Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not so new news from Kentucky

Nothing really "new" here ... this list of candidates for the Bishop of Kentucky was announced earlier this week in a variety of places. I was, however, struck by the fact the journalist noted that the list of candidates was "notable for its lack of gay or lesbian candidates ... and for its lack of women."

I guess it's a small step forward that our absence is starting to be "notable" rather than our presence!

Four nominated for Kentucky Episcopal bishop
by Peter Smith -- January 29, 2010 --psmith@courier-journal.com

Four married men with years of clergy experience have been nominated as finalists to be the next bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky, succeeding the retiring Bishop Ted Gulick.

The four men — including the pastors of cathedrals in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Missouri and a former Kentucky pastor now leading a Texas church — will visit the diocese to meet with parishioners and answer their questions. An election convention is scheduled for June 5, with the new bishop’s consecration on Sept. 25.

The list of finalists is notable for its lack of gay or lesbian candidates — given the ongoing controversy involving the Episcopal Church and its global partners in the Anglican Communion over the role of gays in ministry — and for its lack of women.

The Kentucky diocese has long promoted women in ministry, and while the issue of homosexuality has been debated, the denomination and many of its congregations have supported the role of gays and lesbians in ministry.

But the Rev. Dr. Bill Watson, president of the diocese’s standing committee, said the search committee was composed of men and women and open to any candidates who qualified under Episcopal “canons,” or church law. That includes women and openly gay and lesbian candidates.

“I don’t know that there was any desire to look for any particular candidate that would be representing any kind of interest,” said Watson.

The search committee consisted of men and women who were more concerned with finding the “best and brightest,” he said.

“They were looking at and reflecting on the profiles (of the candidates) and the actual interviews with the nominees and their reflection on the life of the church,” Watson said. “That’s really what drove it. I think the process was very open, and we recruited from around the church.”

The standing committee is in charge of the bishop selection process. A separate search committee sorted through 78 names. Members interviewed numerous candidates by phone and conducted on-site visits in the home dioceses of 10 of them.

“It’s a really exciting slate of nominees,” said Watson, pastor of Grace Episcopal Church in Hopkinsville, Ky. “It looks like a very well-qualified group of people. I’m delighted they’ve allowed themselves to be a part of the process.”

The candidates are:

* The Rev. David Allen Boyd, 54, pastor of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas, since 2003. He served as pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Episcopal Church in Lexington, Ky., from 1996 to 2003 and as pastor of parishes in Wisconsin from 1986 to 1996. He and his wife, the Rev. Catherine Tyndall Boyd, have two children.

* The Very Rev. John P. Downey, 56, pastor of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Erie, Pa., since 1987. He has also served as pastor of other Pennsylvania parishes from 1980 to 1986. He is married to Sharon A. Downey and has three children.

* The Very Rev. William Nicholas Knisely Jr., 49, pastor of Trinity Cathedral in Phoenix, Ariz., since 2006. He also served as a pastor in Pennsylvania and Delaware from 1991 to 2006. He and his wife, Karen McTigue Knisely, have one child.

* The Very Rev. Terry Allan White, 50, pastor of Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, Mo., since 2004. He also served as pastor of parishes in Illinois and Wisconsin from 1985 to 2004. He and his wife, Linda Sue White, have two children.

In 2003, simmering tensions in the global Anglican Communion exploded with the election at the Episcopal

Church’s General Convention of its first openly gay bishop — Kentucky native Gene Robinson in the Diocese of New Hampshire. All of the Kentucky diocese’s representatives voted in favor of Robinson’s appointment.

Several overseas churches declared that their communion with the American church had been broken, and some American churches and dioceses have split off.

The General Convention pledged in 2006 that the Episcopal Church would “exercise restraint” over any future gay bishop nominees. But in 2009, the convention passed a measure reaffirming Episcopal canons saying that “God has called and may call” gays and lesbians to “any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church”; at the same time, it reaffirmed the church’s commitment to Anglican unity.

Following that vote, the Diocese of Los Angeles elected an openly lesbian candidate, the Rev. Mary Glasspool, to be assistant bishop. Her election requires confirmation by other bishops and diocesan standing committees in votes scheduled through May.

The Diocese of Kentucky, led by Gulick since 1994, includes Louisville and central and western Kentucky. It has 9,856 members and an average weekly attendance of 3,781 — both down from the previous year, paralleling trends in the national denomination and several other historic Protestant groups.

26 comments:

PseudoPiskie said...

My second thought was the lack of female and/or LGBT candidates. My first thought was how much we would miss our dean and his wife who leads an excellent music program at the cathedral.

Caminante said...

In this day and age it is hard to believe that there was no one qualified woman out there.

Martin T. said...

So, what exactly is the precentage of attendance in New Hampshire? Did their attendance increase? Now, the lack of women candidates in indeed profound and it does stick out, but in all honesty, after the backlash from Rev. Glasspool's election as well as +Gene's election, is having another LGBT candidate for bishop really a smart thing to do at this point?

uffda51 said...

The obsession of some with the sexual orientation of priests in dioceses not their own, and the potential for some type of "backlash" by these people, are irrelevant. The "smart thing" to do is to pick the best candidate.

Martin T. said...

So unity and peace are irrelevant too? You call the people leaving TEC, attempting to take our churches, trying to make ACNA the replacement of us as the only recognized Anglican Church in the United States just mere "some type of backlash"? Last time I checked, bishops are bishops of the whole Church, so other dioceses have the right to be concerned with ANY matter when it comes to electing bishops. If they weren't, there wouldn't be a need for a consent process now would there? Kentucky picked who they wanted, and he will be not only a bishop for Kentucky but a bishop of the whole church. If Glasspool+ and +Gene had a shred of love for this Church, he would resign and she wouldn't have put herself in the running.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Martin -- and if the women ordained in 1974 had listened to PRECISELY THE SAME arguments being advanced about their ordinations, we'd have stemmed the tide of inclusion then and oh-my-goodness wouldn't we be a stronger, braver, Body of Christ in the World!

It was fear based, holding-onto-power rhetoric then and it's the same thing now.

The job of bishops and standing committees is to certify that election by discerning that [a] there is no impediment to the ordination and [b] that the candidate was "duly and lawfully elected and to be of such sufficiency in learning, of such soundness in the Faith, and of such godly character as to be able to exercise the Office of a Bishop." (This from Canon III.11.4a)

Since 1994 our canons have included sexual orientation in our non-discrimination canons.
In 2009, General Convention passed Resolution D025, which included (in part) the affirmation about partnered gay and lesbian people "that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church."

On the "facts of the matter" [a] there is therefore no canonical impediment to her election and [b] she was duly elected by the diocese and is one of the most godly people most of us have ever met. Which is why we elected her.

The argument will, of course, be made that her election will challenge the unity of the Anglican Communion. My "words of wisdom" on that are that [a] it is out of challenge that we grow and [b] we don't get involved in the selection of bishops in other provinces; neither should our Anglican Communion siblings be involved in the election of bishops in ours.

Finally -- for those who argue we need to move beyond this "issue" and get on with the mission and ministry of the church, the surest way to allow that to happen is to do what General Convention did in Anaheim ... to recognize that we have differences of opinion on this issue AND to recognize that our historic Anglican comprehensiveness provides the latitude we need to disagree and yet work together in the service of the same Lord, faith and baptism.

Consenting to the Los Angeles elections will not only give my diocese the bishops we duly elected from six qualified candidates, it will give the whole church the chance to move forward in mission and ministry and stop letting our work be held hostage to those who insist our differences have to be divisions.

Martin T. said...

Even at the cost of being kicked out of the Anglican Communion,Reverend? You do understand that they don't have to consent right, and the PB will be forced by the Canons to declare her election null and void. Fear has nothing to do with it. Could you respect the wishes of the Church if they choose not to consent to her election? Does Glasspool+ herself realize that she will be given the same treatment that +Gene got by the rest of the Communion, if we aren't kicked out?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Martin ... thanks for stopping by. In a nutshell, I'd say TEC made it clear in Anaheim that we're done being blackmailed into bigotry by those threatening to vote us off the Anglican Island serves.

As for the challenges of inclusion, it's called "the cost of discipleship" ... and it's a cost and promise we're proudly claiming here in the Diocese of Los Angeles.

(And -- finally -- we DO expect to receive the necessary consents and celebrate two fabulous new bishops on May 15th!)

Martin T. said...

You ever heard of the old saying "Expect the unexpected",Rev.? Are you prepared to possibly file getting kicked out of the Anglican Communion under "The cost of discipleship"? I believe that this election is nothing short of a political stunt, and your bluff will be called. So back to my original question since you wanted to mention Kentucky's numbers: How are the numbers doing in New Hampshire?

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Martin ... you're welcome, of course, to your opinion -- but not to dismiss the prayerful, faithful call of a diocese to a priest of the church with 28 years of ministry as a bishop as "a political stunt."

As for "the numbers game" you're welcome to play it. If you want statistical information on the Diocese of New Hampshire I suggest you contact the Diocese of New Hampshire.

As for me, I'm going to get back to work figuring out where to find more classrooms for our 67+ new member classes to meet here at All Saints Church ... where the gospel business is booming.

Martin T. said...

So you're saying because she spent 28 years as a priest, that makes her deserving of a miter? I can't help but wonder if she would even get elected in the diocese where she spent her ministry all these years. She doesn't even know anything about the Diocese or the people of LA, besides it being mainly liberal. And actually Reverend, that was your doing with the numbers game. You decided to play it in your own article as if it were because the lack of Women/LGBT candidates for the episcopate in Kentucky that were the cause of the low percentages. Of course, you may not have meant it this way but it sure does seems like it. Maybe I had it wrong all along Rev., but I thought the Gospel was for our salvation, not a "business venture"...

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

Thanks for fishing, Martin, but not biting.

Have a great day.

Martin T. said...

I didn't know that sharing my opinion with others whose opinions may be different than my own was considered "fishing", but that's just another thing we disagree with. However I'll just end it with this: If,(God willing),Glasspool doesn't get the required consents, will you as a priest and servant in this Church respect the wishes of this Church that they don't wish her to be a bishop?

Peace be with you!

MarkBrunson said...

When the "backlashers" leave, Peace Will Be With Us.

Amazingly, btw, entire churches manage to just squeak by without being in the increasingly laughable and irrelevant "anglican communion" (not deserving of capital A or C.) It certainly wouldn't be missed, here in the TEC, which is quite capable of creating a truly ecumenical relationship transcending mere "anglican" with Lutherans, Old Catholics, progressive Methodists and Presbyterians.

Unity? Peace? Through the navel-gazing of the anglican "communion?" Might as well look for it in the Roman Catholic monolith!

Martin T. said...

There is a lot of debate as to the reason why the Anglican Communion is irrelevant as you say it is. Mistakes were made in Anaheim and definitely Los Angeles in December, but it still isn't too late to correct them. And if those mistakes are corrected I'm sure those here will cry out the usual words, "Fear" and "Bigotry". You are standing for your deepest convictions, but those who disagree and show it by denying consent are not?

MarkBrunson said...

They were mistakes only if the anglican communion is relevant.

It isn't.

We built it, we existed before it, we'll exist after it dies without us while we build a new communal relationship.

You speak a lot of peace and unity, Martin - it's the Pax Romana you want; enslavement to evil so that you personally aren't inconvenienced. It's why I have no respect for those who place the "communion" above Truth, Righteousness and God . . . as you do.

If they deny the consents, they'll be wrong, but at least they'll be wrong within their clear rights.

The anglican "communion" has no legal or moral jurisdiction.

Let. It. Die.

MarkBrunson said...

In short, we answer to God not man.

Have a great day fishing!

Martin T. said...

They would be wrong according to whom? You? The Anglican Communion is irrelevant to whom? You? Bishop Bruno sure does like to remind everyone that TEC is part of the Anglican Communion (I wonder how much longer he will be able to make that claim). Try getting away with that one with the whole Church, not just those of one mind whom you surround yourself with so that you could feel secure in your deeds. You are no better than those who are on the far right who seek "organizational purity". BTW, I only fish in bodies of water, just so you know.

MarkBrunson said...

That's not the only place you fish. You are transparent.

Final answer: the anglican "communion" is objectively irrelevant. We're part? So what? We are part of a lot of things; more and less important. We can leave, they can kick us out. It will make no difference, and they will suffer more than we. You are arguing a ridiculous position that the "communion" is vital "just because" . . . according to whom - YOU?!

And, yes, wrong according to me. If it were just me, it would mean nothing, but . . . it isn't. You overestimate how many find the "communion" important. After all, what is the "communion" relevant to . . . YOU?! If they do consent and we get kicked out of the "communion," will you accept the decision? Doubtful. People like you are too weak in your faith to stand against the status quo.

You now officially bore me with your fishing expedition. I've had my say, you've provided nothing of the remotest interest in response, if you choose to remain ignorant, it's on your soul.

MarkBrunson said...

BTW, just because I'm - unfortunately - human and get hurt pride:

I have told the Church . . . I wrote letters to the various members of the House of Bishops. Most were too cowardly, or, like you, too lacking in cohesive arguments to respond. Those that did, and were willing to argue from your hopeless position, were able to give no more than a wordy "because we've always done it that way!"

Martin T. said...

My argument isn't cohesive because it doesn't agree with your own. Admit it. Every time someone presents a view opposite of your own you dismiss it as "fishing", "your soul in jeopardy" or something else of that nature. In short, it's pure Ad hominem. I would think that the internet is a poor medium to determine the strength of anyone's faith. Will I accept it if she gets the consents? Sure! The far-left isn't about to drive me from the only Church I found a home in. I'm not required to go to any events she will be attending, plus I don't run the risk of her presiding over my confirmation. I just don't think she should be seated in the bishop's chair, plain and simple.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

And the beauty of being Anglican is that agreeing isn't the criterion for belonging.

At least so far.

uffda51 said...

Agreed, both sides are acting on their deepest convictions. Both sides were taught the same things while growing up in the church. One side discovered that reality trumps what they were taught. One side continues to maintain that there are legitimate reasons to discriminate against a specific group of persons. As the transcripts of the Prop 8 trial and the video of DADT testimony have shown, those reasons don’t hold up under scrutiny.

Martin T. said...

I see what you're saying, but again, those issues you mentioned are a civil matter. Holy Matrimony isn't the same thing as civil marriage. Those organizations fighting against it seem to be putting the two on the same level, and it most certainly is NOT. If the RCC, LDS, SBC and the like would get that into their heads, we would be beyond this argument. As far as DADT is concerned, in my 8 years in the Air Force, not once have I thought about who the airman next to me was sleeping with on his/her time off. It never mattered to me then and it doesn't now. It's the dumbest thing in the UCMJ and it needs to be scraped ASAP before we lose more vital men and women to this horrible code.

uffda51 said...

I’ve clearly go too much time on my hands today, Martin T., but I’m honestly confused. I don’t understand your position. You indicate that you oppose DADT and that you oppose the RCC/LDS/SBC position on marriage equality. But +Robinson and Rev. Glasspool should disappear into the woodwork because they are unqualified? Or because they are homosexual? If all of the LGBT faithful went back into the closet tomorrow, we wouldn’t have unity, we would have pretend-unity.

The discernment process for the election of bishops involves hundreds of voters, most of whom are not LGBT, and lots of vetting, as opposed to the evangelical world where leadership simply stays in the family (Graham, Schuller, etc.). I think the LA voters chose who they felt were the strongest candidates, out of a strong group, after a lengthy process. I don’t believe they would conspire to elect a candidate simply to send a message, or, that they would they refrain from voting their consciences for fear of offending someone.

Martin T. said...

My position is this, as far as the civil side of things are concerned, I am absolutely 100% on the side for equality for all people. I'm able to separate civil matters from spiritual matters. But as far as the Church goes, I'm more for unity and compromise. I'm not saying that gays can't be members of the clergy, but if it was up to me I would call for those gay and lesbian clergy members to be celibate (sorry Mother Susan), especially those who are throwing their collar in the ring to be a bishop of the whole Church. No one has to be in the closet, just be celibate if you want to be a spiritual leader. If +Gene and Mary+ were celibate, there would be little to no objection not just through TEC, but the entire Anglican Communion.