Colorado Springs: further reports

Updated

Since the last update there have been some more reporting:

Jean Torkelson in the Rocky Mountain News had Anglican bishop to make case for leaving Episcopal Church, as well as Episcopal group ditches pastor, and earlier there had been Colorado Springs rector faces supporters, critics.

Meanwhile, Paul Asay has two more blog entries, Oh, these Tangled Webs and 33 Days and Counting.

The Associated Press had Church leader rebuts financial allegations.

Update
A further article in the Rocky Mountain News Episcopal parish in Springs invited to join breakaway group.
And also in the Colorado Springs Independent Grace’s state of confusion.

Further Update
Paul Asay has another blog entry: Breaking Up is Hard to Do.

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Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Questionable ethics, just so that they advance one’s own interests, are not the problem to Minns and CANA that they are to Drs Seitz, Radner and Turner. No surprise here: they’ve already shown the middle finger to the Windsor process behind which they stalked earlier in the day.

Göran Koch-Swahne
Guest

Paul Asay wrot in Oh, these Tangled Webs: “And frankly, all that confusion is central to the issues at play here. During the meeting, Grace senior warden Jon Wroblewski said that Armstrong’s hired his own accountant to look through the books to find out just what went on, and that accountant won’t likely make a report for a month.”

Clever!

Unless, of course, you’ve seen this very thing before… ;=)

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin – the guy has not (yet) been proven guilty so perhaps we should wait before judging him, or his friends standing by him, as he tries to prove his claim on innocence.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

According to Paul Asay’s blog, Minns spoke to the congregation last night. And there maybe a series of such talks before the vote. I wonder at what point Bishop O’Neill will be invited to speak to the congregation, or would that be considered unnecessarily exposing them to an alternative point of view.

Three-Star Dave
Guest

There’s a follow-up article from Ms. Torkelson in this morning’s Rocky Mountain News: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5492780,00.html

Though much of it’s a rehash of the article yesterday.

Raspberry Rabbit
Guest

“Bishop Martyn Minns (spoke to) about 150 parishioners at Grace and St. Stephen’s Church.

(The Rector Don) Armstrong hopes to persuade a majority of his parish’s 1,500 to 2,000 members to join CANA in a vote May 20.”

What’s wrong with these figures? Why were there only 150 people at the meeting? Conflict with the Rugby would have been the excuse in Scotland. What’s the equivalent excuse in Colorado?

RR

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

NP, my comment related to Minns and CANA, not to Armstrong. It’s not a matter of guilt, it’s a question of the APPEARANCE of impropriety, as Seitz, Radner, et al. have so vividly demonstrated by their actions in recent days. “Caesar’s wife”, and all that. We are, you will recall, talking about validly-consecrated bishops, in communion with a portion of the Anglican Communion. The matter of the Clarice C. Bowton Trust ought, in itself, to have given them cause to hold back. By the terms of this trust, income generated is expressedly designated for the use of individuals studying for… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

RR – I made a similar observation with respect to the number (300 out of a possible 2000) that showed up Saturday for the big reveal. And not all of them could be said to be his supporters either. The most publicly advertised presentment in the history of the diocese, a rector who has left the church and is asking you to go with him, and it’s still not enough to make the other 80% show up and hear his side? Huh?

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“(The Rector Don) Armstrong hopes to persuade a majority of his parish’s 1,500 to 2,000 members to join CANA in a vote May 20.” “What’s wrong with these figures? Why were there only 150 people at the meeting? “ I have noticed that, since the congregation divided just before Palm Sunday, the numbers reported present for services or meetings w/Armstrong and others have steadily diminished. It has been suggested that in some of the Diocese of Virginia parishes who left for Africa that a modest core of very committed people was the driving force behind the vote to leave, and… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

I see Lapin, sorry – if it is as you read it, I would encourage Minns and CANA to be more careful even if they are trying to be loyal to a friend.

Ann Fontaine
Guest

Another group housed at G&SS — from the CO Springs paper: Another nonprofit, the John Jay Institute for Faith Society and Law, is headquartered at Grace’s 601 N. Tejon St. address. The “nonpartisan” research and education nonprofit has, in recent months, provided lectures speaking of the “problem of evil” in the context of post-9/11 Islamic radicalism and urging new theory to justify the use of force abroad. Alan R. Crippen, the organization’s founder and president, who’s also serving as spokesman for Armstrong and the breakaway vestry, says the organization only seeks to stimulate discussion. “Radical Islam is a very serious… Read more »

Davis d'Ambly
Guest
Davis d'Ambly

The website http://www.40daysofdiscernment.org mentioned in the “state of confusion” article appears to be a “how to” manual on breaking away from TEC rather than what I’ve always understood discernment to be.

JCF
Guest
JCF

“the guy has not (yet) been proven guilty so perhaps we should wait before judging him, or his friends standing by him, as he tries to prove his claim on innocence.”

Funny, NP, I don’t see you showing the same forebearance to +Gene Robinson (and friends, TEC), in regards to the ALLEGED “guilt” (sinfulness) of his same-sex partnership (which we, in TEC, see as innocent)

Ken
Guest
Ken

Even if Don Armstrong’s children were candidates for Holy Orders, the scholarship committee (of which the Bishop is an ex officio member) has not met since before 1993, and has not received any applications or granted any funds since then.

Don Armstrong, by terms of the trust, did not have the authority to make those payments from the trust.

gyrovague
Guest
gyrovague

CANA ought to be very cautious about that $2.5 million mortgage held by the junior warden’s bank. If the insiders manage to foreclose on that and sell the property for big bucks it will bring down CANA in flames.

mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)
Guest
mynsterpreost (=David Rowett)

“Another nonprofit, the John Jay Institute for Faith Society and Law, is headquartered at Grace’s 601 N. Tejon St. address. The “nonpartisan” research and education nonprofit has, in recent months, provided lectures speaking of the “problem of evil” in the context of post-9/11 Islamic radicalism and urging new theory to justify the use of force abroad.”

Oh, great. Just what we need to further the Gospel. A Bible in one hand and an apache attack helicopter (metaphorically) in the other. Hey, guys, join our crusade….

Weiwen Ng
Guest

NP, I do agree with you. However, Armstrong’s attitude and ad hominem attacks on his bishop are not doing his image any good. The article in Rocky Mountain News is perhaps the most telling for me. Hearing that his friends at ACI are terminating their relationship, he basically says never mind, their mission is no longer “valid” because the whole “house of cards” was tumbling down anyway. I’m sure ACI still considers their mission valid. I’m sure Armstrong is hurt at an apparent betrayal, but if he’s innocent, he should figure that they’ll come back to him, and it would… Read more »

Cheryl Clough
Guest

I am holding back on judgment until the facts are in. It is the same standard that I applied when allegations were being made against Davis. The courtesy goes both ways. All parties will benefit from considering how they handle potential improprieties at either end of the spectrum. If they incite slander and witch hunt for one group but clemency and patience for the other, then they are being inconsistent. One of the bible’s core teachings is about not throwing stones, lest you damage your own greenhouse. No soul is above sinning or making mistakes. My other observation relates back… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

“Anglican bishop to make case for leaving Episcopal Church” Rocky Mountain News Headline

Truly I ask you brothers and sisters at The Body of Christ, does this sound like a spiritually healthy thing to be doing at The Anglican Communion (of course CANA isn’t really part of the Anglican Communion but only a campaign generated by the Akinolan Nigerian unfriendly temporary “takeover” mission)?

EPH
Guest
EPH

One could ask more questions about the John Jay Institute. 1st, its President Alan R. Crippen served as spokesman for Armstrong. It was he who authored the March 26 (already with CANA logo) news release anouncing Grace’s vestry’s decision. And it was he who told the Gazette reporter that Grace’s accounts had not been frozen by the bishop. He is not listed as a staff member or vestry member. This begs the question how did he know that the accounts were not frozen? A publicity piece frm the John Jay Institute refers in its FAQs section refers to the “partnership”… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Ken adds to my earlier post on the Bowton Trust that “even if Don Armstrong’s children were candidates for Holy Orders, the scholarship committee (of which the Bishop is an ex officio member) has not met since before 1993, and has not received any applications or granted any funds since then”. Officers of the trust do not include Armstrong, although, according to the presentment, he issued all the vouchers which authorized payments to his son. The three officers are the Grace Church senior warden, the bishop of Colorado, and Ms. Bowton’s long-time attorney, who, one assumes, knows precisely what the… Read more »

NP
Guest
NP

JCF – if the guy is found guilty, I would support his removal.

The logical conclusion of your attitude to VGR is that Armstrong should continue, unrepentant, even if breaks the standards set by scripture for leaders.

NP
Guest
NP

Lapin – if true, it is a disgrace and the man should not be a minister – for the sake of the gospel and in obedience to scripture.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Okay – This is starting to get me really upset. According to Asay’s latest blog post, Minns has given the congregation a “study guide” for discerning whether they should leave the Episcopal church. It was written by and for the folks at Truro and Falls Church. It is clearly biased, speaking about how serious the determination is, but in the end how God has great things ahead for those who decide to leave. Again, if the Presentment hearing without Armstrong present is considered a kangaroo court, a vote on leaving by congregants who have only been exposed to Minns’ and… Read more »

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

How will, the vote be counted … depends on Diocesan canons for parish meetings. In Dio of Va you must have a quorum, which is defined in the canons as 10% of the active membership. No proxy votes, no voting in absentia. Am using that figure without first checking. Probably Dio of Colorado has diocesan canons on line?

C

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

If – and it’s an unlikely “if” – Armstrong makes the move to CANA with church property intact, and if he is then prosecuted and found guilty on any of the charges against him in state or in federal court – or indeed by CANA, should CANA choose to exercise its new-found episcopal oversight of Armstrong – then CANA will be placed to assume full ownership of the Grace Church property. Provided, of course, there is no further jurisdiction-hopping. Bishop Minns now also has a dog in this fight.

Cynthia
Guest
Cynthia

Addendum – then again, haven’t they already left? If this is a vote to confirm that, then diocesan rules would not apply. I wonder if CANA has generated canons for its constituents, or would they use Nigerian canons?

Sorry – it’s been a rough week for college campuses in Virginia – you know what’s coming, don’t you? I can’t resist.

I guess it’s a case of loose canons….

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

CB. The “40 days of discernment” program is at this page, linked on the Grace Church site.

http://www.40daysofdiscernment.org/

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Cynthia – Are you saying that if Colorado is like Virginia only 200 people out of the 2000 need to show up to vote and that if a majority of those 200 vote to leave, then that’s what the church does?

Couldn’t O’Neill charge that this whole process is invalid, that the other 1800 didn’t vote because the whole thing is not being conducted within the church cannons and as such is out or order, and invalid. I know I would.

lapinbizarre
Guest
lapinbizarre

CB. I hate to keep posting the January 4th “Washington Post” piece on Falls Church and Truro, but if Colorado is like Virginia, they won’t even have to be Episcopalian to vote:

“At least two-thirds of the worshipers are Methodists, Presbyterians or Baptists, and there is no pressure on them to be confirmed as Episcopalians, said the Rev. Rick Wright, associate rector [of Falls Church].”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/03/AR2007010301952.html

Ladytenor
Guest
Ladytenor

C.B., I believe Bishop O’Neill has made it clear that the whole voting process (regardless of how many participate in the vote) is irrelevant, because a parish cannot remove itself from the church. Individuals may leave, but the parish remains. Although the Episcopal congregation (the one worshipping at Shove Chapel) is being encouraged not to participate in the illegal vote, some of them may want to make known their wishes for the future of their own parish. I wonder what rules Armstrong and his vestry will use to determine who is eligible to vote? If they require church attendence and/or… Read more »

Michael Cridland
Guest
Michael Cridland

When Grace has been mentioned the media. I have heard this 2500 members mentioned. Is that their true membership? Or does it include people who have signed the guest book (which would include my family)?

In the short time I was there, I never saw attendances of over 600 (I roughly estimate) (September 2005)

John B. Chilton
Guest

Armstrong writes at length about the $170,000 loan Grace made to ACI here:
http://titusonenine.classicalanglican.net/?p=18927#comment-2061769

JCF
Guest
JCF

“The logical conclusion of your attitude to VGR is that Armstrong should continue, unrepentant, even if breaks the standards set by scripture for leaders.”

But “Thou shalt not steal” (what Armstrong is alleged to have done) is actually IN Scripture, NP.

“Thou shalt not have a same-sex spouse” is only in reasserters’ (hypocritical) imaginations!

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest
Leonardo Ricardo

While readings Armstrongs remarks at titusonenine I find myself extemely saddened by the degree of denial, arrogance and tarnished terrorfilled behavior that has come to viewed as “normal” and “conservative” at The Body of Christ.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

So Grace Church is “collateral damage” to the Diocese of Colorado, whose goal “has been and continues to be my own ruin as a human being, [&] the destruction of my family”. At last an objective assessment of the root causes of the Colorado Springs situation.

There is an excellent reason why the diocese spearheaded the presentment against the Rev’d Mr. Armstrong – its “full frontal attack”, in Mr. Armstrong’s vivid words – with the issue of the Bowton Trust expenditures. Nowhere in the T19 post does Armstrong mention, let alone explain, them.

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Grace Church members commenting on T19 have said that Minns has asked for a report from the vestry on the matters in the Presentment. He will not conduct and independent review but rely only on their report to determine Armstrong’s culpability. Armstrong has commented that he will not talk about where the scholarship money came from (though he seems willing to comment on everything else) until after the vestry has made its report. Armstrong contends “no ACI money” was spent on his kids scholarship. I don’t believe the Presentment asserts that it did. Rather, ACI was used as a conduit… Read more »

John D
Guest
John D

I’m actually stunned that Minns is such a fool that he would involve himself and his new organization with the likes of Fr. Armstrong, whose pathology is now present for all to behold.And I’m not talking about the money.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

An open letter to the bishop of Colorado from Keith W. Stampher, M.D., a Grace Church vestryman, is posted on StandFirm: http://www.standfirminfaith.com/index.php/site/article/2850/#47427 At 7:55 this morning “Witness” posted to this StandFirm page the comment that “the vestry [of Grace Church] includes Fr Armstrong’s personal physician, electrician, and real estate agent”. In reply to my request for clarification, “Witness” replied “Fr Armstrong has stated to the congregation, many times, that Dr Stampher is his personal physician, I don’t believe that the Doctor has denied it. The man whose electric company did all the work in the church for years, and given… Read more »

Frank
Guest
Frank

Quack quack, quack quack, quack quack!

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

Lapinbizarre – And just as a reminder – to round out the group, the local DA was also on the vestry up until two days before the vote to leave. He resigned after being shown the Church Attorney’s brief on the Presentment.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Always happy to hear an anatine opinion.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

“I’m actually stunned that Minns is such a fool that he would involve himself and his new organization with the likes of Fr. Armstrong” Minns is a clever man, and no fool. When he was in the Diocese of Va, the more strident and distasteful comments about +VGR and especially Bishop Lee came from staff, not Martyn. He then could write more in sorrow than in anger, the anger having been discharged by others. I believe someone has posted that he and Armstrong are long time friends. None the less, I expect Martyn has several backup plans ready should Armstrong… Read more »

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

This seam seemed close to mined-out, but “Witness”, over at StandFirm, clearly a firsthand observer, has posted an additional nugget on the Grace Church vestry. “…. we’ve had no input into the Vestry for years. Nobody got upset when things we’re going good, and things were good. Things turn odd and we realize that there hasn’t been an honest vote in 15 years. The 3 candidates are selected by the 3 outgoing members and announced to the congregation the week before the annual meeting. Nothing is allowed from the floor.” Incidentally, discussion of the Armstrong business over at StandFirm is,… Read more »

Frank
Guest
Frank

Lapin, I bow to your judgement sir. I was thinking along a more Hippocratic line and that was the first word or six that came to mind.

Cynthia Gilliatt
Guest
Cynthia Gilliatt

Quting a post from another place: “The 3 candidates are selected by the 3 outgoing members and announced to the congregation the week before the annual meeting. Nothing is allowed from the floor” Good grief! That’s iincest! And I would bet in violation of Colorado’s canons. I looked and could not find them on the Dio fo Colorado website – perhaps someone from that diocese who reads this could enligten us. In my parish the outgoing vestry members are a ‘nominations committee,’ but their job is to find multiple candidates for the 4 positions that will need to be filled.… Read more »

ruidh
Guest
ruidh

“In my parish the outgoing vestry members are a ‘nominations committee,’ but their job is to find multiple candidates for the 4 positions that will need to be filled.”

I strongly expect that your experience is the exception and not the rule. Most parishes I know have exactly enough candidates to fill the available positions on the slate. Nominations from the floor are permitted, but rarely exercised.

Ladytenor
Guest
Ladytenor

For as long as I can remember at the church where I have spent my adulthood, we have had twice as many candidates for election as there are slots to fill. I sat on the nominations committee once, although I’ve never been on the vestry (I ran once and lost). As I recall, the principles we used for asking people to run were that they were active in the parish (e.g. committees or ministries) and were perceived to be responsible and available. We asked quite a few people who declined the honor of being nominated; being a vestry member is… Read more »

C.B.
Guest
C.B.

ruldh – I think you’re probably right. But most parishes don’t have 2000 members or a vestry member who can arrange for a 2 million dollar loan at a bank either. I think the point is that Grace Church is large enough to have a vestry that provides the congregation with representative oversight and arms length transactions.

Lapinbizarre
Guest
Lapinbizarre

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, StandFirm has another long post (20 paragraphs, by my count) from Don Armstrong. It begins with the observation that “the writing styles of certain people in my parish with which I am familiar make clear that although there are number of different names being used, we really have only a couple people posting/attacking—and a far greater number speaking in defense of reason and justice”. The parking tickets and the $200 cable bill get full coverage. Still utter silence on the scholarships, Bowton and other, for the kids.… Read more »