Jordan Hylden–Bishop Jefferts Schori’s Two Sermons: Curacao and Charleston

Sadly, it has become increasingly difficult for most Anglicans to recognize this quality in the Episcopal Church’s leadership, and Bishop Jefferts Schori’s somewhat freewheeling sermon serves to highlight why. Some years ago, the Yale theologian David Kelsey pointed out that it’s axiomatic to say that the Scriptures are authoritative for the Church, since that’s the very definition of what it means to say that a text is canonical Scripture. So long as many conservative Anglicans cannot see how the Episcopal Church is answerable to the authority of the Scriptures, it will remain difficult for them to see the Episcopal Church as a Church. This has a very great deal to do with the schisms of the past decade.

My title promised two sermons from the presiding bishop, and I’ve only mentioned one. The second was preached in January, this time in Charleston, South Carolina. The occasion was the secession of the conservative diocese from the Episcopal Church, and her audience was comprised of those who had decided to stay and form a continuing Episcopal diocese. The story of why the South Carolinians left is a long and sad one””the diocese was one of the Church’s founders, older than the United States itself, and was one of the few growth spots in a generally shrinking Church””but suffice it to say that they felt pushed out, and did not leave until their bishop, Mark Lawrence, was inhibited in his ministry by a disciplinary board for reasons the diocese held were unfair. The national Episcopal Church is now pursuing the diocese in court, as they’ve done in many similar cases (by now, they’ve spent over $22 million in legal costs), seeking to recover property and assets.

Read it all.


Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Anthropology, Ecclesiology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, Presiding Bishop, Theology, Theology: Scripture

5 comments on “Jordan Hylden–Bishop Jefferts Schori’s Two Sermons: Curacao and Charleston

  1. New Reformation Advocate says:

    I welcome this typically insightful but understated piece by Jordan Hylden. The sad part was to read about how Ellen Davis, an able and generally orthodox OT scholar whom I greatly respect, has “gone over to the dark side” when it comes to the gay marriage debate. But the helpful part was Hylden’s move in typing the two horrendous sermons together. Either one, by itself, is bad enough. But when seen side by side, such two horrific blunders don’t just raise questions about her judgment as PB. They inevitably raise troubling questions about her competence. Alas, the woman is clearly unfit for the job. She’s not just wrong, but often so pathet.ically so that she’s become a laughingstock.

    David Handy+

  2. Ralph says:

    We first have to realize that (regardless of our personal beliefs about WO) a chunk of the Anglican Communion does not recognize her as being in Holy Orders at all. After all, God ordains. A human bishop can say the words, and lay on the hands, but if God isn’t on board, absolutely nothing happens.

    If she ever were in Holy Orders, she would have renounced her orders by her actions, long ago.

  3. SC blu cat lady says:

    I really like this thoughtful and excellent explanation tying these two sermons together. MY favorite part was the last few paragraphs where it is explained why the Diocese of SC “left” TEC. As the author noted in reality we were pushed out of TEC by the PB’s own actions. Agree with David Handy+, if there was any doubt about the PB, these two sermons should be enough to convince anyone of her unsuitability for the office she presently occupies.

  4. paradoxymoron says:

    Read the comments after the publication of her sermons: the TEC has the leadership that it deserves.

  5. Pageantmaster Ù† says:

    At least St Paul gave up persecuting Christians.