Tuesday, 11 December 2007

plans to reconstitute San Joaquin

Episcopal News Service reports: Continuing Episcopalians making plans to reconstitute Diocese of San Joaquin.

Local leaders, along with those from the wider church, are already making plans for the continuation of the Diocese of San Joaquin following a vote to disassociate from the Episcopal Church.

Michael Glass, a San Rafael, California-based attorney who represents congregations and individual Episcopalians who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church, told Episcopal News Service (ENS) December 11 that he, local leaders, Chancellor to the Presiding Bishop David Booth Beers, and leaders from Episcopal dioceses surrounding San Joaquin “are coming together very soon to finalize our coordinated efforts to provide for the leadership needs, the legal and pastoral issues, and the financial concerns of our brothers and sisters in San Joaquin, and to provide for the continuation of the diocese.”

The Rev. Robert Moore will meet with the group as well. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori appointed Moore “to provide an ongoing pastoral presence to the continuing Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin,” said the Rev. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop.

Moore is the husband of Bishop Suffragan Bavi Edna “Nedi” Rivera of Olympia, the daughter of San Joaquin Bishop John-David Schofield’s predecessor, Bishop Victor Rivera.

But it is not straightforward. Read the rest of the report about the intimidating threats to clergy, and the problems of mission congregations.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Tuesday, 11 December 2007 at 11:30pm GMT | TrackBack
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Comments

The denial of a "Secret Ballot" which would have removed any threat of intimidation in the San Joaquin vote is in stark contrast to the votes in my diocese (New Westminster) on Same-sex blessings - all three of which were by secret ballot, so delegates could be free to vote their conscience without fear.

And the so-called Reasserters call themselves oppressed!!

Posted by: Charles Nurse on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 12:26am GMT

Surely schism is not for the sake of the Gospel and mission when the schismatics plan in advance for this? I'm beginning to think we're in a Tom Stoppard play.

"The person said both Schofield and Gandenberger told him and another congregational leader a month ago that diocesan support might cease, since any funds in the diocesan budget for mission would have to go towards Schofield's legal defense."

And God is glorified in this how?

Posted by: Dirk C Reinken on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 1:01am GMT

Ahhh yes, "intimidating threats to clergy." Those reasserters. Such a Christian bunch.

Just warms the cockles of your heart, don't it ?

Posted by: David H. on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 2:25am GMT

From the article: "Glass said that a number of priests voted to approve the changes Schofield wanted 'out of fear for themselves, their families and the people under their care.' Both Glass and the person who contacted ENS said that they knew of priests who now openly renounce their support for Schofield's plans and express 'regret for what they did.'"

I don;t have a lot of sympathy for someone who voted for it over the weekend, but regret that action today. Personally, if it were me, I would have asked for my Southern Cone certificate and torn it up right before their eyes.

Posted by: ruidh on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 4:28am GMT

What's this? TEC is going to cross boarders without permission of the bishop? Say it isn't so!

Posted by: Joe on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 5:02am GMT

TEC, in ministering to its own loyal people, is scarcely crossing borders - unlike Southern Cone and Nigeria and others - we need either Trollope or Wodehouse to write about the New Cone-ists.

Posted by: Cynthia Gilliatt on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 11:18am GMT

Posted by Joe:
"What's this? TEC is going to cross boarders without permission of the bishop? Say it isn't so!"

There's no bishop to give permission.

Posted by: Dirk C Reinken on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 11:39am GMT

Joe - Schofield is no longer the Bishop and all he has done is to leave the Diocese vacant-- and now new folks are coming on board to fill the void he has left - hardly a surprise and certainly not boundary crossing - rather just the usual thing when there is a vacant see.

Posted by: ettu on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 12:16pm GMT

For ruidh, I would ordinarily concur, but, over the weekend much information has been revealed. +Venables, +Schofield and +Lyons have assured the good people of the San Joaquin that this move will insure that they are in full communion with Canterbury and the Anglican Communion. They have marketed their attempt to secede from TEC and join Southern Cone on this basis. People have been misled at best and, frankly, lied to at worst. Certainly clergy were not as "fully" informed as they might have been and they are almost always the "filter" of information to their congregations and may have passed +Schofield's spin down to them. Now congregations and clergy are possibly learning a different "truth" and rethinking. So a review on better information may be perfectly understandable.

Posted by: EPfizH on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 12:25pm GMT

I'd be interested to see what the new certificates from the Southern Cone say. My certificates of ordination and my license come from the Diocese of Western Newfoundland, not the Province of Canada or the Anglican Church of Canada.

If the San Joaquin clergy have been given certificates from the Southern Cone, then it would appear that they have left the Diocese of San Joaquin behind, which is of course the correct answer (clergy can leave TEC, but the diocese cannot).

I am surprised, however, that with all the talk and threats beforehand, that the "loyal" congregations, backed by the legal team at 815, weren't in court on Monday morning seeking to freeze diocesan assets.

Posted by: Jim Pratt on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 2:13pm GMT

Under the canons of the Episcopal Church, a priest can minister in a diocese for sixty days without being licensed by the local bishop. That's why the Presiding Bishop appointed a priest, not a bishop. After two months, presumably, Bishop Schofield will be deposed for having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church, and there will be no canonical impediment to the ministry of a new bishop in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

So your sarcasm (if that's what that was) rests on ignorance.

Posted by: The Postulant on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 3:35pm GMT

This removal to the Southern Cone all depends upon queer folks - or some other fill in the blank modern change? - being so terribly and definitively awful, that almost any effort to stop being around queer folks or to avoid whatever other change is involved becomes an ethical and religious commandment. Hence, justified, ethically, religiously.

The only feeling bedrocks I have touched so far in conversation with various conservative believers, involves the fundamental shock and outrage that traditional believers feel if anybody under any circumstances - and for alternative ethical or religious reasons organized by new light in following Jesus of Nazareth, gasp? - seems to be fiddling with their received high privileges which permit traditional believers to trash talk, and on occasion mistreat, queer folks or other perceived change target people. But that feeling stream raises as many questions as anything else in this strange worldwide Anglican campaign to turn back the clocks on modernity. As if ...

Alas, these folks flunk modern ethics 101 class. The realignment conservative ends - and I think we all know there is more than one goal, here - do not justify these means. The cover story of being so persecuted by modernity that believers have to seek refuge and safety in a far flung diocese is just that, a cover story, for what is really going on - the campaign to replace TEC as the North American Anglican province. I stand happily with the Remain Episcopal folks. Those whom God has made family dare not carry on this way, regardless of how much they disagree about queer folks or some other modern hot button controversy. But the realignment witness speaks for itself, and that news is not good. Lord have mercy.

Posted by: drdanfee on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 3:59pm GMT

New poster here.

So what really happens to the Diocese of San Joaquin now--I mean the one left behind by the folks who left the Episcopal Church for the Southern Cone? It really can't function as a diocese at the moment. Will one of the other California dioceses (maybe El Camino Real?) be responsible for pastoral oversight for the nonce?

Posted by: rockhopper on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 4:11pm GMT

Rockhopper:

As I understand it, the Presiding Bishop can authorize those who wish to remain in the Episcopal Church in San Joaquin to elect a new standing committee, which will be the ruling authority in the diocese until a convention can be called and a new bishop elected.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 4:35pm GMT

You good folks--"remaining" American Episcopalians--sound oddly like 16th-Century Roman Catholics observing developments in England: As a whole diocese disaffiliates, you deny the propriety, validity, and reality of their dissident act; you claim that their decision leaves the diocese vacant, not realigned; and you claim to be the rightful owners of their property. Just like the Pope said. Supposing your arguments good, they are nonetheless ironic coming up in an Anglican context, where the validity of the whole enterprise in its very origin is founded on the proposition that such disaffiliation is not only possible but is sometimes the Right Thing.

Posted by: DGus on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 6:28pm GMT

DGus:

It's one thing to "disaffiliate"...to become a separate church or denomination within your national borders, unattached to the Anglican Communion.

It's quite another to attempt to move to another province or national church within the communion. That's a violation of one of the clear traditions of Anglicanism...the need for national churches that have no fealty to a foreign power.

Posted by: Pat O'Neill on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 6:41pm GMT

But that was a whole Church Province DGus, not some movers within a relatively small diocese.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 6:42pm GMT

"You good folks--"remaining" American Episcopalians"

Thanks for the compliment, DGus.

[I'll ignore the rest, as the example of an Established Church in the 16th century---which, I might add, only assumed *autonomy*, not schism (schism, regrettably, was the reaction of Rome)---hardly pertains to a 21st century non-established diocese violating its own sworn canons]

Posted by: JCF on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 7:46pm GMT

"Supposing your arguments good, they are nonetheless ironic coming up in an Anglican context"

I've always thought it humourous that bishops in a Church that owes its existence to its willingness to give two divorces to a whoremongering monarch 500 years before it did the same for anyone else, not to mention being complicit in the murder of two more of that monarch's SIX wives, would have the temerity to condemn vehemently, often with malicious untruths, faithful monogamous relationships. It seems perfectly acceptable for the Church to defend a murderous adulteror as long as his bits don't look the same as those of the person with whom he is adulterous.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Wednesday, 12 December 2007 at 8:02pm GMT

It's because of the Tridentine ideas (unknown to all other churches) that somehow - and against all logic -- have manage to creep in....

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 8:26am GMT

The Rev. Elizabeth Keaton, on her Telling Secrets Website, links to a news article published in the early 1990s when Bishop John-David Schofield came out as a 'reformed' gay bishop. It is interesting to note that the Province of the Southern Cone is now also a safe-haven for gay bishops. Good news indeed!

Posted by: John Henry on Thursday, 13 December 2007 at 9:15pm GMT

It's Elizabeth Kaeton, John Henry. The link was posted to TA earlier today and is on the "More on San Joaquin" thread, below.

Posted by: Lapinbizarre on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 12:50am GMT

The real issue here regarding fast-draw MacSchofield is that he has abused the power of the Episcopate. He has done so through his intimidating tactics. He has over the years threatened clergy and their congregations with closure. And in fact has closed a half a dozen congregations over the last 5-6 years. He has threatened at least two recently. He has 'recruited' those of protestant Pentecostal and Evangelical churches who when educated in his School of Ministries, ordained, and rewarded with cures, 'owe' him. They after all came into the Episcopal Church to aid MacSchofield in his effort to cleanse the Church. They owe him for the opportunity. Likewise his order of Deacons. They 'owe' him also.

Answering ruidh who said, "I don;t have a lot of sympathy for someone who voted for it over the weekend, but regret that action today. Personally, if it were me, I would have asked for my Southern Cone certificate and torn it up right before their eyes." ruidh, you were not there at Convention, you do not know the air in which we voted. I abstained. But it took all the strength I could muster to stand up to the peer pressure. I wonder if you really could have remained seated. Compassion and forgiveness are in order. Repentance is supposed to bring forgiveness.

Note: I sign 'Anonymous'. Though I understand how MacSchofield operates, the fear of retribution is still felt.

Signed Anonymous. Remaining: Episcopal Diocese of S Joaquin. Not: Anglican Pentacostal Evangelical Diocese of S Joaquin of the Southern Cone. (That's a mouthful. Something MacSchofield must be familiar with.)

Posted by: Anonymous on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 3:22am GMT

Not reformed, that's an other thing.

Posted by: Göran Koch-Swahne on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 8:06am GMT

Anonymous: it all sounds like a horrid situation. I am sorry you are caught up in it.

Posted by: Fr Mark on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 9:53am GMT

Anonymous,
Rightists all the time talk about the persecution of the faithful by the faithless liberals of TEC. Never have I heard one example that did not in some way involve what looked very much like an attempt by conservatives to stir up strife so they could CLAIM to be oppressed. Demand the bishop state only Christians go to Heaven. Lock the doors and declare 'impaired communion' when he does not, then claim oppression when he justifiably disciplines you. You story is from the other side. I for one would like more details. Prurient, perhaps, but the details of your story would go a long way to counter the conservative claims of oppression, which basically seems to be defined as not being permitted to walk all over everybody else.

Posted by: Ford Elms on Friday, 14 December 2007 at 1:22pm GMT

Ford: Prurient? Well, when I talk of 'quick-draw' I think he must be a particular sorry repentant. Check this link out:
http://my-manner-of-life.blogspot.com/2007/12/schofields-ex-gay-closet.html

Fr. Mark: I want to express my gratitude for your sympathies. But, I want you to also know that we are not down for the count. Just a bit stunned from how quickly all took place. We are on our feet and we are now rebuilding the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin- with haste. It truly is an exciting time to be here. It promises not to be boring. Someone else said it: "The chains and shackles have been dropped from around our necks."

Peace, Anonymous

Posted by: anonymous on Tuesday, 18 December 2007 at 7:59am GMT
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