Thoughts while watching the streaming video from the Remain Episcopal Event in San Joaquin ... (and kudos to "815" for making this live video stream available ... and to Fr. Jake for the "chat room" option!
Loved that the processional hymn was "Gather Us In" ... one of my all time favorites!
Here are some words of reassurance from Canon Moore's sermon:
"We are not here to establish a "new" Diocese of San Joaquin ... you ARE the Episcopal Church in this part of the world."
"We are called not simply to imitate Christ but to incarnate the Gospel in everything we say and do."
And how refreshing to see a woman priest among the altar party!
And now, words from Cindy Smith, President of "Remain Episcopal"
"We are a rallying point for those wanting to remain in the Episcopal Church and rebuild a welcoming church committed to mission and worship."
Remain Episcopal has two goals:
Reconciliation within the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin -- reconciling those with differences within a church committed to the Gospel.
Planning for the day when "Remain Episcopal" can cease to exist
And then Bonnie Anderson, President of the House of Deputies:
The Episcopal Church is alive and well ... and because of you and our faithfulness, the Episcopal Church is alive and more well because of you.
It's a new day in this diocese -- but it's a new day based on an old promise we make ... over and over and over again ... in our baptismal covenant: to seek and serve Christ in ALL persons.
It takes two to tango, but someone has to make the first step -- and those committed to "remaining Episcopal" -- have the opportunity and challenge to reach out to those who you do not trust, who have hurt you -- and to be vehicles of reconciliation.
The overarching goal is to seek order out of complexity -- and Bonnie called those gathered to the Christ-centered courage it takes to reach out to those with whom they disagree.
Then, after Bob Moore read a letter from the Presiding Bishop, we get a brief but very well done bit from +KJS herself to the San Joaquin Remnant, which included this "take away quote:"
"This may feel like a long Lent, but Easter is coming! You are not alone!"
And here's the link to a just posted ENS article, which includes more from the Presiding Bishop on San Joaquin:
"The Presiding Bishop has asked for the formulation of a broad based steering committee on the local level who will work with her and her Office in a variety of ways, including working with her on a process for the calling of a special convention," said the Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop.
"This convention will, among other things, elect a new Standing Committee and make provision for an interim Bishop. It is unclear when the special convention will be called," Robertson said.
The response comes in part to earlier reports that Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin had closed mission congregations and fired vicars who did not support his move away from the Episcopal Church.
"The Episcopal Church is prepared to provide financial support to those mission priests who are dismissed and remain loyal to the Church and to assist in expenses related to the reorganization of the Diocese," Robertson added.
He said TEC "will also assist local diocesan leaders in bringing any necessary lawsuits to protect diocesan and parish property for the mission of the Church. It is important for the clergy and laity to know that they are supported in their ongoing mission and ministry in San Joaquin."