Monday, March 31, 2008

San Joaquin: The Protest text

From Surrounded, website of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin [boldface mine]:

This text was handed to the person identified as the Secretary of Convention for inclusion in the minutes of the Meeting. The person identified as Parliamentarian (and Chancellor) ruled that it could not be included except by approved Motion from the floor of the Meeting.

To be consistent with our position of not acting in any legal fashion at the meeting, we chose not to do so, nor to ask anyone else to do our work for us. We knew that some of the proceedings were being recorded and there would be the potential of some sort of media posting of the protest. We therefore chose to exhibit the complete prepared text of the protest here on Surrounded. In posting, a few grammatical errors have been corrected from the hand-written text used at the microphone, as well as, in two places, a one or two-word edit of a phrase where the meaning was not immediately clear.


Presented as a point of personal priviledge before the Special Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin held Saturday, March 29, 2008 in Lodi, California, at approximately 10 am.

St. John Parish, Tulare – Protest/Objection Statement #1


Read by George Sutton:

We greet you all in the name of Jesus Christ.

We are here at this proceeding by choice to be considered as Episcopalians and a part of this Diocese voluntarily signing our allegiance as Episcopalians.

The signing of the allegiance as Episcopalians prior to any Episcopal Convention is an unwarranted and unprecedented act especially for already certified delegates from an Episcopal Congregation or Diocese.

Nevertheless, we have come to publicly state our place in this Diocese and because we do have a place, we object and protest the canonical legality of this meeting as an official legislative convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

We will not be casting any votes for any measure or resolution presented at this meeting.

By direction of the Canons only the ecclesiastical authority of a diocese can call a special convention if there is no Bishop. That responsibility falls to the Standing Committee as per Title 3, Canon 13. The Standing Committee has not called this special convention. Therefore, it would be our understanding that any decision made today on behalf of the Diocese cannot be implemented because they are null and void.

Read by Gillian Busch:

Beyond the issues we have just raised concerning canonical status of this meeting, we are also very concerned about a precedent of “non-inclusion” set by the Steering Committee. It came to our attention, by un-official notice, that a Steering Committee for the re-organization of the Diocese would be established. In that notice, it was stated that a Steering Committee would be composed of one (1) priest and one (1) lay person from each congregation that chose not to leave the Episcopal Church.

St. John Parish, in Tulare, a Parish in good standing, never having left the Episcopal Church was not included in the Steering Committee process.

As a result, a clear voice for a canonically compliant path for the Diocese was not followed.

George Sutton, Elected Delegate from Parish Annual Meetings (1/07 and 1/08, respectively)
to 2007 Diocesan Convention (held 12/07)
and 2008 Diocesan Convention (canonically scheduled for 10/08)
Senior Warden
St. John Parish, Tulare

Gillian P. Busch, Elected Delegate from Parish Annual Meetings (1/07 and 1/08, respectively)
to 2007 Diocesan Convention (held 12/07)
and 2008 Diocesan Convention (canonically scheduled for 10/08)
Vestry Member
St. John Parish, Tulare

The Rev. Robert G. Eaton, Clergy Delegate by Canonical Residency
Rector
St. John Parish, Tulare

Read objection #2 here.

"Schorades in San Joaquin"

Excellent perspective from Chancellor in comments at the Stand Firm posting, The Protest Text from the Episcopal Parish of St. John’s, Tulare, at a Meeting in Lodi, California [boldface mine]:

. . . the acts of this “Convention” are as null and void as were the purported “depositions” of +Schofield and +Cox. In addition to its being convoked without the authority of the Standing Committee, I question how the “Convention” could be said to have a legal quorum with only 43 lay delegates and 21 clergy from 18 out of 47 congregations. Once again, TEC can’t have it both ways: if, according to TEC’s “polity”, no parishes can leave TEC, but only people, then they needed delegates from at least 24 parishes to have a legal quorum. If, on the other hand, they are measuring their “quorum” from just those parishes who are in Remain Episcopal, then they have admitted in law that the other parishes have left the diocese, so that they no longer count towards a quorum.

The fact remains that a fully legal quorum of properly convoked convention delegates voted to change the DSJ Constitution and Canons. No rump minority has the legal authority to convene afterward and declare itself a legal “quorum” to undo these changes. What we are seeing, at last, is the emptiness behind the supposed legal strategy of 815: this will not fly. This will not even survive a demurrer under California law. (Note: a demurrer is where the defendant says: “So what if everything the plaintiff accurately says is true? There is no case made out where a court needs to step in and provide relief.” And here the operative word is “accurately”. The plaintiff, for example, cannot file a suit alleging that he is the lawful heir of Napoleon and so is entitled to be the current ruler of France. No court is required to accept such allegations as true, and no court is required to accept the Schorades in San Joaquin as lawful acts of a duly constituted Diocese.)

Check it out.

Presiding Bishop: San Joaquin ‘could become a pattern for other places’

From The Living Church [boldface mine]:

. . . The action by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the remaining parishioners could become a model for dealing with breakaway dioceses, Bishop Jefferts Schori told TLC during a break in the convention.

“This is the first time this has happened, but it could become a pattern for other places,” she said.

The convention voted unanimously by voice vote to reverse the actions taken by delegates to the annual convention last December that made the Diocese of San Joaquin the first entire diocese to leave The Episcopal Church in its 219-year history. In December, delegates voted overwhelmingly to affiliate with the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone which has its metropolitan headquarters in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

On March 29 the convention voted to remove language from the diocese’s constitution, which had included the words “The Diocese of San Joaquin is a full member of the Anglican Province of the Southern Cone of South America.”

The movement to restore the diocese to full standing in The Episcopal Church appears to represent a small minority of the former diocese, which stretches from Sacramento to Bakersfield in inland California. But Bishop Jefferts Schori encouraged the delegates to move forward. . .

A majority of members present for a March 12 business session of the House of Bishops voted to depose the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Bishop Jefferts Schori also refused to recognize members of the diocese’s standing committee who declined to join the Southern Cone in January.

There were two protests from the floor of the special convention. The senior warden of St. John’s Church in Tulare, Calif., George Sutton, and another vestry member, Gillian Busch, both of whom were certified delegates to the convention, objected to the canonical legality of the special convention. The two also objected to the legality of the vote to depose Bishop Schofield.

The Rev Robert G. Eaton, rector of St. John’s and one of the six disenfranchised standing committee members, objected to the Presiding Bishop’s sidelining of the standing committee.


“The only ecclesiastical authority that can authorize the calling of a convention when there is no bishop is the standing committee,” said Fr. Eaton. St. John’s Church has about 145 active members, down about 20 since December, Fr. Eaton said.

Another objective of the special convention was for delegates to endorse the appointment of the Rt. Rev. Jerry Lamb, retired Bishop of Northern California, as the provisional bishop of the diocese. Bishop Lamb’s nomination was ratified and he was officially seated at a service following the convention business session.

“This convention is not canonical or valid,” Fr. Eaton said in a follow-up interview with The Living Church. He cannot recognize Bishop Lamb as bishop “until the House of Bishops gets its act together,” Fr. Eaton said, referring to the deposition of Bishop Schofield.

The Rev. Canon Brian Cox, rector of Christ the King in Santa Barbara, and leader of an international ministry of reconciliation, said there is “an opportunity to develop a model to glorify Christ and encourage reconciliation.” Canon Cox will be leading a reconciliation seminar June 11-14 at St. Anthony’s Retreat in Visalia, Calif. The convention also approved the creation of reconciliation commission to help bring people together.

But reconciliation may become more difficult as the diocese tries to assert its control over property that even in a bad real estate market could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

“That could complicate the process of reconciliation,” Canon Cox said. “It’s hard not to let hostility grow when trying to work out disputes.”. . .

Gee, ya think?

Read it all, and no, unfortunately, it's not an April Fools joke.

Pax vobiscum, or else: In recognition of the work of the Presiding Bishop in San Joaquin

From Chris Hathaway commenting at T1:9:

In Lido did she thus opine,
“No need to protest, all is fine
As elsewhere, here in San Joaquin
We say what the canons mean
I bid you peace. Now get in line.”

Hey, clever!

Is 815 going to ask for canons to intervene in conservative dioceses way before they leave?

From Brad Drell:

From the Living Church:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori made it clear Friday night that she will direct The Episcopal Church to move ahead to reconstitute the Diocese of San Joaquin and to establish control over church property swiftly. In addition, she said, she intends to begin the process of revising the denomination’s canons to allow it to deal more expeditiously with breakaway bishops.

“I expect to see revisions to the canons to deal with situations like the one that you have been living with in San Joaquin for several years,” she said.

It is the “for several years” part that has me mighty worried. So, women’s ordination becomes mandatory, as does non-celibate gay ordination as they are arguing about the Bishop of North Dakota, same sex unions become mandatory, etc.

Western Louisiana, it is time to pack our bags or surrender to the Borg. . .

Read it all.

Rick Warren launches 'purpose driven' plan in Uganda

From the Christian Post:

Megachurch pastor Rick Warren launched a national Purpose Driven Living program in Uganda over the weekend aimed at helping the country’s leaders live purposeful lives that will build up their nation.

"Our hope and prayer is that lives will be transformed and churches will be strengthened," Warren said in Uganda, according to the program’s publicity team.

"My message to individuals is to build your life on purpose, instead of prestige, possessions or pleasure. My challenge to churches is to cooperate, not compete,” said he added, “and my challenge to business and government leaders is to use their influence for the glory of God and partner with local churches in solving community problems."

The archbishop of the Anglican Church of Uganda, the Most Rev. Henry Luke Orombi, recalled initially wanting to invite Warren to Uganda after seeing the Purpose Driven Living program implemented in Rwanda.

Uganda is the second east African country to invite Warren to bring the Purpose Driven Life and Church leadership training program to the country on a national scale. The first east African country to adopt the program nationwide was Rwanda in 2005.

“I asked, why not Uganda as well?" recalled Orombi, who spearheaded the effort to bring different denominations together with business and government leaders to invite Warren.

"Uganda should be a purpose-driven nation as well,” the Anglican archbishop said. “But it takes people of purpose to build purpose driven-churches, purpose-driven communities, and a purpose-driven country. Someday, we will have a purpose-driven continent!"

According to the Hon. Rev. Canon Dr. Hamlet K. Mbabazi, the former Member of Parliament who headed the organizing committee, Warren – through his best-selling book – “has challenged us to go deeper into the Bible so we can grow stronger and reach out wider, knowing that God has called us to make a difference for Him.". . .

Read it all.

Davidson loses -- by 2!

From ESPN:

. . . Kansas wore down Stephen Curry and plucky upstart Davidson with its size and strength, holding on for a 59-57 victory Sunday that put all four No. 1 seeds into the Final Four for the first time.

"We wanted to make history," Mario Chalmers said, "and we did."

After Kansas' Sherron Collins missed with 21 seconds left, the 10th-seeded Wildcats got one last chance. Curry was double-teamed, could not get off a shot and was forced to pass to Jason Richards, whose 25-footer from the top of the key thudded off the backboard. . .

Read it all.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Rob Eaton: Episcopal flagplanter warrior of the month

From Stand Firm:

Our month has been filled with nominees for this prestigious award. We had Bishop Howe as the first bishop to speak up about the non-canonical actions of the Presiding Bishop. We had Rob Roy bustling around to various newspapers with letters to the editor. We had the Standing Committee of the Diocese of South Carolina formally protesting the non-canonical actions of the Presiding Bishop.

But I think when the histories are written -- and I might add, when the witnesses are called during the lawsuits -- the priest Rob Eaton wins the award for this brave, public action in a hostile place. Just put yourself in his shoes, and try to imagine doing such a thing at your own diocesan convention, or . . . even in your own parish's vestry meeting. It just doesn't happen that often, folks, in any organization, much less the Episcopal church.

Rob Eaton is my hero. . .

Read it all, and prayers for Fr. Rob Eaton.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Presiding Bishop's address to San Joaquin [Episcopal] diocesan convention

From EpiscopalLife Online, the full text of Katharine Jefferts Schori's address to this weekend's "diocesan convention" in San Joaquin [boldface mine]:

San Joaquin convention
March 29, 2008


I bring you Easter greetings, good news of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. As he says repeatedly to his disciples, "peace be with you," and "fear not." These may have been trying and traumatic months, but you are already clearly experiencing resurrection.

There is new hope here for a church that can tolerate and even welcome diversity. There is new hope for a reconciled community. There is above all new hope that this part of the body of Christ can focus on the needs of neighbors who need to hear the good news of God in Christ.

The varied band of people Jesus gathered around himself, whether those he healed, fed, or taught, was a surprisingly motley crew: tax collectors, political zealots -- even some calling for violent revolution, women, Jews and Samaritans, fishermen, shepherds, even more than a few Gentiles. They were certainly as diverse as those of different parties in this part of God's vineyard. Jesus was the common reason for their community, as he is for ours. And if that body could come together, then there is hope for us.

Those disciples brought others with them, and they did have their struggles over who was acceptable and who was not. As Mark's account puts it (9:38-40), "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us." Whoever is doing God's work is not beyond the possibility of relationship. Be generous in your welcome and in your reconciling work.

Those early disciples struggled in other ways, too. Not long after the resurrection, the great controversy was about whether Gentiles could be part of this gathering or not. It led to the first great council in Jerusalem, which didn't easily or fully resolve the issue. The struggles have not stopped since -- either in Jerusalem or in the wider church. Yet, when we are bound in the fellowship of the body of Christ, miracles of community and reconciliation are indeed possible.

The work ahead of this diocese in the coming months is going to be about identity, reconciliation, and mission. As you seek a renewed life together in Christ, you are going to be invited to remember who and whose you are, why you're here, and what you're going to do about it. A useful shorthand might be: identity, vocation, and mission as members of the body of Christ. I have just a few reminders as you seek answers to those questions:

1) Jesus is Lord. In the same sense that Jesus is Lord, and not Caesar, remember that no one else -- not any hierarch, not any ecclesiastical official, not any one of you, is Lord. We belong to God, whom we know in Jesus, and there is no other place we find the ground of our identity

2) We are all made in the image of God. Even when we can't see that image of God immediately, we are challenged to keep searching for it, especially in those who may call us enemy. There is pain and hurt here to be reconciled, and searching for the image of God in those we have offended and who have offended us is a central part of our reconciling vocation.

3) In baptism we discover that we are meant to be for others, in the same way that God is for us. Jesus the best evidence of that. And that means that God's mission must be the primary focus, not our own hurt or indeed anything that focuses on our own selves to the exclusion of neighbor. For when we miss the neighbor, we miss God. I believe you are already discovering that God is healing old wounds as you work together. The work is just beginning, and it may not be easy, but it is essential. Focusing on the other, the ones outside this body, is going to be a vital part of discovering resurrection. Archbishop William Temple famously said that this church is the only human institution that exists primarily for the good of those outside of it. There is plenty of need here in this part of California -- among migrant workers, single parents, young people with little sense of future or direction, returning veterans… Put your eyes upon Jesus in the form of those strangers, and you will find resurrection.

And, finally, remember that you are not alone. This part of the Body of Christ is only one limb. The rest of the Episcopal Church is with you, and will continue to be with you. A few people have joined you here today as incarnate evidence of the love of Christ, known in community. We stand with you in the firm and constant hope that this body will grow and flourish and bless the central valley of California in ways you have not yet dreamed of. And we will celebrate with you as that becomes reality.

Alleluia, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Just an FYI - the exact quote by Archbishop William Temple (1881-1944) is "Church is the only society on earth that exists for the benefit of non-members."

Reports from EpiscopalLife Online on San Joaquin Episcopalians

From EpiscopalLife Online, a story on San Joaquin Episcopalians celebrate new beginning [boldface mine]:

[Episcopal News Service – Lodi, California] A jubilant celebration of Holy Eucharist concluded the March 29 special convention in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and made official Bishop Jerry Lamb's role as provisional bishop.

"What you have been about and what I have been about these last months, weeks, days, even hours is not really about building a new diocesan structure," Lamb said during his sermon. "As I understand it, what we are about is the proclamation of the Good News that Jesus is the Christ and that we do this from within the base of our Episcopal and Anglican tradition because that's who we are: members of the Episcopal Church and members of the Anglican church."

Most of the more than 400 people who attended the convention remained for the Eucharist. Individuals from the Episcopal dioceses of Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, El Camino Real, Hawaii, Los Angeles, Nevada, Northern California, Rio Grande, San Diego and Olympia also attended.

Half of the offertory was assigned to Lamb's discretionary fund and the other half, Lamb told the congregation to loud and sustained applause, would be given to the Diocese of Louisiana, which continues to rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori led Lamb and the congregation through his formal seating as provisional bishop. That part of the service included recognition that Lamb had been duly chosen and accepted by the members of the diocese. . .

Lamb will make his first official diocesan visit March 30 to St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Stockton. Jefferts Schori will participate in Eucharist the same day at St. John's in Lodi. Later in the day she will officiate at Evensong at St. Matthew's Episcopal Church in San Andreas. . .

Read it all, as well as this story on San Joaquin Episcopalians anchor reorganization in themes of resurrection, hope:
The members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin March 29 chose their provisional bishop and other officers, and passed organizing resolutions during a convention filled with cheers and applause, and rooted in the message of resurrection. . .

When then-acting Convention Secretary the Rev. Deacon Susanne Ward called roll of the diocese's congregations, 18 of 47 responded, accounting for 43 lay delegates and 21 clergy. More than 400 people attended the convention.

Clergy delegates were asked to sign an oath of conformity to the Episcopal Church, similar to that which they were required to sign at their ordination. Lay delegates signed an oath the echoed the Baptismal Covenant. Nominees for diocesan offices also had to sign the oath.

The convention accepted without debate Jefferts Schori's recommendation of Jerry Lamb as provisional bishop of the diocese. . .

At a news conference following the morning session of the convention, [House of Deputies President Bonnie] Anderson said the lay people of diocese "realize they have authority by the Baptismal Covenant" and are "fired up to grow the church in this part of California." She added that Lamb and the rest of the clergy "are very anxious to support the ministry of the laity in this diocese.". .

The convention also elected a deputation to the 76th General Convention to be held in July 2009 in Anaheim, California.

The call to elect a new Standing Committee drew protest from the Rev. Robert Eaton, rector of St. John's Episcopal Parish in Tulare, California, and two lay delegates. Eaton, who said they wanted to protest "in as godly and Christian a manner as possible," told the convention that he had never resigned from the Standing Committee and thus should not have his seat taken away from him.

Tulare delegate George Sutton objected to what he called the "illegality" of the special convention, claiming that only the Standing Committee can call a special convention. Gillian Busch, the other lay delegate, said that the Tulare parish had not been included in the organization of the steering committee that worked toward the convention.

The Rev. Mark Hall, convention chair, replied that "this matter has been settled."

Jefferts Schori had told the participants earlier that the convention had been called because Bishop John-David Schofield had been deposed or removed from his diocesan seat after having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church, and because the Standing Committee removed because it took actions "which violated their ability to hold office in this church."

Convention also approved a $459,000 annual budget for the diocese, funded by the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church.

Clergy and lay delegates met in executive session for about a half hour to consider resolutions related to legal issues facing the reorganized diocese. . .

The convention also passed a consent calendar of resolutions that:
  • waived any potential defects in notice or other irregularities in the calling the Special Convention;. . .

Read it all, too.

South Carolina asks Presiding Bishop to postpone San Joaquin special convention

From The Living Church [boldface mine]:

Bishop Mark Lawrence of South Carolina and the diocesan standing committee have made public a letter sent March 27 to Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in which she was asked not to proceed with a “special convention” meeting she announced and personally will convene on March 29 at St. John the Baptist Church in Lodi, Calif. . .

“Additionally, for the good of our Church, we ask you not to proceed with the planned election of a replacement for Bishop Schofield until the matter of his deposition can be legally and canonically resolved,” the letter added.

“The Diocese of South Carolina demonstrated our commitment to the proper observance of The Episcopal Church Canons with two election conventions and 18 months of Standing Committee and Bishop confirmations. Because we feel so strongly that the canons were not followed in the depositions of Bishops Schofield and Cox, we must respectfully refuse to recognize the depositions, and we will not recognize any new bishop who may be elected to replace Bishop Schofield, unless and until the canons are followed.”

Neva Rae Fox, public affairs officer for Episcopal Life Online Media, and other officials from the Episcopal Church Center, were traveling to Lodi when the letter was made public. Ms. Fox said shortly after her arrival on March 28 that she had “not received any notification of any change in plans to proceed with the special convention.”. . .

Read it all.

Dan Martins: Perfect storm brewing

From Dan Martins [boldface mine]:

. . . Now the final ingredient in the Perfect Storm recipe--the one that will act as a catalyst, joining with the others to ignite a cataclysm in the Anglican world. In less than two days' time, the Presiding Bishop is intending to call to order a special convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin in the city of Lodi. While it is arguably her duty to facilitate the reconfiguration and reinvigoration of TEC's ministry in that area, the way she has gone about doing so seems to ignore, if not flout, the very Constitution and Canons of the Church she serves. This is where the canonical cloud over the deposition of Bishop Schofield becomes extremely relevant. Only in the absence of a bishop can the Presiding Bishop step in to a situation, and then only under strictly limited circumstances. But there is plausible doubt whether Bishop Schofield has in fact been properly deposed, and this calls into question any action that the special convention on Saturday will take. Of course, Bishop Schofield has no desire to be the Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin, and he has in fact submitted his resignation to the Presiding Bishop. The problem is, neither she nor the House of Bishops bothered to accept that resignation! So, do we indeed have a vacancy in the office of Bishop of San Joaquin? Practically, we do. But technically, we do not. And with as much at stake as there is in these times, with the level of trust in our leadership eroding at every turn, this is one occasion when it is imperative to be excruciatingly correct technically, to bend over backwards to avoid even the whiff of an impression of the subversion of due process.

But wait...there's more! The "unrecognized" Standing Committee--that is, the duly and canonically elected Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin--made it clear to the Presiding Bishop on several occasions that, in the event of Bishop Schofield's lawful deposition, they stood ready to perform their duty and become the Ecclesiastical Authority of the diocese, cooperating with her office as appropriate under the constitution and canons. As recently as two weeks ago, they expected to shortly be called to act in accordance with the polity of "this Church." But because of the technical glitch, they cannot recognize the See of San Joaquin as vacant, and are therefore unable to lawfully step in.

So what we will have Saturday is a Perfect Storm--an institution going rogue on itself, ignoring its own polity, its own rules . . . just because it can. The harm that this will do to the commonweal of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion is untellable. If we can't trust ourselves to live by our own laws, if the ends are seen as justifying the means, if a mistake in the past is used as a justifying precedent for repeating the same mistake, then the confidence of the minority that the protections afforded them under our polity will indeed be effective evaporates like morning mist under the desert sun. We are left to be drowned by the tyranny of the majority. If that is the offering we must make, then so be it. No such costly oblation will, in the redemptive economy of God, go wasted. But on the Last Day, I do not anticipate being envious of whose who, buoyed by a perception of power made invincible by righteousness, are in these days the instruments of such an unholy wrath.

Read it all.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Go Wildcats! Davidson beats Wisconsin; now in the final EIGHT!

From ESPN:

Curry's sweet touch continues as Davidson eludes Wisconsin

DETROIT (AP) -- Stephen Curry knocked down yet another 3, thumped his chest and pointed skyward.

Heavens yes, Davidson is marching on.

Curry scored more than 30 points for a third straight game, and the 10th-seeded Wildcats pulled off another stunner Friday night, rolling over third-seeded Wisconsin 73-56 to advance to the Midwest Regional finals.

Davidson (29-6) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 25. The Wildcats will play the winner of the Villanova-Kansas game on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.

Yes, add another defensive powerhouse to Curry's list of victims. A week after shredding Gonzaga and Georgetown's vaunted defenses, the son of former NBA sharpshooter Dell Curry dismantled the Badgers and defensive specialist Michael Flowers.

Curry outscored the Badgers all by himself in the second half, 22-20.
Wisconsin (31-5) was holding opponents to 53.9 points, best in the nation, and hadn't allowed Kansas State a single 3-point basket in the second round.

But instead of being intimidated by the big stage -- not to mention the monstrous Ford Field venue -- Curry and Davidson played with such ease and attitude they may as well have been in their cozy little gym back home.

And it did feel a little like home with Davidson's rowdy cheering section. The Board of Trustees popped for the trip -- bus fare, tickets and a hotel room -- for students who wanted to make the 11-hour ride from North Carolina, and a few hundred took them up on the offer. . .

Read it all.

Weekly update from Bishop David Anderson, AAC

Via email [boldface mine]:

Beloved in Christ,

Much of the news this week centers on the recent actions of The Episcopal Church House of Bishops (TEC-HOB) and the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori (KJS) in relation to a vote to depose retired bishop William Cox and former TEC bishop John-David Schofield (JDS). Dovetailing into these legally questionable depositions are two subsequent issues: the fact that the deposition notice for Bishop Cox misstates his title and the diocese he retired from; and the calling for a Special Convention of the Diocese of San Joaquin to elect a new bishop.

An article in the Living Church states: "In a March 12 press conference, Bishop Schori stated she had not followed rules governing the requirement that the 88-year old retired bishop be granted a speedy trial, that he be informed of the charges against him in a timely fashion, and that the consent of the church's senior bishops be solicited by the Presiding Bishop to suspend him from office pending trial." Additionally, for Bishop Cox and Bishop JDS, the issue of whether there were votes enough to depose is at stake. If the rule of law is at the whim of the chief executive, no one is safe, conservative or revisionist - it's just a case of when KJS will come for you.

Please bear with me and we will go through the details. According to TEC canon law, a quorum to conduct business is a majority of (nearly) all of the bishops in TEC (Article I.2 TEC Constitution), but it is believed that fewer than that number of bishops were present at the officially called meeting. This would mean that no binding business could be lawfully transacted. To have a quorum would have required one half plus one of the whole number of bishops entitled to vote, which includes Diocesans, Suffragans, Coadjutors, and Assisting bishops (Retired bishops and those "In assignment to positions created or endorsed by the General Convention", although having a vote, apparently do not count toward establishing a quorum).

The canonical standard to depose a bishop is harder, and requires a majority vote of (all) the whole number of the bishops entitled to vote (Canon 9:Sec.2). This does include those who are retired or in assignment to positions created or endorsed by the General Convention. The majority required to depose is of the full body as if all were present. This is a "super majority" in actuality, since seldom would the "whole number of the bishops entitled to vote" be present. The problem was that this number of bishops wasn't even in attendance that day. Even if all of those bishops in attendance had voted for deposition (and they didn't) there still would have been an inadequate number of votes. How could the Presiding Bishop and the Chancellor David Booth Beers (DBB) determine that the proceedings were lawful when they violated the canons? Because they believe they can do this and get away with it - and the truth is, in today's Episcopal Church, they may get away with it. The corruption in Christology, Theology, and Moral Discipline in TEC extends into gross arrogance and the use or disregard of Canon Law as is convenient to KJS and DBB.

This disregard for the rule of law by TEC means that KJS and her Chancellor DBB are functioning as police, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner, and most of the other TEC bishops fall in dutifully behind them. One must ask, "Where are the sometime "Windsor Bishops" in all of this? We see no protests except from Bishop John Howe and now from South Carolina; have the "Windsor Bishops" lost their voices? " Speak now or forever hold your peace," would be one way of phrasing it.

Since the legality of the deposition of JDS is in serious doubt at the present moment, the position of Bishop of San Joaquin may not be vacant! How can KJS call a Special Convention for San Joaquin, nominate Bishop Lamb as the next San Joaquin Diocesan, chair the meeting and elect her nominee? This doesn't look like a good government model for the free world, instead it looks like a pogrom against orthodox Anglican church leaders still in TEC as well as those whose departure was recent (and hastened by the abuse to which they have been subjected).

American journalist Steve Levin of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Jefferts Schori will begin to poll bishops nationally in April in an effort to move the deposition of Bishop Bob Duncan ahead to May. She has perhaps several agendas at work, one being to depose him soon so that the Archbishop of Canterbury has the excuse to "dis-invite" Bishop Duncan from Lambeth publicly and further undercut the orthodox Anglicans. A second reason is so she can declare the Diocese of Pittsburgh vacant and move her minions into position. The Diocese isn't set to formally decide on staying or going from TEC until the October-November time frame, but without a bishop, she can begin the attempt to undercut the Standing Committee of the diocese.

As preparations for TEC's 2009 General Convention begin to unfold (yes it is coming like an asteroid in Earth orbit), one area of critical note for clergy will be changes in the misconduct canons. The "Title IV Task Force II" is proposing changes which would expand the definition of the chargeable offence "conduct unbecoming a member of the clergy" to include virtually any public criticism that offended someone, including telling the truth about the outrageous conduct of the Episcopal Church or its people and policies. It would cover not only sermons, newsletter articles, and teachings in parish coffee hours, but blogs and online postings.

Unless there is massive pushback from those still in TEC, clergy will be disposed of rather easily. As soon as TEC is able to acquire a Mind Reading Machine, they can depose clergy for inner thoughts, too - why wait until they say something? What is next, you ask... perhaps if a priest is found to be reading the AAC's Encompass Magazine, or the Leaders or Weekly Updates, or the StandFirm website, or David Virtue's Virtue on Line, that will be conduct unbecoming and subject to immediate execution. The future inside TEC is going to get hotter after 2009. An inconvenient truth: Ecclesial Warming ahead!

The good news we are hearing is that responses are being received to the Global Anglican Future Conference and Pilgrimage invitations, and although there are limited seats available, there is high interest in filling those spots. The AAC is providing a working team of several of our AAC staff to help with support tasks such as the registration process, etc. Donations for scholarships for bishops needing assistance to attend GAFCON can be made online at the American Anglican Council website or at this link.

Some have jested about the Send-A-Bishop-to-GAFCON funding request: if you like the bishop you can give him a round trip scholarship and let him get home again. Seriously, do give the scholarships to GAFCON some thought and prayer.

Blessings and Peace in Christ Jesus,

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President & CEO of the AAC

San Joaquin [Episcopal] diocese prepares for its future

Note the subtitle "Reorganization effort to continue by 'taking care of people'" Maybe it's my Italian-by-marriage roots, but that can sound a little ominous, depending on how you read it!

From EpiscopalLife Online [boldface mine]:

Members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin are gathering in Stockton, California, March 28 to take two major steps in reorganizing the diocese.

The first step will be a "service for healing and forgiveness" at the Episcopal Church of St. Anne in Stockton, the temporary home of the diocese. House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson will preside at the service and Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will lead the litany for healing. The Presiding Bishop and a number of other clergy will be available to anoint people during the service.

Prior to the service, St. Anne's will host a reception for Jefferts Schori and Anderson. After the service, the Presiding Bishop will engage members of the diocese in a question-and-answer session at the church.

The Rev. Mark Hall, St. Anne's rector and acting diocesan administrator, told ENS that interest in the healing service is keen. Based on registrations, he estimates about 350 people will attend -- a number that will stretch the seating capacity of St. Anne's.

"We have people we haven't heard from in years calling and saying they want to be part of it," he said.

Hall said that while there is a "lot of joy" in the diocese at the moment and some people may be feeling "somewhat vindicated," the healing service is important. "This is not about being triumphant," he said. "This is about being the church and taking care of people."

The second reorganizing step will come the following day, March 29, at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Baptist in Lodi when the diocese gathers for a special one-day convention.

“As the faithful people of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin gather this weekend, it marks a sign of hope for the future," the Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop, told ENS. "As specified in Canon III.13.1, the Presiding Bishop will be present to consult with the Convention about a provisional bishop.

"However, her presence and that of the President of the House of Deputies is also a reminder of the larger Church which stands with, prays for, and supports the people of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin as they move forward in mission and ministry."

Canon III.13.1 states in part that "a Diocese without a Bishop may, by an act of its Convention, and in consultation with the Presiding Bishop, be placed under the provisional charge and authority of a Bishop of another Diocese or of a resigned Bishop."

Delegates to the special convention will be asked to consent to the Presiding Bishop's recommendation of Bishop Jerry Lamb as provisional bishop of the diocese. Lamb, 67, retired as bishop of the Diocese of Northern California in 2007 and most recently served as interim bishop in the Diocese of Nevada.

Lamb is expected to be seated at the provisional bishop during the Eucharist which will follow the close of the convention. He anticipates serving the diocese three-quarter time for a minimum of 18 months while the diocese searches for and elects a diocesan bishop.

The delegates will also be asked to sign an oath of conformity to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, and will consider a number of other re-organizing resolutions, including one to essentially return its Constitution and Canons to the state they were in before now-deposed Bishop John-David Schofield led an effort to remove the required accession to the Episcopal Church's Constitution and Canons. . .

And so it goes. Read it all.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Shoe Thursday: Foot karma

Okay, we are (finally) landscaping our backyard, which is now (yes, this very minute!) in a state of total mayhem and chaos, as well as a mud pit; the machinery noise is constant, I have to walk the dog every hour or so, so he can do his "business" since the yard is uninhabitable, and my brain is mush (I am a person that needs quiet, lots and lots of QUIET).

So since I cannot think of anything today, much less anything on shoes, I give thanks to Micah Snell, a Nashotah House senior, whose posting on shoes was brought to my attention by David Turney. From Micah's blog, Unbridled Warhorse:

I prefer not to wear shoes. This is realistic less often than I like. Consequently when my feet must be oppressed I prefer their comfort, which results in the paradox that someone who dislikes shoes probably spends more on them.

Merrells have been good to my feet in years past. I just found the Merrell Karma, which is about ideal for regular semi-dress use.

The irony is equally appealing. Here is a pig skin shoe named Karma. Not only did the pig warrant death, he warrants being tread underfoot in death. Or, what if you are reincarnate from the pig whose skin became the shoes you now wear? Wouldn't that be ironic? Stomping your ancestor must merit returning as something else terrible.

Bottom line: Don't get these shoes or don't believe in reincarnation. And pass the bacon.

And here is the shoe:
Merrell Karma
Check it out!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Where exactly is Davidson? In the Sweet 16, that's where

Davidson College logoOkay, I can't help it - it's my alma mater. And I don't even follow basketball that much, although it's always been the Davidson sport of choice, and the games were always exciting to watch. From ESPN's Page 2 (written by Anna K. Clemmons, an alumna):

For most of my post-collegiate life, whenever someone asks me where I went to college, I answer in two parts. "Davidson College … it's outside of Charlotte in North Carolina." Why the geographical tag? Because few people outside the Tar Heel state have heard of the small, liberal arts college 30 minutes from the Queen City.

But thanks to a guard named Stephen Curry, a coach named Bob McKillop and a team of hard-working, strong-willed players, that changed this weekend. Led by point guard Jason Richards (who led the nation in assists this season) and Curry (70 points in two tournament games), 10th-seeded Davidson took down Gonzaga and then Georgetown in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament in Raleigh, N.C. . .

Read it all.

Retired Quincy bishop faces church trial

More on Bishop MacBurney, who graciously came to San Diego to help Holy Trinity Anglican (Southern Cone) with confirmations. Unfortunately, that was too much for Bishop Mathes. From The Living Church [boldface mine]:

A canonical case against the Rt. Rev. Edward H. MacBurney, retired Bishop of Quincy, will be heard by Court for the Trial of a Bishop. It will be the first such case since the canons were amended by General Convention in 2006 to include members of the clergy and laity among the judges in a disciplinary case against a member of the episcopacy.

Bishop MacBurney has been served with a presentment, an ecclesiastical indictment. It charges him with violating Article II, Section 3 of The Episcopal Church Constitution and Title III, Canon 12, Section 3 which states: “No Bishop shall perform episcopal acts or officiate by preaching, ministering the sacraments, or holding any public service in a diocese other than that in which the Bishop is canonically resident, without permission or a license to perform occasional public services from the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese in which the bishop desires to officiate or perform episcopal acts.”

Bishop MacBurney, 80, was Bishop of Quincy from 1988-1994. In June of 2007 Bishop MacBurney confirmed several persons at Holy Trinity Anglican Church in San Diego. An overwhelming number of members of Holy Trinity voted to leave The Episcopal Church and affiliate with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone in 2006. The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego, filed the initial complaint against Bishop MacBurney. . .

Bishop MacBurney’s response must be filed with the court by mid April, according to Wicks Stephens, who is serving as Bishop MacBurney’s lawyer. Mr. Stephens, who also is chancellor of the Anglican Communion Network, added that a discovery process would follow with trial presently contemplated in the fall. The Episcopal Church is being represented by Larry White, a Philadelphia lawyer who holds the title Church Attorney.

“From the very inception of the investigation by the Church Attorney Bishop MacBurney has made clear that he did perform confirmations at Holy Trinity Church in June of last year,” Mr. Stephens said. “However those facts alone do not establish a violation of the constitution and canons. Bishop MacBurney intends to resist the charges.”

I'm glad to see that Bishop MacBurney has legal representation and plans to resist the charges. Read it all.

On matters of style, swim with the current; on matters of principle, stand like a rock.

— Thomas Jefferson

H/t to Little Green Footballs.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Robbo: That's My Church! - Easter Edition

Well, he's made the move official as of Easter. Robbo, one of The Llama Butchers, was received into the Roman Catholic Church on Saturday. Read all about it here. I was struck by his final paragraph [boldface mine]:

In the meantime, enormous thank you Yips! go out to all of you who have followed along on this little adventure. The outpouring of good faith, even from those of you critical of my move, has been extremely gratifying. And the notes and gifts I've received from some of you have been quite overwhelming. (Individual thank you letters will be going out this week, of course.) As I may have mentioned before, although the Anglican implosion and Dad's death last year certainly propelled me to making this move now, six months' worth of pondering has made me realize that they were not the reasons for my switch, and furthermore that I would have done so at some point anyway. This is something that has been a looooooong time coming. The upshot is that I go into it with none of the bitterness, axe-grinding, and how-do-you-like-me-now rebounding characteristic of some converts, because in the end I'm not fleeing anything, but instead - as so many people have put it over the past few days - simply coming home. And I can't tell you just how happy that makes me. And I'm also glad that so many of you - even those who have absolutely no desire to follow - are happy on my behalf. As I say, thank you.

CANA: Colorado ordination April 13

From the CANA website:

CANA's first priesting for 2008 is scheduled for Sunday, April 13. The Rev'd Alan Crippen II, president of the John Jay Institute, will be made a priest at the 9 o'clock morning worship service at Grace Chruch and St. Stephen's in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Previously this year, there have been three new deacons ordained: Dan Clark and Marge Marcewicz in Wyoming, and Sheri Graham in Texas.

The Rev'd Alan R. Crippen II is founder and president of the John Jay Institute for Faith, Society and Law. Previously Mr. Crippen served for nine years as founding rector of the Witherspoon Fellowship, a leading civic and cultural leadership development program for college-age students based in Washington, D.C. He has two decades of experience in non-profit executive management and college level teaching. His military service includes platoon and battery command as well as various battalion staff operations and planning positions in the U.S. Army Field Artillery. Mr. Crippen's vocational passion is for the formation of young leaders who aspire to public life. He is particularly inspired to prepare them with the contours of a worldview, knowledge, and piety requisite for faithful Christian service in the public square. Mr. Crippen holds degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary (M.A.R.) and Philadelphia Biblical University (B.S.) and is an ordained deacon in the Anglican Communion. He, his wife, Michelle, and their five children make their home in Colorado Springs and worship at Grace Church and St. Stephen's Parish (Anglican-CANA). More information on the congregation may be found at .

CANA's Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns will preside at this ordination service. Information about other ordinations this spring, as well as information about a CANA Vocations Retreat for aspirants/postulants/seminarians, will be forthcoming.

Check it out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Abortionist applauded at NEA conference

From Creative Minority Report (although I have seen this story on numerous blogs this week) [boldface mine]:

This is sickening folks. Students for Life of America (SFLA) released video exposing footage of abortionist Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, KS openly discussing children who “slip out” accidentally during an abortion and are “born alive” or with a “heartbeat” during the Feminist Majority Foundation’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference, held at the National Education Association (NEA).

The worst is how they applaud this monster as a hero.

Dr. Tiller, who currently faces 19 criminal charges for illegal late-term abortions in the state of Kansas, stated “If the baby is born alive, that is sloppy medicine” after addressing the crowd of about 100 feminists during a plenary session titled “Standing with our Sisters” on March 9, 2008.

I warn you that the video reveals Dr. Tiller showcasing graphic pictures of children with fetal abnormalities that he aborted to make the case for late-term abortions as necessary medical procedure. He also admitted to performing abortions on children the day before the mother’s due date. So just so we're all clear - when pro-lifers show aborted infants that's evil and awful but when they do it, it's good. Not sure why but just trust them.

Read it all.

U.S. Episcopal seminaries to close down

From George Conger:

The Episcopal Church’s three most liberal seminaries have announced they will shut their doors or reorganize due to declining enrollments and straightened financial circumstances.

On Feb 20 the dean of Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois announced it would “suspend recruitment and admissions to all degree and certificate programs.” Bexley Hall announced on Feb 22 it was closing its Rochester, New York campus and would consolidate operations at shared facilities in Colombus, Ohio, while last week the Dean of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts announced his resignation after the school voted to sell a portion of its campus to a teacher’s college. . .

Read it all.

Share your photos with readers of TLC

Sounds like fun! Via email:

The Living Church magazine invites you to share photos of your parish's Holy Week and Easter services. Select images will be used online on The Living Church News Service website and in future issues of the magazine.

Holy Week and Easter at Your Parish
To be considered for this free opportunity, please provide the following information:

Your name
Parish name, city and state
Parish office phone number
Photographer's name
A brief description of the service (e.g., "Maundy Thursday foot washing") and the names of person(s) pictured
The name of the parish priest or another person to contact at the parish for more information

Please email your information, along with photo file attachments (jpegs preferred), to foundation@livingchurch.org. Please write "Easter photos" in the subject line. Selected images will appear on the website and in future issues of TLC.

Uganda: Gadaffi ignorant

In response to this earlier report (Libya: Bible a forgery, says Col. Gadaffi), a follow-up from allAfrica.com:

THE Libyan leader's mid-week frontal attack on the Bible has continued to elicit strong responses from Christian and non-Christian leaders alike, with Archbishop Cyprian Kizito Lwanga describing Col. Muammar Gadaffi's views as provocative.

"Had the Christians said something similar [about] the Koran, there would be war," Dr Lwanga, who is the Catholic archbishop of Kampala, said during Good Friday prayers at Nakivubo Stadium. "But we need to forgive him and pray for his conversion."

Interestingly, Col. Gadaffi questioned the Bible's authenticity at the same Nakivubo Stadium in Kampala on Wednesday while leading celebrations to mark the birth of Prophet Muhammad.

The Libyan leader said that someone had deleted the name of Prophet Muhammad from the text of the Bible and as such it is a forgery. He thus called for the search of the genuine Bible.

But Christian leaders are having none of it.


"To say that the Bible is a forgery because Prophet Muhammad is not included [is] distorting religious facts," Dr Lwanga said. "The Koran came in 610 AD long after the Bible [had been written] in 1450 BC. How can we be blamed for not including what was not in existence?"

MP David Bahati (NRM, Ndorwa West), the secretary of the Uganda Parliamentary Fellowship, said yesterday that Col. Gadaffi's remarks were a direct attack on the principles of tolerance and co-existence.

"It is clear that Col. Gadaffi's views had nothing to do with the Muslims in Uganda and our people should ignore his remarks," Mr Bahati said. "We have lived together harmoniously and no one should promote disunity among our people."

Some Muslims appear to have also been taken aback by the directness of the Libyan colonel.

MP Ibrahim Kadunabbi (NRM, Butambala), the chairman of the Uganda Muslim Parliamentary Caucus, said: "As Muslims, we are mandated to reflect on our utterances, this is what religion says. It was crucial for Col. Gadaffi to first think over before saying anything like that to avoid causing problems."

Makerere University Chaplain Larry Kanyike dismissed Col. Gadaffi as a man ignorant of the subject he was talking about.

"Gadaffi attacked the Bible because he is a Muslim and assumes that other religions are secondary, which is not correct," Fr Kanyike said yesterday. "Gadaffi is a politician, not a biblical scholar.". . .

The Libyan's views have so roiled the waters that various Christian groups are falling over themselves in condemnation.

"This issue cannot be taken lightly," said the Rev. Canon Aaron Mwesigye, the provincial secretary of the Church of Uganda speaking on behalf of Archbishop Luke Orombi.

"For us in the Church of Uganda, we have already issued a statement on this matter. But again, under our umbrella organisation [the Uganda Joint Christian Council - UJCC] we are going to issue another statement on Tuesday on the same matter because we're deeply concerned."

Archbishop Orombi is reported to be on a working trip out of the country. Fr Kanyike of Makerere said calls being made by some sections of the Christian community for Col. Gadaffi to apologise "are useless because Gadaffi does not understand what he was talking about and you cannot base an apology on ignorance".

Several Christian leaders demanded an apology from the Libyans on the same day Col. Gadaffi spoke out.

The government, which appears to be feeling the heat generated by the President's guest who abruptly left the country on Thursday, is meanwhile keeping quiet hoping the furore will run its course and die out. . .

Read it all.

Mathes V. MacBurney: Dean Munday of Nashotah House weighs in

From SanDiegoAnglicans.com [boldface mine]:

Bishop Munday's blog is my favorite new (to me anyway) weblog. Add his feed to your favorite RSS reader for insightful and uplifting commentary about everything happening in the American churches. Even in his recent post about the cruel and useless charges being brought against Bishop Macburney, he manages to make the topic Christian Joy.

From here:http://toalltheworld.blogspot.com/2008/03/on-being-joyful.html:

"In the midst of the turmoil last week over the deposition of Bps. John David Schofield and William J. Cox and the threatened deposition of Bishop Robert Duncan, the news could have been overlooked regarding the Presiding Litigator's intention to depose Bishop Edward MacBurney. I wrote these words to the House of Bishops/House of Deputies listserv in response to another Deputy who said that he believed the words of the PB calling for compassion toward Bps. Cox and Schofield were sincere:
You wrote, "I believe that the call of our Presiding Bishop to be compassionate toward these two bishops is genuine..." Let me state emphatically that I do not believe this to be the case. Bishop Cox had already been received into another province. He should have been spared this action. The PB was informed that Betty Cox is suffering from Alzheimer's disease and that the action against Bishop Cox was causing her severe mental distress. The PB was informed of this publicly by Kendall Harmon at the clergy day during her trip to the Diocese of South Carolina. [You can watch the video of Kendall Harmon speaking to the Presiding Bishop about Bishop Cox here. It is approximately 7:00 minutes into Part 5 of the series.] Bishop Cox has said that the PB never contacted him except for the letters pertaining to his deposition. If she did not show compassion toward Bishop Cox prior to his deposition, what reason is there to believe that she will do so now?

Today [3/13/08] it became public that charges are being brought against the Rt. Rev. Edward MacBurney for his visit to a non-Episcopal church in San Diego. (Bishop MacBurney is the bishop who ordained me to the diaconate and priesthood.) The Diocese of Quincy informed 815 some time ago that the MacBurneys are dealing with a son who is in hospice care with terminal cancer. If the PB wanted to demonstrate compassion, she could have waited until later to deal with this (if it had to be done at all). . .

Read it all. This is beyond legalistic - this is outright cruelty dressed up as polity.

Episcopals to reorganize, appoint new bishop

I guess the Episcopal Church's canons only apply to those the leadership disagrees with, because the presiding bishop certainly doesn't think they apply to her. So this seems like a done deal. From the Lodi (California) News [boldface mine]:

The San Joaquin Episcopal Diocese will conduct what its leaders consider a historic convention to appoint a new bishop, reorganize as a diocese and begin the healing process of a divisive split within the diocese.

The convention, to be held next weekend in Lodi, will consist of the 18 of parishes and missions that chose to remain in the diocese, which extends from Lodi to Bakersfield and east to the Nevada state line.

There were 47 parishes and missions in the diocese until a majority of delegates, through the leadership of Bishop John-David Schofield, voted to leave Episcopal Church USA for the more socially conservative-leaning Southern Cone of the Anglican Church, based in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The Episcopal Church is the Anglican body in the United States.

Schofield led more than half the diocese out of the American Episcopal Church in December because of his opposition to the consecration in 2003 of V. Eugene Robinson, an openly gay priest, as bishop of New Hampshire. . .

Therefore, there are now two organizations that call themselves the San Joaquin Diocese. Schofield leads one that is based in Fresno, while the remaining Episcopal diocese will be based in Stockton.

In Lodi, leaders at St. John's Episcopal Church have taken a stand to remain in the American church and not follow Schofield. . .

The diocese remaining in Episcopal Church USA will reorganize on March 29 during an all-day session at St. John's Episcopal Church in Lodi. The day will begin with a business meeting, followed by an afternoon Eucharist and seating of a provisional bishop, who is expected to be Jerry Lamb.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the leading Episcopal bishop in the United States, recommends that the newly appointed San Joaquin Diocese delegates appoint Lamb as provisional bishop. Lamb was a popular bishop in the Northern California Diocese until his retirement in January 2007.

Delegates will vote on Lamb's appointment at the March 29 convention in Lodi. He will serve until the diocese chooses a permanent bishop.

The Lodi convention will attract a virtual who's who in the Episcopal Church. Jefferts Schori will be there, along with Bonnie Anderson, president of the House of Deputies, which is the church's equivalent to Congress' speaker of the house.

Lamb will be present, along with Michael Glass, a San Rafael attorney who has been retained by St. John's and other parishes in legal and financial matters. . .

And the schedule:
Friday, March 28

5 to 6:30 p.m. — Reception for Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson at St. Anne's Episcopal Church, 1020 W. Lincoln Road, Stockton.

6:30 to 7:15 p.m. — A service of healing and forgiveness.

7:15 p.m. — Question-and-answer session with the presiding bishop.

Saturday, March 29

8 a.m. — Registration at St. John's Episcopal Church, 1055 S. Lower Sacramento Road, Lodi.

9 a.m. — Business meeting. Highlights include:
  • Presiding bishop leading prayer and giving remarks.

  • Convention delegates considering appointment of officers.

  • Delegates considering resolution to adopt constitution.

  • Confirmation of Jerry Lamb as provisional bishop for the diocese.

  • Appoint new delegates for the 2009 national Episcopal convention..

Afternoon session: Eucharist and seating of the provisional bishop.

Read it all.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

AnglicanTV interview with Bishop John Guernsey, Church of Uganda

Here's an interview I did with Bishop John Guernsey, Church of Uganda, earlier this month when he was here leading an Anglican clergy retreat. From AnglicanTV:




Interview with John Guernsey, Bishop for the Congregations in America, Church of Uganda, done March 11, 2008, at Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, CA

Bishop Guernsey talked about:

  • his reason for being in southern California - a retreat for Anglican clergy sponsored by the American Anglican Council

  • the Anglican District of Virginia

  • his role with the Church of Uganda

  • Common Cause

  • his thoughts on church leadership

  • evangelism

  • reaching the next generations for Christ


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter: Jesus Christ is risen today


Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!

Hymns of praise then let us sing, Alleluia!
unto Christ, our heavenly King, Alleluia!
who endured the cross and grave, Alleluia!
sinners to redeem and save. Alleluia!

But the pains which he endured, Alleluia!
our salvation have procured, Alleluia!
now above the sky he's King, Alleluia!
where the angels ever sing. Alleluia!

Friday, March 21, 2008

More on charges against Bishop MacBurney

From George Conger:

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is gauging her strength among the members of the US House of Bishops to see if she has sufficient political capital to depose traditionalist Bishop Robert Duncan of Pittsburgh before the July Lambeth Conference.

Bishop Schori’s admission came in the same week as word of new litigation against a retired conservative bishop was announced. The former Bishop of Quincy, 80-year old Edward MacBurney is charged with violating the church’s canons by visiting a non-Episcopal church in the diocese of San Diego without the permission of the local Episcopal bishop. . .

Bishop MacBurney, however, has not been charged with abandonment of communion at this stage of the ecclesiastical proceedings, but merely with canonical violations. In a statement released by the Diocese of Quincy, his lawyers noted the novelty of the charges against their client as to “whether an Episcopal bishop exercises total control over a certain geographical territory or whether a Bishop merely exercises control over the Episcopal churches within that territory.”

The current Bishop of Quincy, the Rt. Rev. Keith Ackerman has given his full backing to Bishop MacBurney, saying his actions had been done in “good faith” and were motivated by the claims of conscience. Forward in Faith called the charges “pastorally and politically inept.”

The attack on Bishop MacBurney “will alienate others across the Communion who have not yet grasped the extent of the graceless and totalitarian mindset which now dominates the Episcopal Church,” it said on March 14.

Read it all - I've just concentrated here on the info about Bishop MacBurney since that has a San Diego connection.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Changes in missionary compensation prompted by concerns over equity, budget constraints

From EpiscopalLife Online, it looks like budget cuts, they are a'coming [boldface mine]:

Missionaries who work outside of the United States under the auspices of the Episcopal Church will soon see major changes to their compensation.

According to a letter from the Rev. David Copley, Anglican and Global Relations mission personnel officer, sent to all overseas missionaries, the church will no longer pay them a monthly stipend (about $500, in most cases) or cover their airfare, relocation expenses, language study, vaccinations, and any health expenses not covered by insurance. . .

Copley, who works in the church's Office of Anglican and Global Relations, said in the letter and a subsequent interview with ENS that the decision was made in the face of what he called "the realities" of a $50,000 increase in health-insurance premiums for this year, a five percent cut in the current Episcopal Church budget and the $130,000 cost to provide increased pensions contributions for lay missionaries in 2008. . .

Copley said the alternative to the compensation changes was to cut the number of missionaries in order to balance the budget.

"For some of you, this will mean an increase in benefits with the addition of a lay pension component, but for others this will mean that there will be a reduction in support," Copley acknowledged in his letter.

The decision affects about 70 missionaries, for whom the new package will go into effect at the next renewal of their Letter of Understanding with his office, Copley said.

"Missionaries will be asked to raise funds to cover other costs," according to the letter.

Copley, who spent seven years as a missionary in Liberia and Bolivia, acknowledged "it is a lot of money" to have to raise, in addition to what most missionaries routinely gather for their work. He added that he hopes the missionaries' sending congregations and dioceses will look seriously at their financial commitment to the people they send out to minister in the name of the church.

"The hope is that people will get even more involved in the lives of the people they're sending out," he told ENS.

The General Convention budget is "finite," Copley told ENS. "We're hoping that parishes and dioceses will step up to fill the gap," he added. . .

[Randall] Giles [a lay missionary in India for nearly eight years] also said he worries that the changes in compensation will result in a change in the Episcopal Church's missionary efforts. He doubts that there will be many people who can commit to being "long-term presences" overseas "unless they are of absolutely independent means." As a result, Giles said, there may be more people who can only work as missionaries for a few years and may not have the same commitment to the work.

Read it all. Remind me again how much ECUSA is spending on litigation??

An Easter message from CANA, 2008

Via email:

"But sometimes it doesn’t seem that way!" We have all had those times in our lives when it seemed as if our world was coming to an end. I am not referring to the eschaton when all that we know of this world will come to an end but rather those moments of personal crisis when there seems to be no way forward. It can happen when we confront the specter of terminal illness for ourselves or for someone we love; it can be prompted by the end of a friendship or breakup of a family or the loss of a job; it can be provoked through the devastation caused by an encounter with one kind of natural disaster or another. What then? How do we cope, how do we find the strength to continue? This is when the events of that first Holy Week become a personal experience and not merely a religious memory.

For those first disciples it seemed as if their world had come to an end in the days leading up to that first Easter Sunday. The darkness of despair and the betrayal by the civil and religious authorities had extinguished their dreams. They had pinned their hopes on that wandering Rabbi who had emerged out of the wilderness. He had encouraged them to look forward to a new and brighter world where God’s reign would be made visible for all to see. But now it seemed to be all over. To add insult to injury when they buried the broken body of their beloved friend they did so in a borrowed tomb and blocked entrance with a rock. They could not even honor him in his death.

But that wasn’t the end of the story. The stone was rolled away and their nightmare came to an end. Jesus was gloriously raised from the dead. He didn’t simply survive it he overcame it. But it was not simply his life that was forever changed. All those who put their trust in Him have been given the same promise that death will no longer have the last word for us. Instead we will overcome it. Like him we will be given a new body and live forever in the closer presence of the One who loves us even more than life itself. But even that isn’t the end of the story. We have also been given the promise that the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is now at work transforming the lives of his followers.

And I have seen it. I have seen men and women who were dead to the things of God come alive – I have seen blind people be given their sight and I have seen sick people made well. I have known people who were locked into patterns of abuse and addiction set free. I have seen men and women with no hope have their dreams restored and their hopes fulfilled. I have witnessed broken marriages made whole and children who were lost brought back home. It is all part of the resurrection story. It is not just about then but it is about NOW. The good news is that the God that we serve is not only a God who offers radical inclusion but also a God who promises profound transformation.

Nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with God.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

+Martyn

The Rt. Rev’d Martyn Minns
Missionary Bishop of CANA

Shoe Thursday: Attorney edition

You know, with all of the legal maneuvering going on the The Episcopal Church, from Virginia to California and spots in-between (including church trials - Bishops Schofield, Cox, and MacBurney, anyone?), I thought this might be a good day to take a look at proper footwear for the courtroom.

The only problem is that most bishops are men and most attorneys seem to be as well. And frankly, men’s shoes are just not as interesting.

But, we do have the problem solved here in southern California. A shout-out to Lynn Moyer, attorney for All Saints and St. David's in Los Angeles - these shoes are for you!

First, these winter-wear flats, kinda nice, but not quite as professional in a power-suit sort of way as one might want:
Cole-Haan Air Genie Ballet
Next, a much more sophisticated look by Manolo Blahnik:
Carolyne by Manolo Blahnik
A nice spring look with a lighter color:
Pfenning from the Anne Klein
This looks very L.A. for the summer:
Hampton by Stuart Weitzman
Now, we've arrived at the true power shoe - Italian, of course, and how appropriate for those representing "churchy" things that these are made of python skin. Only just over $800 a pair - let's see, that's about 2 lawyer hours, right?
Metallic python pumps by Christian Louboutin
And, as an antidote to the courtroom, The Manolo offers this:

Yes, it is true, nothing cures the Don’t-Want-To-Be-The-Lawyer Blues like the new pair of the shoes, such as these incredibly beautiful silver open-toed shoes from the Sergio Rossi.
Kuly by Sergio Rossi
Beautiful? Yes!

Professional? No!

Kick Ass? Emphatically!

All the more reason to strap these onto your lawyerly feets and march them into the office of the managing partner and demand your “fair share”! Pronto, Old Man, chop chop!

Weekly message from Bishop David Anderson, American Anglican Council

Via email [boldface mine]:

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Old News Revisited:
With the remarks of the Archbishop of Canterbury on Sharia Law continuing to reverberate, one has to wonder what he was thinking when he made them. Could he be so inept in affairs of church and state and the reality on the street that he actually believes that allowing Sharia Law is desirable or inevitable? On the other hand, if he believes it is undesirable but inevitable, just what is he willing to do about it?

The Archbishop does not yet seem to understand that when he rambles on about explosive topics, he is no longer in a University lecture hall where you can "tease" ideas and push students to think. His remarks have not only caused unneeded uproar in the public sector in England, but have been picked up by Muslim leaders in critical areas of the world, who believe (rightly or wrongly) that he is serious. Trevor Grundy, in an article for Episcopal News Service, reports praise for Rowan Williams from a Nigerian Islamic leader. Grundy writes, "Speaking at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London on March 6, the leader of the multi-million strong Qadiriyyah wing of the Islamic faith, Nigerian Sheikh Qaribullahi Nasiru Kabara, told academics and diplomats that he felt "very good" when he heard what Williams had to say at a February lecture."

Does the Archbishop of Canterbury understand how his words will make life more difficult for Christians, indeed Anglicans of his own global communion, as they live in the shadow of Sharia? How can a man who sees himself as brilliant say and do such damaging things? Or, as a brilliant man, does he know exactly what he is doing and is he quite pleased with the results? Many of us are still quite simply at a loss to explain his words on this and many occasions.

In other areas Dr. Williams is clearer in his intent, and although we don't agree with it, it is at least not foggy. Lambeth Palace has been uncertain as to what to do about the probable boycott of Lambeth Conference 2008, or the organization of the Global Anglican Future Pilgrimage and Conference (GAFCON) scheduled for Jordan and Jerusalem in June. Recent indications are that he might wish to send greetings and request a report from GAFCON to be brought to Lambeth. Is this a kinder and gentler Dr. Williams, wishing to rebuild bridges with a majority of his Anglican Communion? Most likely not. He would like to characterize GAFCON as a pre-Lambeth meeting, and since the lesser reports to the greater, the report of the lesser is subject to dismissal by the greater. In fact, GAFCON is not connected to Lambeth in any way except that some who would be eligible to attend Lambeth are INSTEAD attending GAFCON, and some GAFCON attendees are otherwise eligible but uninvited and unwanted at Lambeth - such as bishops from the Anglican Mission in America (AMiA) and the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) and three bishops consecrated in Kenya and Uganda for North American missionary duty.

Since I am one of the ones who might have been invited to Lambeth as a Nigerian bishop but am not desired because I serve CANA in the United States, I have had some time to reflect on this situation from a personal standpoint. If those of us who are orthodox Anglican bishops had all been invited, and had we gone with our brother bishops from our respective overseas Provinces, how would we have entered into Eucharistic fellowship and communion with the bishops from the American Episcopal Church (TEC) who are currently teaching false doctrine, permitting and even celebrating immoral behavior, deposing clergy including bishops who disagree with them, and going to secular courts of law to bring suit against our clergy and laity? It is not a small thing that a simple "sorry" could wipe away. To be in Eucharistic fellowship with them would require a profound change of mind and heart on their part, a return to historic orthodox Christian teaching and practice, and a cessation of litigation and depositions. Could this happen? With God all things are possible, yet it may also be that, as written in Chapter 1 of the Letter to the Romans, God is giving them up to their own sins and iniquities.

Current Events:
A news story in "The Living Church" reports that The Episcopal Church in America, which either has great wealth or is short of money, depending on what the issue and request might be, is terminating stipends and travel reimbursements to overseas missionaries. Although the article is not crystal clear about how deeply the cuts go, and how many missionaries the cuts will hurt, the article gives as stated reasons the rising costs of the benefit packages. This story, coming out of the Quito, Ecuador meeting of the Executive Council of TEC seems to contradict the huge allocation of $500,000 of income from Trust Funds for suing and pursuing orthodox bishops such as John-David Schofield of San Joaquin diocese, Bob Duncan of Pittsburgh, and Jack Iker of Fort Worth. Additionally Bishop Pierre Whalon just returned from Africa where with TEC money he bought Land Rovers and handed the keys to several bishops. While this latter case would seem far more noble than the former case, it is understood that keys to Land Rovers don't come without strings attached. One might say, "Well, the Israelites took Egypt's gold with them, why not take some of TEC's gold, too?" The problem is that the Israelites took the gold, then soon afterwards made a golden calf out of it. It may be hard to take TEC's gifts and not have it lead one astray.

In any event, both examples raise this question: if there is money for these two purposes (suing Christian bishops and buying Land Rovers), why is there not money for missionaries to be fully funded? Or to cite a remark I made in a previous Update, why are TEC seminaries closing or restructuring for lack of money? It should make people wonder.

The TEC House of Bishops, meeting at Camp Allen in Texas, attempted to depose former TEC bishops John-David Schofield and William J. Cox. Bishop Cox is in his 80s, and his courage and conviction in the face of threats terrible remind one of Polycarp and his reply to his tormentors. If they both transferred out of TEC, and are enrolled in good standing in another Anglican province, how can TEC depose them and deprive them of their Holy Orders in the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? If someone who has worked for General Motors quits and moves over to Ford, and tells General Motors of the action, can you imagine General Motors screaming at them, "No, No, you can't quit, you're FIRED!" Sorry, TEC, you got there too late. A factor complicating the HOB's rush to execution is covered by George Conger and Steve Waring in the "Living Church": the meeting in Camp Allen lacked sufficient numbers to meet canonical requirement for a lawful deposition. It is being reported that "Slightly more than one-third of all bishops eligible voted to depose bishops John-David Schofield and William J. Cox during the House of Bishops' spring retreat, far fewer than the 51 percent required by the canons." What now? I promise you TEC will find a way; their anger and hatred will not be denied. All this is brought to you by the inclusive, tolerant, and "listening" TEC.

TEC is also moving rapidly to depose additional bishops before they can leave. Practicing their best Donald Trump voice, they are preparing to say to Bishops Duncan, Iker and retired Bishop McBurney, "YOU'RE FIRED" or more accurately, "YOU'RE DEPOSED," before they can leave TEC. The word out on the street is that Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori is most anxious to depose Duncan, and since her first attempt was thwarted weeks ago, she is now planning to send a "mail in ballot" to the House of Bishops later this spring to hurry the process along. It seems she doesn't like the Bishop of Pittsburgh, which speaks well of my friend Bishop Duncan.

With the action taken against Schofield and Cox one wonders why the often called "Windsor Bishops" have remained silent, and why they have not accounted for how they voted, and spoken clearly of the wrongness of this action. We would earnestly urge them to issue a Minority Report, and set forth why from both Christian as well as Windsor standards this action was absolutely wrong. This is a time to hear from you.

Internationally:
It is puzzling why Michael Poon of Singapore has made such a vitriolic attack on the Global Anglican Future Conference and Primate Peter J. Akinola. Poon's recent writings seem to have taken leave of all sense. Could he not use some of this excess anger against those revisionists who are removing the theological and spiritual content from Anglicanism? If he is speaking for himself and not on behalf of his Province, we would urge saner and more reasoned minds to remind him of how his words reflect on his province. The Singapore that we know is the exact opposite of Michael Poon's writings, and is instead loving, reasoned and orthodox.

This is Holy Week. I pray that the writers of vitriol and the perpetrators of outrageous actions would pause and reflect with us on what Jesus has done for us, and what the implications of the Atonement and shed blood of Jesus are. May this Easter celebration remind us that our bondage to sin and Satan was broken by a life given in our place, the life of the Son of God himself, Jesus the Messiah.

Blessings and Peace in our risen Lord,

The Rt. Rev. David C. Anderson, Sr.
President and CEO, American Anglican Council