More news from San Joaquin, via Episcopal News Service:
[Episcopal News Service] A growing number of Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin are opting to remain within the Episcopal Church (TEC), as the Fresno-based diocese prepares for an anticipated March 29 special convention that would elect a provisional bishop.
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in a letter to be distributed via a new diocesan newspaper, notes the proposed convention date and reassures the people of the diocese that work is ongoing "to ensure that you and your fellow Episcopalians may continue to bless the communities around you well into the future."
"I anticipate convening a Special Diocesan Convention on 29 March, at which you will elect new diocesan leaders, and begin to make provision for episcopal leadership for the next year or so," Jefferts Schori writes. "That gathering will be an opportunity to answer questions you may have, as well as to hear about plans for the renewal of mission and ministry in the Diocese of San Joaquin."
The convention announcement follows a series of February 19-22 meetings with individuals and groups from Lodi to Bakersfield which the Rev. Canon Bob Moore called "very fruitful. We've been able to broaden the scope of people who may see a future in the reconstituted Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and that's been good," he said.
Moore noted as signs of progress the appointment of a 26-member steering committee to help continue the diocese (see roster below); 17 congregations who have opted to remain with TEC; the anticipated March 29 special convention to elect a provisional bishop; establishment of new diocesan headquarters in Stockton and a partnership with Episcopal Life Media to facilitate dissemination of information and to provide a new diocesan newspaper edition.
"It's an enormously big step," said Moore, of the new diocesan publication. "The lack of information here is profound," he said.
Read the rest here ... and do keep the Episcopalians in San Joaquin in your prayers. Their former bishop is NOT making things any kind of easy for those who wish to remain faithful to the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church ... you know, the things he vowed to do when he was ordained and when he was consecrated.
[Also from the ENS article] In other developments, Bishop John-David Schofield in a letter dated February 15 forbade [Brian] Cox and [Bob] Moore from serving as an interim pastoral presence in San Joaquin. "You are meddling in the affairs of San Joaquin with neither the courtesy of requesting my permission as bishop nor even troubling to inform me of your plans," the letter said.
"Under no circumstances are you welcome to hold meetings in this diocese or to ask permission of clergy or other leaders to do so," Schofield added.
But ... if he's not an Episcopal Bishop anymore, what with jumping ship to the Southern Cone and all, then with what authority does he "decree" what folks who want to stay in the Episcopal Church either do or don't do ... or where or when they meet with who?
It just gets curiouser and curiouser ...