold sway.

It always amuses me when church clergy and lay people use scriptural arguments against these people.  They don’t give a tinkers’ damn about scriptural arguments.  It’s all about controlling the institution politically.  If you have enough votes, your “scriptural” argument carries the day.  They have the votes, and have had them for quite some time.  What I’m really more surprised about is how long it has taken them.  As someone said in another post, the HOB is not exactly filled with “Profiles in Courage” type people.

I think Sarah, as usual is dead on the money, and has put to pen in a very succinct manner, the bottom line of how to affect the situation.  Even if you don’t change anything, you are on record.  If enough people did this, it would help the remainders consolidate power to be used in a positive, Christian way.

On the other hand, in most parishes this Sunday, most talk will be about the recent heat wave, and where everyone has been, or is going on vacation.  I suspect most pew potatoes, even if they have some vague notion of these events, will quickly shuffle them into the Sargent Shultz section of their brain.  “I know nothing!  I see nothing!  I hear nothing!”

[4] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-10-2012 at 08:00 AM · [top]

You might want to check your parish by-laws.  I believe many set $1 and communion at least once a year as the requirements for membership and voice.

Think of that $1 as the price of admission to continuously voice your opinion at every parish and diocesan meeting.

[5] Posted by Jackie on 7-10-2012 at 08:12 AM · [top]

I’m sorry to disagree with you, Sarah, but Bill2 is right.  If you didn’t write this letter after the consecration of VGR, writing it now is closing the barn door after the horse has run off, sired a family of foals and gone on to horsey-heaven.  There’s no turning back now, the revisionists have their victory, though the few clear-eyed among them know it is pyrrhic.  If you wish to stay, stay.  But know that the war is over.

[6] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-10-2012 at 08:12 AM · [top]

Sarah, fine letter for those who have not already taken these actions post GC2003.  We can always hope that some will be newly-awakened to the ways TEC leaders are denying Scripture and destroying the denomination.

However, what you wrote struck me and made me sad about what’s happened in VA, and urges me to suggest a caution to SF readers:

I will not be pledging money to this parish until there is a publicly known and well-delineated process for assuring parishioners that God’s treasure does not go to support such policies,

Many of the Virginia parishes that voted to depart TEC had such “well delineated processes” in place to ensure alternate giving strategies such that monies would not support TEC.  The courts shot these down and donor intent has been violated.

Please let’s keep praying that the VA Supreme Court will uphold donors’ right to specify intent in their giving.  Otherwise parishes may continue to set up alternate strategies, but they may be all for naught as the legal nastiness continues.

[7] Posted by Karen B. on 7-10-2012 at 08:31 AM · [top]

Liberal theologian = “don’t confuse me with the facts…or the Bible”.

Good call to remove financial support.  If God calls you to stay, stay; if He calls you to leave, leave.  Pray and seek God’s will for your family and your parish.

[8] Posted by B. Hunter on 7-10-2012 at 08:34 AM · [top]

RE: “While your diagnosis is correct, this might have worked 20-25 years ago, the only thing that matters now is the sound of feet leaving the building with their wallets.”

That’s certainly one idea—but I have never bought it. It’s just not something that we’re going to agree on.  Rectors and bishops are happy when “troublemakers” leave.

RE: “If you didn’t write this letter after the consecration of VGR, writing it now is closing the barn door after the horse has run off, sired a family of foals and gone on to horsey-heaven.”

Nonsense.  Money’s always important to these guys.  There has been tremendous fruit and happiness in watching the GC 2012 haggle and caw over the increasingly bare bleached bones of the remaining dollars. And it’s only going to get worse.

I’m just helping that along a bit.

RE: “But know that the war is over.”

As usual, I don’t know what this means.  “The war” wasn’t over in Vietnam.

“The war” is never over, Jeffersonian, until the people lay down their arms.  And that’s not gonna happen.

Those who are within TEC get to inflict further pain and damage on the ideas and agenda of those who win the votes and are our current leaders.

It’s all good!  ; > )

[9] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 08:39 AM · [top]

We tried this about 20-25 years ago (I’ve lost count).  The only requirement for voting in parish elections was that one be “known to the treasurer,” i.e. give money to something.  We gave our entire pledge to a “building fund” that stayed entirely within the parish.  We wrote Sarah’s latter explaining our decision.  This lasted for a couple of years and then both the rector and vestry began to put pressure on us.  In the end, I was told that I was no longer allowed to be a Eucharistic minister or teach adult ed. unless we changed our stance.  We changed our diocese instead (to Pittsburgh), even though it means a long Sunday commute, and never looked back.

[10] Posted by Ann Castro on 7-10-2012 at 08:40 AM · [top]

RE: ” In the end, I was told that I was no longer allowed to be a Eucharistic minister or teach adult ed. unless we changed our stance.”

Understood, Ann—some rectors will do that.  Some won’t have the guts.  And of course, *really* hard-headed people will hold their adult education in their houses.  Reminds me of a bunch of rebels in a parish I know of . . . the rector refused to allow Alpha, and they announced they’d be doing it at their home.  ; > )

Karen—I think we’re talking about two different things. The folks in VA contributed to funds and those funds were snatched by the thieves in Virginia.

In this case, people who remain in TEC have to have a way to give *annually* without a percentage of that money trundling off to the diocese.  Or they have to have a way to give annually without a percentage of that money trundling off from the diocese to the national church.

But the point is . . . people need to write that letter and cease pledging or giving immediately.  Let the rector/bishop take care of how to handle coming up with a good process—later on, after they’ve decided to.

I know of one person who’s already done it.  ; > )

[11] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 08:47 AM · [top]

This letter, or the one explaining why you are leaving…

July three years ago my wife and I left TEC (with our 3 kids) after GenCon ‘09.  To us Resolutions D025 and C056 meant that TEC had officially sanctioned what Kendall Harmon described as a “repudiation of Holy Scripture” (I used that that phrase in our letter to rector and vestry).  I told my wife at the time that there was a 100% certainty that GenCon ‘12 would produce a gay marriage rite, not that that required any special insight.  I don’t think the letter or our departure had any real impact, although a few other families with kids left at the same time, including a convention delegate.  But the cumulative effect is there.  This spring my wife went to the ECW’s annual rummage sale and after browsing asked a friend why there were no children’s clothes this year (usually a big item).  The reponse: “All the children of the parish have grown up”...

[12] Posted by Nevin on 7-10-2012 at 09:06 AM · [top]

#10, they want you to leave, so that it will be a Happy Parish without you.

That being said, there certainly comes a time when you have to shake the dust off your feet, and move on.

Staying around and leading a spiritual warfare campaign against the actions of the rector, wardens, and vestry (and the bishop, too) does work sometimes. But, it can get in the way of the Main Thing and be spiritually damaging to you.

I’m not tired yet, so I’m still in.
grin

[13] Posted by Ralph on 7-10-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

RE: “This letter, or the one explaining why you are leaving…”

Understood—my letter is for those who know they’re staying.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 09:09 AM · [top]

Nonsense.  Money’s always important to these guys.

Of that I have no doubt.  But if the objective is to arrest and reverse the decay on TEo, the time to send this letter was in 2003 or, as Bill2 said, even earlier.  It would have had some chance of influencing the direction of TEo at the time, it has none now.  The inmates are firmly in charge of the madhouse at this point and are far more in love with their agenda than those loathsome orthodox and their silly Bible.  They are absolutely sure that the unchurched, gay or otherwise, will soon be clogging the pews and that those open wallets will more than make up for the lost, tainted lucre of us right-wing haters.

[15] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-10-2012 at 09:15 AM · [top]

RE: “But if the objective is to arrest and reverse the decay on TEo, the time to send this letter was in 2003 or, as Bill2 said, even earlier.”

???

The objective has never been to “arrest and reverse the decay” of TEC—not for the past 9 years anyway.

???

The objective—and this has been stated in paragraph upon essay upon article for many years now—is for the current leaders of TEC to continue ramming the ship up against the iceberg over and over and over and over and for the natural consequences of such rammings to occur.

Once the ground has been plowed under and sown with salt and the people come out of their little hovels to gaze in wonderment at the smoking remains . . . then we can talk about what’s next.

We’re well on our way to the smoking remains—but my goodness, “faster please.”

[16] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 09:22 AM · [top]

Stay and fight, or leave and shake the dust from your feet.  Both are honorable choices.  If you choose to stay, Sarah’s letter is an excellent one to write, and God bless you.

[17] Posted by evan miller on 7-10-2012 at 09:23 AM · [top]

I’m thinking about Sarah’s proposed letter, and the potential real impact it could possibly have.

I’ll also throw in the comment about the courts and lawyers as a place of victory for the orthodox—Don’t hold your breath waiting for courts and lawyers to save the orthodox, because in short, the matter is too grey for them to comb through church canon to determine who is right and who is wrong in the eyes of secular law.  Maybe in spots they can come to a good decision for orthodox, just don’t count on it.

Now back to Sarah’s idea;

Say you have a 150 member parish.  The clergy, if not outright revisionist, is probably very wishy-washy types, want to be seen as modern, educated, forward looking type people, that are hip to the new trip.  They are also at their core, concerned about money.  Why? because almost every human (besides independently wealthy people) are concerned about money.  They quickly make an eval. of the parish and determine this: 150 members, the CHOIR is liberal (20 people), the music director is liberal, the young ass’t rector is liberal, there is a CORE group (mostly well to do ladies, and if not well to do, spend a good bit of time at the church) who are liberal (10 people and their spouses= 20 people).

Vote count so far—40 liberals, 2 liberal minded staff.

Now you have the rest of the congregation.  110 people left.  80 of these members are pew potatoes.  The pew potatoes are made up of 40 people who have been attending here for a long time.  Some families all their lives, and their parents went here.  Some have been attending since they moved here 20 years ago, and their children have gone here all there lives.  30 of these people have been going here less than 10 years, and they love the music and liturgy, and the service in general.  They are members, and love how they have settled into a church.  10 of the pew potatoes are fairly new, and are really attracted to the good looking, succesful looking people in the pews.  They also like the service, which is different from the Methodist church they used to attend, or feel it is a good subsitute for the Catholic church which grossed them out years ago.

These 80 people are loathe to think about changing churches.  They don’t want to have to make a decision about leaving.  Some worry a little about this wackiness they have heard about, but things seem to be going along well.  Their older children would freak about changing churches, and the members with young children seem to enjoy the church school the nice ladies run.  Besides, the vast majority of the congregation looks like who we aspire to be.  Successful, well dressed, every event and gathering in good taste.

Now we come to the orthodox.  They are 30 out of 150.  They vary in degrees of orthodoxy.  Half (15) waiver on the edge of pew potato status, but the fact that they have registered their discomfort with the rector on these innovations drag them out of potato status.  I’ll call them the “Registered”.  That’s about all the Registered have done, except grumble to the other orthodox.  In fact 2 of these 15 are on the vestry, because they are long time members, and such good people. These 2 vestry members get outvoted when something comes up directly related to these innovations at the local level, but there they are, riding for the ortho brand, in a sort of quietly grumbling way.

Now the last 15 ortho members.  I’ll call them the “Dissenters”. They are disturbed about all of this, and have, in a determined way let the vestry and interested members know.  The liberals whisper about them at choir practice, and under their breaths to each other at church functions.  The liberals try to keep them in check, and can easily do this due to the lack of numbers of the ortho.  These 15 do let the rector know, in a firm, but respectful manner their open opposition to these innovations.  They talk about the dysfunctional process the libs have used on the national level.  In the end, though, they are long time (some cradle) Episcopalians, and will not abandon the ship.  They hold on as a matter of honor, and as principled dissidents.  They will not leave the battlefield, and will not be bullied, or run off.  They are brave.  They know they don’t have the votes, but vote their concious at every opportunity.

If these 15 withheld their $‘s (and they are substantial givers), it would have some meaning, and what if these 15 met with the 15 from the parish, who barely escape potato status, and the 20 Dissenters from the cathedral, who are the same as them, plus the 25 Registered from the Cathedral.  Now you’ve got a group of 75 orthodox.  Some are merely Registered, but you’ve also got a good group of true Dissenters.

Now, you’ve got something to work with.  That’s 75 people.  Somebody could do something with that many people. Maybe Sarah’s idea would help these people come together, at some point, to worship with like-minded people.

I wonder what would happen if someone in each area could make some kind of determination of the number of “Registered” and “Dissenters” that are still attending an Ep. parish?  That could be powerful information.  I’ll also add that most of these people are not interested in, and have very little knowledge of all of these splinter groups.  No, they want to be Episcopalian, and will be Episcopalian until the bitter end.  Even the Registered have done enough to have the satisfaction of knowing that even in a small way, they provided resistance to these innovations.  If these people could coalesce, then they could at least worship with like minded people.

[18] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-10-2012 at 09:27 AM · [top]

I think the moral of the story is, “Don’t feed the trolls.” The problem is how to do battle with the trolls if they charge you to be in the game. I still give time and talent to the parish, but I think the morally correct thing to do is to slash what money goes to feed the trolls.

[19] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-10-2012 at 09:30 AM · [top]

They didn’t care when I wrote a similar letter after GC 2006.  So I left.

[20] Posted by R. Scott Purdy on 7-10-2012 at 09:39 AM · [top]

I agree. Whatever conclusion you come to, the general principle is correct - do not let your money be used to further the cause of the liberals in TEC.  It may take some time and effort to check where your money is being used, but if you intend to stay in TEC, this time is well spent. 

Or, as UP puts it more simply and elegantly, “Don’t feed the trolls”... smile

[21] Posted by MichaelA on 7-10-2012 at 09:47 AM · [top]

You need to remember that contributions are “fungible.” (one of my favorite finance words)  This means that if, for example, you give money for “local use only”, the parish can take some of the other money allocated for local use, and use it somewhere else- like for the diocesan contribution.  So, although “your” contribution goes to “local use only”,  the amount sent to the diocese is exactly what it was before.  Unless virtually everyone in the parish defines their contributions as “local use only”, and you can get hold of the books periodically and pay in independent auditor to make sure they actually do it, you won’t impact the amount going to the diocese, unless you just bite the bullet and cut the parish off completely.

[22] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-10-2012 at 09:48 AM · [top]

This is sheer lunacy - the lunacy of trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.  “I’ll worship with you, but you’re not getting any of my money.”  Don’t you see that worshipping with unbelievers is worse than giving them money?

[23] Posted by fatherlee on 7-10-2012 at 09:50 AM · [top]

The hardest thing to me is being a member of a fairly orthodox parish,where the majority of the clergy are staunchly orthodox, as is a majority of the congregation, but with a completely liberal bishop (Kee Sloan who replaced Henry Parsley is, in my opinion even more dangerous than Henry, as he is a liberal wolf in moderate sheep’s clothing) .

We have not pledged to the church for the past 3 years (and have found more than enough truly Christian causes to tithe to) but we continue to worship there as it is the only church within 100 miles which provides truly good preaching and teaching.  When we tithed to church, we were allowed to mark it for our church only, but then found out there’s really no such thing as your pledge not counting both toward our diocese and the national church.  It’s just not possible the way our church’s budget was structured. 

We do give to individual causes within the church occasionally, but can’t in good conscience give anything on a regular basis.

We talk from time to time about going back to tithing to church and just letting God sort it out, but have determined not to do so until He gives us a clear message that it is right.  In the meantime, since we greatly benefit from being members, we “tithe” as much of our time as possible—-teaching Sunday school, helping out with special events, doing music, always participating in VBS, etc.

[24] Posted by heart on 7-10-2012 at 09:52 AM · [top]

RE: “Don’t you see that worshipping with unbelievers is worse than giving them money?”

Huh?  We all “worship with unbelievers” no matter the denomination or entity.

Please don’t take this off-topic.

This is a great opportunity for further and more people to cease giving the money that God has entrusted to them to a very very disordered and unhealthy organization.

And it will happen.

[25] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 09:56 AM · [top]

Let me point out, although my conclusion in 22 may seem harsh ( “but we have an orthodox rector, and if we cut our parish contribution, we won’t be able to pay him” ) if you are in a revisionist diocese (the sort that will authorize the the SSB rite next Monday when the bishop gets back to the office), it won’t make a difference to the final outcome for your parish or rector.

Because if you are successful in cutting the money going to the diocese, local considerations aside, your parish will be declared “in distress” or “in mission status”, and the bishop will remove the rector and vestry, and install a priest in charge and vestry who will send him the money. 

So the rector is gone either way.

[26] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-10-2012 at 09:58 AM · [top]

“I mean it, now. I reallymean it, now. No, now I really, really meant it.”

What a load.

[27] Posted by kb9gzg on 7-10-2012 at 10:00 AM · [top]

RE: “and expecting a different result.”

And nobody expects “a different result”—we’re quite content with the declining budgets and cawing and scavenging over dollars.

[28] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 10:12 AM · [top]

back to #17 Evan Miller.
The RCL for last Sunday included the Mk 6 note about shaking off the dust from your feet, and those using the BCP Lectionary will meet that this coming Sunday——- no accidents or coincidents there!

[29] Posted by BravoZulu on 7-10-2012 at 10:12 AM · [top]

At one time we had some trouble at our church; real trouble.  It was determined that we needed to speak with out pocket books.  However, because we still had hope of saving the place, we still wanted to pledge so we could vote and participate.  One of the largest and longest donors to our church pledged $52 for the year; a dollar per week.  We brought food for our community outreach efforts and volunteered to mow and do the garden, brought school supplies for the Sunday School; but cash for salaries was simply not available.  We paid for lights, bread and wine.  It worked.  We have a good Rector now.  Money does talk; unfortunately.  Sarah’s right.  I just modified it a little so you still have a voice.  With no interest being made on endowments these days, even that money will run out eventually.

It is possible, that if the leadership’s pride causes them to refuse to bend, the doors will be closed.  But, would that be worse than what is going on now?  Overwhelmed with Real Estate and land poor is better than the drip, drip, drip that gives them time and space to adjust.  $52 a year and do change your wills and trusts.

Nothing is past God’s saving grace.

[30] Posted by ione on 7-10-2012 at 10:15 AM · [top]

Sarah, #16, I apologize for being obtuse, but I’m afraid I see not the point.  It’s almost like those Japanese soldiers they’d find on tiny atolls in the 1960s and ‘70s, still faithful to an Emperor that had long ago surrendered, still ready to fight off the white devil, oblivious that the world had changed.

Every Sunday you spend in the pew at your TEo parish, you don’t spend it in an ACNA pew.

[31] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-10-2012 at 10:21 AM · [top]

Good post ione.  Sarah has really hit one here, that has people thinking in tangible ways.  I think at this point, this is the way to go.

[32] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-10-2012 at 10:24 AM · [top]

RE: “Sarah, #16, I apologize for being obtuse, but I’m afraid I see not the point.”

Understood—after 9 years of explanation it’s clear that plenty of leavers just can’t get it.

RE: “Every Sunday you spend in the pew at your TEo parish, you don’t spend it in an ACNA pew.”

Um . . . were I to spend Sundays not in the TEC parish I sure as heck wouldn’t be spending them in ACNA pews!  It’ll be the EPC for me, should I leave.

Right now, I’m enjoying the ride.

[33] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 10:29 AM · [top]

#31

I am in ACNA but I guarantee there are still TEC parishes that I’d be more comfortable in thatn some ACNA ones.  When I’m in Charleston, SC, or Savannah, GA, St. Phillips and St. John’s are my choices, though there are ACNA parishes in both places.

[34] Posted by evan miller on 7-10-2012 at 10:31 AM · [top]

RE: “This means that if, for example, you give money for “local use only”, the parish can take some of the other money allocated for local use, and use it somewhere else- like for the diocesan contribution.”

Right—that’s why it’s up to the rector and bishop to determine how they can make it work.  In the meantime, no more checks.

I’m sure they’ll figure out a way.  It’s actually pretty easy—you run two different sets of books.  Central Florida and Dallas do it. Parishes do it quite handily. 

But again—it’s the rector’s and bishop’s problem, not the parishioners.

RE: “What a load.”

Nah—we just don’t want the same things as you, kb9gzg.  This letter is for folks who ain’t leavin’.

[35] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 10:32 AM · [top]

Ione—thanks for that.  I could name so many many many examples of the same thing now.  It’s been awesome to see massive changes at parish level.  And sometimes in certain dioceses, at the diocesan level.

[36] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 10:35 AM · [top]

Each General Convention is an opportunity for another wave of TECers to see the light, to distance and detach and differentiate, and to stop sending money to the corrupt leaders that are currently in charge.

I *look forward* to GC times now.

[37] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 10:37 AM · [top]

Sarah,  Your clarity helps us so much!  That’s how we feel:  we ain’t leavin’.

[38] Posted by heart on 7-10-2012 at 10:38 AM · [top]

As to ACNA, for me as someone that chooses to stay and fight, at first I was angry with people who left and started breakaway churches.  I felt they had abandoned their posts.  But, since I know that ‘all things work together for good for those that love the Lord’ I have come to a different conclusion.  I ‘m thankful for ACNA doing what they did.  Because of their actions they are a good distraction and a big old money pit for the National Church’s funds to flow into with litigation and such.  So, thanks!

[39] Posted by ione on 7-10-2012 at 10:56 AM · [top]

Sigh,sigh.  I know people who have voted with their pocket books for years, for decades. Don’t waste your time thinking that it will change anything. It won’t. I have seen this tactic go down to ruins. My mother did this for decades- did not make a bit of difference. As has already been mentioned, sure….  you can declare your money is to be used for local things and whomever is in charge of that might actually do what you want- but don’t assume it (you know what happens when we *ass u me* right- do I need to spell it out?) or not and do what exactly TJ mentions. It will depend on who is charge of seeing where the money collected actually goes. If you don’t know that person, better find out ASAP.

Don’t think, it will be a big *aha* moment for some revisionist rector.  It won’t. They are bound and determined to make sure every bible believing Christian is gone from their territories.  Remember these people *think* smaller numbers =more faithfulness to the cause. Being prophetic means believing that numbers (of people and money) will decrease- they simply see it as verification that they are headed down the right road!!!!! Don’t be fooled!!

#18. Hate to break it to you….. Maybe that would have worked 40 years AGO!!! If these pew potatoes have not figured it out yet, they ain’t gonna. As the saying goes down here- that dog ain’t gonna hunt. 

I do think heart#24 has the right attitude- give of your time and talent to your orthodox parish but don’t regularly tithe.  YOU can only decide for yourself. Do not expect it to change anyone else’s mind especially a rector or bishop. Do it because you have decided for yourself.

[40] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-10-2012 at 10:57 AM · [top]

Um . . . were I to spend Sundays not in the TEC parish I sure as heck wouldn’t be spending them in ACNA pews!  It’ll be the EPC for me, should I leave.

I’m in the REC now, and it’s a delight.  We’re part of ACNA.

[41] Posted by Jeffersonian on 7-10-2012 at 11:02 AM · [top]

RE: “I’m in the REC now, and it’s a delight.”

I’m sure it is for you, which is wonderful.

Heart—thanks for the above.

Ione—I’ve never been angry at those who left TEC. I’ve supported them, I’ve helped them, I’ve counseled them, I’ve spent long hours on the phone with them and by email, I’ve given individual efforts great publicity, and so on and so forth. But boy oh boy, some of them have sure been angry at those who stayed. I gotta wonder why they’re still so bitter all these years later. Surely in the church they chose—wherever that was—they found the peace and joy that they so fervently claimed that they sought when they left TEC. But it’s not apparent.

Fortunately, it’s not all those who left who are like that.

Back to the topic. A good strategic friend of mine and I were brainstorming about other things that people can do who are staying and are just waking up—we get a fresh crop every three years of those folks.

I’ll put up an open thread on that brainstorming soon—it was a great exchange and I’m sure there are more ideas out there.

[42] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 11:18 AM · [top]

Blu Cat, I am not proposing that it “work” in the way you imply.  I am merely saying that these orthodox Episcopalians may come together at some point because of their like-mindedness.  There may be enough of them that they can worship together Inside an Episcopal Church parish of their making.  I am not stating that it will “work” by immediately changing any existing parish, except that the dissenters withholding money as a group is much more powerful than talk. 

Once a parish has been smacked upside the head with too little income, it becomes very real to human beings (rectors).  Sarah’s idea is that even if it is just you, or just you and 5 other families, or 10 families, at some point, it starts to have an impact.  Even if it doesn’t CHANGE things inside the big TEC, you at least have your self respect from having resisted in an honorable way.  There are many ways to resist honorably.

Believe me, I know there is no magic bullet.  So your not breaking any news to me.  In fact, I assume that the pew potatoes will NEVER act!!  That is my baseline assumption.  I totally agree with you there.  My poor writing has led you to think that I was saying that this would cause potatoes to rise to action.  I am betting on their continued inaction.

My main goal was to point out that honorable dissenters could find and organize themselves in sufficient numbers at some point to worship together in an Episc. parish of likeminded parishioners, with sufficient #‘s and $‘s to have a real priest, etc…..  It takes money to have a parish, and at some point these Dissenters may have enough wherewithal to make real, functioning parishes in many different places for families to attend.

[43] Posted by Looking for Leaders on 7-10-2012 at 11:21 AM · [top]

RE:  “In this case, people who remain in TEC have to have a way to give *annually* without a percentage of that money trundling off to the diocese.  Or they have to have a way to give annually without a percentage of that money trundling off from the diocese to the national church.”

You mean, like local 501c3’s?

wink

[44] Posted by J Eppinga on 7-10-2012 at 11:29 AM · [top]

[off-topic comment deleted; commenter banned; everybody knows the long-standing policy at StandFirm, so nobody’s surprised]

[45] Posted by Texas Hold'em on 7-10-2012 at 11:29 AM · [top]

#45 It’s not that it’s not nice - it is not permitted.  I realize you were trying to lighten the mood, but please observe the policy going forward.

[46] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-10-2012 at 11:47 AM · [top]

This is something I happen to have had some very tulmutous experience with over the years.  We are the ones who were able to get the diocese to allow diversion of amounts intended to TEC, be sent instead to specific missions.  We are the ones who discovered, after an Episcopal electon and change, that the monies were not being diverted and were sent along to TEC anyway.  I have not even made a pledge for ten years. 
Not sure about any other diocese, but the diocese we are in has canonically held that a parish that fails to pay its full assessment to the diocese can be declared to be a dependent parish and fall under complete control of the Bishop.  In that instance there is no need to wait for Title IV to remove the Rector, vestry, etc..
Not saying don’t keep your money in a pocket (better yet form a non-profit and everybody put the money there), but be prepared that if enough folks do what Sarah suggests your parish may not meet its assessment and that could lead to anything. 
Financial pressure does work to get people’s attention, that is for sure.

[47] Posted by aacswfl1 on 7-10-2012 at 11:57 AM · [top]

Folks, I don’t normally do this, but I need to step in at this point and ask that you not turn this thread into a discussion of how stupid it is for some people to remain in the Episcopal Church.

Our long-standing policy, which we have stated very graciously over many years, is this:

If you’re called to go, then go with our blessings. If you’re called to stay, then stay with our blessings.

But if you go, do not berate those who have stayed.

If you’ve stayed, do not berate those who have left.

If you cannot respect the decisions of those who have received a different call from you, then please don’t say anything at all.

[48] Posted by Greg Griffith on 7-10-2012 at 12:01 PM · [top]

Very good letter, Sarah!  It MIGHT have an impact on the parish’s eventual position, but it WILL have an impact of not sending more money to TEC national for the lawsuits!

[49] Posted by Goughdonna on 7-10-2012 at 12:21 PM · [top]

Sarah, I commend you for your willingness to keep fighting from within.  I regularly try to remind myself that, even with the worst apostasy in ancient Israel, God had a “faithful remnant” and sent His prophets to speak the truth.  So, “holy insurgency” is one valid avenue.

But after 9+ years of it, my cradle Episcopalian wife and I are reaching our limit.  We’ve done what you suggest with our tithe ever since GC 2003, first in the company of a good number of the reasserting families in our parish, more recently with a handful of others as the numbers of the truly orthodox have dwindled due to death or leaving.  To his credit, our rector, though not one I’d characterize as lion-hearted, willingly made the accommodation for having two sets of books, as it were.  However, that strategy, in our experience, requires a high degree of “operational security.”  One of the liberals in the parish found out about it, tattled to the diocese, and our thoroughly revisionist bishop came down like the proverbial ton of bricks.  After a lot of tense exchanges and not-so-veiled threats, our rector was allowed to keep his position, but suffice it to say that many in the parish were sufficiently cowed to further contract the ranks of those who “dissent with their dollars.”

IF reasserters are going to do this, it needs to be OFF THE BOOKS, and funds need to be given to accounts/projects/ministries that are completely separate from the monies that are subject to diocesan and national church levies.  Even then, I fear that I have to agree with what TJ states in #22 and 26.  Monies are fungible, and moreover, at some level I think that there’s a cognitive dissonance in continually having to say, “I love my parish, but I won’t send a red cent of my tithe to the diocese or national church!” 

Even more so, at some point in the near future, these “trial” liturgies and “local options” for hiring LGBTQXYZ clergy and staff will morph from “option” to prescriptive; if the progressive true believers really hold that this is God’s will and a social justice/civil rights essential, they won’t permit a local option to say no, IMHO.

[50] Posted by Joshua 24:15 on 7-10-2012 at 12:44 PM · [top]

Sarah, you are terrific and I love your fighting spirit.

You might leverage your pledge to keep a rector or bishop quiet, but does it change him or her towards biblical orthodoxy? You, and the few left in TEC who care about historic, biblical Anglicanism, are waiting for a pendulum that does not exist in a church who, at its core, is constitutionally different from the English Reformation church that honored the Bible as its primary authority and the formularies, that, until recently, have defined who we are and what we believe.

Hasn’t it reached the point where simply “being” Episcopalian is a slap in the face of the uniqueness of Jesus Christ and the authority of the Bible - no matter what the local church/diocese says or thinks. Does continued support with your membership honor God and the church of which Jesus is “Head?” 

Please know that I pray for you and other faithful friends in TEC.  Chuck Collins

[51] Posted by Chuck C on 7-10-2012 at 12:47 PM · [top]

Over 30 years ago I felt the call to ministry in the Episcopal Church was a missionary calling. 
I still get no permission from Jesus to consider leaving this mission field. 

I’m blessed to be in a diocese that allows parishes to designate a portion of the 21% of their diocesan pledge to go to the DFMS if they pay 15% of their disposable income or more.  If they don’t pay 15% or don’t otherwise designate, the default position is for the 21% of their pledge to go to missionary projects chosen by the Diocesan Council rather than to the DFMS. 
We have some people in the congregation that support some of the DFMS agenda.  We tell them that they are free as individuals to send to 815 directly, but that since money is fungible it would violate the conscience of most members and bankrupt the congregation if we were to designate any portion of our diocesan pledge to go to the DFMS.  The have been good with that.
So far this works for me as no portion of what I give to the parish and through the parish to the diocese goes to the DFMS.
Sometimes, one is called to pray and plant gospel seeds that may not sprout or grow for years.
There appears to be little hope for the Episcopal Church right now, but the Church of Jesus Christ has been in dire straits before, and God moved.
I’m blessed to be able to preach the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ alone.
I pray that we may be an island of hope for the future glory of God.

[52] Posted by BrianInDioSpfd on 7-10-2012 at 12:52 PM · [top]

Excellent letter…my heart and soul cries for those of you still struggling with this once sound church..I will continue to keep you all in my prayers

[53] Posted by ewart-touzot on 7-10-2012 at 01:03 PM · [top]

Hi Friends,

Please do re-read Greg’s post above about SF policy. Sarah’s letter is intended to be used by those who are staying in the Episcopal Church. We have a long standing and, I think, very good policy at SF not to seek to persuade people to stay or to leave but to respect both decisions. Leaving or staying can both be done very very badly or very very well. The leavers can be bitter and resentful and the stayers can collaborate rather than fight. We at SF have always said whatever you decide, commit to doing working it out in a faithful way.

Obviously Sarah’s letter is for those who wish to stay and fight. I think it is a faithful thing to do. The idea is not to save the church…the idea is to bear witness, fight against heretics, while the church kills itself around you and then start over in the ruins. This is a faithful decision that in no way represents a compromise of gospel principles.

If you cannot stomach that decision please do not comment on this particular thread

Matt

[54] Posted by Matt Kennedy on 7-10-2012 at 01:04 PM · [top]

Matt, Greg - and especially Sarah - Please forgive me for being uncharitable [51]. You are right, of course, otherwise there can be no discussion. Sarah, may the Lord continue to guide you and others in TEC for His glory. Chuck Collins

[55] Posted by Chuck C on 7-10-2012 at 01:29 PM · [top]

#22 tj,

If you designate your contribution as “restricted”, it might not count towards the basis on which the parish contribution to the diocese is calculated. Thus, your rector and vestry would not be obligated to give the diocese a cut. But, if they are committed revisionists, they might choose to contribute more to the dioces than required, thwarting your intention.

At least this tactic creates a dilemma for the revisionist rector: Does he give the money to the diocese to promote the revisionist cause, or does he keep that money under his own control?

[56] Posted by Roland on 7-10-2012 at 01:40 PM · [top]

Matt - thanks for #54 above.

Folks, ever since I redesigned this site, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about what I mean by the slogan “Faith Among the Ruins.” Sarah’s letter is a perfect example.

[57] Posted by Greg Griffith on 7-10-2012 at 02:26 PM · [top]

Interesting comments.  The question often raised is why would anyone stay if he/she disagreed with the present course of TEC.  Certainly there are those in relatively conservative dioceses who intend to ride out the storm, e.g.  Albany, South Carolina,
Southwest Florida, I think.  Even in the bluest of dioceses in the bluest of states, All Saint’s Church in Belmont, MA, proudly advertises its being in the Anglican tradition,
and lets you figure out what that means.

Here on Cape Cod, we live in our own world, separated from the mainland by water and spirit.  (Note, Father Wash-Ashore is probably one of us, because that term is given to those who were not born here.)  We simply ignore what’s going on in the diocese and in the national church.  We never discuss theology nor question one another’s beliefs.  We enjoy community and congeniality, and hope that the doors will stay open long enough to give us a good funeral.

[58] Posted by profpk on 7-10-2012 at 02:48 PM · [top]

It’s a good letter. Sarah’s right.

[59] Posted by David Hein on 7-10-2012 at 02:49 PM · [top]

Wrote a similar letter (longer) to “bishop” Creighton Robertson in 2003 and poured my heart out to him.  The Episcopal Church WAS MY LIFE.

I waited an entire year for a reply….and never got one.

Didn’t feel I could (with good conscience) attend an Episcopal services without pledging or contributing.  So, that was that.

9 years later, I’m still haunting blogs like this one, and that liar fraud of a “bishop” is collecting retirement.

What the hell is wrong with me.  Anyone???  Anyone???

[60] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 7-10-2012 at 03:03 PM · [top]

Hi Joshua 24:15, I get what you’re saying.  Many of us old-timers have done just what I’ve described in the letter from the past years.

But now there’s a fresh new group.

And it’s not up to the parishioners to figure out a way to do this.  Their only task is to write the letter and to follow through.  If the parish folds, that’s the price that is paid.  All of us suffer due to the consequences of national church actions.

RE: “You, and the few left in TEC who care about historic, biblical Anglicanism, are waiting for a pendulum that does not exist in a church who, at its core, is constitutionally different from the English Reformation church that honored the Bible as its primary authority and the formularies, that, until recently, have defined who we are and what we believe.”

I see that you have not read any of my preceding comments as they *directly contradict* what you said above.

And that’s what some of the Leavers do.  They’re not reading responses that are perfectly reasonable, perfectly articulate, perfectly consistent.  The “questions” aren’t real questions at all.  They’re just . . . emoting.  Just . . . venting all of those fruits of the Spirit that were going to spring up once they got out of TEC.  Which is why they continue repeating the same tropes and canards for literally *years* every time those who are Staying talk about stuff.

Reminds me of their counterparts in TEC—the revisionist activists.

Folks, I’m putting up a lot more posts along these same lines.  This is nothing new.  This is no Shocking Surprise.  This is what I do every single three years.  It’s not gonna stop.  All the screeching and “questionings” and rantings and irrelevant scripture-quotes isn’t going to make such posts go away, no matter how angry they appear to make some of the Leavers.

Obviously there is no way I’m going to put up with the constant emoting and venting from the few Leavers who haven’t been able to let go, despite their trumpetings about their departures.  Thread sabotage simply isn’t going to be allowed.  We—those who are interested—are going to keep right on discussing what we wish to discuss. And we’ll be happy to do it without you.

All of this makes me appreciate those who have stayed, and those who have left, who have been capable of letting go, moving on, growing in the fruit of the Spirit, and experiencing the deep joy, peace, and faith of being where God wants you to be.  Those who have left—I think particularly of Matt Kennedy, but there are many others—and have been able to remain free of anger and bitterness—are just amazing.  Those who have stayed—I think particularly of Kendall Harmon, but there are many others—and who have been able to remain clear-eyed and courageous and in “reality-land” while at the same time retaining or even growing in joy—are just amazing.

Gifts from God.

[61] Posted by Sarah on 7-10-2012 at 03:05 PM · [top]

Let’s boil this down.  Look at the lawsuits, look at the experience of sexual abuse victims.  When push comes to shove, the body of Christ may or may not operate in terms of people coming together in love and worship, but the institutional church emerges clearly—a small legal corporation controlled by a hierarchy of people who care primarily about defending their turf and image.  It’s tragic, but that hard kernel of professional Episcopalians more often than not prove to be “hired hands” not shepherds.  But unlike other servants who you can just fire or dump, these impostors seem to have stolen something very important that we want to wrest away from them.  It’s hard to say exactly what that is, but control and authority of the Episcopal Church are part of it.  They’ve taken that from you and from the Holy One.  And unlike other servants, these impostors have power and public legitimacy. 

If you’re not careful, it’s easy to get locked into a deeply sado-maschoistic game here.  Sado-maschoism is a strong term, but I think it applies perfectly in the psychoanalytic sense of an often escalating push/pull struggle for control.

For most of us, the phrase sadomasochism elicits thoughts of a fringy leather-clad subculture that’s into whips and chains. As a psychosocial dynamic, sadomasochism is considerably more subtle—and considerably more pervasive.

Sadomasochism is about power and control. In every relationship, there is a minimizer and a maximizer. The minimizer tends to be more subdued within the context of the relationship, while the maximizer tends to be more evocative. When this delicate balance turns into a game of “Who Has the Power?” then minimizing and maximizing turns into submission and dominance, but not necessarily in the way that you’d expect. Typically, the minimizer becomes dominant, and the maximizer becomes submissive.

In a relationship driven by power and control, rather than compassion and cooperation, one partner becomes “parentalized” and the other “infantilized”. Most often, the maximizer, being more emotional, tends to become infantilized and submissive for fear of angering or disappointing their partner. The minimizer, being more contained, tends to gather the power in the relationship, whether by intention or default, and, in this way, becomes parentalized.

Here’s the cool part - it’s not a static dynamic. A colleague of mine, Richard Rubens, used to call this “lap climbing”, where the balance of power shifts within the relationship based on the actions of the partners.

As the submissive/infantilized partner withdraws emotionally and physically in a misguided effort not to rock the boat, the dominant/parentalized partner becomes anxious and begins to “ramp up” their activity in the relationship - becoming more attentive, more needy, more, well, infantile. The s/i partner responds by re-investing, the d/p partner is satisfied that all is well, and the balance of power shifts back again. The cycle is endless - and exhausting.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/enlightened-living/200806/sadomasochism-in-everyday-relationships

[62] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-10-2012 at 03:53 PM · [top]

After 2003, I tried something similar.  I wrote a letter like Sarah’s template above.  I provided direct donations for needs such as sacristy wine, replacement altar linens, new BCPs, etc..  My rector was very nice about it.  He schmoozed me up, said some nice things, convinced me to stay for a time, but you can tell his heart wasn’t in it from my perspective.

He was a typical moderate.  A few times he used the bumper sticker “We bless dogs, we can’t we bless SSUs?”  I tried to explain it isn’t about “justice,” it’s about how we understand the fallen-ness of humanity and whether we wallow in fallen patterns or seek the behaviors that exemplify redeemed behavior, going back to basic question of whether, pre-fall, would homosexuality be a state of mankind?

He nodded, said he understood, but I think he really wanted to go the “inclusive route,” but he didn’t want to split the parish.

The revisionist bishop responded, in about 15 months after I wrote the letter.  He couldn’t give a crap.  “We still welcome you and diverse opinions, blah, blah.”  I was a diocesan delegate for 3 years.  I saw how “welcoming” they are to disagreeing POVs.

I have to say, after 3 years of doing the monetary kabuki dance so I wouldn’t support 815 and the diocese and the revisionist flack bishop, I just felt dirty by the whole thing.  The whole thing just felt like I was staying in an abusive relationship.  They tell you how much they “respect” you to your face, then cut your legs out any chance you get, getting more and more radical and rabidly heretical.

Do what you must gang, God be with you whatever you decide to do.

[63] Posted by Bill2 on 7-10-2012 at 04:05 PM · [top]

Interesting comment #62.  You are right it is easy to get locked in to a struggle if you are not careful.  But, what you are describing is not “the Body Of Christ”; what you are describing is the war of the world.  It is about power and theft of power and property.  But, that is not the real battle and it certainly is not the Body of Christ.

[64] Posted by ione on 7-10-2012 at 04:14 PM · [top]

[64]  I agree.  I think maybe what I’m working towards is this: if you do stay, you have to fully de-recognize the authority of anyone, from the PB down to sin.  You have to take Leviticus 19:15 to the max: “you shall not render an unjust judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor or defer to the great: with justice you shall judge your neighbor.”  I’m thinking of Jesus before the high priests and Pilate in John 18-19 where Jesus to me doesn’t take Pilot’s authority seriously at all and spends the conversation calmly ministering to Pilate.

[65] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-10-2012 at 04:48 PM · [top]

P.S.  I should humbly acknowledge that when I was involved in the TEC more, I collaborated sometimes through weakness and sometimes through sheer ignorance.  Unless you have a solid understanding of the priesthood and Body of Christ, it’s very easy to get sucked into stuff out of general respect for priests.  Nobody ever really explains what’s going until it’s too late.  And you have no safety wire if you’re trying to grow and take risks.  I don’t want to tell anyone what to do, but in my experience, I got in big trouble by getting in over my head.  I’m still figuring out years later where I got bad pastoral care, terrible advice, or incomplete emphasis on stuff.  Some of this is very subtle.  Honestly, the thing that saved my life was reading the NT on my own.  That and hanging out with conservative Catholics and having grown up around EPC people.

So I strongly caution laymen still in the TEC to consider their spiritual exposure.

[66] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-10-2012 at 05:01 PM · [top]

Where can I find a solid understanding of the priesthood?

[67] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-10-2012 at 05:20 PM · [top]

“I‘m thankful for ACNA doing what they did.  Because of their actions they are a good distraction and a big old money pit for the National Church’s funds to flow into with litigation and such.  So, thanks!”

That is a good point.  The orthodox in TEC and in ACNA will continue to have effects on each other for years to come, and each should be thankful for the other.

There are orthodox believers in *both* TEC and ACNA who think they can do without the other.  Reality check: it won’t happen.  You are both stuck with each other for years to come. 

+Lawrence of South Carolina, for example, attended the recent Gafcon meeting in London.  So far as I am aware, he has no intention (nor any need) to become a member of Gafcon, but he is keeping the lines of communication and fellowship open, as he is with other Anglican groups.

A suggestion for those who have left and are understandably hurt by what happened to them in TEC:  turn your energies to building up your new congregations and dioceses.  If you make disciples and build up your fellow-Christians, then the Kingdom is advanced.  After all, if you were still in TEC and all was well, what more would you be doing than this anyway?

And, if you are near TEC churches, build relationships with the orthodox people within them.  You can be spiritual support for each other.  It can be pretty lonely and disheartening for a Christian who feels like he or she is the only one in their church interested in witnessing for the truth – sometimes just having other faithful Christians to talk to can raise our spirits and fortify us to continue our witness

And you never know whether the shoe might be on the other foot someday.  Stranger things have happened …

[68] Posted by MichaelA on 7-10-2012 at 06:23 PM · [top]

Profpk, regarding “Here on Cape Cod, we live in our own world, separated from the mainland by water and spirit.  (Note, Father Wash-Ashore is probably one of us, because that term is given to those who were not born here)”, I AM on Cape Cod, ‘The Cape’, having returned as a civilian after being the Chaplain at the Coast Guard Air Station outside Falmouth.

But I’m ACNA, and was ordained CANA before that.  I actually was never TEC.

If I had been, though, I would have had to have left.  I hear what people who are determined to stay are saying, but I couldn’t do it.  There are reasons, “all funds being fungible” is also a favorite of mine.  But while I could easily break bread with the Faithful Remnant, I don’t see how I could with someone who denies the authority of scripture, let alone someone who sees nothing unique about Jesus.

For me some things are different, never having been TEC I don’t have the personal investment in it, nor the personal history with it.  As a priest I’d be more subject to a bishop I might not be able to respect or trust.

Still, while I know that we are all sinners saved by grace, none are righteous, no not one… And nowhere in the Bible does it grade sin (save for the Unforgivable Sin, and maybe that for which you’d be counted least in the kingdom of heaven)... I still just couldn’t be a part of that house, no more than I could live in a house where the floor was rotting and the roof leaked.  More than that, they’ve said things about my Lord and the Word that I can’t abide.

I am part of the most loving congregation I’ve ever had anything to do with.  The fellowship, the singing, are angelic.  We don’t have a shadow hanging over us, the subjects we just don’t talk about.  The future is bright, and we feel like pioneers opening a new frontier.  I’ll take my stand here.

[69] Posted by Father Wash-Ashore on 7-10-2012 at 06:46 PM · [top]

On a different point than the “should you stay or should you go” discussion that this thread is trying to turn into -

to those faithful folks who have stopped tithing and feel awful about it, why not give your tithe money to some worthy Christian charity? I was watching a Reuters report today concerning a refugee camp in Uganda, where victims of the fighting in the Congo are living. I was also watching another report showing damage that had been done to a church in Kenya by militant Moslems (ah Islam, “the religion of peace and love”...). Surely there is some reliable, trustworthy 501(c)(3) or (4) that by donating to, you will help to support God’s Kingdom.

For the record, I am in ACNA. Sarah, Kendall, Bp Lawrence, and the other faithful who are left remind me of the brave British troops defending Singapore in 1941-42. Or our troops in Corregidor. I will pray for you, and be grateful that when I am traveling, there are a few TEC churches I can attend without listening to the false gospel of Wormtongue.

[70] Posted by sophy0075 on 7-11-2012 at 12:09 AM · [top]

Three thoughts:

(1) Is this really new? Am I wrong, or hasn’t TEC already ordained a nongendered, (multigendered?, ungendered?) person somewhere out in the hinterlands of the wild west?

(2) My prediction for the next GC threshold-leaping action is a rite for the AIDS virus: it will be deemed the Holy Virus (the new, improved stigmata).  Because homosexuality is God-given and holy, thus….

(3) Withholding money I can understand, although it’s like witnessing a very slow version of the death penalty being imposed, and for some of these breathtakingly beautiful churches a brutal tragedy, but we are Christians, after all.  And giving to our enemies is up our alley.  So, I suggest that care packages start being sent to Schori and her clan.  The packages should include three things: (1) hedgehogs, (2) flamingos, and (3) instructions for the game of croquet.

[71] Posted by JuliaMarks on 7-11-2012 at 12:20 AM · [top]

There is a way to ensure that your money goes where you want.  As has been commented, they normally take the directed money, and then use the unallocated funds to fill in the areas of the budget.  The result, unless nearly everybody allocates their giving, is exactly the same as if nobody did. 

You can insist that they reverse the process.  Use the unallocated funds to the proportion of the budget.  Then, put the allocated funds where the donors want, or don’t want.  That way, every dollar allocated makes a dollar difference.  You will need a very honest vestry and treasurer, and I would still recommend that the process be audited to prevent cheating.  The United Way went through this several years ago.

[72] Posted by APB on 7-11-2012 at 02:45 AM · [top]

#71 Julia,

The prayer is for all viruses and it is in the Blue Book. I posted a blog on that last week. I don’t know if it passed or not.

[73] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 7-11-2012 at 05:39 AM · [top]

(#11) “All the children of the parish have grown up.” What a ridiculous and disingenuous comment for her to make! The fact is that her church has stopped being church and has become a religious club. A group of families “owned” the church and at some point the growth stopped.

[74] Posted by FrDrEd on 7-11-2012 at 11:03 AM · [top]

So, I suggest that care packages start being sent to Schori and her clan.  The packages should include three things: (1) hedgehogs, (2) flamingos, and (3) instructions for the game of croquet.

I think I will send all my revisionist friends a copy of the English Standard Version this Christmas.

[75] Posted by tjmcmahon on 7-11-2012 at 12:38 PM · [top]

Sarah, like 100,000+ others, my wife and I could no longer stomach what has been going on in the Episcopal Church…...of which we were faithful members for over 46 years…...and when our entire diocese voted to leave, we went with them.  I was a delegate to both diocesan conventions, and both times I voted in the affirmative.  Neither of us have ever regretted our move. 

Long ago and far away in the Diocese of El Camino Real, we saw what was happening to the Church we loved, and we decided that no longer could we contribute financially to our diocese because as a deanery delegate, I knew where that money was going and what it was being used for…..and we didn’t approve.  We also took steps to ensure that no longer would we contribute to the endowment fund.

We have never had cause to regret our actions.

[76] Posted by cennydd13 on 7-11-2012 at 10:41 PM · [top]

I think the situation may be different for those who live in the dioceses that left.

Like Cennydd, I am in a diocese that left TEC. I was a delegate to the first convention where we voted to leave, and actually I voted no. I was not a delegate to the following convention where the final vote was taken, but if I had been, I probably would have voted no again. However, the overwhelming majority of delegates, representing the overwhelming majority of parishes voted the other way. Since then, the actions of the TEC leadership in riding roughshod over the canons (especially the acceptance of Bishop Iker’s and Bishop Wantland’s so-called renunciations of their ministries and their Gollum-like obsession with property has led me to conclude that the conventions made the right decision.

That being said, if I were in a TEC diocese with an orthodox bishop (like SC or Dallas), I might still be in TEC.

[77] Posted by Paul Powers on 7-12-2012 at 12:00 AM · [top]

The one thing I have learned from being in this battle a long, long time is this:  All those who are members of the body of Christ have a purpose and a place.  I don’t mean just year to year, but minute to minute.  Stay or go, it is in God’s will if you are walking in the Spirit.  We all have our gifts and they are used for His purpose whereever He plants us.  God has a point of view that we don’t have.  He is so far beyond left/right, win/lose, in/out.  Beyond 3D.  He sees all the puzzle pieces and places them as He wills to serve His purpose.  Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow for millions of people with millions of minds.  Sometimes we all get so busy or so up to our ears in the ‘stuff’ of the moment we forget to step back and just look.  If we can remember to step back and look we will be amazed and in awe at what we see; God’s hand in everything.  Everything!  It is so huge sometimes, you can’t get your mind around it so we go back to work and plug along.  But, it is still there.  God has a plan, He has a reason and it is working and it is perfect, complete and absolutely wonderful!  Just wait till you get to the end….you cannot imagine.  I know this to be true.

[78] Posted by ione on 7-12-2012 at 03:40 AM · [top]

When I go home (South Carolina) I get the luxury of sitting in a pew with like minded Christians, putting a donation in the plate without worrying that I just paid for some reivisionist to divert it to pay for an abortion and listening to a wonderful sermon that isn’t a book report or a movie review.  What a blessing that Diocese is to the Church! 

DSC gives me hope.  They are an oasis in a desert of dry bones.  Bishop Lawrence has been the model of Christian faith and charity.  He has lovingly reminded all where he stands - and he continues to stand there. 

There are so many good and faithful priests out there who are struggling to maintain a Christian parish.  To each of them, I offer my love and my thanks.

For those who say there is no hope, I would remind you that is what the revisionist said 50 years ago .  By being dedicated to their cause, they have successfully taken over what was once a faithful church.  Do I think we can turn that tide?  I have no clue but I know that God can do anything He so chooses.  I was not a happy camper when He tapped me on the shoulder and told me to stay.  I am certain my last bishop wished I was deaf and the new one - well, let’s say it hasn’t gone well with us.  One priest told me he thought my faith might be better served in the Baptist Church.  In any event, as of this minute I am an Episcopalian.  My intent is to remain one - I just don’t have all the details yet but once God gives them to me, I’ll do my best to soldier on.

Regardless of what the final decision, Sarah is right that the money supply has to be cut off.  Do you really think the revisionist will be willing to support the church - long term? 

In any event, every dime that is withheld causes a revisionist bishop and a national organization to scramble to cover.  This process of consuming itself has begun. 

In the meantime - regardless of whether you are a stayer or leaver - let us keep the faith.  God is good - all the time. 

And I for one would appreciate it if you would not hit me over the head constantly because I am following His instructions.  In the meantime, I will pray that God leads you and your group to do great things in His name.  Would you consider praying for those of us within the furnace that He continues to protect us from the flame?  It would be nice to know that a fellow Christian is not taking part in stoking the flames on us.

[79] Posted by Jackie on 7-12-2012 at 07:32 AM · [top]

Jackie:

DSC gives me hope.  They are an oasis in a desert of dry bones.

I agree completely and I’ve thought about moving up there.  But is it true that, if you’re an Anglo-Catholic, the Low Church Legions put you in an enclave and make you wear a bell around your neck? 

Well . . . maybe I could adjust.  LOL

[80] Posted by episcopalienated on 7-12-2012 at 08:55 AM · [top]

I always thought the bell was better than the target - but maybe that’s just me.  raspberry

[81] Posted by Jackie on 7-12-2012 at 09:14 AM · [top]

episcopalianated,

I’m an Anglo-Catholic as well.  You could move to charleston and I think you’d find the church of the Holy Communion would suit you just fine.

[82] Posted by evan miller on 7-12-2012 at 09:19 AM · [top]

I am sorry if someone’s already posted along these lines, but here goes:

Sarah and Greg, I understand that the responses to this post are not to be along the lines of “Stayers vs. Leavers.”  However, please bear with me.  Something I don’t think I have seen addressed is a 3rd choice:  Besides just discontinuing contributing money, what about those of us who are choosing to leave the Episcopal church (become non-members, with names removed from the rolls and from the numbers in the Ntl church) yet continuing to stay and worship and serve at our same beloved orthodox church.

I don’t care about not being included in church directories and letters and such, as everything we need is available on our public church website.

This is our church.  We currently have no intention of finding another.  We will continue to serve as Sunday school teachers, have our children baptized and confirmed, work VBS, serve on altar guild, give generously of our time and talents, but give no money, and not lend our names to this heretical institution.

This begs the question:  Well, what if everyone at your church did that?

Well…. what indeed?

I can only think that the outcome would be infinitely preferable to what we have now.

[83] Posted by heart on 7-12-2012 at 09:27 AM · [top]

#83 if your church is indeed orthodox, then I am assuming that your rector is as well.

Everyone in a church doing what you suggest is a valid approach, but if it happens, how is the rector supported?  Or are you OK with lay led MP?  (Those are not hostile questions - just asking how your model works out those details).

I am not against your model, but if your priest is part of the orthodoxy that you find in your parish, simply defunding him seems harsh and counterproductive.  I would like to see more orthodox groups take an active hand in securing secular employment for clergy - that would liberate priest and parish from a number of problems.

The trade, of course, is the reality that Father is not just sitting in the office waiting for folks to drop in.  There will need to be way more lay ministry, especially in pastoral care giving.  Those are not bad changes - they could be very good and powerful changes. 

Can you flesh out your vision for a radically differentiated congregation?  I think you are onto a bold idea - it is worth developing.

[84] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-12-2012 at 09:39 AM · [top]

Just a quick follow to my #84 - another lurking danger in defunding a priest is that the inability to fund a full time rector can allow the bishop to come in and declare the church a mission - take it over totally, in other words.  Assign your new transgender vicar, disolve your vestry and appoint a new bishop’s committee made up of parish quislings and ringers from the LGBTQi churches in the area.

[85] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 7-12-2012 at 09:43 AM · [top]

#85
That was my first thought as well.  My former bishop did that to my former parish, without even the pretext that we were no longer self-supporting (we were, and had a large endowment as well).

[86] Posted by evan miller on 7-12-2012 at 09:47 AM · [top]

Thank you for your response.  I am only a lay person, though a very active and involved one, of a very large parish (orthodox clergy, revisionist bishop) and I am free to love my own model as there seems to be a lot of money available to the church.  We continue to grow and add programs, and it does not seem that our particular parish is suffering as a result of the widespread trouble in tec. 

I am, however, distressed by evan miller’s comment, as he said that his church too had a large endowment and were self-supporting.  Yet the bishop was still able to take over.

I understand your concerns for the clergy, Reverend Tim.  Do you think it would be possible for like-minded “stayers-but-not-members” to tithe to the priest’s discretionary fund instead of to the church ?  I believe that all of our clergy have one, and do not know if this is tied in any way to the church or the dioceses.  My belief has always been that these were separate funds, but I also know that it falls under the category of church contributions for the contributor’s tax purposes.  Does anyone have expert information to share?

I really love Sarah’s letter, as I do just about everything that comes out of that faithful fertile mind of hers.  God bless you, Sarah Hey.

[87] Posted by heart on 7-12-2012 at 10:40 AM · [top]

Heart,#85 and 86 make a good point and that is the parish church runs on money. If you you and other parishioners defund your parish thru the usual channels, then better have another way for people to donate. Those bills and salaries still need to be paid! I have heard of bishops doing something similar to what #86 described.

I think Matt+ has mentioned that some alternate way for giving was set up for his parish. Matt+ will have inform you about that.

[88] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-12-2012 at 11:32 AM · [top]

Heh - That’s the very first thing I told the rector of my liberal parish to his face the Sunday after GC2003 - NO MO DOUGH. 

Also told him I would be henceforth giving my money to organizations like Mastering Life Ministries, Pastoral Care Ministries, Christian Healing Ministries, Redeeming Life Ministries and Exodus - groups that helped people come out of the tyranny of sexual and identity disorientation and same-sex activities.

The Episcopal Church keeps on revealing the absence of spiritual rebirth and discernment amongst its highest leadership.  Syncretism, Heresy, Idolatry, Tyranny (S.H.I *)-USA, INC. should be this group’s new name.

[89] Posted by St. Nikao on 7-12-2012 at 03:31 PM · [top]

Episcopalienated at #80,

If you don’t wish to wear the bell around your neck, you could just carry it.  But then you have to ring it whenever a low churchie approaches. 

We’ve all been pretty shell-shocked by recent events. Time for some Blackadder:

Queenie: Nice try Melchy, but it is no use. I’m still bored!
Melchett: I’m very sorry madam. Your royal father used to be very amused by my impersonation of Columbus.
Queenie: You don’t surprise me. He used to laugh at those people with the funny faces and the bells.
Melchett: Ah, jesters ma’am.
Queenie: No, lepers.

[90] Posted by MichaelA on 7-12-2012 at 05:55 PM · [top]

Heart, you might like parts of Waiting on God by Simone Weil.  She said something to the effect that her vocation was to sit in the doorway between the church and the world.  She felt that the Gospels demonstrated that the social is the world of the devil (in some ways, it’s complicated) and that if God ordered her to be baptized in the (Catholic) Church she would sprint immediately to her nearest priest.  But she didn’t hear that call…

Father Tim, what is my model?  Very good question.  That’s in part why I asked earlier about the theology of the priesthood.  A few years ago, I did a full text search of the word “bishop” in the NIV and got zero hits.  It’s not clear to me how the early Church was organized (just what was an “elder”?) before the pagan statues in Rome were face-lifted into angels and Roman organizational structures and canons were absorbed by the Church.  That said, I think you’re definitely on the right track to call for more lay involvement and non-church sources of priestly income/tent-making.  But I think we have to be much more careful about training people lay and clergy for pastoral care.  When I was a small group leader, people would occasionally try to suck me into incredible dramas over my head; I would call a priest, receive terrible advice but cover my rear, and then read a bunch of COE white papers, psychoanalysis, and the Bible and then refer them to outside specialists.

The thing that spooks me most is that all the clearest critiques of the Catholic sex abuse scandal argue that it was fundamentally baked into the RC culture by the way it organizes power, secrecy, and priesthood.  So we have to make sure that any big re-org does everything possible to maximize transparency and servant leadership.  What we, for sure, cannot do is try to jump straight into the perfect org. chart.  I’ve seen that fail in companies and churches with new leaders.  The reason for failure is that people are too hurt by old injustices.  If the new guy comes in as “Mr. Positive” and tries to ignore all the bodies, things can get worse.  You gotta bring in Louis Freech to excavate the skeletons in the closet.  The current TEC needs something like a “Truth and Reconciliation Commission” with teeth.

[91] Posted by The Plantagenets on 7-12-2012 at 06:55 PM · [top]

MichaelA:

If you don’t wish to wear the bell around your neck, you could just carry it.  But then you have to ring it whenever a low churchie approaches.

OK, but I’m still not willing to wear bib overalls or white socks with black shoes just to make a bunch of Evangelicals happy.

And I’d better not hear one of these go off when the verger notices my rosary beads.  LOL

[92] Posted by episcopalienated on 7-12-2012 at 08:19 PM · [top]

iN 2003, I left, or, rather I was pushed out.  I decided not to pledge.  When the chairman of the Stewardship Committee phoned, I told him so. He reassured me that the pledge was non-binding if I found I could not meet the commitment, and I responded that the problem wasn’t the money.  Next day, the rector phoned.  Taking the bull by the horns, I told him that the church could not condone sodomy.  I could hear him gritting his teeth as he thanked me for my candor and told me he would “take me off the rolls”.  So I did not have the chance to stay on without funding the sinking ship.  After some years, St. Mathew’s (Portland,OR) disaffiliated and joined the ACNA and I joined them.

Sarah, you wrote “Um…were I to spend Sundays not in the TEC parish, I sure as heck wouldn’t be spending them in ACNA pews!  It’ll be the EPC for me should I leave.” I am somewhat naive, and ask you to explain

[93] Posted by psydneyh on 7-13-2012 at 05:13 PM · [top]

psydneyh,

Sorry to hear about that.  So you weren’t even given the chance to remain in TEC.

But very glad to hear that you found somewhere else to worship.  How is St Matthews going?

[94] Posted by MichaelA on 7-14-2012 at 12:37 AM · [top]

St Matthew’s voted 100 to 8 to leave.  They walked away from their building.  They rented a new, well-equipped Seventh Day Adventist church on Sundays.  A banner is hung above the porch before the service, and people just strream in!  The congregation has more than doubled. It is multi-racial, ethnically diverse, and has many children.  Visit our website.  Just google St Matthew’s Portland,Oregon.Thanks for asking, Michael.

[95] Posted by psydneyh on 7-14-2012 at 12:46 AM · [top]

psydneyh at #93. WOW! That is a revisionist rector with guts. Totally the wrong way to handle things in IMVHO. Glad that you are with your former (and now current?) parish. Sounds like a great parish. I am very glad that you all are doing well.

If you don’t mind me asking, do you know what happened to the 8 who voted to stay? Just wondering. Were they elderly parishioners who could not conceive of leaving the parish where they grew up etc? It can be very sad to see such a vote and then some people are left who probably had no idea why the vote was taken in the first place.

[96] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-14-2012 at 06:58 AM · [top]

6 Sc blu cat lady.  I consulted the then senior warden who said that the majority of those who stayed behind were long time members and were past retirement age.  Some were probably sympathetic to the TEC position, but most were “ostriches” not wanting to deal with the issues or take time to attend the forums or read the materials or attend the
Days of Discernment meetings.  Few of the members who stayed behind attended the meetings and spoke out in favor of staying. One such member was quoted in the Oregonian as saying she had no idea why we left. Many were attached to the building and to the material things that represented “church” to them and that represented memorials to family members. 

It was expected that the few who were left would have trouble supporting the building and the clergy and would become a mission supported by the diocese, but we don’t know if that is what happened.

[97] Posted by psydneyh on 7-15-2012 at 01:18 AM · [top]

Elderly people can be like that.  On the other hand, I have known many elderly Christians who are far more sacrificial and ready to put it all on the line for the Lord, than their younger brethren.  Sometimes they are the leaders in radical things like this.

[98] Posted by MichaelA on 7-15-2012 at 07:09 AM · [top]

I spoke to the recctor of StMathew’s Anglican this morning.He told me one (elderly) woman said she had been at St M’s through several rectors, and the last two had been “Biblical”.  She was glad they would be going back to being “Not Biblical”. (!!)  He also told me that the officiating priest was a professor at Portland State University, a divorced woman living in a lesbian relationship.The parish is being run by a deacon. Their website does not say they are a mission but they must be because they are installing a lift and another bathroom to ADA standards; there certainlyh would have to be outside money for that.The rector thought the diocese would find it humiliating to close the building.

[99] Posted by psydneyh on 7-15-2012 at 04:20 PM · [top]

psydnyeh, That sounds like a very sad situation for St. Matthew’s. It can happen. Some people are truly attached to buildings and not Christ. They never understand why those who are leaving are doing that. What can I say except that is a very sad situation.

[100] Posted by SC blu cat lady on 7-15-2012 at 04:56 PM · [top]

I am disappointed that Sarah has not explained, as I requested, her remark that “were I to spend Sundays not in the TEC parish, I sure as heck wouldn’t be spending them in ACNA pews!”  Is there something about ACNA that I need to know? And, why have my remarks about my attempt to not pledge been removed?

[101] Posted by psydneyh on 7-25-2012 at 10:54 PM · [top]

Psydneyh,

Don’t worry, your remarks about pledging are still there.  Its just a bit hard to find at present because the posts are reversed.

Re people not wanting to go to ACNA if they leave TEC, I wouldn’t worry about that either.  There are always people who don’t personally feel led to one denomination or other, and why would you want someone who doesn’t want to be there anyway?

Plus, its not relevant - if ACNA is really going to grow (as I hope), it will be through evangelism of unchurched people, and planting new congregations, not through people coming over from TEC.

[102] Posted by MichaelA on 7-26-2012 at 03:00 AM · [top]

Hi Psydneyh . . .

Just now saw your question—which wasn’t deleted: “I am somewhat naive, and ask you to explain”

Briefly, at the beginning of this thread, a bunch of Bitter Leavers . . . Sanballat Leavers as I now like to call them [for the reference to Sanballat, check out Nehemiah 2 &3,] were trying to take this thread off topic, and violate our oft and clearly stated commenting policy about not telling people to stay or leave TEC.  They do this pretty much every time someone within TEC posts something about activities for people who are remaining within TEC.  The next time that I post another such article, I’ll get to ban the people on *this* post who violated our commenting policies so egregiously and deliberately—but at any rate, my statement was in response to this statement from one of the Sanballat Leavers:” “Every Sunday you spend in the pew at your TEo parish, you don’t spend it in an ACNA pew.”

I merely responded—as I’ve done for many years now—with the note that I would not be joining ACNA if I leave TEC, but would rather most likely be joining the EPC.

I’m not going to take this thread further off-topic by explaining that—though I’ve shared my problems with the ACNA leadership’s decisions frequently in the past on other appropriate threads.  There are many wonderful people who are in ACNA, and I have dear friends there but the organization as a whole is not where I wish to be. 

So—as has been known for a long time now, I won’t be going to ACNA should I leave TEC.

If you have further questions, feel free to ping me via Private Message since again, this thread is about people remaining in TEC and the all-important letter that many of them are happily writing.

WRITE THE LETTER, folks.

[103] Posted by Sarah on 7-26-2012 at 07:28 AM · [top]

Tanks, Sarah.  I didn’t realize the posts were reversed now.  It is not my intention to question people’s allegiance, but I did think you were sneering at the ACNA.

[104] Posted by psydneyh on 7-26-2012 at 12:34 PM · [top]

psydneyh:

but I did think you were sneering at the ACNA.

Miss Hey does not sneer.

She just has a certain moral squint that she’s never been able to overcome.  LOL

[105] Posted by episcopalienated on 7-26-2012 at 12:45 PM · [top]

RE: ” but I did think you were sneering at the ACNA.”

Sneering implies a covert action.  I’ve always been overt and up-front about my beliefs about the decisions of ACNA leadership.

Again—this thread is not about ACNA.  So this is the last word about that here on this thread.


Thanks.

[106] Posted by Sarah on 7-26-2012 at 01:40 PM · [top]

Sorry.  I am new to this discussion, so find out the rules by (apparently) violating them.  Since I have left TEC, and the rules do not allow disussion of this decision, perhaps it is better if I just go away.  Goobye and good luck.

[107] Posted by psydneyh on 7-26-2012 at 04:56 PM · [top]

psydneyh,

Don’t leave the total forum, there are other threads we’d love to hear your input on.

Though, I confess, I’m about to adjust this one not to get any more notifications…  Apparently, many friends of mine can be called “Bitter Leavers . . . Sanballat Leavers” and we’re not to reply…

[108] Posted by Father Wash-Ashore on 7-27-2012 at 04:46 PM · [top]

psydneyh and Father Wash-Ashore, I also hope to see you both posting in future on other threads.

[109] Posted by MichaelA on 7-28-2012 at 07:50 PM · [top]

RE: “I am new to this discussion, so find out the rules by (apparently) violating them.”

An odd assertion since you have been a member since February of 2007—surely long enough to become aware of oft-stated and repeatedly enforced rules of this blog.  But I am willing to believe anything!

RE: “Apparently, many friends of mine can be called “Bitter Leavers . . . “

Oh now, it’s hard for me to believe that so many of Father Wash-Ashore’s friends who have left TEC would also be Bitter Sanballat Leavers; even I—having had so much experience with them—have understood it to be a lower-percentage condition of leavers, since most people who depart TEC manage to leave and move on with joy and peace.  I wouldn’t have believed it of you to have such a high percentage of departing friends who are also Bitter Sanballat Leavers!  ; > )

[110] Posted by Sarah on 7-28-2012 at 09:03 PM · [top]

I did not say ‘are’ bitter leavers, I said ‘called’ bitter leavers.

If I’m misunderstood I’d be glad to elaborate…

[111] Posted by Father Wash-Ashore on 7-28-2012 at 09:27 PM · [top]

“even I—having had so much experience with them—have understood it to be a lower-percentage condition of leavers, since most people who depart TEC manage to leave and move on with joy and peace.”

That is true, just as most Christians who stay in TEC are able to let others move on with joy and peace, without wanting to denigrate ACNA and the Continuum churches that they move to. 

In other words, only some of the stayers in TEC are Sanballat Bitter Stayers… confused

As the orthodox Primates recently noted:

“7.  We stand in solidarity with our brethren in the Communion Partners who have dissented from this action. We uphold them in prayer and support them in fellowship as they continue in their commitment to the evangelical faith and catholic order of the Church, as expressed in their Minority Report known as The Indianapolis Statement.

8.  We also appreciate and support all the faithful in Anglican Church in North America (ACNA) as well as those in the Anglican Church in Canada who remain true to our biblical and historic faith.”

[112] Posted by MichaelA on 7-29-2012 at 01:25 AM · [top]

RE: “I said ‘called’ bitter leavers.”

Nah—only people who troll around on websites taking entire posts off-topic and being unable to let go of the fact that people have stayed in TEC will be *called* such things. But no, I’m not interested in further elaboration on this thread—you’re welcome to email me using Private Message if you like.

RE: “just as most Christians who stay in TEC are able to let others move on with joy and peace, without wanting to denigrate ACNA and the Continuum churches that they move to.”

Heh—except that people who appropriately critique TEC are *welcome* here at StandFirm—and people who appropriately critique ACNA as well are welcome.  Blessedly, the bloggers here engage in both activities.

No, the Sanballats are perfectly clear either way, and neither has to do with critique of either organization, but instead has to do with people who insist that people either stay in TEC or leave TEC and refuse to take no for an answer and instead enter onto threads and determine to take them off-topic despite a long-standing StandFirm commenting rule.

Most of the actual people who stayed in TEC and who repeatedly decried folks who left as cowards have been banned here at StandFirm—and ironically, some of them went to ACNA too.

In one of the great ironies of life, there are actually people out there who denounced the leavers as cowards and even sinners for leaving—who are now themselves gone and in ACNA.

The thread has now been successfully derailed onto other matters entirely from the letter-writing that parishioners in TEC need to be writing to their rectors and bishops.  I’ll have other posts on issues for those of us staying in TEC hopefully this week, and will be making certain that topic-derailing does not happen again.

Blessedly, people are writing those letters.  I hope that more of them write these letters, while happily staying in TEC, though it’s understandable if people leave, as well.

Please write those letters.

[113] Posted by Sarah on 7-29-2012 at 06:52 AM · [top]

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