A Dallas News Article on the Presiding Bishop’s visit to Dallas

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Why would the busy, some might say embattled, leader of the 2.4 million-member Episcopal Church travel to Dallas for a 300-member congregation's garden blessing service?

"Well, I was asked," said Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, the first woman to lead the Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church of St. Thomas the Apostle invited Bishop Jefferts Schori for what was her first official visit to Dallas.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)Presiding Bishop

Posted April 30, 2008 at 8:02 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. RomeAnglican wrote:

Why?  Try because before she’s done with it, it might be a lot closer to 300 than to the fictional 2.4 million. Why that latter figure still gets tossed about is pretty clear.  It’s part of the ongoing effort to maximize the denominator and minimize the numerator, so to make the fraction fit the definition of “tiny minority.”

April 30, 8:27 pm | [comment link]
2. Marie Blocher wrote:

I noticed that Bp Stanton had a schedule conflict and did not attend the event, but he did give her permission to come into the Diocese of Dallas.

April 30, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
3. Irenaeus wrote:

“Why would [KJS] travel to Dallas for a 300-member congregation’s garden blessing service?”

Well, it was called a “blessing service.”

April 30, 8:57 pm | [comment link]
4. William P. Sulik wrote:

I imagine that “Why did the Bishop cross the road?” jokes aren’t acceptable here…

April 30, 9:09 pm | [comment link]
5. David+ wrote:

Maybe she agreed to go because they promised never to raise any cows in the garden.

April 30, 9:19 pm | [comment link]
6. Choir Stall wrote:

Three hundred Episcopalians? Wasn’t that the ASA in the Diocese of Nevada?

April 30, 9:57 pm | [comment link]
7. Crypto Papist wrote:

I noticed that Bp Stanton had a schedule conflict

Perhaps he had a meeting with the Holy Father!

April 30, 11:44 pm | [comment link]
8. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

It was a last garden party before news of possible presentment for canon violations reached her adoring public and thus taint her message of reconciliation to Gaia?

Nope.  But close.  The travel plans prohibited any possibility of meeting the Holy Father Roman Pontiff at all on Schori’s part.  That was a plus.

Bishop Stanton had a conflict with a long-planned family event, but graciously extended her an invitation into his diocese and expressly noted his absence was not any form of protest.

May 1, 12:02 am | [comment link]
9. Statmann wrote:

The TEC PB has a habit of stating that of 7,700 churches less than 1% have left TEC. But this ignores the fact that over 50% of these churches have Plate & Pledge budgets that would prevent them from “going it alone”. And many of those will slowly die. During the past several years at least 135 churches have been significantly reduced in membership by AMiA, CANA, etc. And now TEC may well face the lost of up to 180 churcches in San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, and Quincy. The final losses will far exceed 1%.  Statmann

May 1, 2:42 am | [comment link]
10. Nasty, Brutish & Short wrote:

Well, she was also asked to go pray with the Pope, but she was too busy for that.  The “well, I was asked” reason makes no sense to those of us who are following these matters closely.  We all know why she went, and it wasn’t because she “was asked.”

I mean really.

May 1, 9:24 am | [comment link]
11. archangelica wrote:

Her visit to this small church doing “small things with great love” shows where her heart is. I believe it was an act of gracious magnanimity and I was there all day for all parts of the event except for the clergy only meeting. Powerful prelates are always and forever visiting the largest churches, cathedrals and events…I get that is necessarily part of the job but it is exceedingly refreshing to me to see her modeling kingdom principles of “the first shall be last and the last shall be first.” It was a joyous, beautiful day in the life of this small church which is representative of the vast majority of Episcopal Churches who are striving to “seek justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with their God.”

May 1, 9:50 am | [comment link]
12. Philip Snyder wrote:

NBS - Actually, the Presiding Bishop has a canonical obligation to visit each diocese during his/her tenure.  So, what would be better for Dallas - to have her come to bless a garden at a gay-friendly congregation or to come and celebrate and preach?

She took several tough questions from the clergy in the morning and responded respectfully and was treated with respect.

Phil Snyder

May 1, 9:54 am | [comment link]
13. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Busing in hundreds is to be representative, Archangelica?  That happens how often at this little church? or any little Episcopal church?  Or do you intend to portray the attitudes as representative?  Which attitudes?  The ones represented by Schori or the ones of the bussed in or the actual congregants or the Diocese in which it taook place?  I’m confused.

May 1, 11:08 am | [comment link]
14. archangelica wrote:

Perhaps this will help with your confusion:
1.) St. Thomas invited the PB to bless their new Community Garden, this was a very traditional Rogation blessing celebrating a small church finding a way to bless their community by finding a good and holy use for an unused overgrown piece of property that was standing idle. The entire emphasis, focus and celebration was on the Community Garden and it was on this matter alone that Bishop Katharine preached during the blessing.
2.) The event was open to the public as we sought to draw attention to the garden, share the availability of a few remaining plots and to encourage other churches to consider a Community Garden of their own since many churches have at least some (or lots!) unused bit of land that is being “saved” for future use or has never been thought of as being useful for anything.
3.) That about half of the attendees of the Rogation Blessing and reception were guests and visitors from a.) around the diocese of Dallas and b.) from the neighboring diocese of Fort Worth (about 30 minutes away driving time) is not at all unusual or unexpected. In fact, more people purposefully stayed away from the blessing as an act of protest than those who chose to come.
4.) Had we many guests or few (all things considered we had few) the Presiding Bishop made room in her heart and in her schedule to bless our new ministry. The attitudes of those in attendance is none of my business.
5.) The Community Garden was and is the main thing no matter how determined others may be intent on overlooking it.
6.) Here is the proof from the horses mouth:http://www.thedoubter.org/garden.html

May 1, 11:40 am | [comment link]
15. Nasty, Brutish & Short wrote:

Phillip Synder,
You don’t think she was there to threaten Ft. Worth?  Seems like strange timing to me, to have this be when she decides to make her primatial trip to to the Dio of Dallas.

May 1, 2:19 pm | [comment link]
16. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

So, busing in hundreds for the Garden Party is representative.  And this occurs how often, archangelica?

“In fact, more people purposefully stayed away from the blessing as an act of protest than those who chose to come.”  This needs some substantiation, I fear.  It does suggest, if correct, that “The attitudes of those in (non-)attendance is (some) of my business.”  And this would be because ... ?

Any organized protesters there at all?  Or was this silent absencing something of the sort?  A petition? 

Please clear up the confusion introduced by your explanation (for which time to compose I do thank you!).

May 1, 6:49 pm | [comment link]
17. archangelica wrote:

St. Thomas Church (the church hosting the Rogation Blessing of the new Community Garden) did not bus anyone in. In response to the press release inviting the public to the event, a contingent from Fort Worth chartered a bus(es) to come to the event. I would imagine that this occurs quite regularly when any Presiding Bishop is coming to town for an event that is open to the public. I know that I would be at any event within several hours that I could be at to see any Presiding Bishop (conservative or liberal) just to have the chance to see and hear for myself the highest leader of my beloved church. I think that sort of thing is very usual. 700 came to see when the PB dedicated the new building in Utah. Regardless of your personal feeling for or against Bishop Katharine, for many Episcopalians a local appearance by the PB is a big deal and generates a higher degree of interest in the event. Why this seems so unusual to you is beyond me.
In regards to more people staying away from the blessing in protest…I had in mind particulary the clergy of the diocese…they were out in full force (perhaps Phil Snyder can confirm this) i.e. a great majority of them showed up for the private clergy only session with the PB. Very few of them however cared or bothered to stay for the actual event itself. I took this to mean something.

May 1, 7:38 pm | [comment link]
18. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

I think I understand.  It wasn’t the Garden, it was the PB’s personal appearance.  So it is representative of person’s seeing the PB and not Rogation Garden parties.  Glad to get that cleared up.

However, if the clergy had already seen the PB and then didn’t come to the Garden party it was a protest against the PB?  in your mind, it “mean(t) something”?  But they had already done the biggie, the “seeing the PB” so ... .  Do you see why I might be confused?  It would seem that to see the PB and adore is good but to see the PB and go by the door is not good “in your mind”.

I mean, if you have seen once, is it not enough?  The PB couldn’t make time for the Pope.  A lapse of ecumenical relations and failure of pushing the envelope of the “womyn” or “feminist” POV by the “glass ceiling breaker” - but she did make the Garden Party so she could be seen.  There’s a cognitive dissonance in here somewhere just bursting at the seams to get out, I’d say.

May 1, 11:48 pm | [comment link]
19. archangelica wrote:

May you be blessed in wonderful ways by Jesus Christ Our Lord.

One audience member asked Jefferts Schori how openly gay Episcopalians should respond to church leaders, such as Stanton, who aren’t supportive.

“Recognize that people come to different conclusions out of a deep sense of faith, and honor that,” Jefferts Schori said. “I think a lot of our difficulty right now is because we’re assuming the worst of people who disagree with us. When we can recognize another person as a faithful Christian who’s simply come to a different conclusion, we start at a much better place than we do when we assume that person is our enemy. So pray blessings on people who disagree with you.”

May 2, 12:39 am | [comment link]
20. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Ah, but are different conclusions equally the Truth?  If YHWH has mde His will known by communication and Incarnation, can we come to different conclusions in such a manner as to contradict Him (the Revealer), Jesus the Messiah (the Revelation), and the Holy Spirit (Revealedness) in the Barthian language or Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier in current PB language?  Isn’t the attempt to suggest that another conclusion than the one God has created, revealed, and given power to achieve merely a re-hash of the basic “Hath God said…” that brought about the fallen state in which we live and from which we are necessarily to be redeemed?

That is the crux of the apparent benignity of the PB’s statement.  We need not pray for blessings unless it be for their reception of the revealed Truth Himself because any other prayer is really cursing them to their eternal detriment?  One cannot force another to accept Truth as He has revealed Himself; it must be a true choice of the individual.  But to ignore the Truth or to deliberately choose else is spiritual death no matter how it portrays itself as ersatz life.  This is disagreement with God and it has its natural and supernatural consequences, whether we pretend so or not.

Thanks again for your time and responses.

May 2, 10:25 am | [comment link]
21. archangelica wrote:

I learned in my theology class at a very conservative and traditional Roman Catholic college that “Truth is mulitivalent” (having many values, meanings, or appeals). This does NOT mean that Truth is relative, unknowable or pluralistic. What I believe it means and what the PB is trying to get at with her statement is not a negation of Truth but the reality that Truth (especially as concerning the Divine) is complex, symphonic and infinietely nuanced. Christian history has and continues to demonstrate this to us as Christians reach different conclusions, understandings and applications regarding Truth without denying it’s existence. Even within “tight” systems of theology (Calvinism, Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism) there are competing schools of thought which are highly nuanced in their understandings of Truth. Furthermore, our Roman Catholic brethren would say that there is a hierarchy of Truth of which some catagories are more essential or important than others. I think the Church is in this age struggling with the issues of gender and sexuality (two name two of the biggies) in light of the doctrine of development. In the hierarchy of Truth these issues are lower on the scale than say those things found in the creeds. Long story short, all stripes and kinds and varieties of Christians can, do and have come to different conclusions regarding Truth. Can they all be right? Not absolutely, some or more right than others some are just a difference of emphasis on Truth, some may be completely wrong. The point being we should be very careful before we have the audacity to declare that a brother or sister in Christ does not belong to Christ and does not care about revelaed Truth because they have reached a different theological conclusion. This is why we have constant dialogue with “other” Christians so that we may carefully study, debate, compare and contrast our understandings with a willingness to move closer to Truth and further from error. It is a slow, messy and frustrating process but we fallen creatures who see through a glass darkly. There is a time for judgement and accountability but that time is after our death and that Person is God. If He is willing to wait and woo than so should we.
“God grant me insight and wisdom so I might always discern your holy and true will.” (St. Francis)

May 2, 11:25 am | [comment link]
22. libraryjim wrote:

“Recognize that people come to different conclusions out of a deep sense of faith, and honor that,” Jefferts Schori said. “I think a lot of our difficulty right now is because we’re assuming the worst of people who disagree with us. When we can recognize another person as a faithful Christian who’s simply come to a different conclusion, we start at a much better place than we do when we assume that person is our enemy. So pray blessings on people who disagree with you.”

It would be nice if she practiced what she preaches. Unfortunately, there are bishops, priests and parishes througout the Episcopal Church who have found out the hard way—in court or with threat of inhibition—what happens when they voice their disagreement with the political direction of TEc.

Jim Elliott <><

May 2, 11:31 am | [comment link]
23. libraryjim wrote:

Unfortunately, Roman Catholic institutions are not well known for teaching Roman Catholic teachings. 

If you read the Catechism, you find out that Christian Truth is indeed constant.  God’s revelation in the Bible and through the Church tradition is immutable. Not even the Pope can make a declaration that contradicts God’s revelation.

The essentials of the faith are NOT up for re-interpretation, as KJS, Spong, and others would have it.  As one learned scholar put it:
In essentials unity
in non-essentials, liberty (this may be what your instructors were talking about, Arch)
In everything, charity.

KJS and her crew fail in all three.

May 2, 11:35 am | [comment link]
24. archangelica wrote:

Hierarchy of Truths in Magisterial Texts

The first magisterial use of the expression was at Vatican II, in the context of ecumenical dialogue: “When comparing doctrines with one another, they [theologians] should remember that in Catholic doctrine there exists a ‘hierarchy’ of truths, since they vary in their relation to the fundamental Christian faith” (Unitatis Redintegratio, no. 11). This is closely allied to the axiom that the bond of faith that unites Christians is greater than the things that divide them.

Here the Church recognizes that the way to agreement regarding disputed points of doctrine is the way of faith itself, grounded in essential truths about God and Christ. The hierarchy of truths also has application in the Church’s catechetical activity: “This hierarchy does not mean that some truths pertain to faith itself less than others, but rather that some truths are based on others as of a higher priority, and are illumined by them. On all levels catechesis should take account of this hierarchy of the truths of faith.”

These truths may be grouped under four basic heads: the mystery of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Creator of all things; the mystery of Christ the incarnate Word, who was born of the Virgin Mary, and who suffered, died, and rose for our salvation; the mystery of the Holy Spirit, who is present in the Church, sanctifying and guiding it until the glorious coming of Christ, our Savior and Judge; and the mystery of the Church, which is Christ’s Mystical Body, in which the Virgin Mary holds the preeminent place” (General Catechetical Directory, no. 43).

May 2, 11:54 am | [comment link]
25. The_Elves wrote:

This thread has moved off topic. Please return to a discussion of the original post.

-Elf Lady

May 2, 11:59 am | [comment link]
26. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

archangelica,  Perhaps an oversight on your part but you forgot to mention this exchange as part of the Garden Party.  Comments…

  Another gay audience member who said he met his partner of 10 years at St. Thomas asked when the couple will be able to walk down the aisle together and have their relationship blessed by the church.

  “I don’t think it’s going to happen this year,” Jefferts Schori said, adding that the national church’s General Convention undoubtedly will revisit the issue when it meets again in 2009. “I think it certainly will happen in our lifetimes.”

  “I certainly hope that we can expand our awareness enough to see that God is blessing [same-sex unions], and that the church needs to recognize that,” Jefferts Schori added. “...our job as Christians is to look around and see the glory of God wherever it is.”

SEEMS THAT THE PB was there to pursue the gay garden gozpel and has no INTENTION of abiding by the Windsor Report.  I think your garden was a site for that old Edenic thought, “Hath God said… .”

May 4, 1:12 am | [comment link]
27. Words Matter wrote:

LJim -

The college archangelica attended actually is well-known for teaching Roman Catholic teachings. In fact, the faculty used to kneel at the opening convocation and swear fidelity to the magesterium of the Catholic Church. They probably still do.

Moreover, the heirarchy of truths is a legitimate Catholic understanding of truth. For example, the proximate truths of the Creed are considered the most reliable, along with the dogmas of the Church.

The problem is that archangelica doesn’t apply these Catholic theological principles accurately, or more precisely, she doesn’t apply them to the Catholic Church, but to protestantism.

I think the Church is in this age struggling with the issues of gender and sexuality (two name two of the biggies) in light of the doctrine of development.

The Catholic Church is not at all struggling with gender and sexuality as a matter of developing doctrine.  These are settled issues, even if we struggle to live faithfully to them.  Sex is licit between a man and a woman in the bonds of matrimony. Period.  Same-sex acts are intrinsically disordered. This is the teaching of the Catholic Church, and I guarantee archangelica’s alma mater taught her nothing that would contradict it.  What she learned... well, that’s another matter.

May 4, 2:04 am | [comment link]
28. archangelica wrote:

Off topic comment deleted by elf.

May 4, 6:23 pm | [comment link]
29. Words Matter wrote:

Off Topic. Comment deleted by elf.

May 4, 7:25 pm | [comment link]
30. Words Matter wrote:

Oops… I guess there goes my #29, too.  grin

Private comments between commenters that are also off topic will be deleted.

May 4, 7:25 pm | [comment link]
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