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.

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

5 comments on “The Bishop of Northern California Explains his No to the Northern Michigan Episcopal Election

  1. Pb says:

    You can change the faith but not the prayer book. He should have known it if he wanted to be a bishop.

  2. A Senior Priest says:

    Delicately but clearly put, Kevin’s faith is not the faith of the Church, and he can’t legitimately impose his deviant personal opinions on sacraments of the whole Church.

  3. Sidney says:

    Well, lex orandi, lex credendi, so doesn’t a statement that ‘Forrester’s changing of the liturgy is the problem’ largely amount to saying that he changed the faith?

  4. Dilbertnomore says:

    As ‘Kevin’ is undoubtedly coming to realize, he just chose the wrong manifestation of weird to embrace as his very own in his hunt for acceptance within TEC. He failed to do a proper analysis of the TEC marketplace of weirdness and packaged himself in an out of bounds species of weird instead of going with one of the many examples of established and accepted weird to be found on TEC’s approved “List of Authorized Weirdness”. Freestyle weirdness is not tolerated within TEC!

  5. Hursley says:

    #3
    Yes, that does sum it up, I think. This is a classic case of someone going too far, even for people used to tolerating far too much. I am delighted that some vestige of sanity is still available… though it is a rarity in TEC these days. May this go down in the history books as the distant first soundings of a change in TEC — a change for the better.

    Hursley
    Non clamor sed amor psallit in aure Dei