The ENS article on San Joaquin Doings Yesterday

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The call to elect a new Standing Committee drew protest from the Rev. Robert Eaton, rector of St. John's Episcopal Parish in Tulare, California, and two lay delegates. Eaton, who said they wanted to protest "in as godly and Christian a manner as possible," told the convention that he had never resigned from the Standing Committee and thus should not have his seat taken away from him.

Tulare delegate George Sutton objected to what he called the "illegality" of the special convention, claiming that only the Standing Committee can call a special convention. Gillian Busch, the other lay delegate, said that the Tulare parish had not been included in the organization of the steering committee that worked toward the convention.

The Rev. Mark Hall, convention chair, replied that "this matter has been settled."

How was it settled exactly? By whom and according to what reasoning and sourcing and analysis? Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)TEC ConflictsTEC Conflicts: San Joaquin

12 Comments
Posted March 30, 2008 at 2:33 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Jeffersonian wrote:

It’s been settled by decree, Canon Harmon, by popular acclaim of the leaders of the masses.  Like the depositions of +Cox and +JDS.  TEO is run thusly today.  If you didn’t get the memo, don’t sorry…you will.

March 30, 2:41 pm | [comment link]
2. Jeffersonian wrote:

Oops…I meant, “...don’t worry…”

March 30, 2:44 pm | [comment link]
3. robroy wrote:

Settled by fiat.

Could someone find out how many churches voted to stay with the Episcopal Church (i.e., a majority vote)? The convention had representatives from 18 churches. That might mean one unhappy parishioner from a church that voted overwhelmingly to go to Southern cone showed up at the convention. The local paper, the Stockton Record, keeps saying that 18 parishes voted to stay in the TEO.

Also, Ms Schori stated in one of the interviews that no one objected at the HoB meeting and thus the parliamentary decision stands. This conflicts with the news that the matter is being looked into by an appeals committee. Any canon legal eagles know about finality of a such a decision?

March 30, 3:06 pm | [comment link]
4. Bishop Daniel Martins wrote:

Robroy, I’ve posted this elsewhere, but it’s important information, so I’ll repeat it: A total of seven intact (more or less, at least—one never knows what fallout any of them have suffered from the right flank) congregations (out of some 47) from the “old” DSJ are part of the new structure—i.e. with the real estate, buildings, and other property. Of those seven, four are (or had been, at any rate) self-supporting parishes: St John the Baptist, Lodi; St Anne’s, Stockton; Christ the King, Riverbank (suburban Modesto), and Holy Family, Fresno. These four parishes and their clergy have for several years formed the core of Remain Episcopal in SJ. The other three are St Matthew’s, San Andreas (a small aided parish); St Clare of Assisi, Avery (very small mission in remote mountain community); and Our Saviour, Hanford (parish recently reduced to “aided” status, highly conflicted, led presently by an orthodox priest). To this list, by all accounts, we might now add St John’s, Tulare, led by the courageous Fr Rob Eaton. Any of the others on the putative list of 18 consist of new plants (Grace, Bakersfield and St Mary-of-the-Mountains, Sonora) and “in exile” remnants from parishes that moved south with the mainstream of the diocese. Of the “intact” parishes, Lodi is clearly the most substantial in terms of numbers and finances (large pastoral/small “transitional” in size). But they are currently without a permanent rector, and while they have an enviable physical plant that is only about five years old, on a great piece of land, they are heavily mortgaged, with monthly interest alone running in five figures.

As for 815’s strategy, it seems to be to simply ride out the protests over canonical irregularities and hope they go away as everyone simply accepts the “facts on the ground.” That very well may be a successful strategy, at least in the short term. But I’m not ready to give up yet, and I hope the clamor will continue. An egregious wrong is being perpetrated here.

March 30, 4:01 pm | [comment link]
5. D. C. Toedt wrote:

In retrospect, +KJS might have been better off not trying to force a square peg (replacing +JDS as bishop of DSJ) into a round hole (the deposition-for-abandonment procedure). 

Another approach would have been for the Executive Committee, and perhaps the HoB, to approve the following resolution: 

A) It’s indisputable that +JDS has resigned his see in TEC. That brute fact was not altered by the HoB’s failure to impose a particular consequence, namely deposition from ordained ministry.  So +JDS is still technically an ordained bishop, but he’s no longer bishop of TEC’s diocese of SJ. 

B) Every member of the DSJ standing committee who failed to dissent publicly from the ultra vires actions of DSJ’s diocesan convention on December 8 is deemed to have constructively resigned from the standing committee.  (This is akin to corporate- and securities law, in which members of a board of directors are liable for certain misdeeds unless they state their dissent on the record.)

C) These two extraordinary situations are not addressed by TEC’s constitution and canons, so the PB and Executive Committee will do the needful and take such action as is necessary to reconstitute the DSJ under new leadership.

March 30, 4:07 pm | [comment link]
6. D. C. Toedt wrote:

Make that “Executive Council,” not Committee.

March 30, 4:33 pm | [comment link]
7. Bill Matz wrote:

That would have been a better way (#5) to proceed. However, note that at least three members of the Standing Committee did dissent publicly, and they were ignored by this steamroller process.

March 30, 4:55 pm | [comment link]
8. Islandbear wrote:

Over at the Living Church site, Dr. Jefferts Schori has made an interesting switch in position.  She has gone from proclaiming the legality of the vote to depose Bishops Cox and Schofield to state that if a parliamentary ruling is not immediately appealed by someone present and voting, the right to do so is lost.  This, of course allows her to neatly side step Bishop Howe’s call for an investigation of the procedures used on these votes.

March 30, 5:21 pm | [comment link]
9. robroy wrote:

#8 agreed. This is contradicted by the newsbit that the irregularities are being looked into by the head of the appeals committee.

I wrote the reporters of the Stockton Record on their repeated mistake that 18 parishes voted to remain with the Episcopal Church. Here is my text

Dear Ms Burkin and Mr Reid,

Rev. Deacon Rolin Bruno had pointed to Mr. Reid out the incorrectness of the “18 parishes have voted to remain in the Episcopal Church” statement. Unfortunately, it is repeated in your next article by Ms Burkin. What is true is that 18 parishes had representatives at the special convention, many of these representing the very small minority in churches that voted overwhelmingly to seek protection under the Southern Cone from the predations of the liberal, canon law flouting Episcopal Church hierarchy. I asked on one of the Episcopal blogs for the correct information. Father Dan Martins was a priest in residence in San Joaquin at St. John’s Stockton, who is orthodox but wanted to remain in the Episcopal church. He has written in open disagreement with Bp Schofield. He foresaw the coming events and transferred to Indiana. Thus, he makes a very well connected, “outside observer.” This is what Father Dan has to say,

I’ve posted this elsewhere, but it’s important information, so I’ll repeat it: A total of seven intact (more or less, at least—one never knows what fallout any of them have suffered from the right flank) congregations (out of some 47) from the “old” DSJ are part of the new structure—i.e. with the real estate, buildings, and other property. Of those seven, four are (or had been, at any rate) self-supporting parishes: St John the Baptist, Lodi; St Anne’s, Stockton; Christ the King, Riverbank (suburban Modesto), and Holy Family, Fresno. These four parishes and their clergy have for several years formed the core of Remain Episcopal in SJ. The other three are St Matthew’s, San Andreas (a small aided parish); St Clare of Assisi, Avery (very small mission in remote mountain community); and Our Saviour, Hanford (parish recently reduced to “aided” status, highly conflicted, led presently by an orthodox priest). To this list, by all accounts, we might now add St John’s, Tulare, led by the courageous Fr Rob Eaton. Any of the others on the putative list of 18 consist of new plants (Grace, Bakersfield and St Mary-of-the-Mountains, Sonora) and “in exile” remnants from parishes that moved south with the mainstream of the diocese. Of the “intact” parishes, Lodi is clearly the most substantial in terms of numbers and finances (large pastoral/small “transitional” in size). But they are currently without a permanent rector, and while they have an enviable physical plant that is only about five years old, on a great piece of land, they are heavily mortgaged, with monthly interest alone running in five figures.

Now, in Father Rob Eaton’s small church in Tulare, the vote was something like 40 to 20. Your paper had an article on that unfortunate, very divided church.

Thus, the correct statement would be, “Approximately 7 or 8 parishes voted to remain with Episcopal Church with dissenting minorities from 10 or 11 churches joining them.”

Father Dan has blog, cariocaconfessions.blogspot.com, or he can be reached at his new church’s phone number at (574) 267-6266.

March 30, 5:51 pm | [comment link]
10. f/k/a_revdons wrote:

Clergy delegates were asked to sign an oath of conformity to the Episcopal Church, similar to that which they were required to sign at their ordination. Lay delegates signed an oath the echoed the Baptismal Covenant. Nominees for diocesan offices also had to sign the oath.

This just reeks of an assertion of power. I try to understand the necessity of this, but it makes me very uncomfortable.

March 30, 9:02 pm | [comment link]
11. Cennydd wrote:

In my not-so-humble opinion, this “steamrolling” is reason enough for any orthodox clergy to give serious thought to leaving that so-called “diocese,” because it is abundantly clear…...or it should be by now…...that Schori & Company will brook no opposition…....from anyone!

March 30, 10:13 pm | [comment link]
12. Festivus wrote:

ROFL… hey wait, today’s not April 1, or is it?

March 31, 11:55 am | [comment link]
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