We’ve unstickied the long San Joaquin discussion thread. You can find it here.
Daily Archives: December 9, 2007
Most conservative Christian political activists and pastors who studied Mitt Romney’s speech on Thursday addressing his Mormon faith agree it was something he had to do.
But few said it was strong enough to change the minds of evangelicals – a powerful force in Republican politics.
“It was a wise move on his part,” said Chuck Hurley, a pro-family Christian activist and former Iowa legislator who has endorsed Gov. Mike Huckabee. “He is a gifted speaker and I would guess he will have mollified some people’s concerns. But the more people investigate the beginnings of the Mormon church, the more uneasy they will be, and there’s nothing he can do about that.”
According to a recent survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, Americans most likely to say they value religion in a president – white evangelical Protestants – are also most likely to be bothered by Romney’s religion.
Thirty-six percent of evangelical Republicans expressed reservations about voting for a Mormon – a level of opposition much higher than that seen among the electorate overall.
The Diocese of San Joaquin on Saturday voted overwhelmingly to change its constitution to leave the Episcopal Church USA and align with the Southern Cone of the worldwide Anglican Communion because of long-simmering theological issues.
It is the first diocese in the country to take such action.
The constitutional vote was 70-12 (85 percent) by clergy and 103-10 (91 percent) by laity at the diocese’s annual convention in Fresno. A 75 percent vote was required in each group. A subsequent vote to accept the Southern Cone’s oversight was passed by similar margins.
“It’s important to remember that we’ve separated from our brothers and sisters, but we’re also joining our brothers and sisters in the Southern Cone (South America),” said the Rev. Tom Foster, who served at St. Paul’s in Modesto and Christ the King in Riverbank before retiring. He now conducts Sunday services at St. Andrew’s in Mariposa.
“I feel like the Israelites when they came out of Egypt with Moses — I’ve been set free,” Foster said in a phone interview from Fresno. “There is great rejoicing by most people here. We’re full of joy for what has taken place. It’s a very strong feeling.”
Brother Peter Marie Westall, formerly James Westall, grew up in an Anglican family, but he did a lot of spiritual wavering.
“I became an atheist at 14 — a deliberate decision,” he said. “But I knew my mother was praying for me all the time.”
He had a change of heart at age 16, he said, but it wasn’t until he was 22 — after graduating with a mechanical engineering degree from Southampton University — that he accepted Jesus into his life at a Catholic retreat.
“I was scared of happy, clappy Christians, so I stayed at the back,” he said. “But they were just giving talks. They had Eucharist, and gave a lot of examples about the life of St. Francis. When I read about his life, that set my life on fire, the full Gospel. That’s what I wanted to do as well.”
Helping to cement his faith were accounts of the appearance of the Virgin Mary to people throughout history, he said — in particular repeated apparitions reported by children in the Bosnian village of Medjugorje, beginning in 1981. Those who investigate such reports determined that the children’s eyes reacted as if they were seeing a bright light, and they did not react to pain despite being pricked with needles, Brother Peter said.
“My reasoning went, if the scientists can’t disprove the children saw the Virgin Mary, she must exist. God must exist, and Jesus must be Lord,” he said.
Black British archbishop symbolically cut up his clerical collar on Sunday and vowed not to wear one again until Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe steps down from power.
“We need the world to unite against Mugabe and his regime,” said John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, pulling out a pair of scissors and making the dramatic gesture during a live television interview.
The gesture came as Mugabe was accused of undermining the image of Africa during a summit of European and African leaders in Lisbon this weekend. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has boycotted the meeting.
Sentamu noted that, as a bishop, his stiff white collar “is what I wear to identify myself, that I’m a clergyman.
[i]Remain Episcopal is the Via Media chapter in the Diocese of San Joaquin and opposes the San Joaquin vote. Here is their statement on today’s vote:[/i]
San Joaquin Diocese Will Continue With or Without Bishop Schofield
FRESNO, CA — There’s no such thing as squatter’s rights in the Episcopal Church.
That’s the lesson Bishop John David Schofield will learn if he follows through with his threat to quit the Episcopal Church and take as many members of the San Joaquin Diocese with him as he can, according to national church officials. Schofield claims that he will still be the diocesan bishop after the Dec. 7-8 convention in Fresno in which a majority of delegates are expected to vote to leave the church with him. But national church officials point out that, ecclesiastically speaking, he will be a bishop without a diocese. He can go, but the diocese remains.
The national church’s Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, has publicly notified Schofield, along with the handful of other bishops who are actively seeking to withdraw their dioceses from the Episcopal Church (TEC), of the theological, canonical and legal issues involved, as well as the ramifications of voting to leave the church. [Full text of this warning from TEC can be found at http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_91480_ENG_HTM.htm]
If Bishop Schofield does quit the church, the 14-county Episcopal diocese in central California will continue. It will have the support of the national church, surrounding dioceses and those individuals, parishes and groups that remain with the church. Many of the latter are members of Remain Episcopal, a group of clergy and lay people formed in 2003 for the sole purpose of assuring that the Episcopal Church remains alive and
well in this diocese. Speaking on behalf of the Remain Episcopal Board, President Cindy Smith said:
[blockquote]We in Remain Episcopal choose to continue the long-established relationship and affiliation we have with the Episcopal Church in the United States.
We are deeply troubled that Bishop John-David Schofield is aggressively pursuing leaving the church. Remain Episcopal admits that it does not know what his exact plans are, whether to set up his own denomination, affiliate with one or more American splinter groups, or even align with a group in Africa or South America. Even more troubling is his desire to take as many Episcopalians with him as he can.
If Bishop Schofield and the majority of the delegates do vote in December to leave, the Episcopal Church will still be alive and well in San Joaquin, although somewhat smaller. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin existed long before Bishop Schofield was elected and will continue to exist after he leaves. While he is a bishop, he is not the church, he is not the diocese, nor, by leaving, can he define whether or not the Episcopal Church will continue in this diocese.
Episcopalians in San Joaquin will still gather to pray and worship and celebrate the Eucharist together as part of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion.[/blockquote]
The press release can be found here.
[i]The second half of the latest article in the TLC on the Diocese of San Joaquin vote today highlights the legal complexities that are likely to arise following today’s decision[/i]
There are also new legal complications in the U.S. Some congregations and clergy in the Diocese of San Joaquin do not want to leave The Episcopal Church and it appears likely that Bishop Jefferts Schori will attempt court enforcement to ensure that all property and other assets remain with the loyal minority. Some members of the minority have organized as Remain Episcopal San Joaquin. They were scheduled to meet at Holy Family, Fresno, at the conclusion of convention.
After the results to affiliate with the Southern Cone were announced, a lay delegate from Holy Family Church, Fresno, rose on a point of personal privilege to ask who the ecclesiastical authority of the diocese would be if Bishop Schofield were to be inhibited. One of the two diocesan chancellors responded that since the convention no longer recognized the authority of The Episcopal Church, Bishop Schofield could only be inhibited by the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone. Toward the conclusion of convention, Bishop Schofield announced that certificates from the Southern Cone were available for clergy to display in their offices.
Just how complicated the legal environment is likely to become was highlighted toward the end of the meeting during debate over a motion to permit Holy Family, Fresno, to begin the process to file incorporation paperwork with the State of California. One of the diocesan chancellors left the convention podium and from one of the microphones set up for delegates inquired whether the convention had the authority to grant the parish’s request given the fact that Holy Family had already stated that it wished to incorporate as an Episcopal parish.
Despite some misgivings that approval of the request would add to the complex legal situation the votes had created, delegates approved the request after one of the delegates reminded the convention that Bishop Schofield had previously said both he and the diocese would do all in their power to assist any congregation or member of the clergy who wanted to remain with The Episcopal Church.
It occurs to us in the busyness of life the past few weeks, we elves have been seriously remiss in not posting the links to the alternate (backup blogs — perhaps soon to be permanent blogs) of many of the Anglican sites hosted by Classical Anglican Net which suffered serious hacking about 2 weeks ago, and which is still offline as a result.
Mike Daley of CaNNet is still working to restore the blog databases and partitions, and hopes to have the blogs backup as soon as possible, perhaps within a few days. But in the meantime, please note these links. Our apologies for the delay in posting these!
Brad Drell: http://descant.wordpress.com/
Confessing Reader: http://confessingreader.wordpress.com/
Lent & Beyond: http://anglicanprayer.wordpress.com/
Rather Not Blog: http://idrathernotsay123.wordpress.com/
Surrounded (Diocese of San Joaquin): http://sanjoaquin.wordpress.com/
As for the archives of the old Titusonenine site, most posts can be accessed either by using the Google Cache feature, or by using an internet archive site like “The Wayback Machine.” Feel free to e-mail the elves if you need help finding something or accessing something on the old blog.
And please keep Mike Daley in prayer as he works to restore the CaNNet blogs. Even if all or most of the blogs make the switch to new sites, having access to their archives is important. Thanks.
Here’s an excerpt:
Today we stand at a critical juncture in history. It would be myopic to imagine that the rest of
Christendom, let alone the Anglican Communion, is not watching and praying as we deliberate.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will lead us in the momentous decisions that lie before us.
It is only natural to experience fear, for what we are considering takes the Diocese of San Joaquin
into unchartered waters. The leaders of the General Convention have expended enormous energy
to spread their mantra: “Individuals may the leave the Church, but Parishes and Dioceses cannot.”
No one seems to know who dreamed up this idea. What we DO know is that it is simply not true!
During the time of the Civil War in the 1860’s when this nation was torn apart, dioceses in those
states called the Confederacy withdrew from what was then known as The Protestant Episcopal
Church. During the war years they held their own conventions, developed their own Constitution,
had there own House of Bishops, elected a Presiding Bishop, and consecrated a bishop for one of
their dioceses. Nothing could be clearer. The southern dioceses had departed and had created a
separate church. Today we might call it their own Province.
Unlike many of the Protestant denominations, however, it didn’t make sense to Episcopalians to
maintain the separation when the war ended. Not only were the southern bishops and their dioceses
welcomed back, the newly consecrated bishop was recognized, and no punitive action was taken
against anyone. Presumably the southerners had taken their property with them when they left.
And, they would not have been the first to do this.
Centuries before, King Henry VIII, with the help of Parliament prevented all English money from
going to Rome. This action was followed up by taking all the property of the churches, including
the monasteries and shrines ”“many of which he dismantled and sold. Today, were you to go to
Ireland in search of a name or a tombstone of anyone buried before 1540, your search would have
to be in Anglican ”“not Roman Catholic”“ churches and cathedrals. Somehow the Pope never asked
that they be returned to him…and they weren’t.
Colonial churches, especially those in Virginia, whose existence pre-date not only The Episcopal
Church but the United States itself, were never given back to the Lord Bishop of London nor to the
Archbishop of Canterbury when, after the American Revolution, Anglicans identified themselves
as Episcopalians. They took their property with them.
History is replete with instances in which dioceses, too, have moved from one Province to another
”“ no matter how it was accomplished. Liberia moved from The Episcopal Church to the Province
of West Africa, Venezuela moved from the West Indies to The Episcopal Church. Mexico has
moved back and forth from The Episcopal Church more than once.
Historically, Provinces, such as The Episcopal Church, are not, and never have been, an essential
part of Catholic Order. On October 14th this year, Rowan Williams, our present Archbishop of
Canterbury, wrote to Bishop John Howe of Central Florida: “…Without forestalling what the
Primates might say, I would repeat what I’ve said several times before ”“ that any Diocese compliant
with Windsor remains clearly in communion with Canterbury and the mainstream of the
Communion, whatever may be the longer-term result for others in The Episcopal Church. The
organ of union with the wider Church is the Bishop and the Diocese rather than the Provincial
structure as such.” Later, in the same letter, Archbishop Williams strengthened what he had said
already by adding: “I should feel a great deal happier, I must say, if those who were most eloquent
for a traditionalist view in the United States showed a fuller understanding of the need to regard the
Bishop and the Diocese as the primary locus of ecclesial identity rather than the abstract reality
of the ”˜national church’.” (Emphasis added) Abstract realities do not own, nor have they ever
There is no question that what we are considering today will be called Schism. We will be told that
unity trumps theology. We shall be told that we are doing is destructive and against history and
Catholic Order. Once again, the words of J.I. Packer are most helpful. He notes: “Schism means
unwarrantable and unjustifiable dividing of organized church bodies, by the separating of one group
within the structure from the rest of the membership. Schism, as such, is sin, for it is a needless and
indefensible breach of visible unity. But withdrawal from a unitary set-up that has become
unorthodox and distorts the gospel in a major way and will not put its house in order as for instance
when the English church withdrew from the Church of Rome in the sixteenth century, should be
called not schism but realignment, doubly so when the withdrawal leads to links with a set-up that
is faithful to the truth, as in the sixteenth century the Church of England entered into fellowship
with the Lutheran and Reformed churches of Europe, and as now we propose gratefully to accept
the offer of full fellowship with the Province of the Southern Cone. Any who calls such a move
schism should be told they do not know what schism is.”
For those of us who are facing the unknown, Provinces and Property seem to be among the top
concerns. As bishop, I would like to suggest to you that a ”˜NO’ vote at this convention will not
provide the imagined protection needed to get on with our lives uninterrupted. Many do not realize
that for 40 years, with the first twenty under Bishop Victor Rivera, and now nearly twenty years
with me, as bishops we have been able to provide a buffer for our people from the innovations that
abound in dioceses all around us. A quick trip north, south, east or west is all that it takes to wonder
if we’re in the same church with those folks. Years ago, it was the moderate Bishop John
MacArthur of West Texas who first stated clearly that “we are two churches under one roof.”
So far… trouble has been avoided. The housing market peaked early in 2006. Since then home-building has plunged, dragging overall growth down slightly. But the economy has remained far from recession. Consumers barely blinked: their spending has risen at an annual rate of 3% in real terms since the beginning of 2006, about the same pace as at the peak of the housing boom in 2004 and 2005.
At the same time, rapid growth in emerging markets coupled with a tumbling dollar has provided the American economy with a new bulwark, one that strengthened even as financial markets seized up over the summer. Exports soared at an annual rate of 16% in the third quarter. Thanks partly to strong export growth, revised GDP figures due on November 29th are likely to show that America’s output grew at an annual rate of around 5% between July and September. Never mind recession: that is well above the economy’s sustainable pace of growth.
But the good news may be about to come to an end. The housing downturn has entered a second, more dangerous, phase: one in which the construction rout deepens, price declines accelerate and the wealth effect of falling prices begins to change consumers’ behaviour. The pain will be intensified by a sharp credit crunch, the scale of which is only just becoming clear. And, in the short term, it will be exacerbated by a spike in oil prices””up by 25% since August””that is extreme, even by the standards of recent years. The result is likely to be America’s first consumer-led downturn in close to two decades.
I am after audio or video, and would love to hear why you like the ones you mention.
As a new curate in a Durham mining village, Trevor Beeson was surprised to hear that a complaint had been made to his vicar about him being unfriendly. It transpired that this was because when he knocked on the door of a cottage he waited for someone to open it in instead of stepping straight in.
But 1951 was a different world, when a young clergyman would spend every afternoon visiting the houses of the people in his parish. Someone was in when he called; the community was alive. And there was a community spirit in death, too. The mortally ill would normally die in their own homes, not an anonymous hospital, and the funeral rites would begin at home, with neighbours making a point of calling.
Trevor Beeson’s career has matched the span of the Queen’s reign, beginning the year before her accession. He has been a Canon of Westminster and the Dean of Winchester, chaplain to the Speaker and adviser on religious programmes to commercial television. In a new book, Round the Church in Fifty Years (SCM, Â£19.99), he does not chart his (rather influential) life in the Church of England, but sketches the changes in five decades of Christian life in Britain.
Most parents with a teenager in the house would be aware of the allure of social networking sites such as MySpace, especially for girls. Responsible parents try to monitor their children’s digital activities in order to protect them from potential predators or inappropriate influences.
But in the case of American mother Lori Drew, responsible parenting mutated into such obsessive involvement in online teenage life that it set off a train of tragic events culminating in the suicide of her daughter’s former best friend.
Megan Meier was 13 when she hanged herself in her bedroom closet last year. Her parents, Tina and Ron Meier, say she had been driven to despair that afternoon by cruel comments posted on her MySpace website by “Josh Evans”, a 16-year-old boy she believed was her boyfriend, although she had never met him in person.
For weeks he had been showering her with compliments on MySpace but, that day, he turned nasty, writing: “I don’t want to be friends with you anymore.” Others in Megan’s MySpace group then taunted her about her weight and called her a “whore”. Mrs Meier says Josh’s final barb was: “The world would be a better off place without you.”
But, as the Meiers discovered six weeks after their daughter’s death, “Josh Evans” did not exist.
He was the creation of Lori Drew, the mother of a 13-year-old girl down the street in their small Missouri town.
Dr. CASEY: I think there was one particular dramatic moment when he talked about the question he gets asked about: Who is Jesus and what does he think about him? He gave a great answer in terms of evangelicals where he said Jesus is Lord and Savior of mankind, son of God. But then he said Mormon doctrine essentially differs from there about who Jesus Christ is — from evangelical doctrine. I think a lot of evangelicals at that point left very, very troubled.
[KIM] LAWTON: Why does it matter? Why does it matter to the voters, you know, what he believes about Jesus?
Dr. CASEY: Well, in the current ethos, the current age, particularly in the Republican Party over the last eight years, it’s been fairly essential that a candidate demonstrate that they are theologically orthodox from a conservative Protestant perspective, and that answer didn’t meet that standard.
LAWTON: Was it a “Kennedyesque” speech? Was it the same thing that Kennedy did when he talked about his Catholicism?
Dr. CASEY: It was similar. I mean, the environment is different, but both were responding to external political forces. Neither candidate wanted to give the speech at that time, but both had to because an opponent was forcing them to that position.
Update: an article by The Economist on this subject is here.