What the Episcopal Church in South Dakota is up to

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC)

9 comments on “What the Episcopal Church in South Dakota is up to

  1. dwstroudmd+ says:

    From my Sunday School class, taught by Dad when I was 10 years old.

    You are writing a Gospel
    A chapter each day
    By the deeds that you do
    And the words that you say.
    Men read what you write
    Whether faithful or true,
    Say, What is the Gospel
    According to you?

    And here we were all supposed to think that the MDGs were the new Gospel…now we know in truth the “real” gospel in ECUSA/TEC.

  2. Anglican Paplist says:

    The Episcopal Church? You mean the LBGT Church, don’t you? I am sure the Native American Anglicans really appreciate this!

  3. MargaretG says:

    Is anyone here surprised at the relative priorities? Flood victims vs LGBT – its a no-brainer really.

    Perhaps it would be useful if someone predisposed to the current policy of TEC might like to enter into conversation and dialogue with those who feel the priorities should be otherwise with a view to disabusing them of their aquaphobia and show (by means of the story of Noah and the shipwreck of St Paul, combined with the new interpretation of the fable of Jesus walking on water) that theologically any large body of water should be embraced as a clear sign of God’s blessing.

  4. Brian of Maryland says:

    The list of ELCA clergy removed or denied ordination in South Dakota because they are gay … should be fairly short. If there’s anyone at all on it. We’ve only removed a few people. And if you move to Northern California and a congregation is willing to call you, you can serve a congregation there – even if you’ve been removed by eccelsiastical trial elsewhere. Like TEC in the early moments of your change, it depends on the area and the Bishop. Though we still have no yet made a change in our policies and procedures as a church, there are Bishops quite willing to progressively lead the rest of the ELCA.

    So … since there are actually very few clergy who have been removed and we are talking South Dakota here .. what’s this really all about?

    Might be a desire to support our coming changes this summer. At our national assembly in August, the ELCA may vote to change our document entitled, “Vision and Expectations” by removing the inhibitions against openly gay and lesbian clergy. Several synods this spring have already requested the change. Two years and 2.5 million ago the same synod voted against this sort of change. That would have required a 2/3 majority. This one will only require a simple majority.

    MD Brian

  5. Timothy Fountain says:

    MD Brian – thanks for thay analysis. The ELCA is the largest Protestant body in South Dakota, and just elected a new bishop this weekend. So, the political timing of all this stuff seems ripe.

    On the local news last night, the ELCA bp-elect spoke of the need for younger clergy. I wonder if this is the new code for LGBT… I know that the aging TEC folks often glom onto LGBT presence as a sign of “young people in our church.”

    Anyway, a few minutes around any liberal protestant entity is enough to produce ample cynicism.

  6. MattJP says:

    #5 – I got a chuckle out of your reference to acceptance of LGBT = presence of young people. In western Washington state, generally a pretty “liberal” part of the country, my parent’s liberal UM church has an average age of probably 50 or 60. My brother and I, both in our 20’s, go to two different orthodox and conservative churches which are both filled with young people.


  7. Katie My Rib says:

    This survey is not what it appears to be. It is definitely not innocent research, nor is it independent. It is being funded by Lutherans Concerned/North America, a GLBT activist group that has been active for over a decade. This is part of a campaign called “Missing Body Parts” (you can’t make this stuff up) as in “Are you a missing part of the Body of Christ?” The goal is to collect the stories of those who have been removed or left on their own due to being homosexual, in a relationship, etc. (Included are those who would have gone to seminary except they were intimidated out of doing so by a synod official.) These stories will be used to bombard the voting members at this summer’s ELCA Churchwide Assembly. At the same time a very well-crafted resolution is going around this spring’s synod assemblies that memorializes the Churchwide Assembly to direct the Council and other entities to make precise constitutional and policy changes that would allow for GLBT people to be on the ministry roster and to be in same-sex relationships.
    This campaign is very well funded. LC/NA earlier last year conducted a multi-million dollar fundraising campaign in order to do things just like this. There are reform groups in the ELCA (Word Alone Network is fairly well known; Lutheran CORE (Coalition for Reform) is newer and works with Word Alone and other groups and individuals) that are trying to combat this both before and during the Assmbly, but frankly this has taken everyone by surprise.
    this has been speeded up by the trial of Pastor Bradley Schmeling in Atlanta, Georgia, who told his bishop he was in a relationship with another man. The bishop properly brought charges against him. The hearing committee found that he should be removed from the roster; but the committee went beyond its constitutional mandate and declared that the policy, in their opinion, was unconstitutional and that if it was not for the rule against same-sex relationships that they would find Pastor Schmeling was innocent. The committee called for synods around the ELCA to memorialize the Assembly to make the changes that are being outlined in the LC/NA resolutions.
    The final (so far) bit of craziness in all of this is that Pr. Schmeling was nominated for bishop (!) in his home synod and made it as far as the third ballot before being eliminated.
    This survey is very bad news indeed.

  8. Brian of Maryland says:


    It would be fascinating to read their donor list. For some time now I’ve been convinced most of the money supporting these changes comes from outside the church.

    MD Brian

  9. midwestnorwegian says:

    Trying to connect the dots here…as a former member of the Cathedral here in SD. There is a de-frocked (don’t know the term used for Lutheran pastors) former-Lutheran pastor who leads the GLBT group at the Cathedral. This group started at the Cathedral as “renters” using the building for their own services – but have spent the last couple years fully integrating themselves into every crook and cranny, committee, guild, etc. of the Cathedral. One couple recently left the church because the Sunday morning bible study turned into confrontation sessions with GLBT people from this group showing up suddenly when scriptures pertaining to “orthodox” views on the subject of alternative lifestyles were on the agenda. The two have become one and bishop +Creighton – who started out sympathetic to their “civil rights” cause – have now found himself at their mercy. The largest parish and congregation in the diocese is in peril because of all of this….with a long list of deans and interim deans going in and out through the revolving door at the Cathedral over the past 8 years. This bishops’ cathedral: Membership down. Stewardship flat. Young families gone. Child daycare center closed. Sunday school practically non-existant. Canon to the Ordinary retired and not being replaced (covered by a retired priest now). Do the math.