The Episcopal Bishop of Arizona looks back on the 31st anniversary of his ordination

When I knelt before Bishop Porteus, I doubt that anyone in that congregation, myself included, could have imagined that:

1. There would be a woman Presiding Bishop (who will be in here Feb. 4-6, by the way),
2. There would be gay and lesbian bishops,
3. Any Episcopalian would ever dream of defecting to an African Anglican Church,
4. There would be such a movement as the “Emergent” Church,

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Bishops

7 comments on “The Episcopal Bishop of Arizona looks back on the 31st anniversary of his ordination

  1. Adam 12 says:

    This kind of invites us to compose our own list…but that would be too easy. I suppose mine would begin with awe about clergy and parishioners so easily coming under the sway of the popular mood, and reverence and a fear of the God of the Bible being so readily cast off. There is something of an intoxication here that reminds me of when one is tempted to have an affair and the mind has no thought of the hurt an infidelity will have on the spouse and children.

  2. First Apostle says:

    I’m a priest in Arizona, and I’ve added a comment to the bishop’s list. Scroll down to the bottom.

  3. tjmcmahon says:

    The bishop’s list of “accomplishments” or whatever he meant it to be, is truly astounding.

    He is surprised that members of TEC would “defect” (his word- that is to say, he sees us as having betrayed the church) to join “African Anglican Churches”- what actually surprises me is that 50 years after the civil rights movement, TEC bishops remain so racist as to use the word “African” as a derogatory term. What surprised me in the modern day is that you can denigrate an Archbishop because of his national origin, and not be sanctioned by the Church. More accurate in any case would be for the bishop to express surprise that TEC members would leave for an orthodox Anglican church- something that could be accomplished in my youth by changing to the neighboring parish.

    He also takes great pride in the fact that over 50% of TEC clergy no longer have a seminary education. Meanwhile, the African Churches he demeans are building seminaries and turning out thousands of graduates a year. Having been in a diocese (N Michigan) where you can be ordained by raising your hand at the annual parish meeting, and about 1 in 7 of the ASA of a given parish is likely a “presbyter” or “deacon” (no, I am NOT exaggerating), I can tell him that this is not a positive accomplishment. It does, however explain why I seem to win so many more theological arguments with clergy than I did 40 years ago- they no longer know what they are talking about. Reading a couple books by Spong and Borg (or, as held here in this diocese, “the great Anglican theologian, Marcus Borg.”) does not qualify one for the priesthood.

  4. A Senior Priest says:

    And is any of this (maybe apart from the emergent phenomenon and the internet) a positive development which has resulted in growth of the Church? Ummmm…. no. The reverse, actually. By their fruits you will know them.

  5. clayton says:

    #3 I don’t really read this as a list of happy things. I’m not sure that “takes great pride in” is an accurate assessment.

    But mostly I’m trying to figure out where the other 50% of clergy are being educated since that’s a new figure to me. I’m hoping it’s mostly the rise of the vocational diaconate skewing the numbers, since my understanding is that they have alternate programs. Anyone have a link?

  6. Statmann says:

    Did Bishop Smith ever imagine that he would see (in 2009) IInfant Baptisms in TEC (USA) numbering LESS than Burials? Statmann

  7. upnorfjoel says:

    OK #2, you beat me to it on the membership decline item (1 out of 10 since he was ordained), but if he’s truly stretching the imagination with this list, how could he leave off the recent “marriage” in Massachusetts? Still, what really struck me, sadly, was his question at the end when he asks “Will the Church be able to keep up?” This is how he and his ilk think….don’t try to transform people….transform the Church.