Hopes for Negotiations and A Call to Prayer
An Open Letter to the Clergy and People of The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and to The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh of the Episcopal Church USA
As we prepare to enter into good-faith negotiations, we ask the people of our two dioceses, and all Christian people in our communities, to pray that these negotiations will lead to fair and godly outcomes that will enable the mission of our churches to thrive.
We hope and pray that in the coming days the leaders and people in both our dioceses will find a way to seek blessing on one another. Specifically, we offer the following overarching principles in the hope that they might characterize the spirit of our efforts to resolve our differences:
1) Mutual Recognition:
- that the members of each diocese may be able to recognize the other as seeking to be faithful to their Christian call as they perceive it, and to their conscience.
2) Mutual Forgiveness:
- that the members of each diocese will work to forgive perceived wrongs and failures of charity.
3) Mutual Blessing and Release:
- that anticipated settlements would not seek to damage the health and future of one another’s ministries.
It is our prayerful goal that our negotiations:
1) Assure that all the parishes and each diocese can survive and thrive;
2) Enable us all to move past litigation and focus on our respective missions;
3) Demonstrate our commitment to be at God’s best as we work to resolve our differences, mindful of the public and private impact of our disagreements.
Signed by clergy & lay leaders of the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh gathered for a meeting at St. Martin’s, Monroeville on Saturday, March 5, 2011.
I have been at the beach in Florida enjoying some respite (this is our "summer" vacation) and doing some thinking. The above letter was commended to the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh by the President of the ACNA Diocese of Pittsburgh for their consideration and to jointly sign on to. His appeal was rejected.
In January 0f 2008 13 "conservative" priests of the Episcopal Diocese stood up to the majority and prevailing views of the Bishop and leadership of the diocese and publicly opposed "realignment" while maintaining their commitment to orthodoxy. Three of those clergy subsequently became Standing Committee Presidents of the TEC-Pgh diocese. Two others are currently on the TEC diocesan staff as Canons. One of those leaders proudly boasts on the masthead of his blog: "an Episcopal priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh who's committed to orthodoxy and who has remained in the Episcopal Church". I guess he and the others remain in the Episcopal Church by keeping his head down in the duck and cover mode while repeating the mantra "if you want to get along, go along" and neither publicly defending orthodoxy nor publicly challenging heterodoxy.
These priests had the intestinal fortitude to stand up to their bishop and the majority prevailing view in 2008 --why not now? Why didn't they sign the Open Letter in March and why not do it now?
In addition some of TEC-Pgh priests have claimed Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina to be their personal friend. Why no public support for him. As far as I have read, only the rector of St Andrew's Highland Park has called into question this latest foray against +Mark.
Why no outcry from the so called conservative bishops and leaders remaining in TEC against this current outrage? Why no public statements from Bps Bill Love, John Howe, Jim Stanton, Dan Martins, or Ed Little?
It all makes you want to go hmmmm?
Like I said, "if you want to get along, go along"