Category : TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Northern Michigan Committee 'saddened' at lack of support for bishop-elect

On July 27, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori notified the standing committee that the necessary consents to the ordination and consecration of the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop of the diocese were not received within the prescribed time period and therefore his election was “null and void.”

The committee’s statement said, “We invite the wider church to reflect with us on what this experience can teach us about the episcopal search and consent process. Among the issues ripe for discussion are how bishops and standing committees can best be made aware of the particular needs of individual dioceses, and how new communications technologies affect the consent process. We hope that out of our disappointment can come a deeper understanding of the ways in which we can all be accountable to one another as members of the body of Christ.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

RNS: Episcopalians Reject Bishop Who Embraced Zen Buddhism

The rejection of Thew Forrester comes just a day after Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the spiritual head of the Anglican Communion, criticized the Episcopal Church for departing from church tradition by lifting a de facto ban on gay bishops and allowing blessings for same-sex unions. The Episcopal Church is the U.S. branch of the Anglican Communion.

“This could be taken as a strong shout from two different places about the importance of doing theological work on our foundations,” said the Rev. Kendall Harmon, canon theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, which voted against Thew Forrester.

Thew Forrester, rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Marquette, Mich., said in a statement that “I have been extraordinarily blessed and honored to walk with my friends from the Diocese of Northern Michigan over these past months as their bishop-elect.”

“As we live and move and have our being in Christ, there is truly a Holy Wisdom in all that is unfolding, and as St. John of the Cross affirms, a face in `all that happens,”‘ Thew Forrester said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

ENS: Northern Michigan episcopal election fails to receive required consents

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on July 27 notified the standing committee of the Diocese of Northern Michigan that the necessary consents to the ordination and consecration of the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop were not received within the prescribed time period and therefore his election was “null and void.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Leaders of Ecuador Central and New Hampshire Vote Yes on Northern Michigan

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Bishop of Ecuador (Litoral) votes ”˜no’ on the Northern Michigan Bishop-elect

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Virginia Standing Committee Votes Yes on Northern Michigan

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Another Frank Lockwood article on the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election Consent Process

But others decried the largely Internet-driven campaign to challenge Thew Forrester’s fitness, warning that future bishop-elects will face the kind of scrutiny previously reserved for Supreme Court nominees.

Retired Bishop of Eastern Oregon Rustin Kimsey, in an April interview, said today’s Episcopal Church is more alarmed by theological innovation than it was decades ago.

“At least some bishops are feeling that their primary call is to protect the faith from error. I think that’s always a dangerous place to be,” Kimsey said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

California votes ”˜no’ on bishop-elect of Northern Michigan

The Standing Committee of the Diocese of California voted recently to withhold consent to the Rev. Kevin G. Thew Forrester as bishop of Northern Michigan. The vote was close, according to diocesan spokesman Sean McConnell.

California is the 57th standing committee to withhold consent from Thew Forrester. Twenty-nine have given consent and 25 either haven’t voted or haven’t revealed their votes, according to a survey by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

The Diocese, one of 110 scattered across the U.S., Caribbean, Latin America, Asia and Europe, includes San Francisco and much of the Bay Area.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

Bethlehem Standing Committee: Why we chose not to consent to Northern Michigan

The issue that posed the largest concern for the most of us was the ability of the candidate to articulate the Christian faith and to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church. It is clear to us Thew-Forrester is a deeply spiritual man who is passionate and articulate about his approach to faith. However, it is apparent from his writing, preaching and the liturgies he has written that he has difficulty with the most basic teachings of the Christian faith about the person and work of Jesus Christ, the nature of the Trinity, the nature of sin and the atonement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Christianity Today on Northern Michigan: Too Unorthodox Even for the Episcopal Church?

Christian leaders outside the Episcopal Church said the church’s handling of Thew Forrester has implications beyond the denomination.

“If a so-called bishop does not agree with the central elements of the Christian faith, then he should not call himself a Christian, let alone a bishop””nor should a church ordain him. He is an apostate from the Faith; and a church that ordains such a one is also apostate,” said George O. Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler agrees.

“The difference between orthodoxy and heresy is of vital importance to every evangelical believer,” he said. “We should feel grief and pain whenever we see a church that is involved in this kind of basic theological turmoil and where we hear the truth of the gospel denied, because it compromises the gospel witness of Christians around the world.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

Frank Lockwood: Facing criticism the Episcopal Church removes ”˜transparent’ governance pledge

Facing criticism for withholding information from its 2.3 million members, the Episcopal Church has quietly removed from its new IAmEpiscopalian.org website assurances that the church is committed to openness and transparency in government.

For months, the site had proclaimed on its home page: “Our controversies and conversations have been public. Our governance is tranparent. You are free to see our imperfections”¦”

Read it all and follow the links.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Media, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

RNS: Northern Michigan Episcopal bishop appears headed for defeat

On Friday (June 5), the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, which has kept an unofficial running tally of the voting, reported that 56 standing committees””a majority””have voted to withhold their “consents.”

The official tally will not be known until at least late July, when all of the ballots are due.

Linda Piper, president of the Diocese of Northern Michigan’s standing committee, which keeps the official tally, would not confirm the report. But, she said, “Do I think this is probably the way it’s going to go? Unfortunately, I would not be surprised.”

Piper acknowledged it would be an “uphill climb,” for Thew Forrester to get the consents he needs.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

ENS: Northern Michigan diocese, bishop-elect will 'respect' consent process

The Rev. Canon Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop, told ENS that the consent process for a bishop-elect lasts the full 120 days as prescribed by the canons of the church, unless that person receives the required majority of consents before the period is over, at which time an announcement can be made. Until the required number of consents is received, or the 120 day period ends, bishops and standing committees are able to change their vote, he said….

Thew Forrester told ENS that his theology is “steeped in the orthodox tradition and deeply rooted particularly in the desert wisdom of Christianity and in the fathers and mothers of the early church as well as the medieval mystics” and is “thoroughly grounded in the tradition.” He added that the diocese’s experiments with liturgies are a “recovery of some of our earliest Christian roots” while upholding the tradition of the Book of Common Prayer and “recognizing that it is a dynamic and evolving tradition, which is why it continues to thrive.”

“We uphold the prayer book and continue to explore, and we’ve done so — and I’ve done so — as openly and responsibly as possible out of love for the tradition and out of commitment to the tradition and wanting to be in dialogue with the tradition and wanting to engage in dialogue with the 21st century,” he said.

Thew Forrester acknowledged that people may hear “echoes of other traditions whether it be Buddhism or another faith tradition, but those are only echoes,” but he said that the source has been the traditions of the early Christian church.

I note there is no mention of the only diocese (of which I am aware) which spoke directly to the Northern Michigan situation at a Diocesan Convention, South Carolina. In any event, read it all–KSH.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Time to Look Back: The Diocese of Northern Michigan responds to the Primates

Read it all and note the date–and who do we know is the author?.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anglican Primates, Episcopal Church (TEC), Primates Mtg Dar es Salaam, Feb 2007, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The North Dakota Standing Committee Votes No on Northern Michigan

Frank Lockwood has the goods

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Colorado Standing Committee Votes No on Northern Michigan

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Los Angeles Bishop and Standing Committee Vote no on Northern Michigan

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Hawaii and Quincy Standing Committees Vote No on Northern Michigan Election

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Diocese of New Jersey Standing Committee says No to Northern Michigan

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Diocese of Ohio Standing Committee Says No to the Northern Michigan Election

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Bishop of Northern California Explains his No to the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election

I have great respect for Kevin, and great regard for the Diocese of Northern Michigan. It saddens me greatly, therefore, to tell you that I am unable to consent to this election. As I have said, many issues have been raised; I will name only one: Kevin’s revision of our liturgy of Holy Baptism.

It is of course true that ours is a living tradition, and that as the Church’s context changes, its liturgy will also change. The Church must have zones of innovation for the responsible exploration of such change. But these must be established within canonically acceptable boundaries, and they must be conducted in a way which is accountable to the whole church. I have concluded that the changes Kevin made, and the manner in which he made them, however much designed and intended to be responsible and accountable, quite simply exceeded the authority of any bishop and diocese, let alone rector and parish. It is not that the liturgy of Baptism cannot be changed, and indeed might not one day be changed; my concern is that this liturgy is so very essential to our identity and to our understanding of our mission that any revision can only be undertaken after very careful consideration by all of us, authorized only by the whole of our church through legitimate processes. Not only has that not been done in this instance; I am not confident that, for all his very immense talents and deep commitment to serve this church, Kevin will refrain from future unauthorized experimentation. In my judgment, that lack of assurance is critical.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

TEC Affiliated Group in the Diocese of Pittsburgh Dispute Says No to Northern Michigan

Check it out.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

The Bishop of Northern California Votes No On Consent to the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Karen B. Runs Some Numbers on the Northern Michigan Episcopal Consents Tally

From here:

I’ve been doing some number crunching on these votes compared with past votes (i.e. consents …[re:Gene Robinson] and Mark Lawrence and some other votes from General Convention 2003).

Theoretically, the vote totals could still be close. We’ve heard from more of the “conservative” (expected NO voting) bishops and dioceses – about 60% of each, as compared with only about 38% of the “liberal” (expected YES voting) bishops and dioceses.

So”¦ don’t be surprised if the YES totals climb quite a bit while the NO totals stay fairly stable for awhile.

There are at least 35 liberal bishops yet to be heard from. Theoretically, if they all voted Yes (very doubtful at this point) Forrester could have a total 49 Yes votes among bishops if past voting patterns held. However, the liberal bishops would now have to ALL vote YES for that to happen. So far only about 62% of the “liberal” bishops who have voted have voted YES. Among the “conservative bishops” 97% have voted NO as expected.
It is a similar story among Standing Committees. We still have yet to hear from 60% of the “liberal” dioceses. Theoretically, if they all voted YES, Forrester could get 53 YES votes and 58 NO votes. Consent would be denied. I don’t see how Forrester can pull off consent among the Standing Committees unless some current NO votes are switched. Forrester has lost the votes of 12 “liberal” dioceses whom we would have expected to vote YES. i.e. only 54% of the liberal dioceses are voting YES, while 97% of the conservative dioceses are voting NO.

For those who are curious, the “Swing” vote on the conservative side in both the bishop and the standing committee column is San Joaquin. So, it is not even really a “swing” since all the past voting record is for the Anglican Diocese under Bishop Schofield, now part of ACNA, whereas the YES votes are by +Lamb and the new Standing Committee. There have been no other “defections” among conservative bishops or dioceses.

Hope this data is of interest, if people want more details, let me know, though I’ll likely now be offline until Sunday.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

21 more standing committees vote on the Episcopal Election in Northern Michigan

The vast majority of Episcopal Church standing committees in the United States are releasing the results of their votes on the consent process for the diocese of Northern Michigan ”” or say they’ll release them when their voting is complete.

With 21 more standing committees weighing in, here’s my count:

Committees voting for consent: 15
Committees voting against consent: 37

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan

Geffrey Howson Writes the N.W. Penna. Standing Committee about Their N. Mich. Vote

I find it in-credible when I read that some of the bishops withholding consent around the issue of not adhering strictly to the BCP are, as I know personally, adapting Enriching Our Worship because he does not like the Eucharistic liturgies contained therein. He has exacting standards and, in fact, his revisions are very good. So why deny another gifted and talented priest from exercising his gifts of leadership as a bishop when he is exercising great care and love for the liturgy of the church?

I’m also curious about Anglo-Catholic parishes that still use the 1928 Prayer Book and the 1951 American Missal and wonder whether bishops must insist that such parishes adhere to the 1979 BCP? Again one of Forrester’s strongest detractors allows such diversity in his diocese. And what about parishes that feel strongly about inviting all, even the unbaptized, to the Eucharistic table? This happens all over the country and, shy of instituting a Liturgy Patrol, my guess is it will (and should) continue.

I have heard it said that the model of ministry being practiced and lived out in the Diocese of Northern Michigan is also a cause for some concern. This truly is disturbing. Our church is struggling to find new ways of being the church. What I find amazing is that one small diocese, completely faithful to TEC and having never considered leaving it, is being judged so harshly for its choice of bishop. Here is a man who loves TEC, loves his diocese and is proud of his Anglican heritage and is now facing the possibility of not being able to live out the vision of his diocese which has been the model for dioceses in Scotland, Canada and other parts of TEC.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

West Virginia Votes No on the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election

Read the letter from the Bishop.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

Professor Thomas Williams: An open letter to the Bishop-elect of Northern Michigan

Dear Fr Thew Forrester:

I most earnestly beg you to stop talking about Saint Anselm. You simply do not know what you are talking about, and your apologia is not helped by your insistence on perpetuating pseudo-historical claptrap about this great theologian.

In Approaching the Heart of Faith, you quote a passage from Saving Paradise: How Christianity Traded Love of This World for Crucifixion and Empire in which the authors say that “Anselm’s doctrine of the atonement gave support for holy war” and that his “theology and piety crystallized the religious foundations of the Crusades.” “Christians,” the authors say, “were exhorted to imitate Christ’s self-offering in the cause of God’s justice.” Exhorted by whom? Certainly not by Anselm, who would have rejected any such notion as fundamentally incompatible with his key conclusions in Cur Deus Homo: the sufficiency of the God-man’s self-offering and the inability of fallen human beings to do anything on their own to effect a reconciliation between themselves and God. Indeed, the idea that Anselm’s soteriology could provide theological underpinnings for the Crusades is not merely a gross libel against Anselm but rather obvious nonsense.

The authors seek to paper over this nonsense by sleight of hand, invoking “Peace by the blood of the Cross.” I take it we’re to think that the notion of the bloody Cross as an instrument of peace leads naturally to the Crusades. But for Anselm, the peace that is made by the blood of the Cross is peace between God and humanity — a peace that is entirely of God’s own making, that he initiates and sustains because he loves us and created us for himself — and the blood of the Cross can only be the blood of the God-man, offered once for all as a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and (yes) satisfaction. How any reasonable or fair-minded person can think that this soteriology supports wars of conquest and religious imperialism is beyond me.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

Kevin Thew Forrester Musters a Theological Self-Defense

”¦ ”˜the way’ that John speaks of is not about believing doctrines about Jesus. Rather, ”˜the way’ is what we see incarnate in Jesus: the path of death and resurrection as the way to rebirth in God. According to John, this is the only way ”“ . . . it is ”˜the way’ spoken of by all the major religions of the world. Dying and rising is the way. Thus Jesus is ”˜the Way’ ”“ the way become flesh. Rather than being the unique revelation of a way known only in him, his life and death are the incarnation of a universal way known in all of the enduring religions.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan, Theology

BibeBeltBlogger: The Bishop of Spokane Votes Yes on Northern Michigan

…the bishop of Spokane, the Right Rev. James E. Waggoner, told me today (5/5/09) he has consented to the election of the Rev. Kevin G. Thew Forrester as bishop of Northern Michigan.

The word that Waggoner used most (about a half-dozen times) to describe Thew Forrester is “integrity.” Bishop Waggoner said he knows Thew Forrester, he’s worked with Thew Forrester, he’s read the bishop-elect’s writings and he’s observed the bishop-elect’s leadership.

“He’s a person of integrity in his proclamation of the Gospel, in his preaching, in his teaching. I think it [Thew Forrester’s message] certainly is orthodox and has integrity to it,” Waggoner said.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: Northern Michigan