My friend Bruce Robison of the TEC-Pgh Diocese informed me in a comment on my blog entry,“The 146th Convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh" that the more liberal candidate Moni McIntyre defeated the more conservative candidate Jim Shoucair in the clergy order for the open slot on the Standing Committee by a one vote margin. This makes Bruce the only “conservative” cleric left on that TEC-Pgh body. Moni, Leslie Reimer and George Werner are the other priests. In 2009 three of the four Standing Committee clergy were conservative, now three of four are liberal. And Jim is probably among the most, if not the most respected of the conservative clergy in the TEC-Pgh diocese. And if he can't get elected, well . . . .! Bruce has said that electing Jim or Moni makes little difference, they were both very respected and supported. Maybe little difference for TEC-Pgh but perhaps a big difference for us.
It seems Jim Simons’ Grand Scheme for Pittsburgh to be a voice of orthodoxy in TEC has, in three short years, run out of gas. All I can say to the conservatives in TEC-Pgh: "How’s staying in working for you?" Other than ensuring a continuing national voice for Dr. Simons, I am not sure you gained much.
Bishop Price in his recent letter said: “the Episcopal Diocese will continue to invite all former Episcopalians to return to active participation in the Episcopal Church, and will continue to reassure all ACNA congregations who may be receptive to this message of reconciliation that if they did choose this path there would be no repercussions.” While I appreciate Bishop Price’s sentiment, I don’t agree that returning to the Episcopal Church represents a biblical understanding of reconciliation, as I understand it. Reconciliation is based on mutual respect and recognition. Offering us reconciliation while refusing to recognize our diocese and insisting on disaffiliation is disingenuous at the very least.
To put the shoe on the other foot, I could just as easily say to Jim Shoucair and the other conservatives in TEC-Pgh. "Let's be reconciled. You’re more than welcome to realign into the ACNA and the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh even now. We miss you and we still love you! And we won't charge you anything nor will there be any repercussions either". That, however, is where the similarity ends. We don't claim your parishes property and never have and never will.
Please know our diocese not only has put the Episcopal Church in the rearview mirror, for many they’ve thrown that rearview mirror away. It’s all behind us and we’re ever moving forward – we’ve never been better. So come on over you won’t regret it one bit. You just have to get over not having that Cadillac pension plan and perhaps not being able to keep your buildings. It’s costly in that sense but you can never put a price tag on the peace of mind that will come your way.