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

12 comments on “Northern Michigan Committee 'saddened' at lack of support for bishop-elect

  1. Jeffersonian says:

    Did the idea of electing a bishop who isn’t a Buddhist/Muslim/Druid/Shinto priest/etc. occur to the diocese’s standing committee?

  2. teatime says:

    Heh. The committee’s lament would be amusing if it wasn’t so tragic. What’s so difficult about having a number of qualified Christian candidates from which to select?

  3. Jim the Puritan says:

    They couldn’t see the Forrester for the trees.

  4. palmettopastor says:

    I told a parishioner of mine about this fellow today, he hadn’t heard about it and refused to believe I wasn’t joking. I’m often amazed at what is considered normal by the rest of the denomination..

  5. cmsigler says:

    To me, it’s sad that their “paragraph of complaint” comes down to, “What we have here is… failure… to communicate.”

    Implicit in what they write is the assertion that, “If only they had known our particular (and unique) needs, then they would’ve voted in favor.” You see, it should be as clear to us as it is to them that, in matters of General Council or Consent, the Holy Spirit is only present and working if their choice is affirmed.

    I, frankly, am offended by this neverending attitude of hubris which is heard so often. Sometimes God says “No.” The Almighty Father is *not* a weak, enabling Parent. Can’t you get that through your thick skulls?

    Clemmitt (with apologies for any intemperance)

  6. Randy Muller says:

    I was “saddened” by Forrester’s election as bishop, but I was “heartened” and pleased when the Episcopal Church put a stop to it. I didn’t think they would do it.

  7. Jon says:

    TEC would not have put a stop to it, had the traditionalist blogosphere not made it such news that eventually the scandal made its way into major newspapers like the Washington Post and the New York Times.

    StandFirm and T19 made it impossible for centrist bishops to quietly and invisibly give their approval. In the glare of so much public scrutiny, the centrist bishops were forced to defend the creedal faith, however reluctantly.

    This is what the standing committee is referring to when they allude to “how new communications technologies affect the consent process.” They believe that if it wasn’t for the web and creedal Christian bloggers, their candidate would have been approved. They are correct.

  8. Ken Peck says:

    [blockquote]We invite the wider church to reflect with us on what this experience can teach us about the episcopal search and consent process.[/blockquote]
    I would suggest that the episcopal search look for candidates who are grounded in and committed to the doctrine, discipline and worship of TEC. For this see the Book of Common Prayer, which defines both the “core doctrine” and the worship of TEC, and the Constitution and Canons which define its discipline. Such a candidate would not find it necessary or even desirable to rewrite the baptismal liturgy, to substitute reading from the Qur’an for the appointed scriptures, to invite Muslims to preach to his congregations or to “enhance” Anglican “spirituality” with non-Christian “spirituality”.

    It it is also essential that the candidates be thoroughly grounded in and committed to the canonical (a word that means the standard by which something—in this case doctrine—is measured) Scriptures of the Church. The candidates would read them, preach from them and teach from them.

    It would be an asset if the candidates has read, marked and inwardly digested the writings of the Church Fathers of the first five centuries.

    It would be a blessing if the candidates so armed and prepared could effectively communicate the good news of Jesus Christ to the people of God as well as to the world and could equip the clergy and people of the diocese to make known to the world the good news of the risen Christ.

    Look for candidates whose “lifestyle” reflects the risen Lord.

    Beyond this nothing much really matters. Such a candidate, if elected and consented to, would meet the “particular needs” of any diocese. Such a would be able to do the work of a bishop, to guard the faith and unity of the Church, to teach, to admonish, to correct, to nourish, to build, and to evangelize.

    Such a candidate might even find support from many sources on the Internet! If such a candidate were to become bishop, the diocese would become stronger and grow.

  9. Pb says:

    If he only he had not messed with the prayer book, he would have made it.

  10. SC blu cat lady says:

    Ah yes, we in SC know that statement from the PB only too well. Mark Lawrence’s first election was made “null and void” by the PB because some standing committees sent in consents to his election via e-mail. POOF. Entire election made null and void by a few e-mails.

    “how new communications technologies affect the consent process.”
    Interesting, I thought that was referring to the practice (not allowed actually) of standing committees sending consents via e-mail. Had not considered the influence of the bloggers– perhaps that is their reference ??

    Sorry, Diocese of Northern Michigan. If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. WE (Diocese of SC) had to go through a second election,etc. So must you. I do suggest that this time:
    1) follow the rules and
    2) find an actual Christian for your candidate.

    I am in total agreement with Ken Peck’s comments. Follow those suggestions and your diocese will surely be blessed !

  11. Jeffersonian says:

    Me, I was kinda looking forward to Northern Michigan clergy being required, as part of their ordination process, to learn how to dodge spears, kick people in the throat and walk on rice paper without leaving an impression. A final ceremony where they snatch a pepple from Genpo’s hand would have been just super, too.

  12. Jim of Lapeer says:

    Michigan currently has four bishops. All are in financial trouble and in numerical decline. Now would be a good time to consolidate all four into one diocese. Saves money and meets the reality of the current situation.