Friday, December 28, 2007

"Look Ahead to 2008:"


ABERNETHY: Meanwhile, some U.S. Episcopalians are separating themselves from the main Episcopal Church and putting themselves under the authority of Nigerians or others in Africa or South America. Bring us up to date on that.

Ms. ZOLL: Sure. The Christians overseas tend to have a very theologically conservative view on the moral issues that we're grappling with here, and what's happening is that theological conservatives in the United States are making common cause with like-minded conservatives overseas. The Episcopal Church is not cracking up.

It's a very small comparative number of churches that have actually left the Episcopal Church, about 55 as of this date out of more than 7,000 congregations in the United States. But it's not just the numbers. It's the -- a lot of those churches are some of the most vibrant churches within the Episcopal Church, and just recently an entire diocese voted to leave.

ABERNETHY: But do you expect more of that separating?

Ms. ZOLL: It's not clear how many more will happen, but what we know that what will happen next year is a lot of litigation, and that is going to be very difficult for the Episcopal Church and for people who are trying to leave. It's going to be expensive. It's going to be ugly, and it's going to take a long time to play out.

Yep, yep, yep! The part of the story Rachel didn't get was how hard is going to be for people who are trying to STAY ... St. Nicholas, Atwater, for example. And for some wider context on that whole sorry mess, here's some background from San Joaquinian Stephen Bentley's comments on an earlier report about his:

"... personal experiences with the then-Episcopal Bishop of San Joaquin. Well, now you're witnessing a hint of the lies and underhanded dealings of what he can do and has done in closing missions who disargee with him.

Trinity in Madera, St. Dunstan's in Modesto and St. Stephen's in Stockton were closed and the property sold in order to place money in the warchest of J-D for the anticipated departure from TEC. If you were to look at the 2009 Budget you would see that positions were eliminated and programs cut, putting more money into the already top-heavy administrative budget, topping a wopping 51 percent. J-D and his cohorts have been preparing for this since the first vote last year using the excuse that these missions and programs were not financially stable for the diocese.

Wow... a youth program not fianancially stable. It's no wonder there are no young people coming to the Diocese of San Joaquin. They are being told they are not worth spit for shionola.

This isn't a time for saying "I told you so", it's a time to ask, when is something going to be done to put a stop to this madness so faithful Episcopalian in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin can get back to doing the business of the mission of the church rather than being worried that another mission will be closed if they don't submit to the will of the Anglican Bishop of the Southern Cone."

Stephen Bentley,
Youth Minister,
Episcopal Church Of St. Anne, Stockton,

And STILL this is not a story for our neo-con blog friends! Go figure!


David@Montreal said...

is it possible that the neo-cons are embarassed and scandalized by the actions of John-David
maybe they're just a little frightend of the public record he has created and its possible legal consequences.
why are we waiting for them to comment on the scandal perpetuated on St, Nicholas Episcopal Church in Exile? Isn't it almost like waiting for someone to get angry enough to pick a fight with us?
Just a thought.

Rev. David Justin Lynch said...

++Katherine needs to get moving on the immediate inhibition of Bp. Schofield. His conduct in Atwater was totally unacceptable--as an Anglo-Catholic I am appalled he would use Midnight Mass on Christmas as a vehicle to further his schismatic agenda. This man has no respect for Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. It is time for him to go. She ought to appoint Bp. Nedi Rivera on a temporary basis. Bp. Nedi can then start inhibiting the disloyal clergy that are following Bp. Schofield and appoint vicars to take care of the remaining congregants and restart the parishes. She also needs to hire counsel and start lawsuits to get Church property back if it is not surrendered voluntarily. For everything, there is as season. This is a time for action, not contemplation!

M.J. said...

I'm still working through my own theology on GLBT issues, yet what I see happening in the Diocese of San Joaquin, the Diocese I grew up in for 10 years appalls me. When does a Bishop have the authority to hold hostage an entire diocese?

I think the thing that saddens me the most is that the Bishop has turned around and acted in the same manner that he and others decried ++Bruno for doing. Where is the sense of justice and respect in that?

Those who chose to align themselves with the southern cone have every right to do so - yet at the same time (as I spoke to a member of my congregation after preaching this morning) - there needs to be a trust in God that God will meet their needs and be their provider as they step out in faith. They need to leave, not try to kidnap the church.

Two cents from a former Episcopalian.