Sunday, April 27, 2008

Burning Bridges

The cold front sweeping across northern Indiana from the west tonight brings with it news of the commencement of litigation over the ecclesial entity known as the Diocese of San Joaquin. Aside from finding it heartbreaking and surreal, and aside from wondering how parties on either side explain their relationship with I Corinthians 6:1-11, I don't have a lot to say. There was a time when I intended to become a lawyer. I was officially "pre-law" for one semester in college. But I'm not a lawyer. I've never played one on TV. I have spend a night in a Holiday Inn Express, but it didn't make me an expert in anything, so don't believe the ads. I'm going to leave it to actual lawyers, and probably a few wannabes, to parse out all the different ways the chips can fall on this.

But you can bet that we haven't seen the last of undisguised spin, partial statements of facts, caricature, self-congratulatory rhetoric, sweeping generalizations, and ever more entrenched positions. And it will come in more or less equal shares from both parties to the California dispute. In the meantime, searching souls for whom the Anglican way of being Christian might just offer them the most efficient way to be made a saint will be repelled by the air of conflict that envelopes American Anglicanism. Kyrie eleison.

The acrid odor you are smelling is the aroma of bridges being burned. As I have already noted more than duly in this space, the executive leadership of the Episcopal Church has tragically chosen an ideological purge over not only canon law and not only common sense but even over their own long term self-interest. They want a Diocese of San Joaquin that is a showcase for the brand of liberal puritanism that has become the order of the day, and they're not interested in the care and feeding of any conservative POWs. (Some had raised a white flag, but were quickly chased off to Argentina, which welcomed them with open arms.)

But the bridges are being torched from both ends. Some seventeen months ago, when I was still resident in San Joaquin, I proposed an "amendment to the amendment" of our constitution that, even as it helped set the pins for an potential departure from TEC (as it indeed eventually did), would have at least acknowledged that the diocese's ongoing life, whatever shape that might take, would be in organic continuity with the life and history of the Episcopal Church. My amendment went down like the Hindenburg, so toxic was the expression "Episcopal Church" in the family system of the diocese by that point. I have a strong enough ego to still contend that the convention, in rejecting my proposal, was acting against its own enlightened self-interest. At any rate, the perception of toxicity has only grown since that time. The breach that has occurred, even though Bishop Schofield proclaims it extraordinary and temporary, will never, I am convinced, be healed in my lifetime.

I will, of course, watch events as they unfold, and do so with great interest. I am an Episcopalian. I lead an Episcopal parish that is vital, orthodox in worship and teaching, and engaged in gospel-driven mission. I love the souls who have been entrusted to my pastoral care, and serve them as best as I am able. This is not to say that I don't have serious "issues" with recent actions of General Convention, Executive Council, the Presiding Bishop, and the President of the House of Deputies. I do indeed have such issues, and if you visit this place regularly, you know I'm not shy about raising them. But as long as the Episcopal Church has the Anglican franchise in the United States, I do not feel myself at liberty to leave it, or to encourage anyone else to do so. I believe, as I have said several times, that the action taken last December by the Diocese of San Joaquin was ill-conceived and has caused harm on multiple levels. I deplore it.

That said, I support the right of these Anglican friends of mine to do what they did, and I hope they prevail in court. I hope the Episcopal Church--my church--loses in every venue of litigation in which it is currently engaged. We need a dose of humility.

79 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am deeply saddened by your response. I guess you really do not have any idea how much the faithful Episcopalians of this valley have suffered.

Anonymous said...

Where does "Thou shall not steel" come into play? How can you possibly think that it is OK for the ex-bishop to walk away with the property of TEC? How can you possibly think it is OK to discriminate againt women, and gays in the church?
May the inclusive love of Christ bless you and keep you always.

frcartercroft said...

My brother,
Thank you for the passion of your convictions as you continue to share the Truth in Love.
Carter+

Anonymous said...

What a terribly sad statement. I suppose you believe that those who are faithful to TEC should lose their churches.

Dan, you should resign. You are no more a part of TEC than the man in the moon. No one would wish such a thing upon the faithful.

tjmcmahon said...

"anonymous"
None of us should be "faithful to TEC." We are faithful to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Sometimes that means opposing the temporal powers of denominations. In this case, based on any plain reading of scripture, the official stance of the denomination is in conflict with Scripture, the Creeds, and even its own constitution and canons. Whether in or out of TEC, it is not the purpose of any Anglican to destroy it. Rather, it is our prayer that our Lord will show us the path to correct it, and that we will have the courage to follow Him. That may mean dividing from it to show an Anglican witness. Or it may mean staying within it to do what can be done to defend those faithful (to Christ) parishes, clergy and bishops that are left. If my children were young, I would be gone. Since they are no longer in my immediate household, I can stay in.
_______________________________
Thank you, Father Dan, for continuing in your efforts although you take "flak" from both sides.

Prayers for all,
TJ

Anonymous said...

Carter+,
The truth? Really, and what other "truths" do you profess to know? I woke up this morning thinking about what I had read here last night. I still cannot believe that Dan+ would wish us to lose our churches. This blog seemed more about Dan and his failure to have his amendment pushed through and about his dislike for the PB. What you are all forgetting is that Schofield could have walked away if he did not like what was happening, but as we all know, he was just waiting for this opportunity to "stir the pot."

Anonymous said...

TJ,
You have got to be kidding? You would leave the inclusive love of Christ to raise your children to believe it is OK to discriminate against women and gays? What kind of a world do you live in?

Anonymous said...

"Thou shall not steel"...wow that's rich. By many of the comments it would seem that Schofield - ON HIS OWN- without any backing just picked up the titles to the properties & headed south. How delusional can one get. Are you willing to forget [or really dismiss] the vote of convention. The democratically held, canonically compliant vote of the gathered Laity and clergy of the diocese seems to have slipped from your memory. It was the convention [read here the people of the diocese, the properly elected and canonically resident IN the diocese of San Joaquin]that made the decision to go south; people, buildings, ministry, & programs. Those who are now claiming Schofield "steel" property are obviously in disagreement with the 93% of the clergy & laity of the diocese. That's too bad. Having been on the loosing side of a vote, I know the disappointment. However, it's kind of childish to now call it "theft" when the decisions of convention [by vote of the people who occupy, pay for, insure, and maintain the buildings] are carried out.

Malcolm+ said...

TJ said: "In this case, based on any plain reading of scripture, the official stance of the denomination is in conflict with Scripture, the Creeds, and even its own constitution and canons."


While I expect TJ and I would disagree on how plain scripture is on the subject, I'll agree that a primae facie reading of scripture would seem to reject any homosexual unions.

Claiming that the Creeds do, however, is reading things into them that simply aren;t there. Likewise the constitution and canons.

___________________________________

On the broader issue, Dan, I keep coming back to the same thing. Regardless of the manifest cock-ups on all sides, we are where we are. So, how do we move forward, in San Joaquin and elsewhere?

tjmcmahon said...

From Malcolm:

While I expect TJ and I would disagree on how plain scripture is on the subject, I'll agree that a primae facie reading of scripture would seem to reject any homosexual unions.

Malcolm, where in my entire comment did I say anything at all about homosexual unions? I think you (and a previous commenter) are making assumptions. While I will grant that sancifying gay unions are a presenting issue in the current crisis, the real issue is that it has become common to ordain priests who do not believe in the Gospel, and consecrate bishops who openly deny the creeds and attempt, in some cases, to refute the Gospel.

BTW- anonymous- the "love of Christ" does not exist only in the Episcopal Church. If you were correct, it wouldn't be very inclusive, would it?

BTW- Fr. Dan, the word puzzle that I have to solve in order to post this is virtually illegible.

Anonymous said...

Actually reading the court document was chilling. Like you, Fr. Dan, I have friends on both sides of this dispute. Worst scenario: that TEC takes control of the property, loses so many parishioners that many buildings have to be sold. The thought of the Cathedral chapel, where a number of dear friends lie in repose, being a casualty is numbing. These things aren’t the most important, of course, but they are, in a sense, “sacramentalizing” our failures – we who should be bringing reconciliation to a broken world. Kyrie eleison.

Anonymous said...

Dan -- I agree. I hope that our Anglican friends win their lawsuits against my church. It would be great to see the fascism and thievery of the national leadership of TEC defeated.

On another note . . . I just had to laugh at this one: "Dan, you should resign. You are no more a part of TEC than the man in the moon."

Yeh, Dan. You disagree with the revisionists in TEC. Therefore you should resign. You are not an Episcopalian Dan. How do we know this?

Why -- because you disagree with the revisionists!

I just love the smell of revisionist "inclusion" in the morning.

; > )

Too too rich.


Sarah

ruidh said...

Yeah, "plain reading of Scripture" is just a refusal to deal with Scripture and reality. Scripture is never "plain". It must be read and interpreted.

Anonymous said...

tjmcmahon:

well, well: one that apparently knows the mind of God, are you?

we disagree on the fundamentals, I see.

that aside, explain why having property leave TEC and go down South America Way is helpful?

are you anti-WO as well?

it should be interesting, if you have daughters, to explain how they are good enough to be choir directors, in God's eyes, but not good enough to be priests and bishops.

and while we may differ in the fundamentals, I still find it odd that ANY TEC priest would wish against the church.

and while YOU may not be faithful to TEC, or fail to understand the concept, in this context, I am faithful to it (eh-hem... priests have to take an oath, remember????)

Just how does a priest who takes an oath reconcile hoping that TEC loses its assets? I fail to see how this would be humbling, in any case.

If you don't like TEC, then leave it! Pretty simple! (oh... and leave behind the assets as well, please).

Malcolm+ said...

TJ said: "It has become common to ordain priests who do not believe in the Gospel, and consecrate bishops who openly deny the creeds and attempt, in some cases, to refute the Gospel."

This is nothing but empty rhetoric. A convenient charge to make - especially with no evidence. But writing off everyone who disagrees with you as a heretic does make it simpler, I suppose.

Sarah said: "the fascism . . . of the national leadership of TEC"

This rhetoric is well beyond empty and all the way to offensive. You clearly have no idea what fascism is - apart from a handy-dandy word to tar people you don't like. I refer you to Godwin's Law.

There are a lot of people of good will on all side who want to have a rational discussion. The use of these types of over-wrought and frankly idiotic rhetoric pretty much precludes one from being one of those people of good will.

Anonymous said...

If you don't like TEC, then leave it! Pretty simple! (oh... and leave behind the assets as well, please).

Can you feel the irony. The inclusive church. The one where you don't need to check your mind at the door. Except some thoughts can't be thought.

You know, if only the relatively more conservative leadership of TEC in the 1970s and early 80s, had thought as you do, we wouldn't be having all of this difficulty now would we? (If you don't believe the doctrine of this church then go elsewhere).

Can you feel the irony, now?

Anonymous said...

Indeed let's have a rational discussion. Except if you don't think like we do, you won't even be able to get a job in the diocese. Oh, and if you don't think like we do we won't support you vocation. And we won't send any candidates to those terribly seminaries who don't think like we do. And if you try to discuss this at diocesan convention people will boo you. And if you talk about it in clergy gatherings other priests will openly talk about putting you on trial.

But by all means let's discuss it rationally...

Anonymous said...

This is all so sad, where is God in all of this. I have been an episcopalian for the last 53 years, and I am so happy not to have to hang my head when people ask me what denomination I am. I can now hold up my head and say Anglican. If we were to lose all of our properties it would not change who we are, or the Lord we serve. We can serve him from our living rooms or a store front. God is not the buildings, he is in us. If people are to know us by the love we show each other, we must be invisable.

Virginia Gal said...

anonymous at 2:38 AM:
You could have always responded that you are an Anglican. Episcopalians are Anglicans, and always have been. What we know as the Episcopal Church in our country was once just the Church of England in the colonies. Via media; not quite Roman Catholic, not quite Protestant.

Trust me, anyone who really knows what the term "Anglican" means isn't going to think you are much different than an Episcopalian. Although they might ask if you are a Canadian, a rather honorable misunderstanding.

Anonymous said...

How interesting these postings!
It appears that the liberals are just fine with the fact that orthodox christians should be put out of their churches that they themselves and theirs past family members have poured money into as well. It's okay that those orthodox believers should be out on their dar-e-air! How quickly they either forget or conveniently disregard the fact that Bishop Schofield has said that if their churches (vestry and clergy) wanted to stay in TEC they could do so and KEEP THE CHURCH, THE PROPERTY, AND THE ASSETS, AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT OWE ANY DEBTS TO THE DIOCESE!!!!!!! How many other bishops in other dioceses have done this? He didn't make a wager to have them buy it from the diocese....HE GAVE IT TO THEM NO STRINGS ATTACHED, NO MONIES ECHANGED!!!! Geesh! Talk about looking a gift horse in the mouth! And then we have the liberals saying that "if + John-David wanted to leave TEC he should have just gone and resigned his orders!" LAUGHABLE! Why dhould he? I could say the same about the PB and many other bishops and clergy that want to go against scripture and ask the question....."Why don't you just resign from being a christian and go form your own religion that allows sinful behavior to be blessed and lifted up for affirmation?" Hypocrytical! If the shoe was on the other foot they would be fine with all orthodox christians being put out. Where would they go? Well many that have been put out have went and started their own Anglican Churches that are by the way growing at great rates. So, why can't they do the same? I mean if your way of interpreting scripture is so right on and correct what are you so afraid of? Show us all just how right your interpretation is and how wrong ours is? In the meantime....I shall worship God through His son Jesus Christ and His Divine Word, repent of my sins daily, be humbled and follow Jesus as He leads and not ask Him to follow me and my interpretation of God's Word.

One Day Closer

Dcn Dale Matson said...

"But as long as the Episcopal Church has the Anglican franchise in the United States, I do not feel myself at liberty to leave it, or to encourage anyone else to do so" So it is a matter of who has the franchise? Is this why folks should stay in the Episcopal Church?

Phil said...

ODC, re: "Bishop Schofield has said that if their churches (vestry and clergy) wanted to stay in TEC they could do so and KEEP THE CHURCH, THE PROPERTY, AND THE ASSETS, AS LONG AS THEY DO NOT OWE ANY DEBTS TO THE DIOCESE!!!!!!! How many other bishops in other dioceses have done this?"

Let's see: Bishop Duncan, Bishop Iker . . . that's about it. Does anybody see a pattern? Compare and contrast Andrew Smith, Jerry Lamb, Peter Lee, Stacy Sauls - well, were I to list them all, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

Guess you touched a nerve, there, eh Dan?

I would have been much happier if +JDS had simply resigned from the Episcopate of the Diocese of SJ, affiliated with the Southern Cone, and established the "Diocese of the Western US" or something similar and invited folks to join it. This whole wrangling over buildings and property says to the world that buildings are an essential requirement for ministry. If folks want to leave the Episcopal Church, then go ahead. Just don't take the building with you.

I do think, however, that if another church, even a congregation of the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone, wanted to buy a newly-vacated church building that was not going to be able to be supported by the remaining Episcopal congregation, they should be able to do so.

In short, as you've noted, Dan, the bridge is being burned from both sides.

plsdeacon said...

To those who are crying "Theft!" or accusing Bishop Schofield et. al. violating a command not to create carbon hardend iron (I'm sorry, I couldn't resist the pun), I will respond with a simple question. Whose name is on the title? Who will be sued for tort liabilities for accidents or incidents on the property? It is not TECUSA. It is the Diocese of SJC and the attendent parishes. So, with the liability and title go ownership.

This is a sad situation all around. I wish that DSJC had not felt it necessary to leave TECUSA. That would not have happened if GC2006 had simply put a moritorium on blessing same sex unions or consecrating a bishop involved in a homoerotic relationship. But it didn't. It has continued to rend the fabric of the communion by its arrogant actions and pronouncements.

What do we do now? Well first I submit that we need to drop the lawsuits and negotiate a settlement that will honor the contributions of 815, the individual dioceses and the parishes. I submit that a cooling off period would be in order. One where no new homoerotic relationships are blessed, no new clergy in homoerotic relationships are ordained and no further congregations/dioceses leave TECUSA. An impartial arbritation team (with at least three members, preferrably more) should be assembled with input from Primates, TECUSA, and representatives from Common Cause or the ACN or some such body. All sides should agree to the results of binding arbitration and let it move forward. After the arbritation period, impliment the results of that arbitration and codify it at General Convention. If GC12 or whenever doesn't codify the arbitration, then all bets are off and things go into effect that the departing congregations get to keep their property and TECUSA and the dioceses gets nothing. Likewise, if the departing congregations/dioceses violate the arbitration, then they leave and get nothing.

That would be a start.

YBIC,
Phil Snyder

Anonymous said...

RE: "This rhetoric is well beyond empty and all the way to offensive."

And -- as is now standard -- we don't define the words "empty" and "offensive" in the same way either, just as we don't believe the same gospel. No surprise there.

Thankfully, realizing that we don't hold the same foundational worldview I take the fact that you deem what I say as "empty" or "offensive"as a compliment.

RE: "You clearly have no idea what fascism is . . . "

Sure I do -- and the national leadership of TEC is doing a nice job of illustrating it.

RE: "There are a lot of people of good will on all side who want to have a rational discussion.

You wouldn't know 'em though. So I don't have to worry.


Sarah

Fred Schwartz said...

Apparently 17 months and about 1500 miles tends to blur vision and fade memories.

Malcolm+ said...

Well, Sarah, it is plain to see that good will doesn't really come into it for you. Vicious slurs grounded in nothing but hate.

You know nothing about what I believe - except that I believe random and ungrounded accusations of fascism have no place in this debate.

It's Dan's blog and he can do what he wills. But I suggest you take your childish tantrum elsewhere.

And perhaps go talk to some REAL victims of REAL fascism before you so devalue their suffering.

Anonymous said...

RE: "Well, Sarah, it is plain to see that good will doesn't really come into it for you."

Right -- because with progressive activists, if you disagree with their ideas, you don't have "good will." ; > )

RE: "Vicious slurs . . . "

LOL.

Nonsense. It's not a "vicious slur" to point out that the actions of the leadership of TEC at the national level are fascist. It's a pretty standard adjectival description which I believe. But . . . you know . . . conservatives shouldn't be allowed to say what they believe on blogs. Only progressives get to express what they believe.

RE: ". . . grounded in nothing but hate."

You flatter yourself. ; > )

I merely call it like I see it -- and incidentally as most other conservative Episcopalians in blogland see it too.

TEC's actions at its highest level are simply fascist.

The person who appears to be incensed and full of rage, Malcolm, is you. I've accepted with calmness and equanimity what the national leadership of our church is like. I'm okay with it -- people do bad things, and right now those people are in charge at the highest levels and the conservatives' job is to cope. But you're incensed because . . . conservatives get to say all of that out loud. And it just burns you up.

RE: "You know nothing about what I believe . . . "

Sure I do -- you've posted here quite a bit. You're a progressive and we don't share the same foundational worldview, not by the remotest long shot.

RE: "But I suggest you take your childish tantrum elsewhere. . . . "

Heh. Again . . . the only person having a meltdown on this blog because he's outraged that someone else would believe and express the belief that the Episcopal church's actions at the national level are fascist is . . . you, Malcolm. And when someone says something that you don't like or believe, you want to shut them up and tell them to leave.

It's hard to bear, isn't it -- the knowledge that conservative Episcopalians can say -- out loud, mind you -- what they believe.

Oh for the good old days, when people could be shut up and silenced and uninformed and folks like Malcolm could control the "dialogue" and the "sharing" and the "listening."

Bad Blogs!


Sarah

Tom Sramek, Jr. said...

I think that the bulk of the responses to Dan's blog entry illustrate quite clearly why we are in the fix that we are in. When Christian charity on BOTH sides is gone, then the only thing left is to fight over the scraps. Sad.

Dan Martins said...

Some random comments on the comments, and perhaps some other things.

First...in the news...Blogger's robots have detected characteristics in my blog that look like spam to them, so they've blocked me from making any new posts. I hope this is temporary. They promise a review by a real human being within the next couple of days. But I do wonder, what flagged the robots' attention? Was is something I said? Something in the comments? This is weird.

Secondly...I am just now finalizing a decision, long in process, that I will not respond to anonymous comments. I'm not going to ban them outright; that would be too much trouble. But I don't read unsigned mail when it's in hard copy, nor, as a pastor, do I respond to information delivered by a third party, and this is just a coherent extension of those principles. I encourage commenters to use real names, first and last. I always do so when I'm commenting on other blogs. I realize that anonymity has been a strong strand in cyberculture for nearly two decades, but it's something in which I choose not to conform. If I can't put my name to something, I shouldn't say it.

On the exchange of pleasantries between Malcolm and Sarah: This is a textbook example of the need for empathy about which I wrote a couple of weeks ago. You two are not talking to each other. You're not even talking at each other. You're talking past each other. Worse still, you're listening past each other. In my probably no so humble opinion, you're both right and you're both wrong.

Malcolm, while it is wrong for conservatives to use an excessively broad brush with which to paint their opponents (and I have called them on this practice more than once), it is important to understand, and communicate that you understand, that they (we, I should probably say) are not simply inventing their own fears. There may not be proof beyond a reasonable doubt that TEC has entered into formal heresy (on this I respectfully disagree with the likes of Matt Kennedy), but there is increasing momentum toward the civil judicial standard of "preponderance of evidence." Every count on the indictment against TEC has happened, and they continue to happen with increasing frequency. They are not fantasies. The "enormities" may be exaggerated in magnitude and extent (as I believe they indeed are), but that does not make them any less "destable." (For the background on the words in quotes, see the earliest versions of the Great Litany in English.)

Sarah, is not your tone a little acerbic? I know you and I have a different read on our opponents, but I still don't get your quickness to apply the "another gospel" label to all reappraisers. They are wrong in their assessment of sexual ethics; on that we agree. And I would even go so far as to say that the nature of their error, if carried to its logical conclusion, is eventually a fatal flaw, and I will not remain in a church that permanently enshrines such an error in its formularies. But I don't think we are at that point, nor anywhere near it. And in the meantime, I will not walk away from communion in word and sacrament with anyone who can say the creed with uncrossed fingers and say "Jesus is Lord" with a straight face.

samantha said...

To anonymous at 10:04
I am empathetic to your concerns of the interned at the Cathedral in Fresno, we had the same issues in Modesto at St Dunstan's when JDS sold St Dunstan's, to this day, no one knows where the ashes that were in the columbarium are.Shameful and disrespectful.
To Sarah, I completely disregard your comments having anything to do with San Joaquin, you don't live here, it has never affected you personally, one way or the other. Much as Dan has said and the others, it has affected everyone here on the ground on both sides. Your comments do nothing but add rhetoric to an already hurting family of Episcopal Anglicans who quite frankly are trying to sort this mess out in their own front/backyards.I am truly saddened that it has come to litigation, many of us,Dan in his capacity as a former SC member, me as a lay person at the convention in December tried to put safeguards on the table, but the reality is the train has left the station and only through God's miraculous works and our faith in Christ shall there be healing. I do not intend to be labeled as a conservative or liberal , I am one of the majority who are in the middle, a lay person who forgot my responsibility as a lay member to stand up and ask the hard questions before it got to this point. Never again. samantha

Malcolm+ said...

The curious thing is that I have had many interchanges with many conservatives on many blogs which are quite civil and reasonable.

I have had very few such exchanges where the first tendency is to start tossing about accusations of heresy - and particularly the assertion that heresy is the norm in the Episcopal Church. It is as fatuous and isiotic as the accusation sometimes found on liberal blogs that any reservation about gay unions is primaefacie evidence of homophobia.

Accusations of authoritarianism are one thing. Accusations of fascism would be silly if it wasn't so offensive.

There are limits, Dan - and comparing +KJS to Hitler, Mussolini or Stalin goes beyond those limits.

Anonymous said...

Well, here you go Fr. Dan...
I am deeply shocked and saddened that you would wish the faithful Episcopalians of the D of SJ to lose their churches. Something the conservatives need to figure out is that the remaining Episcopalians of the D of SJ are loving, giving souls who seek the love of an inclusive Christ. Schofield is the one who brought on this mess and he is the one who is fueling the fire. Listen to his TV interviews. He continues to twist the truth and accuse Episcopalians of trying to grab property and assests. Enough is enough. Staying quiet and trying to get along cost me my church in Turlock. I am a lifelong Episcopalian. There are few cradle Episcopalians left at St. Francis in Turlock. The church has been taken over by those who are relatively new to the faith. They have no idea how we have been crushed. I was willing to go to the Lord's Table with those that I did not agree with, and now Schofield has made that impossible.
All one has to do is read the conservative blogs to know why so many post as anonymous. The venom flows.
Still, I wish you the inclusive love of Jesus Christ.

Anonymous said...

Fr. Dan,
It is difficult to post here using our Google Blogger Account. Perhaps that is why you have so many anonymous postings. By the way, I left several of them and did so because I could not post any other way.
Leslie Littlefield
TEC of St. Francis, Turlock

JamesW said...

Okay anonymous:

"Something the conservatives need to figure out is that the remaining Episcopalians of the D of SJ are loving, giving souls who seek the love of an inclusive Christ."

but...

"Staying quiet and trying to get along cost me my church in Turlock. I am a lifelong Episcopalian. There are few cradle Episcopalians left at St. Francis in Turlock."

Why is that?

"The church has been taken over by those who are relatively new to the faith."

"Still, I wish you the inclusive love of Jesus Christ."

Anonymous - do you have any sense at all at the irony in your words?

You calim to stand for the "inclusive love of Jesus Christ", yet seethe that "YOUR" church has been taken away from you by people "new to the faith".

So, then, newcomers are welcome to experience the "inclusive" love of Christ and your "loving, giving" natures provided that they be sure to let you keep strict control over the church and all decisions?!?!?

samantha said...

JamesW.. Ouch.. I don't need to speak for anonymous, she is quite capable of doing that herself,but she was being respectful in not to take up "blogging space" with details, but I can assure you that you might be somewhat concerned if you had a known "deposed priest" deployed to your parish and was performing sacramental duties and functions of which you know as a life long Episcopalian he should not nor should you partake. These are areas of which"new members" may not have history or experience. Of course, none of us wish these experiences, but it happened. I have nothing more than the upmost respect for the St Francis folks in Turlock. They exemplify being true to Christ and not their building unlike the squatters who are now there. The simple fact that they have grown more in parishioners in the last 6 months rather than years before, should be reason enough to recognize that their staunch focus on Christ's love is working miracles in Turlock.

JamesW said...

Samantha: Sorry - I don't buy it. If concern for church polity and procedure is so important, then why are these people so quick to welcome the PB's abuse of canonical process, an illegally installed bishop, and a new bishop (Jerry Lamb) who, as bishop of Northern California, openly and brazenly violated the canon law each and every time he made a pastoral visitation (open communion). Or, perhaps, "old time Episcopalians" know which canons it is important to follow and which canons can be casually ignored???

Regarding the future of the Diocese of Remain Episcopal in central California...let's compare notes in 5 years, shall we? It is quite easy to be a lightning rod for disaffected Episcopalians for a narrow time window, it is quite another thing to have sustainable growth.

Let's see what Jerry Lamb's growth record was in the Diocese of Northern California during the last 5 years of his tenure there. Hmmm.....over 20% drop in membership, and over 16% drop in average Sunday attendance.

Anonymous said...

Jamesw,
I do not intend to get into a spitting contest with you. You took what I said out of context and twisted it to your own liking. My point is that there are many faithful, Christ loving, Episcopalians who have been tossed from their churches. It is very upsetting. I had to tell my own daughter that she could no longer attend the church that she has grown up in because they do not honor women and gays in the priesthood. Perhaps you think this is OK, but I do not. I welcome all people into The Episcopal Church. I do not discriminate. I tried very hard to get along, and instead of having that reciprocated, I was turned on by other members of the parish. I was welcome as long as I took the views of the majority. When I tried to revisit my church I was called a spy. Unless you have experienced what I have I suggest that you rethink your position and stop being so critical of others.
May Christ's inclusive love be with you and all who gather here this night.
Leslie Littlefield
TEC of St. Francis, Turlock

Anonymous said...

I believe that all homosexuals belong in church and are welcomed. But not ordained as clergy! You see Leslie from Tulock, God and I love them too much to see them stay in their sinful sexual state or in any sinful state. Sex is supposed to be for men and women married one to another, or we are to live a life of celibacy. You see if we truly love God and believe in Him then we will obide by His Word and not try to expect God to conform to our way of living. That's not how it works!
One Day Closer

JamesW said...

Leslie: I am not intending to minimize what must be a traumatic time for you. But what I wonder is why you want to throw the MAJORITY (your words) out of their church buildings across the whole Diocese of San Joaquin???? The "conservatives" have always sought for a negotiated settlement agreed to by all sides. This was well on its way to happening in, for example, Virginia, before the PB demanded law suits and litigation.

For what its worth, I am married to a WOMAN PRIEST, and she greatly admires Bishop Schofield because he is honest. Other liberal bishops say one thing to her face and then bar her from their diocese because she won't agree with their liberal theology. I could tell you stories about liberal bishops that would make your skin crawl involving serious violations of the law. I have seen my wife in deep emotional distress over what liberal bishops have done to her, and I have heard secular lawyers express shock at their illegal actions, and regret that there is very little the law can do to rectify such things. And let me be very plain - she is not someone who has any desire to remove a congregation from TEC. So don't play the "woman priest" card on me, or the "I have suffered and you haven't" card on me, thank you very much.

I am simply asking you to be consistent. Surely, the just solution in the Turlock situation is for the building to remain in the hands of the majority with a negotiated settlement permitting the TEC group to worship there rent-free. And if the PB would stop forcing everyone into law suits and litigation, that just may be possible.

Just remember this Leslie - when the California courts do what most expect them to do - and reject Jerry Lamb's claims, it is the PB's fault because she is the one who chose litigationa and law suits over negotiated win-win settlements.

Anonymous said...

One Day Closer and Jamesw,
Obviously we will not agree on this issue.
Good Night...
Leslie Littlefield
TEC of St. Francis, Turlock

Anonymous said...

Hi Dan -- if you'll recall I heartily disagreed with your definition of empathy or its purposes. I have no difficulty having kindly feelings for others -- including revisionists. But I have no interest in expressing the kind of empathy as you defined it. Indeed, I see no purpose in expressing the kind of empathy you defined in the blogosphere. Supposing that I did indeed empathise with Malcolm, I would certainly in this context have no desire to communicate that empathy, and indeed would take it as condescending were he to try to do the same. It would be a bit like expressing empathy for a person on the Octagon -- not appropriate in this context, and not decent either.

When I comment on blogs, I express my opinions. Some people choose to be outraged over what I say. Sometimes -- often not -- but sometimes, I respond to what they say in their outrage.

When you say that "you two are not talking to each other", however, I wholeheartedly agree. I have no interest in -- nor have I made an attempt at -- trying to convince Malcolm of anything at all. I merely respond -- if I desire it -- to what points he makes and move on. Our exchanges are not "conversation" nor have I ever implied that our exchanges were or should be conversation. My purpose in addressing points of some revisionists is merely to communicate my beliefs, and to respond to irrational or illogical statements, as I see fit. As I've stated for several years now -- three, actually -- we don't really have enough in common to have a real conversation about matters of faith. We don't define most words in the same way, we don't have similar values, and we don't share the same -- even remotely the same -- foundational worldview. There's simply no basis or method for having a real conversation about religious matters, much less the gospel, that would lead to anything useful.

I probably could have a conversation -- a real one -- about movies or books, and have a nice time.

Of course -- the above is something that I've stood by and stated consistently for years now on a variety of blogs, so it's nothing new.

RE: "I still don't get your quickness to apply the "another gospel" label to all reappraisers."

Well -- I came to that conclusion after carefully reading the comments, arguments, conclusions, and foundational assumptions of reappraisers. It became very clear that they simply start from a foundation and conceptual definitions that are nowhere near the same. When it comes to Christianity, we're not even playing the same game.

I understand that you haven't come to that conclusion, although my own belief is that this is a path along which every Episcopal conservative will inevitably travel. But I have come to that conclusion. And every comment that Malcolm has written has affirmed my conclusions. Just think -- years have gone by since my first realization, and reading and discovering the worldviews of progressives in ensuing years have only radically entrenched those conclusions.

I believe that they will inevitably be entrenched with other conservatives as well -- those who haven't yet come to that conclusion, that is. I've seen that a lot with folks who really were moderates three years ago, and full of hope. In fact I myself was a moderate 10 years ago. But it's not my job to really convince fellow conservatives of such a thing. Just watch them learn -- as I have certainly done.

As to whether my comments are acerbic or not -- I don't see them that way on this thread, although I've certainly made sarcastic or acerbic comments elsewhere. I suppose I see my comments as clear, direct, calm, and expressive of what I believe. The fact that others are seemingly enraged over my direct statements of belief is, I think, revealing, but I don't think about it that much.


Sarah

Anonymous said...

RE: "To Sarah, I completely disregard your comments having anything to do with San Joaquin. . . "

That's cool by me -- no need for folks to regard my comments at all. I don't make comments for them to be regarded, and I'll continue expressing my opinion as I have the time and willingness.

RE: "Your comments do nothing but add rhetoric . . . "

I wholeheartedly agree. I'll continue to add rhetoric, just as you will and just as Malcolm will and just as JamesW will.

. . . And we'll all give the amount of weight we wish to those whose opinions we respect and to those whose opinions we don't respect. That's everybody's right in blogland, thankfully.

Sarah

Anonymous said...

Malcolm will no doubt be unsurprised to learn that I am indifferent to his descriptions on this thread of my beliefs about the actions of the national leadership of TEC.

RE: " . . . and comparing +KJS to Hitler, Mussolini or Stalin . . . "

No idea why Malcolm is bringing in Hitler, Mussolini, or Stalin into this thread. Plenty of people or systems are capable of behaving in a fascist manner without making any such comparisons to past fascist figures.

But there -- throwing that in, I suppose, is just the boilerplate random exaggeration that one must expect -- the common theme for Malcolm on these threads is always "how dare you believe that -- how dare you say that" and then trying to artificially inflate the statements he's mad about.

He's consistently done this on at least half a dozen threads now, and I suppose will do so half a dozen threads hence.

Ah well . . .


Sarah

Anonymous said...

jamesW,
Theyalways say that! "Obviously we wll never agree!" But then whine an cry some more about intolerable we are! Unbelievable!
Come Lord Jesus Come!
One Day Closer

Anonymous said...

One Day Closer,
Oh never mind, it isn't worth my time...

Malcolm+ said...

"And every comment that Malcolm has written has affirmed my conclusions."

Could you please point to a single post on this thread where I have uttered anything that is heterodox?

After all, calling you on bad manners is hardly heretical.

And if you don't understand my reference to Hitler, Mussolini and (that was actually intended to be) Franco, then it merely proves that you haven't a clue what fascism is or you wouldn't toss the accusation about in so cavalier a fashion.

Fascism, Sharon, is not a synonym for highhanded. It is a word which denotes an odious political philosophy.

The fact that you can't even fathom that the comment is out of line is simply appalling.

Childers said...

It's interesting that preening, arrogant liberals such as Malcolm feel the need to play the card of "moral superior" to both sides. Those that lurk on these sites, though, know that, contrary to what he says, it's only traditional Christian opinion that drives him into a name-calling rage in which "idiot," "liar," "haven't a clue" and the like start flying.

I think Sarah is right. What is really intolerable to Malcolm and his friends is the fact that a medium exists for the silent middle to speak up. When it does, you see that the gavel starts pounding, the spittle starts flying, and the screaming starts in earnest - "YOU ... WILL ... BE ... QUIET!!! WHO ... DO ... YOU ... THINK ... YOU ... ARE!!!" Bang! Bang! Bang!

Samantha said...

To Sarah:
I have an appreciation and respect for opinionated indiviuals, it certainly expresses passion from within and whether I agree with their stance or not, I will always listen. When I "blog" I try to only speak from what I know, I won't comment on C&C's, I am not a canonical lawyer, I rarely quote biblical Scripture, I never went to seminary, but I do speak to what has happened on the ground in San Joaquin, I am living it.Fr Dan and I will disagree on many points, we have different perspectives, afterall he was here and I am still but in different capacities.My reason for coming to this site, is not to change anyone's mind, not to berate them but an earnest desire for folks out there who are not in the midst of this to have some sense of what the "plain folk" in the pews are going through.
You see Sarah and John W, Christ truly does reveal himself and he is doing so in San Joaquin. He has put this debacle in front of us to challenge our commitment to faith and HIM.Not to TEC,AC,not to buildings,not to priests and bishops. WE the laity are the body of Christ and his church.We have to accept the responsibilities beholden to each of us through Baptism. We failed. We put our faith in the human form of spiritual leaders,priests, bishops and like. It wasn't fair to them either.
In December at the Convention, it was presented in the form that in order to remain within the Anglican Communion and to assure our Anglican identity there was no option but to vote to leave TEC.
Clearly that is not the case. Recently a priest who has been in this local area for quite some time started up another "mission" under the So Cone of JDS, after the larger church decided to go with AMIA. So now, we have 3 "churches" within a 6 mile radius all using the same BCP,gospels,liturgy,hymnal, all flying under a different flag. If it was truly about "Anglican identity", I would have assumed that JDS would have told this priest to send folks who no longer wanted to be associated with TEC to that church, afterall, isn't AMiA part of their network? From where I sit, it just looks like its all about indiviual power, money and greed. Again, from where I sit.

Anonymous said...

Samantha,
The "three churches under a different flag" is not true! I know many of those people in that new mission church in Modesto and the two priests that are heading it up. They are the ones who were left without a church when your church and a few other in the Northern part of the diocese deicided to stay in TEC and St. Paul's Modesto went to AMiA. Where were they to go as your side often says? They went and formed another church unlike what your side does that is in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin under Bishop John-David Schofield in the Province of the Southern Cone. They are not different from any of the churches that had decided to leave TEC in San Joaquin, they are a part of us. So your thrid identity is a falsehood!
One Day Closer

samantha said...

One Day Closer,
I am not trying to be fecicious, so please help me understand.
CTK has stayed with TEC, St Pauls'has decided AMiA under the Province of Rwanda, and the new mission under So Cone, is this not three different Provinces all within the Anglican Communion?
What am I missing?
My point was that if it was truly about retention of Anglican identity, of which JDS had said in December that TEC could not fulfill, wasn't AMiA under Rwanda going to fit the bill for those folks not wanting to stay within TEC?

Anonymous said...

Samantha, that guestion is better put to Fr. Mike and the congregants of St. Paul's? They are the only ones who not only made that type of a desision but that decision as a church all on their own. They stand alone on that one! They are entitled to do so, Bishop Schofield gave no conditions except that you o not owe a debt to the diocese. No other church did what St. Paul's Modesto did. Someone can correct me if I am wrong but I don't think that the WWAC recognises the AMiA churches as being in the WW Anglican Communion do they? They are just a mission extension of Rwanda! So if I am correct in this thinking then there are only two curches in teh WWAC in the North those that stayed in TEC and those that aligned under the Province of the Southern Cone, since AMiA may not be recognised as being a part of the WWAC.
One Day Closer

samantha said...

One Day Closer,
If your assumption is correct, then yes, only 2 in the Northern part of the Valley.If that is the case, I wonder if the parishioners at St Paul's know they aren't recognized? Most believed that the Anglican identity was the issue, personally I don't, and thats where we disagree.
I am not at all opposed to mission churches, Quite frankly, often they are most successful in doing the Lord's work on the ground, I don't have an issue where people land as long as they land!I do think there are many who are so disillusioned with both sides of this mess that they simply have walked away. As brothers and sisters in Christ we have failed them too. I do believe there will be much movement among local parishes as folks try to get their feet back under them, its important to remember just because at one point they may have been sitting next to us on Sunday morning and have chosen another path, doesn't mean that in the larger picture they aren't still part of our families.I think this is the area we all ask for Christ's guidance in love,compassion, and humble grace.
CTK is having a luncheon in two weeks, we have invited all parishes from all "provinces" to join us. No talk or speak of the other issues looming, but an opportunity to share the love of Christ we all have, to celebrate each other as we all move forward in doing the Lord's work. If you can't join us, please pray for all in San Joaquin, that we may truly hear the Lord and do the work he has set before us. Samantha

JamesW. said...

ODC and Samantha: For what it's worth, the definition of what is part of the Anglican Communion has now become very murky indeed, and I no longer think that there is any cut and dried answer to that.

For example, the TEC Bishop of New Hampshire is part of a certified Anglican Province, but is not invited to Lambeth nor does the ABC permit him to function as a priest in the ABC's juridiction. So is the TEC Bishop of New Hampshire officially part of the Anglican Communion or not?

Same with the AMiA. They are officially a part of a Province of the Anglican Communion, although AMiA bishops are not invited to Lambeth.

I would personally categorize as follows. Presently, all Anglican parishes in the USA connected with a legitimate Anglican Province - including TEC, AMiA, Southern Cone, Uganda, CANA, etc. - are part of the Anglican Communion. However, not all bishops are fully official "Anglican Communion" bishops.

I share Samantha's concerns about the multiplicity of Anglican jurisdictions, and think it is an issue that we conservatives need to seriously think about.

us300 said...

This is in Matthew 25

Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court.

I think that this should be settled out of court. But who am I?

Malcolm+ said...

Childers, I am quite capable of having a calm and serene conversation with someone I disagree with.

I do have a problem with lies and slander.

Calling +KJS a fascist is both.

Oh, and BTW, you seem to have leapt to any number of conclusions about the "only" thing than makes me angry. I've also told off the odd liberal when their comments about the other side were dishonest, slanderous and unfair.

samantha said...

Since at one point, I spoke of JDS and his speech at Convention in December to the group for the need for SoCone oversight to assure Anglican Identity, which by the way I have challenged all along, Bsp Venables was interviewed by Ruth Gledhill as posted on T19, where he was quoted saying he had to do what he did(San Joaquin) or they would have been lost to the Anglican Communion. So the cats out of the bag so to speak. The intention all along was to form a "new communion" and not with the ABC. As naiive as I was at the convention, I just knew something was amiss, lies,lies and more lies. I am not making this up, Anglican TV taped the whole charade in December.
One question Fr Dan.. Did you know this to be the case when you were here? What is going to happen to all those young priests who followed him south to Argentina under the pretense of "Anglicansim", when they go back to their parishes now? Why can't people just be honest and forthright, is that too much to ask?

Anonymous said...

RE: "Could you please point to a single post on this thread where I have uttered anything that is heterodox?"

I didn't qualify my statement with the words "on this thread" as you -- interestingly enough -- have done. ; > )

RE: "And if you don't understand my reference to Hitler, Mussolini and (that was actually intended to be) Franco, then it merely proves that you haven't a clue what fascism is or you wouldn't toss the accusation about in so cavalier a fashion."

LOL. You got called on your standard boilerplate exaggeration -- and now you're scuttling around trying to fix it. Sorry Malcolm -- the dictionary has a number of excellent definitions for the word "fascism" and they most certainly don't all include Stalin, Hitler, or Mussolini.

RE: "The fact that you can't even fathom that the comment is out of line is simply appalling."

Yes -- for a certain progressive Episcopalian who can't stand the thought of someone "saying out loud" what we think of our national church's leadership's actions, it's "appalling".

RE: "Calling +KJS a fascist is both."

Yet more of the usual boilerplate exaggerations, a constant now from Malcolm on a number of threads. I have repeatedly referred to the fascisct "actions of the leadership of TEC." The actions of the person are quite different from the ontology of the person.

But then -- Malcolm knows that, or he wouldn't have bothered to offer the SOP exaggerations.


Sarah

JamesW said...

Malcom and Sarah: Okay you two, let's consider the Mirriam-Webster's defintion of facism:
(1) a political philosophy, movement or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
(2) a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

So let's see if we can draw from this an accurate description of TEC. I think we can: "a...regime that exalts [denominational institution=nation??]...above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.
(2) a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control."

I think that the above describes the PB's version of TEC quite nicely.

Malcolm+ said...

Ironic that someone who cavalierly tosses about accusations of Episcopal fascism should toss off accusations about boilerplate.

I'll return to this in a second, but first I'll touch on Dan's comment from the other day.

I agree that it is possible - and in certain circumstances may even be reasonable - for a person to assume that heresy is common within a church body. Personally, I have no doubt that there are heretics about in the Church - and on both sides of this issue. That is a far cry from writing off anyone who disagrees about the present issue as a heretic.

The problem with the accusation of heresy - like the McCarthyite accusation of communism or Sarah's ridiculous accusation of fascism is that it really isn't about heresy, communism or fascism. The way in which these words are used has made them empty rhetoric. They are not coherent accusations, they are random insults with all the same depth and precision as calling the other "stoopy-poopyhead."

The other side has their own set of meaningless insults. Homophobe, while properly applied in some cases, is similarly meaningless when applied to any person with a reservation about same sex unions or the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals. On certain political websites I follow, the standard put-down is neo-liberal - a handy-dandy insult with even less meaning than fascist.

I have focussed, in this thread, on the odious use of the word "fascism." Sarah knows full well that the word evokes the horrors of Nazism and Holocaust - and I have no doubt that was precisely her intent.

Godwin's Law maintains that the longer an online argument continues, the likelihood that someone will invoke this odious exaggeration increases, eventually becoming inevitable. Some corollaries of Godwin's Law maintain that the first person to do so automatically loses.

Dan Martins said...

Samantha writes, "The intention all along was to form a "new communion" and not with the ABC. ...One question Fr Dan.. Did you know this to be the case when you were here?

I can't say that I knew it, Samantha, but I certainly smelled it. If you check my blog posts from around this time last year, you will see what I mean. This is why, when I helped craft the language of the now adopted revision to Article II of the DSJ constitution, I (and others) insisted that communion with the See of Canterbury be specified as part of the diocese's identity. With Bishop Venables' comments even today re the future of the Anglican Communion, that identity appears to be in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

RE: " . . . should toss off accusations about boilerplate . . . "

Just pointing out Malcolm's MO, now demonstrated on more than one thread. 1) Sweep into a blog thread, make all sorts of assertions, 2) conservatives respond with assertions of their own, 3) Malcolm is outraged that they should do so, then when the conservatives respond by standing by their opinions and assertions, 4) attempts to expand on their original statement ["expand" being a kinder word than what it actually is], and continue his denunciations for a conservative actually stating what she believes out loud and on a blog. Each time, the conservative points out Malcolms "expansion" and exaggeration. 5) Each time, Malcolm then moves on to another expansion and exaggeration, after the previous ones were pointed out.

Since Malcolm has done precisely this on several threads here, it's now standard boilerplate, and my pointing out Malcolm's rhetorical trend is something that conservatives can refer back to time and time again here. And we will. ; > )

Always good to know an MO and point it out.

RE: " . . . or Sarah's ridiculous accusation of fascism . . . "

So ridiculous that Malcolm deliberately expands on it and adds to it, repeatedly in order to try to get others as riled up about the original and excellently descriptive adjectival description as he is. He spends a lot of time on something that he describes as "ridiculous" . . .

RE: " . . . The way in which these words are used has made them empty rhetoric."

Naw -- 'cause if they were "empty" folks like Malcolm wouldn't be screeching in outrage over somebody describing her national church leadership's actions as fascist and then trying to add to them, as well. ; > ) If they were empty, Malcolm would have smiled, ignored them, and moved on.

But they aren't empty. And it stings to know that conservative Episcopalians regard the actions of their national church's leadership as fascist.

And it's especially galling and vexing that they now get to say what they believe about those actions on a blog. That's what gets Malcolm the most riled. Let the conservatives think it in their pews and living rooms. But don't say it out loud.


RE: "Godwin's Law maintains that the longer an online argument continues, the likelihood that someone will invoke this odious exaggeration increases, eventually becoming inevitable."

First, Malcolm does not even know what Godwin's law is. Godwin's law does not state that someone cannot use a simple adjectival description of a leader's actions. Godwin's law is quite simple and clear, so that one can tell when his predictions as occurred in a thread: ""As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

When someone states something about the actions of one's church's leadership and one does not like that statement, one cannot simply "refer one to Godwin's law" and think that that seals the matter. Although . . . it's a nice try, I guess, when one has failed to make one's case, and when one is infuriated that the commenter continues to state clearly and assertively what she believes about the actions of her national church's leadership.

A pity that it was Malcolm -- in his desperate eagerness and frenzy to expand on the commenter's assertions -- who actually descended to the rhetoric that Godwin's Law so simply predicts. Not surprising -- but a pity. And it was in his fourth comment on this thread.

Sarah

Samantha said...

Thanks Fr Dan,
Is it not clear to folks now, why there is so much distrust of JDS?
As I have said before, I will not speak to C&C's etc, no canon lawyer, here, so I won't go down the road of whether or not he was deposed correctly, but at what point should he not be held accountable for selling off churches, lying, deliberately putting in deposed priests,and taking funds from the sale of those churches and putting into a Foundation for which is set to pay for litigation? They lied about that too, at the Deanery meeting SC members said "no parishioner funds will be used to pay for impending and anticipated litigation". Well who do they think paid for the churches??
There are two groups that my heart aches for, the young clergy that are wonderful and have been duped, and the older folks who can't understand all of this mess. Forget about the lawsuits on property issues, I think he needs to be brought up on charges for elder abuse. I have always been respectful in my speak of JDS, but this is an abomination.Its like peeling back an onion.
Well Fr Dan, perhaps thats why you left. We're just left with this. Okay, I know I sound a bit teed off, in fact, I am just pissed. My husband and I have spent 3 years doing everything we can to keep the church doors open, every fund raiser you could think of, to keep the wolf away from the door,the constant threat we were going to be the next St Dunstan's. No votes at Convention in prior years, we were in a mission status yet JDS hadn't sent any money to TEC for three years and he still had a vote at the HOB if he had attended. So the rest of you who blog here, you will truly never understand. Go about what "processes" you think should or could have been followed, what was correct or not, but morally, ethically and in the true sense of Christian spirit, he is wrong, wrong wrong and he needs to go, whatever mechanism it takes, send him south to Buenos Aires, I don't care, but out of the Valley, we have enough pollution. Okay, I am now going to pray for forgiveness for my harsh words, but this is so very very hurtful, again. Samantha

JamesW said...

Samantha: I hear your hurt and distrust. Here's the thing though...change the names of the bishops to Katherine Jefferts-Schori or any number of liberal TEC bishops, and your note could be written by countless others in TEC.

The truly sad result of what has happened in TEC is the complete and absolute loss of trust in TEC's leadership (and I mean both TEC's institutional liberal leadership and the conservative leadership of the various factions) and between the actual factions themselves. Much of this loss of trust is entirely understandable.

Losing trust can happen in a moment. Rebuilding trust takes a lifetime.

Threatening litigation, depositions, abuse of canonical process, etc., is the one, certain guaranteed way NOT to rebuild trust. Yet that is the PB's mandated course of action.

I look back to the Dar Es Salaam Communique with its balanced, "outside of our mess" Pastoral Council and wonder what sort of wise council and pastoral advice they could have given those of us suffering in TEC. And I wonder why the PB and her supporters squelched this last hope for rebuilding trust.

I now believe that the best hope for restarting a process within TEC for rebuilding trust is for the PB and her faction to be removed from power in TEC. The only way for this to happen is if the PB suffers a series of humiliating losses in the courts, resulting in the moderate liberal bishops "revolting" against her belligerent and aggressive leadership. This hope does not mean I am "againt TEC", but rather I believe that I am FOR TEC (in which I am still a parishioner and my wife a priest). TEC will not survive under KJS's continued "scorched earth" leadership style. TEC's only hope for survival is for a new leadership that will actively seek outside Anglican assistance in rebuilding trust within this Province.

Barbara said...

Wow, sounds like Samantha hasn't been in ECUSA very long, LOL! Otherwise she'd have a clue about who really left, like, decades ago, except they didn't have the courage or honesty to start something on their own or join someone else with similar principles. Nope, they wanted the legacy put there by those they believe misguided and uninclusive.

samantha said...

JamesW, Yes, there is distrust everywhere for a variety of reasons,probably a good example was my previous"blogging rant", I acknowledge my disrespect and quite frankly, don't feel good about it as it is not in my character.
I have to constantly remind myself, that I can only control what the good Lord puts in front of me, I am not going to "fix" what is wrong, nor can I change what went wrong, but will continue to work towards loving all(work in progress)and will try from a lay person's role to continue in faith and do the work in the greater Modesto area as best I can, starting with our luncheon to celebrate each of us in our journey, regardless which side of the fence we have landed.You see in my small world, my faith is not to an institution be it TEC,WWAC, but to keep focused on Christ. I apologize to anyone I may have offended in my rant.:( Samantha

Samantha said...

Actually Barbara, cradle born,baptised and confirmed in Massachusetts.Married in and children baptised,confirmed and ready to be married in. Many parishes and Dioceses along the way, albeit none quite like here.
Oh and I might add, active in every facet of church life,are my credentials good enough to speak to my faith in Christ and choice to worship within the Episcopal Church? I think so.

Malcolm+ said...

If one wishes to comment on MO, I note the very common MO among "conservatives" to toss about context-free accusations of heresy and over-the-top accusations of fascism as a means of relieving themselves of any obligation to treat "the other side" as anything but vile.

Fortunately the majority of conservatives have better manners.

JamesW said...

Malcolm: While I do not personally use the terms "facism" and "heresy" on my own initiative as I don't think they encourage discussion, I will say that they are most certainly not baseless charges against TEC's current leadership.

I have pointed out in a post above that the dictionary definition of "facism" closely tracks the climate which the PB has sought to create in TEC. Like it or not, the definition is chillingly accurate.

Same thing if you look at the definition of heresy. Heresy is basically defined as adherence to a doctrine or practice that is contrary to the truth held by the wider Church. Lambeth I.10 of 1998, and its subsequent reaffirmations, have made it very clear that homosexual behavior is contrary to Scriptural and catholic truth held by the Anglican Communion. The rest of the global catholic Church would agree. Therefore, if TEC holds to a position - i.e. that homosexual behavior is something to be celebrated and blessed - that is contrary to that taught and held by the wider Anglican and catholic Church, then it is engaging in heresy.

Phil said...

That’s about it, Sarah. It nearly caused me to spit coffee all over the monitor, but Malcolm now says, “I agree that it is possible - and in certain circumstances may even be reasonable - for a person to assume that heresy is common within a church body.”

Golly, it wasn’t reasonable when I and others did just that several threads back, and the response also wasn’t very reasonable. In fact, it consisted mostly of “random insults with all the same depth and precision as calling the other ‘stoopy-poopyhead’” – to quote another instance of Malcolm coming late to the party.

Well, whatever it takes, I guess. I’ll be charitable and assume this isn’t hypocrisy so much as “situational ethics.”

P. S. In recognition of the way the phrase is actually used by deconstructionist bloggers, may I suggest replacing “Godwin’s Law” with “Godwin’s Dodge?”

Anonymous said...

RE: "P. S. In recognition of the way the phrase is actually used by deconstructionist bloggers, may I suggest replacing “Godwin’s Law” with “Godwin’s Dodge?”"

No need -- that ploy was already taken care of by Quirk's Exception . . . "iintentional invocation of Godwin's Law is ineffectual." ;> )


Sarah

Anonymous said...

Three Cheers for Samantha! Excellent posts my dear!!!
May Christ's Inclusive love continue to surround you.
Leslie Littlefield
TEC of St. Francis

Anonymous said...

What a sad day it is to read all of this fighting. The faithful in San Joaquin are hurting and confused about a lot of what is going on, but the one thing they are not confused about is who their lord and savior is. Why do they have to be the bad people, just because they still believe the faith handed down from Christ? All they are trying to do is what God has called them to do. They want to live a good life, love and serve others.

JamesW said...

anonymous at 2:06 am - I don't think that anyone (at least I don't, and I doubt Dan does either) think of ordinary lay people who chose to ally themselves with the PB's new TEC diocese in San Joaquin are the "bad guys." In fact, I feel for you all.

Clearly, you feel abandoned and abused by your former bishop and diocese. I have met and have great respect for Bishop Schofield and I have met and have significantly less respect for leaders of Remain Episcopal (but no need to go into all that now, but they were less then honest with me on other things and I question their grasp on reality). But my opinions are not relevant to the point that you feel that you were mistreated by Bishop Schofield. Now to add to that, I personally think that you all are being played for dupes by the PB in her quest for power.

It is my guess that in a few short years you will have definitively lost all the property of the Diocese of San Joaquin (thanks to the PB's bungling) and that once that happens, the PB and the National Church will fast lose interest in you. No more $500K being thrown your way, that's for sure. You will probably become orphans pawned onto neighboring cash-starved dioceses (like my own just north of you) who really can't take on more financially needy congregations.

And this is all so sad. Sad because it wasn't necessary. There was a way to avoid all of this wrangling, or at least to adopt a more conciliar path. It was called the Dar es Salaam Communique, and the PB and HoB turned it down, electing instead to pursue a path of litigation and warfare.

It is very sad that there has been, and will continue to be, such a human toll to all of this.

I continue to believe that the best hope for an end to this civil war is for the PB and her party to be severely and publically humiliated in the secular courts, such that the moderate liberal bishops move to remove her and install a new regime that would like to pursue the path of respect and Communion reconciliation. I am hopeful that the PB actions to date may just make such a result possible.

Malcolm+ said...

Normally, the point of language is communication.

Sometimes, the point of language is precisely the opposite.

James, wisely, makes the point that there are words he does not use certain language "I don't think [it] encourage[s] discussion."

I suggest that an end to discussion is precisely the point of the way the words heresy and heretic are usually used. Calling someone a heretic removes any obligation to listen - or even to treat the other person with respect.

I have noted before that this same practice exists on the other side as well, though generally using different specific words.

The word fascism, however, is another beast entirely. Sarah claims that the word has nothing to do with Hitler, Mussolini or Franco and feigns surprise that anyone would see it so.

But ever since about 1940, the word fascism has been intrinsically linked to those characters, to that period in history. It's use DELIBERATELY evokes precisely that reference point. And the point of that deliberate evocation, of course, is to preclude any honest discussion.

It is a pity, really. Dan - whether one agrees with him or not - makes a very serious effort to engage in honest discussion. He does so without compromising his principles. But he also does it, generally, without treating those who disagree as caricatures and straw men.

Other people who comment here do the same - I note JamesW for example.

Then there are those who are interested only in the smiting of straw men.

Mea culpa for being drawn into their particular dysfunctional game.

Phil said...

Malcolm, I disagree that the use of "heresy" or "heretic" is meant to either end a discussion or remove an obligation to listen. First of all, it's actually, in my experience, pretty rare that one commenter directly accuses another of heresy. Normally (and what I have certainly done), the accusation is made that ECUSA harbors and/or promotes a range of heretical or simply non-Christian beliefs and practices.

There's a whole range of dialogue that could be held around that question - is it true; does the interlocutor see a problem with the abuses that unquestionably occur; if not, why; if so, why isn't anything done about it; what is the relationship of these issues to the sexuality agenda being pushed in the church; and so on. Far from shutting down the discussion, there's a heck of a big one I'd like to have, but the response is usually what would be called "shooting the messenger" - and that's definitely a conversation-killer.

Anonymous said...

RE: "I suggest that an end to discussion is precisely the point of the way the words heresy and heretic are usually used."

And I suggest that Malcolm merely wishes for certain commenters to cease expressing their opinions. It's clear that Malcolm didn't want a "discussion" or "conversation" -- and neither did I with him. But Malcolm simply could not resist being outraged over my open and public expression of beliefs.

What Malcolm wants is for commenters with whom he ardently disagrees not to say what they believe out loud.

I'll continue stating what I believe, out loud, with zero interest in holding a discussion with Malcolm.

What will be interesting is . . . will Malcolm be able to resist the primary drive he expresses on so many threads here -- which is to declare that other commenters should not express certain opinions on this blog.

I'll be thrilled if he's able to resist that drive, as I have no need or desire to convince Malcolm of anything at all. I merely wish to state my beliefs publicly.

And I'll continue doing so. And -- should Malcolm choose to respond to those expressions of belief -- then I may choose to respond to his responses.

And that will result in the most interesting exchanges that have occurred on this thread.


Sarah

Anonymous said...

Sarah, will you marry me?b

Anonymous said...

james w 2:32 AM
I agree with everything you said, I stand firm behind John-David Schofield, I am not a member of the SC.