Yesterday evening the Chapter of Trinity Cathedral voted to re-affirm its Charter of Incorporation. Article II of the Charter states its purpose as “For the support and maintenance of a cathedral church for the public worship of Almighty God according to the faith, doctrine and discipline of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America” and Article V further clarifies Trinity Cathedral’s historic identity: “This corporation acknowledges religious allegiance to the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America and that portion of the same known as the Diocese of Pittsburgh and will be subject to and governed by the laws, rules, and regulations of the same as set forth in the constitutions and canons of said Church and said Diocese.” Chapter’s decision brings to conclusion the difficult and weighty matters with which they had been wrestling during the past six months. It also effectively ends the governance provisions of the Special Resolution which was adopted by Chapter in August, 2008 and ratified by the parish in September, 2008.
1. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
As a former member of the Cathedral Chapter, it is my view that while the decision reached on Thursday was probably inevitable, the process by which it was reached fell far short of what it should have been.
Whatever its merits, the Special Resolution governed our corporate life for more than three years and its abrupt abrogation without prior notice to some of the members of the Chapter is to be lamented. We are a comparatively small church family and the repercussions from this decision will be lasting.
December 18, 5:08 pm | [comment link]
2. David Wilson wrote:
As another former member of the Cathedral Chapter (appointed by ACNA Bp Duncan) I can say it was like a “Saturday night massacre”. The motion to reaffirm the original charter was not on the written agenda circulated prior to the meeting by email. It was brought up at the end of the meeting and not ruled out of order or tabled by the chair even though many of the ACNA leaning chapter members were absent including two of the ACNA appointed reps and Bp Duncan. Bp Price was present and voted at the meeting. Sadly they will lose some of their tithers and their ACNA clergy who attend and help out with services mainly because KJS and Price don’t want to share facilities with the ACNA. The Provost, Cathy Brall, will get what she wants, however, and very soon—the deanship of an even more empty and more broke cathedral.
December 18, 6:43 pm | [comment link]
3. Statmann wrote:
The TEC 2010 stats for a Cathedral appear rather meager. Members are down to 195 from a high of almost 500, ASA is down to 75 from a high of 220, and Plate & Pledge is down to $175K from a high of almost $280K. But I seem to remember that the Court awarded the TEC Diocese some $20 million in trust funds. If so, Money should be of little concern. And the announcement is just in time for Christmas. And the band played on. Statmann
December 18, 9:05 pm | [comment link]
4. montanan wrote:
Jeremy and David - I am so sorry for the hurt which has been mounting for these few years in Pittsburgh - but particularly for the final blow you both reference above. While things in Pittsburgh have not played out over the last few years as the best of intentions would have hoped, this is a bitter and sad end for those who struggled to remain loving, reasonable and gracious.
December 19, 1:43 am | [comment link]
5. BMR+ wrote:
I don’t believe anyone expected the Special Resolution and joint governance to continue forever, as Jeremy notes above. Nonetheless, even with some real discomfort Trinity has been in the last three years since our division one of the relatively few places of common ground, one of the few visible reminders of who we were. I’m very thankful for the faithful service of so many in the congregation and among the clergy serving the Cathedral—including most definitely those identifying with both the Episcopal and Anglican dioceses.
Of all the downtown Pittsburgh “flagships” only First Lutheran has really flourished in the last couple of decades, with strong and consistent pastoral leadership and great preaching. First Pres and Smithfield UCC manage steady congregational decline with endowment resources much larger than Trinity’s. My observation is that maintaining a truly sustainable presence in downtown urban areas like Pittsburgh’s is a very challenging task. Once you slide down the rope, I’m not sure how you climb up again. In any event, whatever departures happen as a result of this decision of the Chapter’s will be damaging, no question, and I’m sure will become a major issue in our ongoing discussions of diocesan mission priorities.
December 19, 10:48 am | [comment link]
6. New Reformation Advocate wrote:
Thanks to all who’ve contributed comments so far, especially Jeremy and Fr. Wilson as former members of the Chapter, but I also appreciate the irenic lament by Fr. Bruce Robison from the TEC side.
Alas, so much for inclusivity and a “big tent” approach. I commend ++Duncan and the Anglican leaders who’ve valiantly tried to maintain good relations with their counterparts on the Episcopal side. It was a noble and honorable effort. And I likewise commend those in TEC who’ve attempted, like Fr. Robison, to avoid burning relational bridges behind them.
But I agree with Dr. Bonner that this sad parting of the ways was inevitable, sooner or later. For as the Master said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Or as I like to paraphrase that maxim, “Oil and water just don’t mix.”
Still, as Dr. Bonner also rightly noted, the manner in which even inevitable decisions are made and communicated can have, and doubtless will have in this case, serious and lasting consequences. It’s bad enough when a deep cut or wound is inflicted on the Body of Christ, as has been done here. But what makes matters even worse is when that wound becomes badly infected with unnecessary ugliness, thus making the process of healing take much longer.
Apparently, for those in charge on the TEC side, the message they’re sending this Advent season is that “Peace on earth, good will towards men (sic)” is directed only toward those on the correct side of the Culture War. It doesn’t apply to those who’ve left TEC in order to stay authentically Christian and Anglican. There is no peace or good will for them.
December 19, 11:58 am | [comment link]
7. David Wilson wrote:
For TEC to pull this stunt right before Christmas and the Christmas services shows how much they really thought of the clergy and members from the ACNA who were members or worshipers attending the Cathedral. I guess they were thought to be merely collateral damage.
December 19, 12:51 pm | [comment link]
8. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
One important qualification - and this is probably a feature of cathedral culture generally - is that Trinity (both before and after the attainment of cathedral status) has frequently had a tense relationship with the incumbent bishop. It was true both with Alfred Arundel in the 1890s and with subsequently true with several of the deans, including a calamitous appointment (though that certainly wasn’t the intention) by Bishop Duncan during the 1990s.
Furthermore, there are parishioners on the TEC side who have on occasion been subject to unfair criticism or pastoral neglect, even though they were no means activist types. A good example of the latter has been the lack of acknowledgment from those in authority of the work of our Altar Guild. Most of its members wish to be part of TEC but they have still served faithfully at numerous ACNA events, despite the fact that expressions of appreciation have been sparing or, more recently, non-existent.
December 19, 1:09 pm | [comment link]
9. Golgotha wrote:
There has been some assumption that those who may leave the cathedral as a result of this action would do so solely out of allegiance to one diocese or the other. I wanted to add the perspective of an Episcopalian, (albeit right-of-center), who has had to leave Trinity. I have no desire to lob grenades back over my shoulder, only to share one personal perspective. I’ll be as general and fair as I can here, but could fill in details if asked about specific things.
December 19, 1:58 pm | [comment link]
I have been at Trinity for fifteen years. I was one of very few of the current congregation who experienced the final years of Dean Werner’s tenure, the painful transitions and financial crisis that occurred after his departure, the calling of the current Canon Provost, and the institution—and now ending—of the Special Resolution. For the last six years—until rotating off Chapter at the end of November as required by the bylaws—I served two consecutive three-year terms on the Cathedral Chapter, and for the last several years I was chair of the Worship/Music/Liturgy committee. I was a fervent supporter of the Special Resolution, and even dreamed that such an arrangement might materialize even before it did. I have a strong personal conviction that the concept of broadly serving both sides is a non-negotiable part of the catholicity of Trinity’s, (or any cathedral’s), mission. Even as an Episcopalian, it is likely that I would have left Trinity if the Special Resolution would not have occurred. So, first and foremost, I have had to resign as a result of the outcome of this vote. Was the Special Resolution irrational, awkward, and untenable, as many have described it? Sure it was, but in my mind it was the right thing, and the only thing, to do. (Many would say Jesus’s decision to reject Satan’s offer of all the kingdoms of the world in exchange for his worship was completely irrational too, in human terms.)
Secondly, my resignation was necessary because my continued presence would lend legitimacy to the procedure itself. Within the text of the Special Resolution, there are specific two-thirds voting majorities of both the parish-elected members of Chapter and the parish itself, which had to be attained in order to un-do it. Thus, when the Resolution was passed three years ago, it was enacted and ratified almost unanimously by both the chapter and the parish. All who voted for it had every right to believe that they would again have the opportunity to vote to retract it if that became necessary. This is not what happened. A resolution was crafted in secret and put forward for a vote at a chapter meeting wherein no one except the resolution’s crafters were aware it would be offered. It passed—by no means overwhelmingly—by a majority of the quorum present, but the vote did not exclude non-parish chapter members as the Special Resolution required, nor, apparently, will there be any parish vote as also required.
Now, the supporters of the new resolution are claiming their premise is that the Special Resolution, when passed, was in conflict with Trinity’s charter and by-laws and therefore was never legal to begin with. As such, the Special Resolution’s own provisions cannot be quoted with regard to these majorities. Could they be right, technically? I suppose. But a Cathedral Chapter is not a corporate board room, it is a Christian body. The will of all who overwhelmingly enacted the Special Resolution is being trampled by a small minority that wished to dispatch it as expediently as possible. I think of the moving image of Ted Kennedy leaving his death bed to come to the Senate chamber and vote for health care reform. When a decision as momentous as this is imminent, it is only ethical that all Chapter members would have been informed. Had all been informed in advance, it is unlikely this vote would have passed.
Some may interpret my departure as sour grapes, but nothing could be further from the truth. For fifteen years I sacrificed a lot for Trinity, in terms of time, talent and treasure. I regret not one bit of it, nor do I wish for any of what I gave to be returned. All of these things were given to a cathedral that was doing the right thing, and therefore I rejoice in having done so. When the cathedral determined to cease doing the right thing—however rational that decision may have been—and through such unethical means, I had to cease supporting it.
John H. Campbell
10. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
#9 Thank you for the information and prayers for you Mr Campbell.
A resolution was crafted in secret and put forward for a vote at a chapter meeting wherein no one except the resolution’s crafters were aware it would be offered. It passed—by no means overwhelmingly—by a majority of the quorum present, but the vote did not exclude non-parish chapter members as the Special Resolution required, nor, apparently, will there be any parish vote as also required.
Now, the supporters of the new resolution are claiming their premise is that the Special Resolution, when passed, was in conflict with Trinity’s charter and by-laws and therefore was never legal to begin with.
Ignoring provisions of the Special Resolution, pulling a fast one on the Cathedral Chapter and claiming conflict with other provisions - well well. Why do I get the whiff of the involvement of the stinkers at Goodwin Proctor and the Presiding Bishop’s office behind this?
December 19, 2:36 pm | [comment link]
11. Golgotha wrote:
#10, while I understand your suspicion, my belief is that there is virtually zero chance of what you are suggesting. The Chapter includes some folks who have always felt that the Special Resolution’s conflicts with the Cathedral’s charter and bylaws were a problem. It has come up from time-to-time, but continuation of that conversation has been eschewed because until recently, such an overwhelming majoirity were in favor of the Special Resolution that obsessing over technicalities didn’t seem like a good use of time.
December 19, 2:49 pm | [comment link]
12. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
#11 Well that may be right from what you say, and yet the antics including bouncing resolutions without notice and the ignoring of the prior resolution has a characteristic lawlessness, much as the acceptance of ‘voluntary written renunciations of ministry’ by Bishop Price and the Standing Committee led back to advice from 815. From what I remember they claimed to have received voluntary written renunciations from at least two already deceased clergy.
But obviously if you say there is no chance…I will take note of that.
December 19, 3:08 pm | [comment link]
13. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
I have to concur with John, Pageantmaster, knowing the current members of Chapter pretty well. There is no one - the Provost included - who has any interest in aiding and abetting the fights over property in Pittsburgh or elsewhere. Truth be told, the cathedral is really an underwater asset as far as bricks and mortar are concerned, which may be one of the reasons why neither diocese expressed open hostility to the Special Resolution.
Put simply, both bishops wanted an end to dual status and - I suspect - a majority of the congregation would support affiliation with TEC over ACNA. No one contests that. The problem is more - as John notes - that an instrument that governed our community life for three years was summarily expunged in a fashion that does not reflect well upon any of us.
Thursday’s vote was basically the deferred decision that most Pittsburgh congregations made three years ago (to go either TEC or ACNA). It deserved to be made in an open and honest fashion.
December 19, 3:51 pm | [comment link]
15. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
#14 So if all the Chapter members had known about the meeting, then Bishop Price would have had the casting vote.
Shame he didn’t use his ouji board to contact them, but perhaps it only works with dead priests writing to voluntarily renounce their orders.
December 19, 8:06 pm | [comment link]
16. David Wilson wrote:
something smells a bit rotten about this whole thing
December 19, 10:47 pm | [comment link]
17. PeterL wrote:
“rotten” is a good word for all of this. It began a very long time ago, and accelerated upon the George Werner’s retirement. (he turned over a very healthy cathedral, working against some very fierce tensions with grace). That lovely cathedral has been a pawn in the wars for a very long time. I have my own very firm opinions as to how things really killed it, but no matter. It takes so much to build things, and yet it takes so very little to tear it down. Most on this blog will just chalk it up as a casualty to the larger wars in TEC. (and maybe I don’t totally disagree with that, except for the personalities that had a role)
Slightly edited by elf to remove an ad hominem comment.
December 20, 12:39 am | [comment link]
18. David Wilson wrote:
It is a liberal myth that George Werner turned over a very healthy cathedral upon his retirement. The bookstore and lunchroom were loosing money. The paid choir members were contributing nothing to finances of the cathedral and the annual operating fund was cutting into the cathedral endowment to the tune of $40,000 per month or over 5% annually of the endowment corpus. Hardly a healthy enterprise. Bishop Duncan forced the Cathedral to live within their means, an unpopular policy with many of the Werner supporters but a necessary one for Cathedral survival.
December 20, 1:00 am | [comment link]
19. Golgotha wrote:
I absolutely disagree that Bishop Duncan tore anything down or ripped anything apart. To the contrary, he saved it from almost certain death. The financial crisis occurred when the both clerical and lay governance began quickly spending down the endowment after Dean Werner’s departure, in an effort to maintain large, unsustainable programs that the cathedral couldn’t afford. At the same time, there was a failure of the parish to pledge anywhere close to what would have been needed to sustain these programs. The cathedral had a really unhealthy sense of entitlement, as though it deserved to spend liberally and have big programs just because it was the cathedral. The last straw occurred when the cathedral could not even pay its asessment. As a result, Bishop Duncan met with the chapter and an agreement was forged wherein the Dean resigned, the bishop essentially became the Dean, and the Chapter agreed to enter transitional status so the diocese could impose financial discipline that would help get Trinity healthy again. I think what you are referring to, PeterL, is the impression some people had that this was essentially a coup by the bishop so that he could impose conserving theology and clergy upon a largely liberal parish. This is absolutely untrue, and I’m sorry if this is how you have come to understand things. This unfortunate impression is also why a lot of people left Trinity all at once. One only need to have witnessed all of this on a day-to-day basis, seen the financial statements, and noted that Bishop Duncan appointed Fr. Edwards, (not a conservative by any means), to run the cathedral during this time. I was there. I saw all of this happen. It disturbs me that this kind of impression exists throughout the diocese. If things had continued as they were prior to Bishop Duncan’s intervention, Trinity would have been driven into the ground.
December 20, 1:18 am | [comment link]
20. Golgotha wrote:
Clarification… When I say the “Dean resigned”, in my above post, I am not referring to Dean Werner. This was Dean Pocalyko, who succeeded Werner.
December 20, 1:22 am | [comment link]
21. Episcogal wrote:
THE ALTAR CLOTH OF ONE AEON IS THE DOORMAT OF THE NEXT. Mark Twain, Notebook 1898.
“Whatever its merits, the Special Resolution governed our corporate life for more than three years…”
The word that is mischaracterised being governed. Definition: To rule by right of authority. The Special Resolution provided inspiration, but in no way legitimately governed the congregation as it was not canonically viable.
“...it was like a “Saturday night massacre”.
You mean like when my husband and I moved here in July 2008 to promptly witness a rogue bishop who intended to leave the church, attempting to take an ENTIRE diocese (along with others), property and trusts? The Chapter was discussing how to move on from the albatross that was the special resolution for SIX MONTHS prior to the vote reaffirming the charter. Tension during that time was quite high; everybody knew the resolution was untenable and no matter what was to come, some people would be unhappy with the outcome. (What was especially demoralizing was continual bickering of the minutest of details; quite clearly an inanely annoying stalling tactic). Deciding to move on from the unsuccessful “resolution” was prompted by both bishops who were each distancing themselves from the Cathedral due to the dysfunction of the document. Indeed, all it seemed to do was make both sides distrust the cathedral due to being unable to fully commit itself to either group.
“...this is a bitter and sad end for those who struggled to remain loving, reasonable and gracious.”
I never found myself struggling to be gracious to those I knew to be not of my same belief. I find this alarming that Anglican leaning clergy and laity would have such a difficult time being gracious and civil to their fellow parishioners.
Everybody keeps lamenting the ramifications and consequences coming due to the the revolutionary action of reaffirming the charter, but what about the parishioners rendered disaffected by a bishop who defected from the church?
“Still, as Dr. Bonner also rightly noted, the manner in which even inevitable decisions are made and communicated can have, and doubtless will have in this case, serious and lasting consequences. It’s bad enough when a deep cut or wound is inflicted on the Body of Christ, as has been done here. But what makes matters even worse is when that wound becomes badly infected with unnecessary ugliness, thus making the process of healing take much longer.
Are you sincere in your incredibly insensitive remarks or are you merely obtuse? TEC is not the infection. Indeed, after giving this experiment three years to take hold, seeing it was not successful (and after consulting with Bishops Price and Duncan), AND again after SIX months of continually frustrating meetings heavily mired by minutiea, what do you suggest is reasonable? Indefinite vegetative state?
Apparently, for those in charge on the TEC side, the message they’re sending this Advent season is that “Peace on earth, good will towards men (sic)” is directed only toward those on the correct side of the Culture War. It doesn’t apply to those who’ve left TEC in order to stay authentically Christian and Anglican. There is no peace or good will for them.”
Again, is it your sincere belief that those remaining in the Episcopal Church are not “authentic Christians”? Is that the appropriate Advent message coming from you, our brothers and sisters? Because, this is what I thought Advent was about…
How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given!
So God imparts to human hearts the blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming, but in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him still, the dear Christ enters in.
Does TEC have control over your soul, making unprepared for the Advent season and the coming of baby Jesus? Do TEC folks have that much power over whether you prepare yourself for the Advent and Christmas seasons?
So, first and foremost, I have had to resign as a result of the outcome of this vote.
I thought your term ended in accordance with the usual rules. If not, are you saying that you left the Chapter prematurely after you were made aware of the intention to reaffirm the charter? If so, why is everyone else acting like they were so taken by surprise over this vote? It seems you knew early
Secondly, my resignation was necessary because my continued presence would lend legitimacy to the procedure itself. *snip*
Within the text of the Special Resolution, there are specific two-thirds voting majorities of both the parish-elected members of Chapter and the parish itself, which had to be attained in order to un-do it. Thus, when the Resolution was passed three years ago, it was enacted and ratified almost unanimously by both the chapter and the parish. All who voted for it had every right to believe that they would again have the opportunity to vote to retract it if that became necessary.
See, that’s what you guys keep saying over and over and over and over and over and over and you just don’t get. “the text has specific two-thirds voting majorities…” You keep saying the parish should’ve had a chance to vote to retract the resolution as stated in that same resolution on what would be required to retract the resolution. It doesn’t matter one whit what regulations the resolution dictated because it is not legitimate. It has NEVER been legitimate. The parishioners have nothing to do because whatever vote they would take would likewise be meaningless.
Also, how on earth would this keep anyone from pastoral succor by the clergy or the church family? Baptized Christians are still welcome at the Lord’s Table and everyone, no matter their background, will still be welcome.
Are the Anglicans under the impression that without them, Trinity would become an unwelcoming selfish group? If so, that is ironical and completely egocentric.
This is not what happened. A resolution was crafted in secret and put forward for a vote at a chapter meeting wherein no one except the resolution’s crafters were aware it would be offered. It passed—by no means overwhelmingly—by a majority of the quorum present, but the vote did not exclude non-parish chapter members as the Special Resolution required, nor, apparently, will there be any parish vote as also required.
0 + 0 = 0. There was no secretly crafted new resolution. The Chapter didn’t pass a new resolution. It reaffirmed the church’s Charter. “...but the vote did not exclude non-parish Chapter members as the Special Resolution required…” Again 0 + 0 = 0. The Special Resolution could have required everyone to wear purple and do headstands while voting and it wouldn’t have mattered because AGAIN, nothing about that document was ever correctly passed or endorsed by the church. Yes, votes took place, but they too were not legitimate.
After hearing the news about Thursday (after the meeting), as a parishioner, I disagreed with the idea of having a vote at the Chapter meeting because I thought it just muddied the issue. It gave the resolution more credit than it was due. Since the resolution was not valid, it was my opinion that the church should just announce that it discovered it was never canonically legitimate and therefore no more. However, I suppose in the name of transparency and respect for our Anglican brothers and sisters, the charter affirmation was utilized to give people a chance to go on the record.
When the cathedral determined to cease doing the right thing—however rational that decision may have been—and through such unethical means, I had to cease supporting it.
Why would you ascribe such disreputable and ill intentions to Trinity? This is bringing in an emotional element that is simply not necessary and makes no sense. As a church, we have a bound duty to follow the LEGAL regulations and canons set forth in the bylaws and charter. THAT is what we owe our loyalty to.
Thursday’s vote was basically the deferred decision that most Pittsburgh congregations made three years ago (to go either TEC or ACNA).
Thank you, Jeremy—you seem to be the only one who understands the issue.
I really did not have any appetite for this foolishness, but my husband showed me this blog and I felt I must set a few facts straight.
December 20, 4:22 am | [comment link]
22. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
I suppose I have a few questions:
1. If the Chapter and Parish voted to pass the Special Resolution, is it open to a sub-group, Bishop Price included, to determine that it is unlawful without providing the Chapter and Parish with a legal opinion to that effect. Did Bishop Price or anyone else do this?
2. Even if there was such a legal opinion, it is irrelevant given that a chapter vote took place - why was notice of this latest resolution not given to all the members of Chapter in advance rather than bounced by the proposers at the last minute on such of the Chapter who had turned up and presumably were “in the know”?
3. Why were the Parish, who are expected to pay for the Cathedral it seems, not given a say in the dismantling [in whatever way] of the Special Resolution they had voted for?
4. Having operated under the Special Resolution as though it was in force for a considerable period and having accepted contributions from the Anglican Diocese towards the upkeep of the Cathedral, is it now open to Bishop Price and his supporters of this latest resolution in the Chapter to deny the validity of the Special Resolution they have been operating under [in legal terms, are they estopped from denying it, having in the past acted consistently with them having accepted and operated under it]?
5. Is this a kamikazi act, by those who do not care whether the Cathedral survives, knowing that it can be sold off if the TEC diocese of Pittsburgh is absorbed into a neighboring diocese? In short, have some of the turkeys and Bishop Price just voted for Thanksgiving?
6. What have Bishop Price and the Presiding Bishop and Goodwin Proctor been saying to one another?
December 20, 7:40 am | [comment link]
23. Sarah wrote:
RE: “I thought your term ended in accordance with the usual rules. If not, are you saying that you left the Chapter prematurely after you were made aware of the intention to reaffirm the charter?”
Episcogal, as nearly as I can see golgotha was speaking of “resigning” from the parish, not the Chapter, whose term ended in November.
On a broader note, I’ve read the comments with interest and I, as usual in regards to Pittsburgh, have a different take from most of the comments.
I read a lot about “common ground” and inclusion and getting along and such, but the fact is that the two groups in question don’t share the same Gospel, by and large [with a few notable conservative exceptions in the TEC part of Pittsburgh] and they don’t have common ground. The two groups operate under clearly antithetical and mutually opposing foundational worldviews and values. The notion that there’s going to be some sort of harmony between the two groups has always been mistaken—you’re dealing with TEC revisionists. They lie, and they scheme, and they took over the leadership structures of the entire denomination at the highest level in order to inflict their particular niche worldview and gospel on the rest of the denomination. The fact that now—7 years later after they did what they did at the General Convention while lying about how well it would be received and how many new people would be brought in—people are *still* marveling that a certain group within one particular diocese stole a march on a congregation is staggering to me.
This is who they are.
This is who they were.
There are no surprises here, and the clueless naivete of some of thinking that one group—the Leavers—could “get along with and work with” the Stayers—when neither side could do so 7 years ago—is astonishing to me. Just astonishing.
I am pleased that the Special Resolution is overturned—I think it brings further blessed clarity to the whole situation, and forces people to see truth rather than illusion, and now the Cathedral can have their little clutch of revisionists and those who believe the Gospel can move on to their own congregation. The folks I feel the sorriest for are the conservatives who remained within TEC there in Pittsburgh—I’m one myself in another diocese! So I understand the feelings, believe me! But life is what it is. People are who they are and they almost always will behave as they have behaved in the past.
Let the faux Episcopal “diocese” of Pittsburgh go on, and wither downward as it will do, and as TEC overall will do, with the exception of a few dioceses. The decline is now demographically and spiritually inevitable and the Cathedral will reap further consequences of its behavior even in as short a time as the coming year.
Attempting to stave that off for a few months or years with a forced illusion of unity through the Special Resolution just allows people to continue imagining that what happened to our church back in 2003 [and all the previous heresies and corruptions] didn’t happen.
It happened, and the consequences continue to roll down like many waters, diocese by diocese, parish by parish, throughout the entire denomination.
December 20, 10:41 am | [comment link]
24. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
Only a month or so ago at the annual parish meeting , you expressed your concerns to the Provost about the lack of transparency evident in the discussion of the white paper regarding the future of the cathedral. It was by the exactly the same lack of transparency that the present vote was brought about and yet I fail to hear the same concern with due process.
John Campbell’s announced resignation is not from Chapter but from the parish, the choir and as Chair of the Worship/Music/Liturgy Committee (and if you don’t think that will have an impact on our corporate life, think again).
It may well be the opinion of some that the Special Resolution carried no legal authority, but that is simply opinion, untested in any court of law. Certain people want to say that it never had validity - if that is the case then every official act performed or approved over the past three years is invalid. The Special Resolution was unanimously approved three years ago and accepted - albeit somewhat grudgingly - by both dioceses. That it did not ultimately succeed reflects in part our failure to communicate adequately what it did and did not mean - we need to take responsibility for that and for our own institutional dysfunction. Regardless, the Special Resolution governed our lives and informed our actions; you may not like that, but it is the truth.
There was no secretly crafted new resolution. The Chapter didn’t pass a new resolution. It reaffirmed the church’s Charter.
This is semantics - Andrew Thiros put forward a resolution to reaffirm the church’s Charter, it was voted upon and it passed. It was not an agenda item and therefore should have come up under new business; it did not. Certain people knew the resolution was coming; others (including the secretary) did not. Laura, if the bank for which you do business, wouldn’t conduct a meeting like this, how can you justify a religious body doing so?
The same result could have been achieved with a pre-announced congregational meeting and then a chapter vote; it wouldn’t have been difficult and we could all have shrugged and moved on. That is what is so regrettable and what makes finishing up my time in Pittsburgh so depressing - Trinity reverting to the behaviors of the past that I had thought were finished.
December 20, 10:41 am | [comment link]
25. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
I understand your point of view (and have argued with you about it before), but for some of us the Special Resolution was not about getting the best of both worlds; actually we often ended up getting the worst of both. We weren’t really looking for a via media (such an abused word) so much as seeking to provide some sort of connectedness to the separated body that did not require anyone to compromise what they believed. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t fun; and it was mismanaged. Probably its time had come, but I don’t think any of us expected it to come this way.
Which makes us naive in your book, I realize
December 20, 10:48 am | [comment link]
26. Sarah wrote:
RE: “seeking to provide some sort of connectedness to the separated body . . . “
The two separated bodies do not share the same foundational worldview, gospel, or values. Ultimately they are two ships following two very different bearings and will move—inevitably and rightly—farther and farther apart on their designated compass lines.
There is no way to be connected to both ships, moving in very different directions.
Perhaps those of you who believe the Gospel in both groups may be able to share an occasional gathering, cocktail, or hunting trip. That’s “connected” in my book and seems doable.
On a personal note, where will you be heading? It sounds as if you are leaving Pittsburgh?
December 20, 10:56 am | [comment link]
27. Golgotha wrote:
Episcogal: I’ll respond only to the comments you left for me, and will let others do likewise.
December 20, 11:00 am | [comment link]
My chapter term DID end under the usual rules. I was a supporter of the continuation of the Special Resolution’s principles. Upon the completion of my term in November, I was replaced with a newly elected chapter member who did not support it. If this new motion had been voted upon only a month ago—with all members present and voting—it would not have passed. It was only upon the completion of my term that the balance of power shifted in favor of those who sought to un-do it. If you read my post again, you will note that I clearly stated several times that I have resigned from Trinity Cathedral entirely, not the Cathedral Chapter.
With regard to the motion, I’m sorry that I apparently incorrectly used the term “resolution”. OK, so be it. It is still clear, and admitted as much by those at the meeting, that it was known this motion would be offered by a select few.
The remainder of your comments are related toward the legality of the document, as I knew would be the primary argument. You state that—as a church—we owe our loyalty to regulations, canons, bylaws, and charter. You can speak for yourself, but not for me. I owe my loyalty to Jesus Christ. No one’s regulations, canons, bylwas or chater hung on a cross and died for me. There are principles that transcend the laws of men. The death penalty may be legal, but as a Christian I don’t support it. EVEN death penalty statues include overwhelming provisions for due process. For both of these fundamental reasons that are noted, and then explained, in my first post, I have had to leave Trinity:
1. Technically legal or not, the Special Resolution embodied Christian behavior which has been trampled in favor of perceived carnal benefits.
2. Technically legal or not, the Special Resolution has been put to death by unethical means in which there has been no due process
28. Pageantmaster [KJS to Coventry] wrote:
There appears to be a logical inconsistency between:
1. Holding a vote in Chapter to purportedly reverse a Special resolution of the Chapter and Parish of the Cathedral as though it was in force; and
2. Not following the rules of the Special resolution regarding changing it, on the basis that is is not legally in force.
In essence, If the Special Resolution is not legally in force, there is no need to vote to get rid of it, or to follow the rules laid down in it. If the Special Resolution is legally in force, then it is necessary to have a vote in Chapter [and the Parish] and to follow the rules of the Special Resolution to get rid of it.
As it is, Bishop Price [originally KJS’s appointee from what I remember] and the rump Chapter [see Rump Parliament in Wikipedia] seem to have conducted themselves as though the Special Resolution both was and yet was not in force, for the purposes of their Chapter vote. Now of course both cannot be true at the same time, although in the strange parallel alternative universe where Schori’s law operates, it is anyone’s guess.
December 20, 11:12 am | [comment link]
29. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
Off-topic, but in response to your question we don’t yet know, but we hope the UK. My departure from Pittsburgh has no connection to these events; it just happens to coincide. (My ACNA friends derive some amusement from my last few diocesan convention reports where each time I announced that I wouldn’t be there the following year and then promptly popped up again.)
December 20, 11:50 am | [comment link]
30. Golgotha wrote:
That’s the issue with the legal questions. If you follow them to their logical conclusion, there will be some really tricky questions. Consider these circumstances:
December 20, 11:58 am | [comment link]
1. The Special Resolution changed the makeup of the Cathedral Chapter. The membership as required by the original charter was to include, (in addition to its elected parish members), one diocesan clergyman and one diocesan laman, each elected by diocesan convention, and one layman appointed by the bishop plus the bishop himself. The Special Resolution changed this makeup to two clergymen and two laymen elected by each of the two dioceses, as well as both diocesan bishops. This has been the makeup of the Chapter for three years… a composition that Episcogal and others clam was never legal.
2. If this composition was never legal and the original charter has been upheld, I realize that the ACNA diocesan members and Bishop Duncan have been thrown out. But even having done so, the composition of Chapter will still be out of alignment with the original Charter. By my count, there will be one excess TEC clergyman and one of the two laymen should have been appointed by Bishop Price, not elected by the TEC diocesan convention. How are you going to decide which TEC clergyman to remove from Chapter, and is one of the TEC laymen to be removed by Chapter and then re-appointed by Bishop Price?
3. Under the Special Resolution, diocesan assessments were paid by Trinity Cathedral to both the TEC diocese and the ACNA diocese. If the Special Resolution was never legal, rendering the Cathedral’s sole fiduciary duty and denominational allegience for the past three years to TEC, did the Cathedral Chapter fail in its legal duty to TEC by paying diocesan asessments to ACNA? Could the Chapter and/or its individual members be sued for having breached its fiduciary duty? Would the individual members of chapter, and their employers, (banks and law firms, to name a few), enjoy having their names appearing on publicly posted legal documents as defendants in such potential legal action?
4. We vote for representative government based upon our knowlege of the government already in-place. For example you might vote for a vocally conservative congressman to check and balance the power of a vocally liberal president. The Special Resolution has been in effect for three years and therefore virtually all current Chapter members have been elected acording to its provisions, not the provisions of the original charter. Couldn’t it therefore be argued that all diocesan and parish votes for the Chapter’s members are in question, since Chapter members were elected with the knowledge of those who they would serve beside? You can’t just say that removing the ACNA members brings everything back to normal. There’s no doubt an entirely different Chapter would be in place if the Special Resolution would never have existed.
5. As an illegally constituted body, shouldn’t ALL the Cathedral Chapter’s motions and votes for the past three years be invalidated?
None of these are threats, obviously. No one is going to sue anyone. I just wanted to illustrate the ridiculousness of following all of these legal claims to their logical conclusions.
31. David Wilson wrote:
December 20, 12:00 pm | [comment link]
You have always amused me, no matter what the occasion!
32. Episcogal wrote:
This is semantics - Andrew Thiros put forward a resolution to reaffirm the church’s Charter, it was voted upon and it passed.
Wrong again. Andrew didn’t put forth a resolution. He put forth a MOTION to affirm the charter.
December 20, 4:46 pm | [comment link]
33. Michael 254 wrote:
You are incorrect in points 1 and 2. The makeup of the Episcopal representatives of the Chapter is supposed to be 3 members of the Clergy and 3 Lay persons. One of each is elected at each Annual Convention to serve for a term of three years. This may not have been followed previously, but this is what is prescribed in the Canons of the Diocese. Bishop Price would just need to appoint one of each.
(This next bit is directed to everyone in general, not specifically to Golgotha)
December 21, 6:11 pm | [comment link]
Ultimately, the flaw of the Special Resolution is that it embodies the assumption that a special arrangement is needed at all for us to worship together under one roof. I was brought up Roman Catholic, but during my first service at an Episcopal church, the rector announced that “All baptized Christians are welcome to receive communion.” That was it, I was hooked. That situation still applies. All Christians, whether they are Episcopalian, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. are welcome to worship at the Cathedral. Needing the Special Resolution in place in order to worship at the Cathedral is tantamount to saying that the Episcopalian service is illegitimate and only if the name “Anglican” is attached to the building is it valid. If you truly believe this is the case, the SR was impotent. It didn’t serve its purpose of bringing people together and we were never one parish, but two who happened to worship simultaneously in the same building. If you do not believe it is the case, than the SR was unnecessary. When I first joined a parish in Houston, I did so before I was received into the Episcopal Church, and in the same way anyone is welcome to be part of the Cathedral regardless of whether they’re Anglican or Episcopalian or whatever else. Unfortunately, I suspect most people believe the former, not the latter. If that weren’t the case, the original split would have never taken place.
34. Jeremy Bonner wrote:
The Special Resolution was never about the validity of Sacraments (had it been so I agree it would have been impotent).
The Special Resolution spoke to the importance of enduring catholicity (small c) within the divided Diocese(s) of Pittsburgh. It offered a way for the one church building that traditionally served as the embodiment of diocesan unity to provide a point of connectedness. Now, as Sarah has pointed out above, if you feel that there cannot be connectedness, then this is folly and should be undone, but don’t misstate the original intention.
It wasn’t first and foremost about church growth (though people are saying that now), it wasn’t about splitting the difference and it wasn’t about avoiding choices. Rather it was striving to offer something that I think most of us knew would be temporary, but could still be of value. And I think it was of some value.
Interestingly, one of the proposals on the table earlier this year was an ACNA congregation within Trinity, which could have contributed to maintenance while leaving oversight and management of buildings and grounds to TEC. That way the ACNA parishioners could still have been part of the warp and woof of Trinity, while focusing on what they considered important.
The irony is that those who are now most upset by the way this was handled (not necessarily the outcome) are not generally the ACNA partisans but the solid middle. Not a good omen. And I honestly thought that Trinity could do better than this.
December 21, 7:05 pm | [comment link]
35. Golgotha wrote:
Michael: I wanted to acknoledge you are correct on the makeup of chapter. My mistake. I was reading directly from the cathedral’s original 1928 charter which states the membership exactly as I had noted in my post #30. I was led astray by the fact that you have to read for several more paragraphs before you get to the fact that these terms are three years long. Because the text indicates the diocesan reps are elected annually, I interpreted this to mean that their terms were only one year long. By electing one of each order each year, and their terms bing three years, it is true that the charter and the TEC diocese canons are in alignment. This doesn’t change my opinion, really, though it does confirm that I should never have been drawn into the legal arguments in this thread to begin with!
December 21, 10:51 pm | [comment link]
My concerns are much more in alignment with Jeremy’s post, with the exception that I, admittedly idealistically, wanted the principle of serving both sides to be perpetual because in my mind it was forever the moral high ground. Once you claim the moral high ground, what else is conceding it than sin?
Since Jeremy raises the fact that a possible solution on the table was two congregations, one thought I had, (moot now, of course), was that the TEC diocese legal position is that TEC owns the building, and the ACNA diocese position is that ACNA does not own the building. I though there might be a way for the cathedral to meet with both sides, and simply acknowledge the status quo with both. In other words, there may have been a way to concede TEC legal ownership of the building in a graceful way without creating winners and losers. The building and the parish are two different things.
36. Golgotha wrote:
Sorry, I can’t keep my mouth shut I guess. I’m not so sure I agree that there are no sacramental concerns. Under the Special Resolution, (though it is not part of the document but part of the principle), the cathedral’s two priests were each licensed by both TEC and the ACNA. There were also individual non-stipendiary priests serving there who were either exclusively TEC or exclusively ACNA. There was also the ACNA bishop. The cathedral’s statement, and that of some of the comments above, that “all are welcome” is disingenuous because it doesn’t include ACNA clergy. All ACNA clergy were—according to TEC—deposed. Therefore they cannot celebrate or distribute valid sacraments any more than a horse could. TEC does not have a concordat with ACNA like it does with the Lutherans or Moravians. You may welcome all baptized Christians to the Lord’s table, but I’m guessing that no longer includes celebration or concelebration by ACNA clergy.
December 22, 11:39 am | [comment link]
37. BMR+ wrote:
#36—I’d say the water is a little muddy. The clergy of the ACNA were not deposed under Title IV disciplinary canons but were “released,” in a somewhat improvised and creative way, under the Title III renunciation canon, in an action that by accompanying letter specifically indicated that the Episcopal Diocese understood that the renunciation was not from sacramental ordination but instead from the privileges and duties of service as an ordained minister of the Episcopal Church. The Anglican Diocese clergy were specifically commended to any church which might receive them—as the Southern Cone already had.
For some time after the division there were Anglican Diocese clergy occasionally ministering sacramentally in Episcopal Diocese parishes. As per Canon III.9.6.2.iv,
nothing in these Canons shall prevent . . . (2) The Bishop of any Diocese from giving permission . . . (iv) To the Member of the Clergy or Priest-in-Charge of a congregation or if there be none, to the Wardens, to invite Clergy ordained in
another Church in communion with this Church
to officiate on an occasional basis, provided that
such clergy are instructed to teach and act in a
manner consistent with the Doctrine, Discipline,
and Worship of this Church.
It seems to have been the case at the Cathedral over the past two years that the Episcopal Diocese (Bishop Price, and before him the Standing Committee holding ecclesiastical authority), affirming all along that the Cathedral was “of the Episcopal Diocese” and not officially acknowledging the Special Resolution, have implied a form of permission in this way for the sacramental ministrations of Anglican Diocese clergy.
This argument from the canon only made strict canonical sense, of course, when the Anglican Diocese clergy were also “canonically resident” in the Southern Cone. Since the formation of the ACNA, I’m not sure what the status is related to such residence. Even though the ACNA is recognized by many Anglican Provinces, simple recognition would not seem canonically sufficient under III.9.
While there are other provisions in III.9 that give rectors of parishes essentially unlimited latitude in inviting clergy from other “not in communion” Churches, and laity as well, to give “addresses,” or, we might say, to preach, and while a rector could certainly license such a person as well to participate in a service as a reader (even as a “co-officiant” I would think) or to administer the bread or wine in the distribution of Holy Communion, I believe a careful interpretation would limit a rector or bishop’s ability to license a deacon or priest or bishop of a Church “not in communion with this Church” to “officiate” in any part of a service restricted to the ordained.
Nothing of course in the canons would prevent baptized Christians “of the Anglican Diocese” from receiving Communion from an Episcopal priest, or baptized Christians “of the Episcopal Diocese” from receiving Communion from an Anglican priest. That happens all the time in Pittsburgh.
Of course, some ACNA clergy are resident, via CANA or AMiA, in Churches in Communion with the Episcopal Church—but I don’t know what the status of Pittsburgh Anglican clergy in this regard may be. If they are still also “of the Southern Cone,” collegial recognition and cooperation might still be possible in a fully canonical way.
There would be in theory as well nothing to prevent the Cathedral Chapter from, let’s say, “renting the Cathedral” to the Anglican Diocese or to an Anglican Diocese congregation for use in a service. Wouldn’t even need to be a cost attached. It happens all the time that churches are made available in this way. Hypothetically anyway an Anglican congregation could ask to “rent” the cathedral for an hour on Sunday mornings for an Anglican service. If the Chapter approved, that would be no more unusual or “uncanonical” than the offering of space to a Presbyterian or UCC congregation whose own church was for some reason unavailable.
It would simply depend on the good will of all parties.
What the end of the Special Resolution means is that the form of governance improvised in 2008 will no longer be in effect, and the bylaws of the Cathedral will function as they did before the Special Resolution. The Cathedral Congregation will elect its designated number of members to the Chapter, the Convention of the Episcopal Diocese will elect its designated number of members to the Chapter, and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese will preside. The clergy “of the Cathedral” will need to be resident in or licensed to serve in the Episcopal Diocese. The rest I think would still be open to discussion, if there are two parties that want to have a discussion.
December 22, 12:29 pm | [comment link]
38. Sarah wrote:
RE: “Hypothetically anyway an Anglican congregation could ask to “rent” the cathedral for an hour on Sunday mornings for an Anglican service.”
RE: “It would simply depend on the good will of all parties.”
Or good sense.
Why anyone would wish to rent from such landlords—well known to conservatives even within TEC as people of the character they have endlessly exhibited, and an even more dreadful gospel [see above comments as exhibit 1,936 of the former]—I cannot imagine.
Are there no depths to which you can imagine that those who believe that the leaders of the Episcopal “diocese” of Pittsburgh preach a false gospel would sink, BMR?
I guess not.
Hey—why not simply all of them return and join up with TEC so that they can then “worship” in the Cathedral with TEC clergy and the lovely TEC bishop and other nice overlords? I mean, why not? It would mean they could all “be together” and enjoy “connectedness”?
December 22, 2:00 pm | [comment link]
39. BMR+ wrote:
My “rental” speculation simply followed earlier comments that the Anglican Diocese had already been discussing the idea of forming a separate “Anglican” congregation and service at the Cathedral. My observation was that there is nothing intrinsic to the Chapter’s action last week that would necessarily prevent that from happening.
Per your other comments—well, we’ve been around the track before. I have great respect for my colleagues and friends in the Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh and the ACNA, and I wish their ministries well. I am glad that we can and do continue in many ways to be friends and colleagues even with the division that has taken place. But if any of them in fact were to decide that they did want to “return and join up with TEC,” I’d be glad to have them. We have a lot of work to do over here on this side of the stream too.
December 22, 3:38 pm | [comment link]
40. Petros wrote:
Whilst I have been reading your posts for a while, I feel more than compelled to finally comment on the events described at length above. Many fine points have been made from both sides, however, I think one issue has not been discussed: Was Canon Brall informed of the intent prior to the Chapter’s vote of the added agenda item? If so how does that play out if she was the “leader” of a parish who decided as a majority to serve both sides?
December 22, 8:22 pm | [comment link]
41. paul+ wrote:
Commenters on this thread who aren’t members of Trinity Cathedral can’t be expected to understand the audacity of its three-year experiment in governance and grace or to have a measure of the Cathedral’s people. Apparently.
Just one thing about the people: they have a remarkable attentiveness to Scripture. Their willingness to “hear and do” is exemplary. When you preach, you look out at people who are fully engaged, soaking it up. Their capacity for spiritual growth makes ministry an enormous joy. Their worship has been growing more and more charismatic, in the deepest sense of the word, in the seven years I’ve been there, thanks be to God. (And the choir has helped!)
These are spiritual conditions which a priest craves. You have to hold all this lightly, of course, but not carelessly. I referenced our deliberations over the Cathedral’s status in a note I sent to the Executive Committee of Chapter a couple of weeks ago. I mentioned that my thinking on the matter is guided by two overarching questions: “As best we can discern, 1) which options are viable, and 2) of those, which option will take the best care of—and cause the least harm to—the souls of all our people?” I added that those two questions “stand entirely apart from canon and civil law.” If that last bit is an overstatement, it’s still an expression of pastoral priorities.
In one motion, those priorities have been violated. This not only happened just before Christmas. A second matter of timing is like unto it: it happened as we wrap up pledge. Time will tell. But I suspect that what we have here is an action whose premeditated intentions have been overrun by a flood of unintended consequences.
Friends, if for every word of blanket condemnation of TEC Pittsburgh or invective against ++Duncan you utter here and elsewhere you then offer two words of prayer for the people who are most shaken by this action, something good can still come of it.
December 23, 3:43 am | [comment link]
42. Golgotha wrote:
Great post, Paul+.
December 23, 10:19 am | [comment link]
With regard to Petros’ question, I agree that this is of fundamental importance. I do have a personal understanding on the answer, however since it relies on information received from only one person, (even though it is first-hand information), I have not and will not publicly comment on this until it is more universally corroborated and clear. Several things I will comment on, though:
1. The motion could have been ruled out of order or tabled and was not.
2. Canon Brall’s letter to the congregation affirmed her concurrence with both the validity of the procedure and the practical result.
3. Since I have resigned, Neither Canon Brall nor any lay leadership have attempted to contact me to express regret, or to attempt convincing me to return. Perhaps this does not surprise me with regard to the chapter, and those who as a result of this action are now running the show. But in the years I have known Canon Brall I have observed that her greatest gift is her pastoral heart. This is one reason why what happened could never have been predicted and why I’m still shocked no contact has been attempted. I guess I’m collateral damage.
I view the obsession over this issue that had fully consumed the chapter for the last six months as a kind disease that infected a previously healthy body. Apparently, this disease did not discriminate between those with clerical collars and those without.
43. PeterL wrote:
A very thought-provoking post Paul+. I feel like I’m only beginning to understand just how courageous (and pastoral) the Special Resolution was. For those of us who follow these blogs, sometimes it takes a bit of work to see issues without prejudice. I needed to be reminded of some basic facts, as they have been related to me by members of the cathedral. Upon Dean Werner’s retirement, the cathedral did very well under the interim leadership of the capable Jim Shoucair+. The problems began after the new dean emerged, and were not about theology.
December 23, 7:31 pm | [comment link]
44. paul+ wrote:
December 24, 2:50 am | [comment link]
I think your “read” is accurate on all counts. I’ve only been at the Cathedral for seven years, but your understanding fits what I know. And, yes, Jim+ was—and still is, elsewhere in the TEC diocese—a class act.
45. David Wilson wrote:
If the TEC people believe Jim+ is such a class act (and I believe he is) why didn’t they elect him to the Standing Committee?
December 24, 9:15 am | [comment link]
46. PeterL wrote:
#45, I think I can answer that question very simply. There is still within TEC-PGH a lot of mis-trust. Worries, in fact, that things could go South Carolina on us, and the problems of the last two decades resurface. I can’t imagine even the most liberal person who actually knows Jim+ well voting against him. But others (myself included) can be very shallow, and not really knowing Jim, simply see Trinity Seminary and say “no way”. I was at the cathedral as assistant organist beginning 1982. Dean Werner was always very gracious to the bishop (the music had to be “simplified” shall we say for Bishop visits), and invited many seminarians to preach. (I’m afraid we were pretty bad in the choir, calling it the “flavor of the day”) Back then we giggled when people put their hands up in the air for the doxology (it looked kind of Star Treky to us). Well, my only point is that in all the conversations I had with liberal friends across the diocese, we just want to be a normal diocese with no agenda other than going out as the “wounded loving hands of Christ” as George Werner+ frequently said. Prayer Book services, liturgical worship. The presiding bishop’s vestments belong on Star Trek, and the bishop of New Hampshire, or whatever distant diocese really has no effect or role in my local church.
December 24, 11:17 am | [comment link]
47. paul+ wrote:
PeterL, I think the rubric for raising hands is in your BCP in the Psalter—which, I believe, is where the Old Testament got the idea.
December 24, 3:45 pm | [comment link]