Attention: Posting will be nil or little for the next two weeks as I will have no regular access to the internet --only at Starbucks or the public library.
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Attention: Posting will be nil or little for the next two weeks as I will have no regular access to the internet --only at Starbucks or the public library.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Tensions between the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies are high, as are relationships between the Executive Council and the staff at 815. Some bishops have even discussed encouraging a candidate to run against Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies. Bishop Sauls seems, on one level to be sensitive to this. His power point presentation includes the following:
Read it allhttp://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/episcopal_church/bishop_sauls_reform_proposal_i.html
Saturday, September 24, 2011
The Episcopal Forum of South Carolina (EFSC) reported today that the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church (TEC) has announced that resolutions passed by the Diocese of South Carolina Convention meeting in February, 2011 have been deemed null and void. You can read the correspondence between TEC and legal counsel for EFSC on EFSC’s website.
The Diocese of South Carolina explains their resolution: “The Diocese of South Carolina, as a founding Diocese of the Episcopal Church, has freely exercised its sovereignty in acceding to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. The changes in the Title IV section of the Canons of The Episcopal Church contradict the Constitution of The Episcopal Church and represent both an unacceptable change in our polity and an indefensible infringement upon the due process rights of all the clergy of this Diocese. Protection of the sovereignty of the Diocese, consistent with the Constitution of The Episcopal Church and the right to due process for its clergy, requires that accession to the Canons of The Episcopal Church be removed. This change preserves our ability to continue under the Constitution of the Episcopal Church.”
You can read all of the Episcopal Forum’s article.
UPDATE: The Anglican Curmudgeon offers his analysis here.
· “So, What Will South Carolina Do?” (May 19th, 2011)
· Declaration of Removal (October 27th, 2010)
· +Mark Lawrence Responds to Episcopal Forum (September 24th, 2010)
· Proposed Resolutions for the DSC Reconvened Convention (September 15th, 2010)
· Virginia Supreme Court Ruling Released (updated) (June 10th, 2010)
Friday, September 23, 2011
It’s interesting to note that the TEC-Pgh diocese has broken off negotiations with our parishes because in their words, “we broke confidentiality”. All Saints’
When TEC-Pgh back in February of this year informed us they would negotiate with our parishes, for our property which they had been awarded title of by the courts, the TECsters listed a number of pre-conditions to which we had to agree in order to begin the actual negotiations. We have never agreed to these pre-conditions one of which is confidentiality. So how could one violate something in which one has not agreed to?
All Saints’ never had one negotiating session with TEC. They had an exchange of one letter each. TEC’s response to All Saints’ best offer they could make was a form letter of impossible demands – a non-starter. All Saints’ had no alternative but to leave their property.
And it all blew up in TEC’s face. What’s next? Nobody knows.
I think it’s all off at least until after the March election of the new TEC bishop but what do I know.
On Wednesday and Thursday I attended the Annual Clergy Conference at
The Lebhar’s biblical theme was “The Wilderness” and they used texts from the Old Testament, mainly Exodus and Deuteronomy along with stories from their own life, marriage and ministry to illustrate their points.
My role was to organize the “entertainment” during the fun time on Wednesday evening. It was like an unscripted, unpracticed talent show, we had a magic act, two weirdly funny Irish ballads sung, a few funny prose readings and a skit that I wrote and was one of the co-leads with John Fierro. John and I have done this routine now for three years. He and I are two clergy Chauncey and Biff and we are meeting at clergy conference and are reviewing diocesan events of the year past (since the last clergy conference).
This year’s skit involved the negotiations or lack thereof. We poked fun at the Bishop and the Canon and TEC and anybody else that came to mind but mostly ourselves. The skit included cameo appearances from Joseph Martin, Kathy Walzer, Kua Apple and Keith Pozzuto. I emailed a copy of it to a diocesan staffer who emailed me back, “Too funny. You do know how to push the envelope. How did it go over?” My response, “The Bishop was okay with it -- at least he said that to me and everybody else. There were also a lot of ad libs from Joseph, Kua and Keith. The key is to end it on a positive note which we did.” And back to me, “Cool. Sorry I missed it. I am going to try to make it next year for the whole time”.
The times of intercession were quite heartfelt and moving, the worship was great – Paul Cooper is a talented pianist and picks great hymns and praise choruses. Canon Hays shared a bit of her experience in breaking her leg in a golf cart accident and the painful recovery and spiritually life changing aftermath. It was also the first clergy conference for St David's newly ordained deacon Rege Turocy and he thoroughly enjoyed the entire two days.
Prior to realignment, our conference began on Wednesday and ran through lunch on Friday. So now we arrive at Wednesday – ugh! and go through late afternoon on Thursday, though the troops start thinning after Thursday breakfast and by the end we were probably a third to half smaller than our size at the start.
Before realignment, the diocese had subsidized the conference fee. Prior, it was $65; it is now $125. The diocese had received a $10,000 grant each year from the Widow’s Corporation of the Episcopal Church for clergy wellness which was used primarily for the clergy conference among other things. Also, prior to realignment the Clergy Association helped foot the bill for the adult beverages – no more. Not to worry, we still had plenty of beer and vino. And the Bishop’s Fund Inc. had subsidized whitewater rafting, golf or cycling on first morning – again no more. These are not to be construed as complaints, however: they are observations of change and of fond memories about times past and are but a small price to pay for a being in a new Province and a changed diocese -- all for the better.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Calling upon the Council of Bishops“The United Methodist Church needs clear and prophetic leadership right now,” says the Rev. Ed Robb III, senior pastor of the 9,200-member Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas. “As clergy, we are asking the Council of Bishops to make a clear and concise statement supporting our denomination’s stance on marriage and human sexuality.”
United Methodist pastors of large and strategic congregations from across the nation are calling upon the Council of Bishops to issue a clear statement of support for the denomination’s standards regarding marriage and homosexuality. Good News applauds the leadership of the Revs. Tom Harrison, Charles Kyker, Edmund Robb III, Ken Werlein, and Steve Wood in spearheading the communication to the United Methodist bishops. An additional 54 pastors joined the effort.
Read it all
9/19 Update: Clergy signers (713) Laity signers (1581)9/28 Update: Clergy signers (1662) Laity signers (4991)
Sunday, September 18, 2011
This story is almost beyond comprehension. It is so unsettling and so very sad. Thanks Sarah Hey of SFIF for bringing this to light. DDW+Thirty years ago, I was in the ninth month of my second pregnancy when I received what was a very unsettling referral for a sonogram, which was not nearly as routine in those days. My eyes never once left the technician’s face as she studied the monitor. You can imagine my doubled apprehension as she left the room without offering me the small mercy of that nonchalant, “everything-is-normal-and-on-track” smile. When the OB-GYN followed her back into the room moments later, I really needed him to compensate for the technician’s serious breach of sonogram etiquette. Instead, he informed me that I was pregnant with twins.
I left that appointment just as frightened as every other woman who has ever received the same news. At the time, I already had a 23-month-old daughter; my financial resources, while not as limited as those of many new mothers, were light years away from reassuring; and my mental preparations had been for one baby, not two.As the news began to sink in over the following few days, however, my fear got some competition from a growing awareness of my personal strength. I was still terrified, naturally, but on some level I made a decision to battle that fear, to refuse to let it take me without a fight. I remember throwing open the phone book (the Google of the ’80s), and aggressively tracking down the contact information for the local Twins & Multiples club.In “The Two Minus One Pregnancy” article in The New York Times Magazine (Aug. 14), Ruth Padawer interviews women who, after becoming pregnant with twins using fertility drugs and procedures, decide to undergo a selective reduction. The women describe with illuminating candor their fears of the challenges of birthing two newborns at once; of not being the best they can be to all of their children, including those already born; of being spread too thin. And so they abort one of the twins.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Another Clergy Funeral in Pittsburgh: Bp Walter Righter - originally posted by The Lead @ episcopalcafe.com
Note: Walter Righter, soon after ordination as a priest in the early 1950s, served as rector of All Saints' Church in Aliquippa PA in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
Word has been received that the Rt. Rev. Walter Righter, retired bishop of Iowa, died this morning. Bishop Righter was tried for heresy in 1996 for ordaining a partnered gay man.
In the fall of 1990, Barry Stopfel was ordained a deacon in the Diocese of Newark. Stopfel is gay and, at the time of his ordination, was living "in a sexual partnership" with another man. The assistant bishop of Newark, the Rt. Revd Walter Righter, was facing a church court over his decision to ordain the gay man. On May 15, 1996, an Episcopal Church court dismissed charges against Righter. The Court held that neither the doctrine nor the discipline of the Church currently prohibit the ordination of a non-celibate homosexual person living in a committed relationship.
Thirty six bishops signed a statement in support of Righter's actions:
"We the undersigned recognize the witness of the Rt. Rev. Walter C. Righter to the Christ who lived, died and rose for the salvation of all. Walter Righter's trial is a trial of the Gospel, a trial of justice, a trial of fairness, and a trial of the church. We stand with Bishop Righter. We feel charged as Bishop Righter is charged. We feel on trial as Bishop Righter is on trial. Should he be found guilty, we are guilty. Should Bishop Righter be sentenced, we will accept his sentence as our own."
The Rt. Rev. Walter Cameron Righter
October 23, 1923 - September 11, 2011
The funeral will be Thursday at 11:00 a.m. at Calvary Episcopal Church in Pittsburgh, PA.
Clergy funerals, especially for long serving and beloved clerics, are a big deal. There is usually a big turn out of priests and deacons. When beloved priest, the Rev. Don Matthews, died some years ago there were about 85 clergy vesting and processing at his funeral service at Trinity Cathedral. And usually the bishop of the diocese presides at such affairs. Yesterday by my count there were 21 priests, 10 deacons and Bishop John Rodgers present at the Rev. Jamie Forrest’s funeral service at Church of the Ascension,
Clergy funerals are also one of the few, if only opportunities, that the priests and deacons from the TEC-Pgh Diocese and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh have had interaction since October 2008. I am thinking of the attendance at the funerals of Don Gross and Barbara Knotts. There were a fair number of clergy from TEC-Pgh that attended those two services.
But I guess the dust has settled and the Great Divide in
I'll report if any TEC clergy attend the memorial service at St. David's on Monday evening (with Abp Duncan presiding).
Friday, September 9, 2011
Diktat or Negotiating in Good Faith ... What Does It Mean? 4th and Final Part Once - "All Negotiations Have Been Frozen"
TEC-Pgh blogger Lionel Deimel has said: 'we [the TEC-Pgh Diocese] hold most of the cards so this is more like a plea bargain than a negotiation between equals'. From the TEC perspective, they probably think we should be grateful that they are even willing to offer negotiations to us. They don’t have to --which is true?"
I guess I am a prophet. I predicted that unless the TEC-Pgh dropped their draconian demands, (which by the way are a violation of the 1st amendment rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association), there would be no negotiations. Guess what, TEC-Pgh apparently has ended the negotiations --- at least for now.
At Jamie Forrest’s funeral service on Saturday I had an interesting conversation with a friend about the so-called negotiations that have yet to take place between the TEC-Pgh diocese and our parishes, or shall I say, their “non-participating” parishes. Other than St. Philip’s, none of our parishes have embraced their generous offer of disaffiliation and fair market value. And the negative publicity, I am told, following the St. James and All Saints’ debacles apparently isn’t sitting well with the Monroeville think tank either. My friend stated that as a result, at a meeting last week between three TEC-Pgh diocesan leaders and two clergy of our diocese, it was stated that [all] negotiations have been frozen and TEC-Pgh will await the final ruling by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and then most likely unroll a different approach. After all, TEC can wait us out, given Judge James ruling, time is on their side --not ours.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Monday, September 5, 2011
From the Rev Steve Wood's blog "Treading Grain" : Steve is rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Church Mt. Pleasant SC. St. Andrew's left the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina in 2009 with their property largely because of the graciousness of Bishop Mark Lawrence.
Ran across this excellent letter to the editor by Peter Moore in today’s paper. As you would expect, Peter is brilliant.
Here’s a clip:
Professor Richard Nunan is right that at times Christians have been intolerant of people with homophile sexual desires for reasons other than specifically Christian ones. But his association of changing views of homosexuality with changing views of slavery and women betrays a lack of biblical understanding.
Views of women and slavery have changed in part because people rediscovered the true meaning of Scripture that layers of culture and tradition had obscured.
Paul’s great statement that “in Christ there is neither male nor female, slave nor free” (Gal. 3:28) shows how far in advance of its culture the Bible really was. But his argument that because revisionist scholars have a variety of interpretations about the biblical passages about homosexuality the church should stop calling it “sinful” fails to recognize that these agenda-driven scholars have not gained universal acceptance of their views.
These “revisionist” scholars, are just that — eager to bend Scripture to say something it doesn’t say. Which of them, for example, has been willing to engage Dr. Robert Gagnon’s landmark volume “The Bible and Homosexual Practice”?
Their widespread silence in dealing with his comprehensive analysis of what the Bible actually says on this subject is deafening. (See www.robgagnon.net)
In my last posting on All Saints' Church vacating their property (which I updated once as well) I mentioned in the original posting and in the update there had been no comment from the TEC-Pgh Diocese although Communications maven Rich "Baghdad Bob" Creehan was quoted in the newspaper accounts and no blog entries from TEC-Pgh bloggers Dr. Lionel Deimel, PhD and Dr. James Simons, DMin.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
NEW YORK — Christian conservatives are condemning Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to bar clergy-led prayer at the 10th anniversary commemoration of the terrorist attacks, calling the program an insult. Others wonder whether the mayor is trying to dodge the potentially thorny issue of including a Muslim representative.
The mayor's office says the annual event focuses on relatives of Sept. 11 victims and has never included clergy invocations. Bloomberg has said it would be impossible to include everyone who would like to participate.
Hard to Believe
From the Wall Street Journal and Associated Press - Read it All
Jamie Forrest went home to be with His Lord this morning at 10:30 AM. He had a long and fruitful ministry in the Diocese of Pittsburgh serving his last 16 years at St. David's. I have known Jamie for over 25 years and we served on staff at St. David's for the first 2.5 years of my tenure as senior pastor and rector with lots of joy together. He was a great friend and a wonderful mentor.
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Another congregation in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh has decided to abandon its building, saying that it couldn't meet the financial or ecclesiastical demands that the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh made during negotiations for the property.