Saturday, March 29, 2008

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.

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