Thursday, 4 January 2007

another Camp Allen meeting

Updated Saturday

The Bishop of Texas, Don Wimberly, has convened another meeting of bishops at his diocesan conference centre, Camp Allen.

There are reports from the Living Church ‘Windsor-Compliant’ Bishops Reconvene at Camp Allen
and from Episcopal News Service Second meeting of self-styled ‘Windsor Bishops’ begins.

There is also a statement on his website from the Bishop of Fort Worth, Jack Iker:
Second meeting of Windsor bishops at Camp Allen which starts out with the words “A second meeting of the so-called “Windsor Bishops” …

I have not yet been able to locate the Texas diocesan magazine article cited by ENS or the letter to which it refers.

Concerning the earlier Camp Allen meeting, the Archbishop of Canterbury recently wrote:

The Episcopal Church is not in any way a monochrome body and we need to be aware of the full range of conviction within it. I am sure that other Primates, like myself, will welcome the clear declarations by several bishops and diocesan conventions (including those dioceses represented at the Camp Allen meeting earlier this year) of their unequivocal support for the process and recommendations of the Windsor Report. There is much to build upon here. There are many in TEC who are deeply concerned as to how they should secure their relationships with the rest of the Communion; I hope we can listen patiently to these anxieties.

According to Bishop Iker:

Windsor Bishops hold that Lambeth 1:10 is the teaching of the Anglican Communion on matters of human sexuality, and we are committed to the Windsor Report as the way forward for the Communion as regards its recommendations against the blessing of same sex unions and the ordination of persons engaged in sexual relations outside the bonds of Holy Matrimony. We are agreed that the response of the 2006 General Convention to the Windsor Report is inadequate, and we are intent on remaining in an unimpaired relationship to the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Primates of the Anglican Communion.

The original statement from Camp Allen bishops said:

We accept and affirm the Windsor Report and view adherence to it as furthering the vocation to heal the breaches within our own Communion and in our ecumenical relationships. Furthermore, we endorse the recommendation of the Windsor Report, as supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury, for the development of an Anglican Covenant.

The Windsor Report properly belongs within the larger framework of Anglican teaching, as expressed, not least, in successive Lambeth Conferences, including the resolutions of Lambeth 1998 (among which is Resolution 1.10). We understand this to be the mind of the Communion for teaching and discipline.

At the time of that meeting, there were apparently conflicting statements about how it had been organised in the first place.

Update According to Stand Firm there are four new attendees at this meeting who were not present at the first, namely:

The Rt. Rev. Charles Jenkins Diocese of Louisiana
The Rt. Rev. Duncan Gray Diocese of Mississippi
The Rt. Rev. Russ Jacobus Diocese of Fond du Lac
The Rt. Rev. Henry Parsley Diocese of Alabama

and five previous attendees are not present at the second meeting:

The Rt. Rev. Mark L. MacDonald Diocese of Alaska
The Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr. Diocese of Northwest Texas
The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf Diocese of Rhode Island
The Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield Diocese of San Joaquin
The Rt. Rev. John B. Lipscomb Diocese of Southwest Florida

(Also Bishop John Howard of Florida who attended only part of the first meeting.)

Update In the absence of the Texas documentation mentioned at the start of this article, this letter from a Texas priest offers some information.

Update Saturday
The Living Church reports that Meeting of ‘Windsor Compliant’ Bishops Adjourns Without Statement.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 8:52am GMT | TrackBack
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Categorised as: ECUSA

I believe Bishop Lipscomb is ill.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 12:51pm GMT

I think this continues to be an interesting gathering. This is, perhaps, on the conservative side of moderate, but there are a number of participants who I feel certain have no interest in leaving or dividing the Episcopal Church. Certainly, Parsley has been a foil to Network activities in his diocese, and Duncan Gray is a churchman.

Posted by: Marshall Scott on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 3:11pm GMT

In fact, Bishops John Lipscomb and John-David Schofield have both been ill.

Posted by: Christopher Hayes on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 3:22pm GMT

There is also quite a bit of commentary about this at Fr Jake's:

Posted by: Prior Aelred on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 4:00pm GMT

Question: which of the 'Camp Allen" bishops will ++Rowan invite to Tanzania in his on-going undermining of TEC and ++Katharine? Those who had the first meeting? The second? Both? Only those attending both? Can't he see that he is legitimating secessionists?

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 4:29pm GMT

*legitimating secessionists*

Are you referring to ECUSA seceding from the Anglican Communion, or dioceses seceding from ECUSA in order to maintain communion with Canterbury?

I think he has already legitimatized both "secessionists": He wants both ECUSA and its Anglican-oriented bishops to remain in the Anglican Communion. He has met with both sides and has talked with both sides.

Posted by: Randy Muller (Diocese of Northern California) on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 6:07pm GMT

I've asked this before and I'll ask it again.


Posted by: laurence on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 7:47pm GMT

The Wembeler strikes again.

I would hope that these fence riding bishops would be aware of just how their actions act to harm their Primate.

Posted by: John Robison on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 7:49pm GMT

Jim Naughton was right on the mark with his comment on the Daily Episcopalian Website:

"Interesting that Archbishop Drexel Gomez has once again come to the United States to meet with Episcopal Bishops and still not paid a call on the PB. I think enduring a series of public slights----such as the language in the Archbishop of Canterbury's recent letter about deciding 'not to withhold' Bishop Jefferts Schori's invitation to the Primates meeting in February--is part of the price for keeping the conversation in the Communion going."

Posted by: John Henry on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 8:25pm GMT

I remain concerned over one phrase in the Archbishop's recent letter, and I don't know if it represents a different understanding of the Episcopate in England (or Wales). The phrase in question is, "those dioceses represented at the Camp Allen meeting." Now, I may be confused (once again) by the Archbishop's prose, and he may simply be referring to bishops from dioceses who diocesan conventions have taken some action on the Windsor Report. But he seems to be speaking more broadly here, as if to suggest that bishops somehow "represent" their diocese even when not specifically asked to do so.

I can find no indication of this in our polity: that is, neither the ordination rite nor the Constitution and Canons suggest that bishops have a "representative" role for their diocese; in fact, they sit in the house of bishops by virtue of their Order, not their Ministry. It is the same with clergy who attend diocesan synods: we do not do so because we are vicars or rectors, but because we are priests.

So in the present case, with the exception of dioceses that have made an explicit statement on the Windsor Report, I don't think it right to describe dioceses as "being represented" by their bishops.

Posted by: Tobias Haller on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 8:45pm GMT

Bishop McDonald will now have a (rather confusing?) role as an "Indigenous Bishop" in Canada, which may explain his absenting himself from a (U.S. of) American gathering.

Posted by: JCF on Thursday, 4 January 2007 at 10:00pm GMT


I don't know if Bishop MacDonald's role will be confusing or not. We have similar bishops in various provinces throughout the communion. In the Episcopal Church, we have a bishop who oversees the ministries to members of the military and ministryies to prisoners. We have had various bishops with responsibilities of oversight of ministries with indigenous peoples -- some of them crossing diocesan jurisdictions at times.

The key point is that all of these are episcopal roles sanctioned and supported by the greater Province and the hosting dioceses, not inflicted by an extra-provincial or extra-diocesan authority.

Are non-diocesan bishops normative? No. Are they necessary? At times, yes.

Posted by: Richard Helmer on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 12:27am GMT

MacDonald is stepping down as Bishop of Alaska, as the Canadian position is a full-time one.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 1:32am GMT

Randy Muller:
legitimizing the seccessionists refers to the angry breakaways who pretend that they are running to some purer land of holy and pious souls when in reality they are joining forces with a man who would put gays and lesbians in prison simply for eating in a restaurant together. The seccessionists who claim that they speak for Jesus while the rest of of us Episcopalians are godforsaken pagans and evil doers. Those seccessionists. Some gospel they claim to serve, eh? Although, they may not really be seccessionists. The Washington Post reports today that two thirds of the people at Falls Church and Truro were Baptists, Methodists and Presbyterians who were never asked to become Episcopalians. As the Episcopalians fled to more traditional and accepting parishes nearby, the rich and powerful Republicans and conservatives like Al "The Geneva Convention doesn't apply" Gonzales and head of the CIA Porter Gross joined. Yet these folks got to vote in an election to try and take property away from the Episcopal Church. Maybe Truro and Falls Church and Plano aren't seccessionists because they haven't been Episcopal in worship or policy in a long, long time. More like Congregationalists-who-speak-in-tounges who flew in to grab some property.

Posted by: Dennis on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 4:30am GMT

Given all of the hullaballoo about lgbt folk, perhaps we need such a bishop as well?

Posted by: *Christopher on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 5:22pm GMT

As a Canadian Anglican, I welcome the appointment of Bishop McDonald, as a National Indiginous Bishop.

We have struggled, in the ACC, for the last few years in coming to terms with the terrible treatment Aboriginal People received at the hands of Canadian Christians.

It is a good thing that Aboriginal Canadian Anglicans are able to control their own destiny within the Anglican Family.

Please see the following links for more information:

Anglica Journal Story -

Globe and Mail Story -

Posted by: Charles on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 6:42pm GMT

Richard H---

I should have clarified myself: what I find confusing is not so much the non-diocesan nature of his new Canadian ministry (FWIW, I know that Bp. MacDonald went to seminary in Canada), but rather that he is going to continue a (U.S. of) American one (not in Alaska, but in Navajoland).

Whether all +MacDonald's fence-straddling (of various sorts) proves grace-filled, is yet to be determined, IMO...

Posted by: JCF on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 6:45pm GMT

"We accept and affirm the Windsor Report" -- right only so far as it marginalizes gays and lesbians - no listening process, okay to cross diocesan border to wreak havoc, etc. I find these bishops a bit disingenuous.

Posted by: Ann on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 9:05pm GMT


I am 69 years old and have only been an Episcopalian for 18 years. That makes me akin to a generation of Episcopalians who never knew anything other than the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and/or the advent of the ordination of women. In 2005 my high school class held the 50th reunion of our Senior class. Remarkable there were 5 class mates present who had become Episcopal Priest! They each had their own tale to tell, their length of service in the ordained ministry varied but none of them had "left" The Episcopal Church.
My wife of 46 years is a virtual Episcopalian having gone to Hanna More Academy, an Episcopal preparatory school and belong to the Canterbury Club at All Saints Church while she attended Rollins College here in Winter Park. While there are member of All Saints who are in same sex relationships she is opposed to the blessing of same sex relationships, however, she has no intention of leaving the Episcopal Church. Curiously, it would appear that this reflects the feeling of a great many members of the Church.

(Figures don't lie but liars figure!)


Grand Total Parishes Members

7,679 2,405,165


Central Florida 87 35,909
Dallas 56 38,913
Ft Worth 56 18,682
Pittsburgh 68 20,263
San Joaquin 50 10,480
South Carolina 75 29,628
Springfield 40 6,237

Sub Total 446 160,112

% of Grand Total 5.8% 6.7%

Net of APO 7,233 2,245,053

Posted by: POPS on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 9:21pm GMT


While I agree the proof will be "in the pudding," so long as both provinces are agreed to sharing the ministry of Bishop MacDonald, I have no problem with it at all.

That other bishops have crossed diocesan and provincial boundaries without permission or sanction -- or even conversation -- is of great concern, I think.

Posted by: Richard Helmer on Friday, 5 January 2007 at 11:27pm GMT

I guess that Canada's appointment of +MacDonald to a border-crossing episcopy could become the Anglican Communion's "thin end of the wedge" - invading TEC-territory ?!

Posted by: Dave on Saturday, 6 January 2007 at 1:10am GMT

Bp. Wolf has just announced her engagement (Mozel Tov! :-D) . . . but the fact that it's to a divorcee', might have made her less inclined to join Living-In-Glass-Houses crew at Camp Allen? ;-/

Posted by: JCF on Monday, 8 January 2007 at 7:03am GMT

thanks for this JFC,

What a heart-warming acoount of their love, and lovely photo. What a lovely couple they make.

(Just shows its never too late)...

Posted by: laurence on Monday, 8 January 2007 at 12:48pm GMT

+ Steenson, from my local diocese, Rio Grande, is among the 'Windsor Bishops' who attended both Camp Allen meetings.

Locally, he's taken pains to be clear that he does not support secession from the ECUSA, but recognizes the potential of 'walking apart' temporarily. Most of his local statements have been about desiring unity, but having reservations about the 'more liberal' bent of the ECUSA.

My impression is that the large & vital congregations here in New Mexico would not support leaving the ECUSA.

i must admit to disappointment in +Steenson, but still have hope for the future of our diocese within the ECUSA.

Posted by: scott on Wednesday, 10 January 2007 at 3:03pm GMT
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