Friday, September 15, 2006

Father Larry Bausch writes a Letter to Explain Himself to his Colleagues and Friends

September 15th, 2006 posted by kendall at 4:28 pm

For a littlebackground on this please see here–Kendall.

My Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

By now, most of you will have heard that the parish of Holy Trinity and I as a priest have chosen to realign ourselves with an overseas Province of the Anglican Communion. I am sending you this letter for several reasons. First, I value the time and ministry we have shared, and the relationship that developed between us. Second, I have dedicated myself over the past 32 years of ordained ministry in the Diocese of San Diego to the promotion of open conversation and debate with the aim, not of agreement, but of understanding. Therefore, I want to give you the opportunity (and challenge) to hear an explanation from me about what I and the parish I serve have chosen to do. Third, I am writing you (with copies to several other priests around the globe with whom I have served) “for the record.”

I began attending an Episcopal Church in 1970 at All Saints’ San Diego. In the fall of 1971, I began an M.Div. program at Seabury Western Theological Seminary under the spiritual direction of Fr. Paul Satrang. I became a Postulant of the Diocese of Los Angeles with the encouragement of Bishop Bloy. Between 1970 and my graduation and ordination by Bishop Wolterstorff in July 1974, several writers can be singled out as primary in shaping my understanding of the Anglican way of being Christian: lay thinkers Evelyn Underhill, Charles Williams, and C. S. Lewis; and priest-teachers Eric Mascall and Austin Farrer. Significantly, not one of these writers is American, and yet it was American priests who directed me to them. It was clear to me that I was called into a ministry recognized throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion (I was ordained priest in January of 1975).

During the General Convention in Minneapolis in 1976, an event occurred which forced me to pray about whether or not I could or should continue to serve within ECUSA. At the time, I was reading The Letters of Evelyn Underhill, and came across the following in a response she wrote to someone who asked her why she didn’t become a Roman Catholic. She wrote, “The whole question, of course, is not, ‘What attracts and would help Me?’ but ‘Where can I serve God best?’ – and usually the answer to that is, ‘Where He has put me.’ Von Hugel used to say that only a definite and continuous feeling that it would be a sin not to move, could justify anyone changing.” Through these wise words, I understood, “As long as you can still do the work God has called you to do in ECUSA, it would be selfish for you to change allegiance.” I have been obedient, and tried to fulfill my vocation in this context.

Read the rest of this entry »


Post a Comment

<< Home