Monday, March 24, 2008

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.

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