Sunday, September 30, 2007

San Francisco's Grace Cathedral welcomes Presiding Bishop

From EpiscopalLife Online, a story on today's visit to Grace Cathedral in San Francisco by Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori:

. . . Moderating the forum, Grace Cathedral Dean Alan Jones asked the bishops why media reports varied so significantly in their coverage of the bishops' meeting. The New York Times coverage, for example, has been critiqued as heavily skewed toward views and voices of dissident clergy, while the Associated Press was said to have captured more fully the compromise measure of "restraint."

The range of coverage "reflects the House" itself, Jefferts Schori said, pointing to the "variety of opinions reflected" in both the membership and its September 25 statement.

Asked by Jones to bring "a sense of proportion" to the current conflict, the Presiding Bishop cited reports that of the Episcopal Church's more than 7,600 congregations, some 45-60 of those have experienced votes by a majority of parishioners to affiliate with an overseas Anglican diocese. "That is well under 1 percent" of total congregations, and many of those continue in name and mission as Episcopal congregations within their dioceses, Jefferts Schori said. [I wonder how this corresponds with the new ECUSA stats that are now out?]

Jones further reported that active diocesan bishops of some five of the Episcopal Church's 110 total dioceses participated in a September 25-28 "Common Cause Partnership" meeting in Pittsburgh seeking a realigned structure for Anglicanism in North America.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, meanwhile, has affirmed previously that he will not recognize in North America Anglican Provinces other than the U.S.-based Episcopal Church, the Anglican Church of Canada, and the Anglican Church of Mexico.

Primates and other groups within a number of the Anglican Communion's 38 member Provinces are in solidarity with the positions of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada, Jefferts Schori added. [Huh?] She further cited international learning that is occurring around the Episcopal Church's baptismal covenant to "respect the dignity" of all people. [Baptism to me is now being treated as a magic spell - a little water dunking, a few liturgical words, and one can do whatever one wants with no consequences, because one has been baptized.] A similar covenant is not in place in the vast majority of Anglican Provinces, the Presiding Bishop said.

Laity should be more widely involved in international conversations about the shape and direction of Anglicanism, said Andrus, bishop of the California diocese since 2006 and previously bishop suffragan of the Diocese of Alabama.

For the morning's liturgy, Andrus joined Jones and the procession in meeting the Presiding Bishop at the cathedral's great doors, replicas of Ghiberti's Renaissance masterpieces adorning the cathedral baptistery in Florence, Italy. After three knocks outside the San Francisco cathedral, the Presiding Bishop entered through its doors, and was later welcomed with a standing ovation.

The Presiding Bishop also blessed a new stone labyrinth [of course she did!] recently completed inside the cathedral nave. . ..

Read it all.

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