Stockton Record: Episcopal leader to head San joaquin diocesan reorganization

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The national leader of the Episcopal Church will be in Lodi this weekend to lead a major reorganization of the embattled San Joaquin Diocese and to elect a new bishop.

The diocese, which had 47 member churches, voted in December to secede from the national church body over disagreement on issues such as biblical interpretation, women in leadership roles and whether the church should ordain openly gay clergy.

But 18 churches wanted to stay aligned with the national church.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts SchoriTEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

68 Comments
Posted March 26, 2008 at 6:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

18 Churches? Surely they jest. This does not align with anything I’ve heard from the real leaders in DioSJ. Can anyone clarify this?
The Rabbit.

March 26, 7:41 am | [comment link]
2. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

I sent an email the the reporter asking him for a list of the 18 churches. We shall see if he replies.
The Rabbit.

March 26, 8:12 am | [comment link]
3. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Here are most of them.  Note, many are continuing congregations whose buildings have been temporarily taken out of the Episcopal Church by followers of Schofield.

Congregations in the Continuing Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin


North Valley:

1. The Episcopal Church of St John the Baptist - Lodi
1055 South Lower Sacramento Road - 209-369-3381
   

2. St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church - San Andreas
414 Oak Street (near the corner of Oak & Mariposa)
    - 209-754-3878

3. St. Clare of Assisi - Avery
    1 block from the Post Office on Hwy 4
    - 209-754-5381

4. The Episcopal Church of St Anne - Stockton
1020 West Lincoln Road - 209-473-2313
   

5. Christ the King Community Episcopal Church - Riverbank
    6443 Estelle Ave. - 209-869-1075  
   

6. St. Nicholas Mission - Atwater
Temporary location: Atwater Community Center
760 E Bellevue Rd.  - 209-658-9832
   

Central Valley:

7. Holy Family Episcopal Church - Fresno
1135 East Alluvial - 559-439-5011
 

8. Church of the Saviour Parish - Hanford
519 N Douty St - 559-584-7706
 
 

North Valley:

9. Madera area -
    - contact us at 559-431-1451

10. Turlock area - “St. Francis Episcopal Faith Community”
- contact us at 209-785-1373

11. Sonora area - “St. Mary’s in the Mountains”
- contact us at 209-588-8885

South Valley:

12. Bakersfield area “Grace Episcopal - Bakersfield Faith Community”
  - contact us at 661-338-2675

13. The Chapel - First Congregational Church
Stockdale Hwy & Real Road
(use parking lot off Stockdale Hwy)
661-338-2675

Three new congregations:
Grace, Bakersfield;
Holy Trinity, Madera;
and St. Mary’s in-the-Mountains, Sonora;
will be welcomed.

There are also faith communities offering worship services in these cities:
Details & Information:

14. Sonora Senior Center
540 Greenly Rd.
Sonora
Every Sunday: 9 am
209-588-8885


Modified by elf for excessive length

March 26, 8:39 am | [comment link]
4. Bishop Daniel Martins wrote:

To amplify on #3 above: Only 7 of the 18 are intact (more or less) congregations with buildings from the DSJ of yore. Of those seven, four were self-supporting parishes with full-time clergy at the time of the split, two had been parishes but were no longer able to support a full-time priest, and one has always been small mission in a remote area. Eight of the remaining eleven appear to be remnants of congregations that went to the Cone, and three are new plants. The tragedy is that, if there had merely been the desire to do so on the part of 815, as many as four more parishes, three of which are way more substantial than any on the current list, could have been added to the number. Unfortunately, it appears that there is only a desire for a “showcase” Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, not an authentic one.

March 26, 9:24 am | [comment link]
5. Adam 12 wrote:

Can anyone comment on the legal reasons why things are proceeding this way? There seems at this moment no attempt to secure assets of the withdrawn diocese by having 815 claim corporate ownership. Rather, it would almost seem that a separate corporation is being set up. It does seem that if there is a new TEC diocese all that it will consist of is a few missions. Frankly, I don’t know why TEC doesn’t just merge continuing TEC churches into neighboring dioceses.

March 26, 9:48 am | [comment link]
6. MarkP wrote:

Fr. Dan Martins says, “The tragedy is that, if there had merely been the desire to do so on the part of 815, as many as four more parishes, three of which are way more substantial than any on the current list, could have been added to the number.”

The tragedy is that 815 was put in an impossible decision and had to decide what to do, based on incomplete information and legal, pastoral, and ecclesiological guesswork. Now of course their enemies will choose to put the worst spin on their actions. They did what they thought they had to do, having been put in a unique situation by people who wished them ill. The suffering of the orthodox and the faithful (to use each side’s chosen terms) are just proof of the old adage about who suffers when two elephants fight.

March 26, 9:52 am | [comment link]
7. Cennydd wrote:

“Enemies?”  “People who wished them ill?”  Where on earth did you get the idea that we were enemies or wished them ill?  If we ARE “enemies” of anyone in TEC, that would mean that we’re “enemies” of the gang running the Church…....not the people in the pews.  Do we wish our friends ill?  NO!

March 26, 10:02 am | [comment link]
8. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Re #4, Fr Dan ~
The interesting thing is that it was a tiny, tiny diocese to begin with.  Indeed, it is likely Schofield could not have accomplished his plan in a standard size diocese in which there would have been broader representation and a larger cross-section of opinion. 

Re #6 ~  MarkP, your comments are right on.  When elephants fight, the grass gets trampled.

Slightly edited by elf.

March 26, 10:04 am | [comment link]
9. Bill Melnyk wrote:

#7 Cennydd (neat Celtic name, BTW!)
The above comment applies.  Those who left could not help inflicting great pain and sorrow upon those who chose (or wanted to have the choice) to remain in their old pews in their beloved parish.  That’s not to say that hard decisions must be avoided - just that those who make them bear a responsibility for the unintended consequences of their acts as well as the intended ones.  How much “collateral damage” are you willing to create in order to have your way?  I’m reminded of the famous Vietnam Ware era quote - “We had to destroy the village in order to save it.”  Somewhere in San Joaquin there is a new young mother who had been dreaming of having her firstborn baptized at the same font she was baptized at - but now it will be in a school gym.  And she wasn’t even fighting with one of the elephants.

March 26, 10:11 am | [comment link]
10. Choir Stall wrote:

If I pull a trailer out to Stockton, paint its front door red, and pray the Prayer Book inside, will I be counted as a church too?  These “churches” have yet to live, much more survive.

March 26, 10:12 am | [comment link]
11. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Choir Stall ~
These Churches that have “yet to live” are faithful people for whom Christ died, struggling to maintain their heritage.  Isn’t Easter season a good time for celebrating new life?  Would you discount them because they are in the process of rebirthing? Would you abort them because you don’t approve of them?  This isn’t a contest.  Everyone has a right to live.  Oh, and by the way, if at least one other person joined you in that trailer, yes, you’d be a church.

March 26, 10:18 am | [comment link]
12. Chris Hathaway wrote:

Oh, and by the way, if at least one other person joined you in that trailer, yes, you’d be a church.

Well, that is true theologically. But it is not how things work ecclesiastically, which was Choir Stall’s point.

But that is merely a rule based argument, and rules are such a drag when you’re on the righteous side.

Seriously, 815 does not care about these people’s “lives”. They are being used as pawns in a political and legal game.

March 26, 10:37 am | [comment link]
13. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Here is the letter I sent to the reporter. It seems somewhat apropos here also.

Mr. Reid,

I was quite surprised to find in your article the line that said, “But 18 churches wanted to stay aligned with the national church.” Earlier reports had indicated that there were only three or so churches that had voted to remain in The Episcopal Church, along with scattered minorities in the other churches.

I wish you had provided a list of the church names to substantiate the figure of 18: perhaps you had the information, and it ended up on the cutting room floor after the editor’s work?

I would not be surprised, on the other hand, to find that officials of The Episcopal Church would claim that “18 churches want to align with the national church.” However, if one were to examine the list of the 18 that they might claim, one would find some of the same churches that are claimed by the re-aligned diocese. In any case, I strongly suspect that the number of churches claimed by both sides will exceed the number (47) that the diocese started with.

On a minor note, I suppose you are aware that Bishop Schofield’s purported “deposition” by the national church was irregular (lack of a quorum, etc.), and according to some partisans, null and void. That is, perhaps, outside the scope of your article.

I had wanted to post a short note on your blog questioning the number of churches that “decided to stay,” but I was unable to find a blog topic for this article in your personal web log. Is the topic posted elsewhere?

Best Regards,
Rev. Deacon Rolin Bruno
http://resurrectiongulfcoast.blogspot.com
http://resurrectioncommunitypersonal.blogspot.com

March 26, 10:45 am | [comment link]
14. Irenaeus wrote:

“The national leader of the Episcopal Church will be in Lodi this weekend to lead a major reorganization of the embattled San Joaquin Diocese”

“Dr. Katherine Jefferts Schori, Ph.D., will be in Lodi today to perform brain surgery on Bp. John David Schofield. Schofield is currently on a mission trip to Bolivia, where he will remain until April 5”

March 26, 10:53 am | [comment link]
15. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Adam 12, your question is worth pondering. I might suggest a reason for what they are doing: If they were to fold the diocese down, it would complicate their effort to recover the property in the (almost certainly) pending lawsuit. The strongest position for their future lawsuit is to have it filed by an entity that claims to be the “true” Diocese of San Joaquin that wants to get its property back that was improperly spirited away.
The Rabbit.

March 26, 10:54 am | [comment link]
16. TLDillon wrote:

Ad hominem removed. Commenter is warned.

Fr. Dan has it more accurate. In fact this particular one:
13. The Chapel - First Congregational Church
Stockdale Hwy & Real Road
has been meeting in the home of [name removed] a priest from the Dio. of LA for a few years now under the radar and then got permission to meet at a certain time in the location above. So this “church” wasn’t even a churh of our diocese. How misleading is that!? And border crossing!

At this point I don’t really care how many churches they have I just care more about the fact that they are moving uncanonically and without honest merit. How can one accuse another of doing something against the communion of the church then the church and its little organisms move and operate against their own canons and constitution? How can anyone look at them with credibility, honesty, trust, etc…?  IMHO they , TEc, Remain Epsicopal, and many bishops like JJ Bruno, have broken any trust or credibility they at one time might have had.

March 26, 10:56 am | [comment link]
17. robroy wrote:

Way flag plant, our br’er rabbit! Thanks for the info, Father Dan.

Now, Jake is implicitly calling to evict bodily the true standing committee members. Should be interesting. I wish I could be there with my sandboard sign, “Katherine, Katherine, why do you persecute me.”

March 26, 10:56 am | [comment link]
18. robroy wrote:

(Should be sandwich board sign.)

And the national church is seeding this rump nano-diocese with $500,000 just to bolster the impending lawsuits. With the lawyers’ bills coming in, it promises to be a very expensive affair.

March 26, 11:28 am | [comment link]
19. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

St. John’s, Lodi; St. Anne’s,Stockton; St. Matthew’s, San Andreas; Holy Family, Fresno; Our Savior, Hanford; St. John’s, Tulare; a mission church, St Clare of Assisi.  Lodi and St. Clare’s don’t fit the original “who can’t leave us” plan from S.Cone, but that may be water under the bridge at this point. I don’t know.
The rest of the sum from the article are being allowed to be at the March 29 meeting by agreement of the “Steering Committee”, and its Credentials sub-committee.  They were not part of the diocese as recognized or organized congregations in December.
Poor reporting.

March 26, 11:36 am | [comment link]
20. TLDillon wrote:

Don’t forget that these people who are attending this expensive gathering (poor stewardship IMHO) had to sign an oath!

March 26, 11:49 am | [comment link]
21. Br. Michael wrote:

Well, both sides are in uncharted waters and are making it up as they go along.  However that said, the people in control of TEC have a long history of ignoring canons when they are not in control and enforcing them in new and creative ways when they are.

March 26, 12:02 pm | [comment link]
22. Nikolaus wrote:

“Somewhere in San Joaquin there is a new young mother who had been dreaming of having her firstborn baptized at the same font she was baptized at - but now it will be in a school gym.  And she wasn’t even fighting with one of the elephants.” 

So true of many, many othodox parishes thrown out of their home by their bishop.  It’s fascinating that 815 is requiring an oath!  Given how revisionists howl whenever reasserts use them, I assumed they were anathema to that crowd.  Of course, it suits their needs now.

March 26, 12:18 pm | [comment link]
23. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

I received the following reply from the reporter:

Rev. Deacon Bruno,

Thanks for the note. The purpose of the article is to inform the community of this weekend’s meeting. I was told by the new diocese that 18 churches are involved, and didn’t realize that number was a matter of controversy.

I have a blog on recordnet.com. When I get a chance today, I will do post noting this trend. I may share parts, or all of, your letter.

Thanks for writing.

Keith

March 26, 12:27 pm | [comment link]
24. Cennydd wrote:

Bill Melnyk:  “Plan?”  WHAT “plan?”  If you mean the “plan” to ensure that faithful Anglican Christians have a place of refuge free from the domination of those who have deliberately taken their Church and turned it into a club where “anything goes as long as it feels good?”  If you mean the “plan” to restore the Church to its historical beliefs and practices? 

If this is the case, then I heartily ENDORSE what my faithful Christian bishop has done!  And THERE WILL BE MORE.  What can Schori and Company do about it?  Oh, they can threaten and cajole, they can sue, they can inhibit and depose clergy for simply disagreeing with them, but in the end, what good will that do?

March 26, 12:53 pm | [comment link]
25. William Rolf wrote:

>Can anyone comment on the legal reasons why things are proceeding this way?

It seems to me that 815 is waiting on the decision from the California Supreme Court addressing the property issues of the churches who left the Diocese of Los Angeles before taking any action against the San Joaquin churches. It is entirely possible that the decision may be handed down by this summer and, regardless of nature of the ruling, it will have a significant impact on San Joaquin property issues.

March 26, 1:34 pm | [comment link]
26. Little Cabbage wrote:

William Rolf:  Right on, it’s very obviously a Schori-ing up (couldn’t resist the terrible pun) of a rump diocese, with a long-term legal strategy for the property fights ahead in mind.

Let’s hope the reporter publishes the correcting letter in full, both on the blog AND on tomorrow’s front page.

March 26, 1:40 pm | [comment link]
27. Intercessor wrote:

20. One Day Closer wrote:

Don’t forget that these people who are attending this expensive gathering (poor stewardship IMHO) had to sign an oath!

So help me understand the new and improved TEC…Baptism is not a prerequisite to receive the Body and Blood of our Risen Lord (apologies to Dr. Shepherd-Dean of Perth) but a signed “loyalty” oath is required to get in the door? Just who are they worshipping?
Is there a copy of this oath available on the RE website and if not why not?? What is the penalty for breaching the oath if one signs? Excommunication? Lawsuit? Spanking?
Intercessor

March 26, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
28. Already left wrote:

What cha want to bet that the oath includes “loyalty to TEC.” I cannot find the oath anywhere.

March 26, 3:02 pm | [comment link]
29. Connecticutian wrote:

Rob Eaton+, interesting point…  Do your canons have any requirements about who may be qualified to attend and to vote at convention?  How could these extra-canonical and/or “house church” groups be recognized by the “convention”? 

I don’t really want to know, my head hurts already from trying to bring mental order to the situation; just a rhetorical wondering.

March 26, 3:16 pm | [comment link]
30. Beryl Simkins wrote:

As a loyal and faithful Episcopalian in the Diocese of San Joaquin, I would like to make a few comments in response to some of the comments I see here, some which come across as meanspirited, whether or not that is intended.

To Father Dan Martins, I would like to ask, what makes a church substantial?  Numbers only? Money?

To Cennydd, who asked, “Where on earth did you get the idea that we were enemies or wished them ill?”  We got the idea from numerous hostile comments that you have made on this blog and other blogs that seem to have the intent to undermine any effort currently being made to restore the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin for those who are faithful. 

Some of us have endured heartbreaking times, forced out of our place of worship, St. Francis in Turlock, because we were unable to continue there after a deposed priest was brought in to serve in our church.  You are looking at people who have given and served in all the possible available positions in our church for decades.  You are looking at my elderly parents who can’t just jump in a car and go down the road to find another parish.  Now, we are trying to rebuild and to reach out to others, AND WE ARE GROWING.  Are we substantial?  I believe we are in the eyes of the Lord.
To Choirstall, we don’t have a trailer or a red door.  We have prayers books and Bibles and we are people who love the Lord.  We have a wonderful priest who is working with us who is terribly underpaid. We have weekly Evening Prayer or Compline.  We clebrate the Holy Eucharist every Sunday.  “When 2 or 3 are gathered together, ...” and we are way more than that.

Nikolaus, The labels, “revisionist” and “reasserters,” are meaningless.  We are just “people” who want to continue in the Episcopal Church in good faith.  People who wish to be a part of the convention are only being asked to sign a statment of loyalty to the Epsicopal Church.  Pretty reasonable, given the hostility and animosity exhibited here that could be described as,  “Let’s look for everything they might be doing wrong.  Let’s look for every misstep and call them on it.”

One day Closer, Of course there is no penalty for “breaching the oath.”  It is expected that Christians who sign a statement of loyalty would be doing it in good faith.

There are many of us who want to move on, in good faith, in love and service to the Lord.  I have always believed the Episcopal Church is big enough for many voices.  Conflicts and disagreements may occur, but we come together at the altar rail, in love and charity with our neighbor, knowing that the other persons there are also forgiven and loved by our Lord.

March 26, 3:37 pm | [comment link]
31. robroy wrote:

Beryl Simkins, the “enemies” comment was in response to MarkP.

Bp Schofield and the others in the leadership of the Diocese of San Joaquin have said “go in peace.” KJS has responded in clumsy, brutish manner with depositions and pending lawsuits. It would be helpful for you and others to say that you do not approve of the heavy handed, canonically questionable maneuverings. Rather, you and others would like to part amicably with Christian charity.

March 26, 4:47 pm | [comment link]
32. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Both sides - both sides - seem to define “Christian Charity” as “letting ME keep the building.”  Wouldn’t it be good if we could remove that aspect altogether?  e.g. The building is sold, the money given to charity, and both sides start out as new entities.  What do you all think?

March 26, 5:18 pm | [comment link]
33. Beryl Simkins wrote:

Rob Roy,
I already know that you and I will never agree in regard to these matters because each of us are looking at it all from an entirely different world view.  Former Bp Schofield and his leaders may have “said” to go in peace, but that means I have no church after giving and serving at St. Francis for more that 40 years. It hasn’t been feeling very peaceful.  I also know so many things that have happened to other parishioners in this diocese that have been abrasive, harsh, and not at all peaceful.
Intercessor, I am Mrs. Simkins, a mother, a grandmother, and a very nice woman.  You would be welcomed into our church services, and to any other church gatherings of the Episcopal faithful in this diocese at any time without signing anything.  However, I did not make the rules, but I do not mind signing an affirmation of loyalty to the Episcopal Church to be a part of the convention so that business can be conducted.  I am a part of a group that wants the opportunity to move on as an Episcopal Church.  Hopefully, others at the convention will be those who want the Episcopal Church to continue in this diocese also.

March 26, 5:46 pm | [comment link]
34. Cennydd wrote:

Bill, you’re right.  The Church is PEOPLE…...not buildings.  Worship in an open field or a tent, if you have to….....or in a private home, which wouldn’t be the first time for me. 

Beryl speaks of people being forced from their places of worship; this has also happened to thousands of Anglicans who were given the choice of remaining in a parish where the Gospel of the Lord was twisted to mean “The Gospel of What’s Happening Now,”  and who were treated to the words of a Presiding Bishop who openly stated that “There is more than one way to God than through Jesus Christ,”.......or of leaving for a spiritual home in another jurisdiction in order to practice the Faith of Christ Crucified without all of the modern innovations. 

We were not “listened to” at General Convention, we were ignored and shouted down, bullied by those with whom we had the temerity to openly disagree, we were called “schismatic” when all along TEC knew perfectly well why we had spoken out, and they deliberately chose to ignore our legitimate arguments…....claiming that “God is doing a new thing.”  Worst of all, WE were the ones who were expected to do the “listening,” while the so-called “progressive Episcopalians did all of the talking.

That has ended.

March 26, 5:48 pm | [comment link]
35. Ladytenor wrote:

#32: Intercessor, the oath of conformity is for delegates and those standing for elected or appointed office at the convention.  No oath is being required for those simply attending the convention.  (Though it does seem that registration is required, as space is limited.)  This seems to be a reasonable reqirement under the circumstances, to ensure that those clergy and lay people who wish to run the Episcopal diocese henceforth are Episcoplians now, plan to continue to be Episcopalians, and are not participating in the convention for the purpose of undermining the diocese in its effort to reorganize and survive.  If you do not wish to make such an oath, I guess you would not be eligible to run for office in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.  Somehow, I don’t think you were planning to do so, anyway.

When I was elected delegate from my parish to our diocesan convention, I was “sworn in” to the position at the conclusion of the parish meeting with similar words—and I had no difficulty making my oath.  The newly elected vestry members made an oath, too.  Even the President of the US swears an oath to uphold the constitution when he takes office. 

Obviously, none of this has anything to do with attendance at or participation in church services.

March 26, 5:50 pm | [comment link]
36. Cole wrote:

If I was a minority and asked to ride in the back of the bus and told that I am still going to get to my destination, “What’s the gripe?”  If I was a paraplegic and told that I can get into the public building through the rear loading dock and I don’t need a handicap ramp, “What’s the gripe?”  I guess a LIBERAL society, the Civil Rights Acts and the American Disability Act and its interpretations have dealt with these issues.  I guess Christian charity and individual dignity may also have a stake.  Also, one’s right to freely practice religion (or not) should be a concern for a liberal society.  Now if I was told that I can surrender the keys to my church to a faith I don’t even recognize and the lot of us in the parish can go meet in my deposed rector’s living room on Sunday morning, What’s the gripe.  For you loyal TECies and your logic about what is fair, can’t you see a parallel with these examples?

From what I seem to read about the numbers game of who left TEC and who wants to stay in the former San Joaquin Episcopal Diocese, it has not been proven to me that a remnant is harmed anywhere near what 815 wants to place on the departing parishes.  The remaining can constitute whatever they wish with 815’s help.  If there isn’t enough people to form a viable parish in a given area, don’t blame the departing.  If the conservative laity just decided to quit individually and go their separate ways without the keys to the front door, the building alone would not constitute a viable parish.

March 26, 6:27 pm | [comment link]
37. Alli B wrote:

Beryl, I am actually sympathetic to your feelings about what is going on in your church.  I understand your anguish all too well.  My family has been Episcopalian since the early 1900s.  My grandmother was very active in her church and supported her cathedral in every way possible.  My entire family has been active in our church.  My 82-year-old mother has a bad heart, and she had to quit going to her mostly liberal Bible study because the coldness towards the orthodox was too upsetting to her.  The thought of having to leave our churches that we all helped to build up is almost too heart-breaking to think about.  Yet there it is.  You say, “To Cennydd, who asked, “Where on earth did you get the idea that we were enemies or wished them ill?” We got the idea from numerous hostile comments that you have made on this blog and other blogs that seem to have the intent to undermine any effort currently being made to restore the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin for those who are faithful.”
I would ask, faithful to whom?  To God, to the Anglican Communion, or to the Episcopal Church?  I and my family are becoming convinced that our beloved Episcopal Church has been corrupted, perhaps beyond repair.  Our allegiance will ultimately be with God and then the Anglican Communion. 
  Your comments regarding hostility on this blog have me scratching my head.  Are you referring to the uncharitable actions by the national church and our PB which are being condemned here?  I suppose instead of complaining about the tone of the comments, I would like to hear someone like you say that you now have sympathy for what is happening to all the orthodox Episcopalians across the US whose churches are being taken away from them; that you now know how they feel.

March 26, 6:32 pm | [comment link]
38. jamesw wrote:

Can anyone comment on the legal reasons why things are proceeding this way?

I think it is pretty simple.  KJS needs there to be a friendly, co-operative bishop claiming to be the sanctioned Bishop of San Joaquin for the purposes of a future lawsuit.  KJS believes that she would not be able to secure a friendly, co-operative bishop if she acted according to the canons of TEC.  The only way she could ensure a puppet bishop is if she acted as she did, and basically started up a new diocese from scratch based on a couple of parishes and several more ragtag collections of disgruntled parishioners from parishes that have remained with the Diocese of San Joaquin (SC).

The problem I see with what KJS has done (problem for her, I actually think that she has so botched it up that it will end up working in Bishop Schofield’s favor no matter what the California Supreme Court decides) is that she so has so blatantly abused the canonical process that her puppet bishop Lamb will have no legal standing.  Organizations must follow their own internal rules, and KJS most certainly has not done so.  Ergo, neither Lamb nor 815 will have claim to the properties.

Some of the folks of the new Diocese of Remain Episcopal, like Beryl Simkins, seem like nice, if misguided folks.  I don’t think they fully appreciate how the utter incompetence and/or sloppiness of what the Presiding Bishop has done can come back to bite them.  Nor do they fully appreciate the reality that it is extremely unlikely that any of the non-sustainable congregations in the new DRE will ever become self-sufficient, nor do they appreciate the reality that it is very doubtful that the debt-ridden St. John’s in Lodi is even feasible in the long term.  Nor do they appreciate the reality that once the litigation is over, and TEC loses, that none of the surrounding dioceses will have any interest in taking on financial drains, nor will 815 have the money nor the desire to prop them up any more.  A cruel joke is being played on them by 815.

March 26, 7:26 pm | [comment link]
39. Little Cabbage wrote:

jamesw, I must agree with you.  Once the dust settles from the property suits to come, 815 will drop financial support for these folks.  It will take a few years to happen, but it will occur.  It is indeed a cruel joke.

March 26, 8:07 pm | [comment link]
40. Cennydd wrote:

And, y’know, none of this would ever have happened if the PECUSA hadn’t gone off track.  The train wreck which was predicted for so long has finally happened…..with predictable results.  The locomotive is busted up, and it can’t be repaired.

March 26, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
41. Bill Melnyk wrote:

The Episcopal Church has finally really listened to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, is what’s happened.

March 26, 8:27 pm | [comment link]
42. Cole wrote:

No, I think the word is reappraised.

March 26, 8:34 pm | [comment link]
43. Bill Melnyk wrote:

No, Cole, it’s definitely “listened.”  We’ve finally realized that homophobia is as big a sin as racism or gynophobia.  We’ve finally understood that God is bigger than the 39 Articles, and that unconditional love means exactly that - unconditional love.  The Episcopal Church is pleased to be a place where all are welcomed except those who are unwelcoming.  That’s the agenda for the Special Convention in San Joaquin.

March 26, 8:39 pm | [comment link]
44. jamesw wrote:

Bill:  You do realize how chilling you sound when you say

The Episcopal Church is pleased to be a place where all are welcomed except those who are unwelcoming.

don’t you?  I think that the English translation of that is “The Episcopal Church is pleased to be a place where all are welcomed who agree with it’s theological positions, and those who disagree are cast out.”

And as for “unconditional love”, I think that the definition of love is not “let everyone do whatever their base instincts tell them feels good” but rather TRUE love that actually cares for a person’s soul and calls them to a higher life, but walks with them even if they don’t achieve it.

March 26, 8:48 pm | [comment link]
45. Cole wrote:

Gynophobia?  My spell checker didn’t recognize it.  ‘ Had to go to Wikapedia.  Boy am I in trouble.  I have both an abnormal fear of men and women!  No comment.  Thank you for your transparency and a full appreciation of the Special Convention’s agenda.

March 26, 9:02 pm | [comment link]
46. robroy wrote:

Funny, my bible doesn’t have Jesus doing a lot of talking about homophobia or gynophobia. But this is very much off-topic.

So back on-topic…Beryl, I am sorry that you have been hurt. I too miss the church that I grew up in. But it is gone. One sad thing about 815 heavy handedness is that they are casting aside Father Rob Eaton. Father Rob is a godly pastor who truly cares for people on both sides of this issue. He could have been a bridge builder. What a waste.

March 26, 9:24 pm | [comment link]
47. jamesw wrote:

RobRoy: There are a lot of ways that the TEC hierarchy could have dealt with this situation in a way that would have avoided the acrimony, bitterness and litigation that is now occuring.  The DAR plan would have permitted a way forward that most could have at least tried.  It certainly was not everything the orthodox wanted - not by a long shot.  But it was, I believe, the last workable chance.

All the primates had agreed to it - liberals and conservatives alike.  Even KJS agreed to it.  But then the radicals in the TEC’s HoB determined to scuttle it, and since KJS had been put in place by these radicals, she had to dance to their tune.  The liberal radicals in the TEC decided that they would rather have acrimony, litigation, bitterness, ruined lives and a ruined church because they wanted everything 100% their way.  These are the people whom Beryl Simkins should be criticizing - everyone in TEC who opposed the DAR proposal.

Now, unfortunately, the consequences of TEC’s rejection of the International Peace Plan (otherwise known as the DAR proposal) are coming home to roost.

March 26, 9:33 pm | [comment link]
48. Alli B wrote:

43, What you’re saying is, we’re inclusive, except when we’re not; and if you don’t agree with our new thing, then you’re not welcome.  I guess someone should coin a new word: “orthophobe”  Then I suppose we could throw that term at people who don’t agree with us.  Seriously, what you’re saying, summing it up, is now we have found rationale to do the decadent things we want to do, even though for the past 2000 years they’ve been considered sin.  Amazing.

March 26, 10:13 pm | [comment link]
49. yohanelejos wrote:

The question that occurs to me now: what is about to happen with those churches aligned with many in the existing standing committee, who were in discernment and not willing to go under Archbishop Gregory, or join in with Remain Episcopal? Any actual word on their present plans?

March 26, 11:55 pm | [comment link]
50. Beryl Simkins wrote:

I really thought a long time about wading back into this conversation. I have no desire to create more animosity than already exists.  Robroy, I appreciate your description of Rob Eaton as a godly man who cares for people on both sides of of the issue.  I do not know him personally, and yet know that, as a priest, he voted to go with the Southern Cone, and that he signed a very disrepectful and inflammatory letter directed to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church.  As a member of the Standing Committee, did he know what was done to us at St. Francis?  However, if he wants to understand people on both sides of these issues, then I respect his position.

But I have a real problem with the staement by AlliB that “Now we have found a rationale to do the decadent things we want to do, even though for the past 2000 years they have been considered sin.”  I don’t know what you think it is I have been wanting to do, AlliB, as a 67 year old grandmother who has been pretty straight all her life.  Life has been very full for me even in that.  I also am a woman with a PHD in Clinical Psychology, and I understand that there are people who are homosexual and that many of them would like to live a life in the church without being condemned for who they are.  What they are asking for is recognition and respect, and what they want when they ask for blessings of same sex unions, is that they be held to the same standards of heterosexuals that include respect, fidelity, and loyalty.  I hope that this statement will not drive many of you to distraction, and that you will be able to stay in conversation in regard to these issues.  Please prove me right.

March 27, 12:12 am | [comment link]
51. Sarah1 wrote:

RE: “I have always believed the Episcopal Church is big enough for many voices.”

Apparently, it was not.

RE: “I understand that there are people who are homosexual and that many of them would like to live a life in the church without being condemned for who they are.  What they are asking for is recognition and respect, and what they want when they ask for blessings of same sex unions, is that they be held to the same standards of heterosexuals that include respect, fidelity, and loyalty.  I hope that this statement will not drive many of you to distraction, and that you will be able to stay in conversation in regard to these issues.  Please prove me right.”

Right—and we’ve asked that those who are “who they are” not commit sinful actions forbidden by scripture, and when they do, to repent and turn from their sin—like all the rest of the sinners are supposed to d.  We’re asking that they be held to the same standards as the other sinners, the rest of us. 

Unfortunately, revisionists were not able to “stay in conversation” but instead proceeded onward in their votes at General Convention, thus ending “the conversation” by taking the actions that they wished to take—and now that they have done as they pleased they are pleading that the actions of reasserters cease, and that we have “conversation”. 

It’s sort of like extending a flag of truce, asking for parley in the middle of the field, then—while “the conversation” is going on—sending most of your troops to flank the opposing side and engage them in battle, all the while with pious utterances like “prove me right” . . . “stay in conversation.”

Richly ironic.

Saying words back and forth is not “conversation.”  Such conversation ended back in August 2003, and now there are only actions, which will continue for many many years more.

As for Rob Eaton signing a “very disrepectful and inflammatory letter directed to the presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church” . . . oh yes, it was inflammatory alright! 

It’s always “inflammatory” when people point out other people’s non-canonical actions in full public view in such a clear and lucid manner.

Thankfully, there will be further “inflammatory” statements and actions regarding various statements and actions from the PB, as she continues to perform non-canonical actions.

March 27, 12:32 am | [comment link]
52. robroy wrote:

Father Rob did not vote to go to Southern Cone. Life would be much easier for him if he had, I imagine. However, he feels called to stay and witness inside the Episcopal church. See here for an interchange between myself and this very faithful priest.

March 27, 1:11 am | [comment link]
53. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

This evening I realized that in #19 above, I failed to mention Christ the King, Riverbank; Glen Kanestrom is the rector.
Sorry.

March 27, 1:34 am | [comment link]
54. Words Matter wrote:

The difference between sex (male/female), race, and a dominant attraction to persons of the same sex (a “homosexual orientation”) is that the first two are normal variants of our humanity, like eye color or hand-dominance.  The last is a disorder - possibly genetic or biological, but probably psychogenic - like diabetes.

Therefore racism and sexism (properly understood and not just used to gain power) are sinful. “Homophobia”, which is, at heart, a liar’s word, is not.

March 27, 2:38 am | [comment link]
55. Rob Eaton+ wrote:

Beryl,
I won’t tie up this thread with a longish response to what’s been said above.  So, come on over to Surrounded, which has been noted as a weblog from the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin since I started it in 2006, and has not stopped being such.  I will publish a post addressed to you.  We’ve got two days before things happen in Lodi to get to know each other better.  You haven’t asked; I’m taking the lead.
It will hopefully be published by Thursday morning.

RGEaton

March 27, 2:43 am | [comment link]
56. The_Elves wrote:

Rob+ neglected to include a link for Surrounded.  Here it is.

http://sanjoaquin.wordpress.com/

March 27, 7:38 am | [comment link]
57. Bill Melnyk wrote:

Oops.  Pushed the wrong button. Sorry.

March 27, 8:09 am | [comment link]
58. MarkP wrote:

Alli B said, “What you’re saying is, we’re inclusive, except when we’re not; and if you don’t agree with our new thing, then you’re not welcome. “

I can’t speak to the church in general, but I’m in a diocese with a liberal bishop and a good deal of conflict at various times, but even here nobody was “not welcome” as long as they were willing to accept visitations from the bishop and follow the canons of the church (in this diocese, that meant using the ‘79 BCP at least sometimes). I understand how, from your point of view, being in communion with an heretical bishop would be unacceptable, but it surely is a more nuanced situation than your summary suggests.

March 27, 9:46 am | [comment link]
59. Br_er Rabbit wrote:

Good to his word, Stockton Record reporter Keith Reid opened a thread on the disputed number of churches (re?)forming the (reconstituted?) diocese. Here is what he posted:

Number of remaining Episcopal churches is arguable

My story in today’s paper on the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin’s quest to reorganize, and its plan to convene in Lodi this weekend, has apparently irritated some people.

The center of that irritation is not the convention itself, but a number - the number 18 to be specific.

Eighteen is the number of churches organizers say are still part of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. That’s not the same number of churches that the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin, led by Bishop John-David Schofield, believe will remain Episcopal.

Schofield and his followers think the number reported should be under 10, because there is clear division in some of the 18 churches being claimed by the Episcopal Diocese.

Right now, the number of churches aligned with each side is clearly unofficial, and will probably be decided by a judge, not a bishop.

The church tally is important to both sides because property rights adding up to millions of dollars in real estate and other assets are at stake.

Here is part of one of the nicer e-mails I received this morning from Rev. Deacon Rolin Bruno.

Then he quotes two of the paragraphs noted in my #13 above.
The Rabbit.

March 27, 11:45 am | [comment link]
60. jamesw wrote:

Beryl:  I would like to take up discussion with you of something you wrote.  But I would like to analyze your reasoning so, let us do so.  You wrote:

“I understand that there are people who [self identify as FILL IN THE BLANK] and that many of them would like to live a life in the church without being condemned for who they are.  What they are asking for is recognition and respect, and what they want when they ask for blessings of FILL IN THE BLANK, is that they be held to the same standards of THOSE WHO DO NOT ENGAGE IN THE SPECIFIED BEHAVIOR that include respect, fidelity, and loyalty.  I hope that this statement will not drive many of you to distraction, and that you will be able to stay in conversation in regard to these issues.”

The problem Beryl, is that this reasoning is faulty.  I think you would agree that you cannot just plug any behavioral descriptions into the blanks.  For example try plugging in “racists”, “apartheid”, “non-racists”, and I think you would definitely not agree that the Church should tolerate and pronounce blessings on racist behaviors.  On the other hand, you can put some descriptors in, such as “left handed people”, “lefthandedness”, and “right handed people”, and there would be no problem.  Therefore, the formula you have provided is meaningless and irrelevant as a tool to rationally and fruitfully discuss the issue at hand.  Just because somebody claims to have certain characteristics and demands the Church bless those characteristics does not, in itself, support or undermine the legitimacy of the claims.

We need to look elsewhere to determine if the Church OUGHT to bless the behavior in question.  And on that, the Scriptures are very clear, catholic Christianity across time and space is very clear, and Anglicanism (as agreed to at the Lambeth Conference and by all the Instruments of Unity since then) is very clear, that homosexual behavior is not a thing which the Church can bless nor is it a thing which the Church should bless.

So the question, Beryl, is do you want to belong to the “one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church” or do you prefer to belong to an arrogant, American-centric little clique that believes it can ignore everyone else.

Since this is quite personal, we suggest that you communicate privately. If you ask the elf <t19elves@yahoo.com>, we can help you exchange email addresses.

-Elf Lady

March 27, 1:13 pm | [comment link]
61. jamesw wrote:

Elves:  Don’t mean it to be personal actually.  Beryl stated in her earlier comment “I hope…that you will be able to stay in conversation in regard to these issues” and so I was taking her up on the conversation.  This discussion issue relates back to the newstory as the reporter describes the split as being “...disagreement on issues such as biblical interpretation, women in leadership roles and whether the church should ordain openly gay clergy.”

Okay, but let’s not get too off topic.

March 27, 1:44 pm | [comment link]
62. robroy wrote:

We have this from Anglican Mainstream:

The Bishop of Central Florida has called for a review of the proceedings, and the president of the church’s appellate court of review for the trial of bishops is understood to have agreed to look into the proceedings.

March 27, 4:10 pm | [comment link]
63. Cennydd wrote:

For the record, my wife and received an unsolicited copy of the latest Episcopal Life, in which the main article concerns the upcoming Special Convention in Lodi, California.  We have never subscribed to Episcopal Life, and I view this as an attempt to draw in as many people as possible.

Heads up, you who are in the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin…...you’ll get yours, if you haven’t already.  Mine went in File 13.

March 27, 6:00 pm | [comment link]
64. TLDillon wrote:

#63Cennydd,
So did my husband and I . It appears that the retired editor of the San Jaoquin Star as of Dec. after the vote took the mailing list she had for that Diocesan publication and populated all names and addresses for their/her new Remain Episcopal newsletter. I simply e-mailed her and asked to have our names removed from this mailing list since it was unsolicited and not given for their use. She did! But, it does raise an issue doesn’t it?

March 27, 8:35 pm | [comment link]
65. Cennydd wrote:

It tells me that they want to reach out and try to persuade as many people as they can to 1.  Show up at the convention 2.  Come on board with them, and 3.  Desert the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

March 27, 11:09 pm | [comment link]
66. Cennydd wrote:

I also emailed her and asked her to delete our names, and I’d advise others in our diocese to do the same, unless they want to continue to receive their propaganda.

March 28, 1:14 am | [comment link]
67. RazorbackPadre wrote:

“Organizations must follow their own internal rules..”

Not so for TEC and we all know it. If TEC followed its own rules there would be no women priests or women bishops and therefore no ++KJS. That KJS wields the power of the office of PB proves that these tactics work and work etremely well. That is why she so boldly believes she will succeed. And she will!

March 28, 9:01 am | [comment link]
68. Milton wrote:

Comment deleted by elf as an ad hominem attack against another commenter.

March 29, 1:48 pm | [comment link]
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