The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles just elected someone whose homosexual behavior goes completely against the Bible. They are doing a disservice to people of faith everywhere.
Daily Archives: December 6, 2009
BBC religious affairs correspondent Chris Landau says that for an Anglican Communion already fracturing over the issue of homosexuality, this election is yet more evidence of the church’s divisions.
He says that for many in the US, electing openly homosexual bishops is simply a reflection of the diversity long affirmed by that Church and that it would be very surprising if Mary Glasspool’s election wasn’t approved.
Episcopal Church leader, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has said she will consecrate any bishop whose election follows the rules.
Los Angeles’ Episcopal Diocese elected an openly lesbian priest as assistant bishop on Saturday, a move likely to stoke more tensions in the global Anglican community over the divisive issue of gay clergy.
The Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, 55, of Baltimore is the first openly gay priest chosen as an Episcopal bishop since Gene Robinson of New Hampshire, whose 2003 consecration deeply strained church unity. Her election must be approved by the national church.
The ordination of gay clergy and related issues have prompted some congregations to leave the Episcopal fold and form a rival North American church that claims 100,000 believers. Anglican churches in regions like Africa have broken ties with their more liberal American brethren.
The Rev Rod Thomas, the leader of the conservative evangelical group Reform and a member of the General Synod, said: ”˜I feel deeply ashamed that this is happening in the Anglican Church.
”˜I think a schism is absolutely inevitable.’
But St Paul’s Cathedral’s Canon Chancellor Giles Fraser, a leading liberal, said: ”˜This is another nail in the coffin of Christian homophobia.’
The election of Mary Glasspool by the Diocese of Los Angeles as suffragan bishop elect raises very serious questions not just for the Episcopal Church and its place in the Anglican Communion, but for the Communion as a whole.
The process of selection however is only part complete. The election has to be confirmed, or could be rejected, by diocesan bishops and diocesan standing committees. That decision will have very important implications.
The bishops of the Communion have collectively acknowledged that a period of gracious restraint in respect of actions which are contrary to the mind of the Communion is necessary if our bonds of mutual affection are to hold.
A lesbian priest was elected an Episcopal bishop Saturday at the Los Angeles diocese’s annual convention in Riverside, putting her on track to become only the second openly lesbian or gay bishop in the centuries-old denomination’s history.
The Rev. Canon Mary Douglas Glasspool, currently an adviser to the bishops of the Diocese of Maryland, was chosen for one of two assistant-bishop vacancies in the Diocese of Los Angeles, which includes San Bernardino County and part of Riverside County.
She is the first openly lesbian or gay bishop chosen since the 2003 election of V. Gene Robinson as bishop of the New Hampshire diocese led dozens of conservative parishes and four dioceses to vote to leave the Episcopal Church. It also provoked condemnation from some of the other churches in the worldwide Anglican Communion, of which the 2.1-million-member Episcopal Church is a part.
A period overseas included postgraduate study before he returned as the Vicar of Ellerslie. He was commissioned as Archdeacon of Auckland in 2006 and in 2007 was appointed Dean and Vicar General.
As Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral Ross was thrust into the international spotlight when Sir Edmund Hillary died and the Cathedral was chosen for his state funeral.
“We’re not just this little group in this particular parish. We also belong to something much wider than that: the diocese, the three Tikanga church here in Aotearoa New Zealand, and the worldwide Anglican Communion.”
The 2.1-million-member denomination paved the way for her election last summer when it lifted a moratorium on electing gay bishops after the election of New Hampshire Bishop V. Gene Robinson six years ago caused a split in the 70-million-member Anglican Communion.
The majority of world Anglicanism opposes openly homosexual clergy, and a majority of Anglican bishops voted against allowing them at the 1998 Lambeth Conference of Anglican Bishops in Canterbury, England.
But the U.S. Episcopal Church ignored that sanction, selecting Bishop Robinson in 2003, causing an estimated 100,000 Episcopalians to flee the denomination to more conservative churches. Four dioceses also have pulled out of the denomination in protest. They and an estimated 60 churches are entangled in lawsuits with the Episcopal Church in a fight to keep millions of dollars’ worth of property and real estate.
Ms. [mary] Glasspool had 153 clergy votes, with 123 needed to win, and 203 lay votes, with 193 needed to win. Mr. Vasquez had 87 clergy votes and 177 lay votes.
The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles elected a lesbian as assistant bishop Saturday, the second openly gay bishop in the global Anglican fellowship, which is already deeply fractured over the first.
The Rev. Mary Glasspool of Baltimore needs approval from a majority of national church leaders before she can be consecrated as assistant bishop in the Los Angeles diocese.
Still, her victory underscored a continued Episcopal commitment to accepting same-sex relationships despite enormous pressure from other Anglicans to change their stand.
For a time, the Episcopal Church sought to discourage the elevation of gay and lesbian priests as bishops in hopes that strains in the 70-million-member Anglican Communion would be reduced. But the move failed to stem growing disenchantment by conservatives alarmed by the ordination of gays and lesbians, and what they saw as liberal interpretations of the Bible.
In the U.S. some Episcopal parishes, including four Los Angeles parishes, and several dioceses bolted from the national church and aligned themselves with conservative Anglican bishops in Africa and South America. So great were the possibilities of schism that the archbishop of Canterbury, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Communion, implored the American church to go no farther.
But in July, the Episcopal Church reversed course at its national convention in Anaheim, voting to open the top echelons of the church to gays and lesbians. The Los Angeles diocese is the first to test that policy.
Received via email–KSH.
Maryland priest selected in balloting to fill one of two positions
By Bob Williams
[Riverside, Calif.] — The six-county Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has elected the Rev. Canon Mary Glasspool, canon to the bishops of the Baltimore-based Diocese of Maryland, to the office of bishop suffragan, in which she is called to assist Bishop Diocesan J. Jon Bruno in ministry to the region’s 70,000 parishioners.
Glasspool, 55, was elected Dec. 5 on the seventh ballot taken by some 800 clergy and lay delegates to the 114th Annual Meeting of Diocesan Convention, gathered in Riverside, Calif., as the diocese’s chief legislative body.
The Convention on Dec. 4 also elected the Rev. Canon Diane Bruce to the office of bishop suffragan. Glasspool and Bruce were part of a slate of six candidates nominated by a 24-member diocesan committee.
The second woman to be elected a bishop in the diocese’s 114-year history, Glasspool is also the first openly partnered lesbian to be elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church, which includes some 2.4 million members in 109 dioceses in 16 nations. She is the 17th woman to be elected a bishop in the Episcopal Church; its House of Bishops includes some 300 active and retired members.
Glasspool received 153 votes in the clergy order and 203 lay votes, meeting the required majority of ballots after the Convention’s necessary quorum was declared.
Consent to the election of Glasspool and Bruce by the bishops and standing committees of the Episcopal Church’s other 108 dioceses will now be requested under longstanding denominational procedures in keeping with their elections as bishops not only for the local diocese but also for the whole church.
Consents must be received prior to the bishops-elect scheduled ordination to the episcopate, set for May 15, 2010, at which the Episcopal Church’s Presiding Bishop, the Most. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, is slated to officiate.
“I am very excited about the future of the whole Episcopal Church, and I see the Diocese of Los Angeles leading the way into that future, said Glasspool, a native of Staten Island, N.Y., who has been ordained a priest for 27 years, and whose father was also an Episcopal priest.
“But just for this moment, let me say again, thank you, and thanks be to our loving, surprising God. I look forward, in the coming months, to getting to know you all better, as together we build up the Body of Christ for the world.”
Bruno said Glasspool brings years of valuable experience to her new role, noting that she has been essentially fulfilling the duties of a suffragan in her role as canon to Maryland’s bishops since 2001.
He said he is looking forward to working with Glasspool because of “her congeniality and willingness to work together to bring us to a place of abundance.
“She’s not afraid of conflict and she is a reconciler,” Bruno said. He added that Glasspool and her partner of 19 years, Becki Sanders, are an example of loving service and ministry. “I will pray that Mary and I and Diane will be as strong a team as Chester and Sergio and I have been. I know Mary will be an asset to this diocese,” he said.
A resident of Annapolis, Glasspool has been canon to Maryland’s bishops since 2001. Previously she was rector of St. Margaret’s, Annapolis (1992-2001); rector of St. Luke’s and St. Margaret’s, Boston (1984-1992); and assistant to the rector of St. Paul’s, Philadelphia.
Ordained a priest in 1982 in the Diocese of Pennsylvania, she holds a master of divinity degree from Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass., and a bachelor’s degree from DickinsonCollege in Carlisle, Pa. She was in 2006 Merrill Fellow at HarvardDivinitySchool.
Glasspool’s life partner, Becki Sander, holds a doctorate in social work.
In response to a reporter’s question about whether Glasspool might receive the necessary consents from other dioceses, Bruno said: “That would be a violation of the canons of this church. At our last General Convention, we said we are nondiscriminatory.
“They just as well might have withheld consent from me because I was a divorced man and in my case, it would have been more justified than in withholding them from someone who has been approved through all levels of ministry and is a good and creative minister of the Gospel.”
He acknowledged rumors of a “concerted effort not to give consent” to Glasspool because she is openly gay.” I would remind the Episcopal church and the House of Bishops they need to be conscientious about respecting the canons of the church and the baptismal covenant to respect the dignity of every human being.
“To not consent in this country out of fear of the reaction elsewhere in the Anglican Communion is to capitulate to titular heads.”
The Diocese has voted from a slate of well qualified candidates whose talents fit well with the episcopal team approach of Bishop Bruno, said the Rev. Julian Bull, chair of the seach and nominating committee, and head of Campbell Hall Episcopal school in North Hollywood, Calif.
In addition to Bruce, other nominees were the Rev. Zelda Kennedy, senior associate for pastoral care at All Saints Church in Pasadena, Calif.; the Rev. John Kirkley, rector of St. John the Evangelist Church in San Francisco; the Rev. Silvestre Romero, rector of St. Philip’s Church in San Jose, Calif., and the Rev. I. Martir Vasquez, vicar of St. George’s Church in Hawthorne, Calif.
In the second election, Kirkley withdrew on the third ballot and Romero on the fourth.
According to Convention rules of order, ballot results in Glasspool’s election were separate from the election balloting in Bruce’s election, according to Canon M. Janet Wylie, secretary of Convention.
The ballot results were posted in real time on the diocesan web site, http://www.ladiocese.org
Glasspool is the eighth bishop suffragan to be elected in the history of the Diocese of Los Angeles. She and Bishop-elect Bruce together will succeed the Rt. Rev. Chester L. Talton, 68, who plans to retire in May 2010 after serving as bishop suffragan since January 1991.
Also retiring in 2010 is the Rt. Rev. Sergio Carranza, bishop assistant in the Diocese of Los Angeles since 2002 following his retirement as bishop of the Diocese of Mexico in the Anglican Church of Mexico.
Previous bishops suffragan in the Diocese of Los Angeles are the late Robert B. Gooden (1930-1947), Donald J. Campbell (1949-1959), Ivol I. Curtis (1960-1964), Robert C. Rusack (1964-1973), and Oliver B. Garver Jr. (1985-1990).
The Diocese of Los Angeles was formed in 1895 by General Convention action to divide the San Francisco-based Diocese of California. The Diocese of Los Angeles today includes 147 congregations located in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, and part of Riverside counties. The diocese is based in L.A.’s Echo Park district at the Cathedral Center of St. Paul, a congregation dating from 1864.
The term suffragan is said to come from the Latin suffragari, which has been translated “to support with one’s vote.” Under Episcopal Church polity, bishops suffragan are elected to assist bishops diocesan without right of succession.
— Robert Williams serves the Diocese of Los Angeles as canon for community relations.
This decision represents an intransigent embrace of a pattern of life Christians throughout history and the world have rejected as against biblical teaching. It will add further to the Episcopal Church’s incoherent witness and chaotic common life, and it will continue to do damage to the Anglican Communion and her relationship with our ecumenical partners.
–The Rev. Dr. Kendall Harmon is Canon Theologian of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina
On the 7th ballot.
Though there are few Jews in Montana today, there once were many. In the late 19th century, there were thriving Jewish populations in the mining towns, where Jews emigrated to work as butchers, clothiers, jewelers, tailors and the like.
The city of Butte had kosher markets, a Jewish mayor, a B’nai B’rith lodge and three synagogues. Helena, the capital city, had Temple Emanu-El, built in 1891 with a seating capacity of 500. The elegant original facade still stands, but the building was sold and converted to offices in the 1930s, when the congregation had dwindled to almost nothing, the Jewish population having mostly assimilated or moved on to bigger cities.
There is a Jewish cemetery in Helena, too, with tombstones dating to 1866. But more Jews are buried in Helena than currently live here.
And yet, in a minor revival, Montana now has three rabbis, two in Bozeman and one (appropriately) in Whitefish. They were all at the Capitol on the first night of Hannukah last year to light a menorah in the ornate Capitol rotunda, amid 100-year-old murals depicting Sacajawea meeting Lewis and Clark, the Indians beating Custer, and the railway being built. The security officer and the dog followed the rabbi into the rotunda, to size him up.