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
St. John Parish, Tulare

Read objection #2 here.

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