Houston Chronicle: Episcopal bishops meeting in Navasota

The communion and the U.S. denomination have been embroiled in a bitter division since 2003 when the American church authorized the consecration of an openly homosexual bishop.

Bishops from the provinces of Uganda, Nigeria and Rwanda have said they are not going to Lambeth. Instead, they are encouraging bishops to attend the Global Anglican Future Conference in June in Jerusalem.

“What is the use of the Lambeth conference for a three weeks’ jamboree which will sweep these issues under the carpet,” Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria said in January, referring to the issues of sexuality and biblical interpretation. “The issue is that church leaders are endorsing what is wrong.”

The conflict has rocked the U.S. church, too, with scores of parishes leaving and seeking protection under more traditional and conservative primates in Africa and Asia.

On the business docket for Wednesday is a recommended disciplinary action against conservative Bishop John-David Schofield whose Diocese of San Joaquin. Calif., voted to leave the Episcopal Church in December and realign with the Anglican Church of the Southern Cone of the Americas, based in Argentina.

Read the whole thing.


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

13 comments on “Houston Chronicle: Episcopal bishops meeting in Navasota

  1. dwstroudmd+ says:

    Prayers for them and for my unbelief they will exercise any discipline towards their actions of destruction.

  2. The_Archer_of_the_Forest says:

    Schofield resigned from the House of Bishops, did he not? What exactly can they do to him?

  3. Choir Stall says:

    They want to meet with him to tell him how bad he is.
    That’s learned behavior – by bullies in the schoolyard.

  4. libraryjim says:

    It’s similar to the boss who calls the employee, who has just turned in his resignation, in to a meeting to tell him:
    “You can’t quit, I’m firing you!”

  5. Frances Scott says:

    It also gives certain pew-sitters an opportunities to raise their collective eyebrows, adopt a certain voice, and say, “You know that HE was kicked out of THE CHURCH, don’t you?”

  6. TLDillon says:

    {blockquote]Lambeth is known for setting worldwide policy and doctrine for the 80 million-member communion.[/blockquote]

    How interesting! The reports fhave jumped from a 77 million member communion to 80 million! Where did they pick up 3 million more?

    #2 The_Archer_of_the_Forest: Some believe that they will depose him. But the HoB needs to vote on accepting his resignation. If they accept it then my question is how could they then depose him?
    And as evidence of may comments after yours it might appear that there will be various spins of opinions on how best to write the true account of the matter.

  7. New Reformation Advocate says:

    ODC (#6),

    I’m not sure where the 80 million figure came from, but I was on the official AC website yesterday and saw that it also uses that 80 million number. Maybe it’s just rounding up to the nearest tens of millions?

    Anyway, of course, the real figure is MUCH lower. The ACI and the organizers of GAFCon use the figure 55 million, since of the 26 million baptized members on the rolls of the C of E, less than a million bother to go to church on any given Sunday, and only between 3 and 4 million go at Christmas, which is the annual high point for attendance (interestingly, not Easter). To be generous, let’s say that the C of E has 4 million at least somewhat active members, that means a reduction of 22 million (from 26 to 4 mil.), thus the reduction from 77 to 55 million. That the official Anglican Communion website retains the farce of 77 or now 80 million is part of the problem and is quite symptomatic. We can’t tell real Christians from nominal or fake ones, whether in the UK or in the USA.

    David Handy+

  8. paxetbonum says:

    +JDS resigned from the House of Bishops of TEC. He didn’t resign his orders. He has not resigned his jurisdiction.

    The Episcopal Church’s HOBs is likely to depose him because he has “left the communion of this church.” The previous statement being used to describe the communion of the Episcopal Church, not the WWAC.

    By not deposing him, they would be tacitly saying “Yes you can take one of our dioceses to another province.” That isn’t likely to happen.

  9. robroy says:

    ODC and Father Handy: Anglican Mainstream has an interesting statistics page that I found in its right column. See [url=http://www.anglican-mainstream.net/index.php/usable-statistics/ ]here[/url]. (Did the Elves know about that one?) In particular, with regards to the CoE:
    [blockquote]The Church of England yearbook for 2006 records the following figures for 2003

    Church Electoral Rolls ( effectivelty membership rolls) 1,235,000

    Average weekly attendance 1,187,000
    Average Sunday attendance 1,017,000
    Usual Sunday attendance 901,000[/blockquote]
    If one tallies up the numbers then one gets…50 million.

    And speaking of Anglican Mainstream and GAFCon…the website is soliciting funds to help defray the costs. I sent in a contribution via PayPal [url=http://www.gafcon.org/index.php?option=comcontent&task=view&id=13&Itemid=13 ]here[/url], and got a nice message from Chris Sudgen, himself.

  10. TLDillon says:

    Hey Robroy,
    Thanks much for the above info. And thanks fo the link to give to GAFCON! I’m on board!

  11. New Reformation Advocate says:

    Robroy (#9),

    Thanks. You are the king of stats! I hadn’t seen that listing of the provinces from largest to smallest. It certainly helps give a sense of proportion.

    It reinforces my strong conviction that the international Instuments of Communion need to be totally revamped in order to make them truly representative (like the U.S. Congress as opposed to the Senate). It’s grossly unfair when the giant provinces like Nigeria and Uganda are only allowed as much represenatation as tiny provinces like Japan, Scotland, or Korea etc.

    David Handy+

  12. robroy says:

    OK, speaking of equal representation…There are a total of 650 dioceses. Given that there are about 50 million Anglicans, this would give an average ratio of 13 dioceses for every million laity or 77,000 per diocese. By this reckoning, TEc should have 28.6 dioceses not 111. Nigeria would have 227 dioceses. Uganda would have 124 dioceses, not 32.

    We are preparing to have another micro-diocese. Canon to the ordinary of the (true) diocese of San Joaquin states, “The Remain Episcopal gathering on January 26th that was broadcast worldwide by the Episcopal Church, could barely fill a single church with a maximum seating of 250 – mostly with numerous visitors from most of the surrounding TEC dioceses present.”

    Now, even the Navaho missions diocese has 609 members. So perhaps, we should call the reconstituted diocese (which violates ancient traditions!) a [i]nano-diocese[/i]. I imagine that good Archbishops of Nigeria, Uganda, etc., would get a good laugh at thought of calling a collection of less than 500 people a diocese!

  13. New Reformation Advocate says:

    robroy (#12),

    You really are a number cruncher! Yes, there are enormous discrepancies in the size of dioceses around the AC, but that wasn’t really my point. For example, my Ugandan-affiliated church in Richmond is connected with the Diocese of Luweero. When the bishop, +Evans Kisseka, visited Richmond last year I asked how many congregations he had and how many clergy he had to serve them. The answer? He has 644 congregations. Yes, that’s right: 644 (some of which have no building, but meet under a tree), but Bp. Kisseka only has 52 priests to serve those over 600 churches! And this apparently isn’t that unusual. Uganda could use a LOT more priests and bishops, but the country is so poor that they currently can’t afford them.

    However, my main point in my #11 was that it’s unfair that Nigeria with its 18 million+ Anglicans and Uganda with its 9-10 million members still only have three representatives on the Anglican Consultative Council, as do the UK and the USA etc. which are much, much smaller. The smallest provinces have just one representative on the ACC (and others in the middle have two), but it’s still wildly disproportionate.

    And of course, when it comes to the Primates’ Meeting, all 38 provinces have equal representation, one primate each, whether they are large, medium, or teeny tiny in size.

    Now given that the three Insruments of Communion besides the ABoC are basically intended just for faciliating “consultation,” and fostering fellowship etc., that isn’t so unreasonable. The various representatives really function merely as liasons in many ways. But the undeniable fact remains that this system has the practical effect of drastically undercutting the power and influence of the large Global South provinces. And if the AC is to morph into a true Communion or even move toward becoming a worldwide Church (singular) with SEMI-autonomous national branch offices (which is what I myself favor), instead of being just a family or federation of almost totally independent national or regional churches, this gross inequity will have to be corrected.

    Maybe a bicameral type system for developing international church policy or even international canon laws will need to be developed, just as at the founding Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, it was decided to balance the power of the big states against the fears the small states had of being dominated and so we ended up with both the Congress and the Senate.

    Today, the ACC and the Primates’ Meeting resemble the Senate. As we all know, Delaware, Vermont, and Rhode Island have two senators each, just like California, Texas, and Florida. But in the Congress, limited by the Constitution to 435 members, some of the smallest states (in terms of population) now have only one Congressman. Or in the case of my home state, SD, one Congresswoman. Virginia has 11 congressional districts. A lot of bigger states have many more.

    I can understand the small provinces not wanting to be completely overwhelmed by the giant ones, but something needs to be done to create a fairer system for the international governance of the Anglican Communion (and I use the word “governance” deliberately).

    Finally, FWIW, I strongly suspect that the ACO likes to present the AC as having as large a number of Anglicans as possible, even if it strains credibility. After all, it’s prestigious to be the largest fellowship of Christians outside of Roman Catholicism (and eastern Orthodoxy, if you count all the ethnic branches put together). Of course, there are many more Pentecostals now than Anglicans, but they aren’t united in a single organization. So claiming “80 million” members worldwide is a way of playing oneupmanship with the Lutherans and Baptists etc. It reflects our pride and foolishness. What it doesn’t reflect is reality.

    David Handy+