Thursday, November 29, 2007

San Joaquin Diocesan Convention is coming up

Our Diocesan convention is a week away. As a delegate, I must admit I am not looking forward to it at all. It is most likely that the second vote on the constitutional changes will pass by a large majority.

And so those of us who do not want to abandon our Church wait for the vote that will put us in no-man's land--not wishing to "leave" with the rest of the diocese (as if they could actually vote to remove an Episcopal Diocese out of the Episcopal Church) and not knowing how soon, if at all, the National Church will act to place some sort of presence here.

I feel two main emotions: sadness and frustration.

I'm sad because my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ no longer feel that they can worship with us.

I'm sad because our Bishop, who is supposed to visit all of his parishes, never visited Holy Family, although we repeatedly asked him when he was going to come.

I'm sad because when the vote passes, everyone around me will be rejoicing. I will not be.

I'm sad because my fellow Episcopalian professor now calls herself an Anglican, and there is now an unspoken barrier between us.

I'm frustrated by people who know little or nothing about the history of the Bible and the transmission of texts speaking of the "faith once delivered" as set in stone (as if it were some sort of moldy archaeological artifact!)

I'm frustrated because my theology is just as orthodox as theirs is, and in most areas certainly more Anglo-Catholic, and I'm getting tired of being labeled a heretic. The bishop said in a recent interview with our local ABC news affiliate that the Episcopal Church has "abandoned much of the Bible and its ethical teachings." This is, in a word, poppycock. I'm so tired of this refrain, "you disagree with me, therefore you're a heretic..."

The Bishop has said time and again that those of us who do not want to leave (although he puts it as those of us who want to "leave the diocese") will be allowed to do so, and he will not take our property. I want to think he is a man of his word.

In his pastoral letter, he states:

"Should the second reading of the Constitutional changes receive the necessary two thirds of each order voting affirmatively next month, this will mean that the Diocese is free to accept the invitation of the Province of the Southern Cone."

He also says that it may not be permanent--that (citing the old invalid comparison to the Dioceses of Southern States during the Civil War) if the Episcopal Church repents, the Diocese may return. Hmm. Don't hold your breath.

Already chinks in the armor have begun to show, and the vote may not be as overwhelming as last year's first vote. I have to be honest, though, if the vote doesn't pass, we'll still be in the same position of Limbo, with a Bishop who no longer wishes to pastor us, and we will continue to endure the same misery. Let's end this now and get back to our true mission--the Great Commission.

We could all use your prayers Friday and Saturday next.


Padre Mickey said...

You are in my prayers, and I'm praying for your diocese, too.
I've tried talking with my parents about this stuff; they belong to St. James in Sonora, but they believe that TEC is lost and that ++Katharine isn't a Christian.

Wormwood's Doxy said...

I'm praying too, friend. I had hoped at one time that there would just be an end to all of this---but it's looking as if the divorce will be long, painful, and worldwide.

Padre--I'll be praying for you too. How hard that must be to hear that from your own parents!

Cecilia said...

I too am praying. What a hard place for you to be. I am grateful for your clarity nonetheless.

Pax, C.

Alcibiades said...

Praying for you all from over here.

Your bishop's right about one thing though: even if the worst happens it's unlikely to be permanent: in the really big picture very little schism is - if any. It's actually kind of funny to think a little cat like your Sneakaround Jones now has more theological insight (and a better perception on the silliness of all this division)than any of us, including a Bishop in all his finery.

I also always have to chuckle at the way some people never seem to stop and consider that it might not so much be a question the Church repenting as it is of the Diocese... what was that Jesus said about speck of sawdust and planks?

God give you all strength through the madness...

Kirstin said...

Prayers and support from the Diocese of California. A good friend of mine will be there with you; I know (as well as an outsider can) what you've been going through.

Aghaveagh said...

Thank you all for your comments and your prayers...the vote comes on Saturday. If I can I will blog from the convention but I may not be able to...

"May you live in interesting times", indeed!

Kirstin said...

Praying for you, here and here. Feel free to pass them along.