Tuesday, 3 October 2006

San Joaquin: diocesan convention plans

The Living Church has two reports about the Diocese of San Joaquin:
San Joaquin Reschedules Diocesan Convention and San Joaquin to Consider Leaving The Episcopal Church.

Episcopal News Service has San Joaquin diocese to consider constitutional amendments severing relationship with the Episcopal Church.

All of these are prompted by this announcement on the diocesan website:

Due to recent meetings held within the Anglican Communion, the annual convention in the Diocese of San Joaquin was postponed to convene on December 1st and 2nd of this year, so that clergy and delegates would be better prepared to respond to any decisions made by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Anglican Primates that might affect us.

Meetings held in Houston by the Windsor Bishops, as well as the meeting of Primates in Kigali, Rwanda during September, were encouraging to those who have anticipated redefined relationships within the Anglican Communion.

In anticipation of some of the changes that have come about through the above mentioned meetings, constitutional amendments have been proposed that place the Diocese of San Joaquin in an ideal position to be part of any ecclesiastical structure that the Archbishop of Canterbury and Primates might design.

The Diocese of San Joaquin remains true to the Apostolic teaching and practice of the Episcopal Church that it received by being part of the Anglican Communion. The constitutional changes currently being proposed by the diocese affect neither this faith nor practice but rather perpetuate the historic Faith of the Church in a time when these things are being challenged by others.

Proposed Constitutional changes that have been on file with the Secretary of Convention since September 1st may be found here [PDF file].

Fr Van McCalister
Public Relations Officer
Diocese of San Joaquin

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 3:55am BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

Summary: San Joaquin proposes to be part of "a province" of the Anglican Communion. Frankly, I think they would be better off being "part of a province to be named later." All property is to be vested in the Bishop, who apparently feels that his legal status as Protestant Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin is in jeopardy. I don't think the switch from "lay communicant in good standing" to "voting member of Parish or Mission" is necessarily tricky, but it appears odd in this company.

Posted by: Caelius Spinator on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 5:34am BST

So is it NOW appropriate for the other California bishops to brings charges of abandoning the Communion?

These proposals are totally disconnected from the Constitutions and Canons of The Episcopal Church which all the clergy have sworn to uphold. Vestry member which support them are violating their position as upholders of the property right of The Episcopal Church. This is all extremely disturbing (and not in the least surprising).

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 3:20pm BST

This is nothing less than total secession from TEC -- essentially San Joaquin becomes a free-lance diocese, keeping all its money and property (including that of parishes that want to continue part of TEC). And it does look in part that it was pre-emptive, that Schofield didn't think the presentment was going to be resolved in his favor, and that this would make it clear that he is not bound by the disciplinary canons of TEC.

As to the change to "voting member", I'd be interested to see how the canons define voting member. It could be a way of silencing dissent.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 4:02pm BST

Give 'em an inch (dismissal of "Abandonment of Communion" charges against +Schofield), and they'll take a mile? :-/

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 5:59pm BST

Do you think the Episcopal Church is just going to let this happen or are they going to make some moves of their own?

Posted by: Wade Bond on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 6:14pm BST

J.C. -- my thoughts exactly. Seventy times seven and the other cheek and all that, but isn't there some limit to how much TEC has to play the shmuck here?

Posted by: Rick on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 8:09pm BST

“Give 'em an inch (dismissal of "Abandonment of Communion" charges against +Schofield), and they'll take a mile?” J. C. Fisher

Right on, JC! It’s time we came down HARD on these people!

Posted by: Kurt on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 9:49pm BST

"The Diocese of San Joaquin remains true to the Apostolic teaching and practice of the Episcopal Church that it received by being part of the Anglican Communion"

Um. The Episcopal Church predates the Anglican Communion (although obviously not the C of E), as does the diocese of California from which the diocese of San Joaquin was born. I suppose they don't actually want to tie themselves to Canterbury either....

Make a case for Apostolic teaching - which it inherited from the Episcopal Church and in particular the diocese of California - fine. Tie that to the Anglican Communion and you have the cart before the horse.

What a confused load of rubbish.

Posted by: Robert L on Tuesday, 3 October 2006 at 10:33pm BST

It's time for some squeaky old clocks to be cleaned so they can chime on REAL time again.

Posted by: Leonardo Ricardo on Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 12:31am BST

Well, good Prior, this might be. I've commented recently (elsewhere, I think) that the earlier diocesan resolutions might not have constituted grounds because no action had been taken based on them. After all, the bishop and deputation of San Joaquin did participate in the General Convention in Columbus. However, voting for these resolutions would seem to me to violate the ordination vows of any cleric of the diocese, bishop included. All of us ordained in the Episcopal Church signed a card commiting to "conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church," and this seems a pretty clear violation of discipline.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 3:51am BST

A "diocese" of 2000 odd members is odd.

Dissolve it into California!

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 5:06am BST

If dissolved, into *Northern California*, Goran (Join the SJ Valley, like the watershed, to the Sacramento Valley).

JCF (originally from NorCal, spent several Easters w/ the grandparents in the Fresno Cathedral---a zillion years ago! ;-/)

Posted by: J. C. Fisher on Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 6:20am BST

In most states, vestry members serve as trustees of the rights of the Diocese (as a part of TEC) and have a fiduciary duty to uphold those rights. If TEC has grown so passive that it will not defend the rights of loyal members, then perhaps it deserves what is happening.

Posted by: Paul Davison on Wednesday, 4 October 2006 at 11:39pm BST

T1:9 lists proposed resolutions and canonical changes to be acted upon by the October 2006 diocesan conventions which, in the case of Network dioceses, pave the way for seccession from the General Convention of TEC. San Joaquin is not the only suspected entity to break with a 1700-year tradition of episcopal jurisdictions going back to the Council of Nicea.

It is time for TEC to act and declare the Network bishops to be in violation of the C&C, and appoint new interim bishops to minister to faithful Episcopalians, who do not follow the false prophet of Abuja.

Posted by: John Henry on Friday, 6 October 2006 at 9:45am BST

A commenter on the second thread of Mark Harris's Preludium blog reports that the Diocese of Dallas, meeting in convention in two weeks, will also consider a number of resolutions that will remove all mention of the national church, its constitution and canons from their sight, and will eliminate their own canon providing for the election of deputies to TEC General Conventions. The commenter notes that Bp. Stanton, who has stated publicly and often that he will not leave TEC, will be put in a peculiar position if these resolutions pass. Again, I regret I do not know how to link things, but I commend Preludium to one who might be able to do so.
Lois Keen

Posted by: Lois Keen on Friday, 6 October 2006 at 1:25pm BST

Correction on my post of 1:25 pm on 6 October: The comment regarding the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas diocesan convention resolutions, on Mark Harris's blog Preludium is the 10th comment on the thread titled "Seceding from the Episcopal Church: Can it be Done?"

This evening I received an email from LEAC - Lay Episcopalians for the Anglican Communion - remember them? They are inviting me, as the priest of an Episcopal Church, to send a "cadre" to Orlando in November. I am invited to "take a personal role in a new and vital educational campaign for Episcopalians. The objective is to prepare for a life-changing decision - the choice of (a) remaining in the Anglican Communion or (b) abandoning our faith for that of The Episcopal Church, which has separated itself. That decision and that choice are the theme of a unique, action-oriented training conference: "One Christian Question for Episcopalians." Attendee cadres will be empowered by a strong curriculum and faculty."

I'll be glad to forward the entire email with attachments to Simon Sarmiento if he wants it. I won't inundate his personal life with unsolicited - stuff.
The kerfuffle over the Kigali communique has had no effect whatsoever on the move toward secession from TEC. Not that I ever thought it would, but one can dream.
Lois Keen

Posted by: Lois Keen on Saturday, 7 October 2006 at 12:30am BST
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