Friday, September 22, 2006

Friday a.m. posts

A Church Times Article on the New York Summit of last Week

September 22nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:37 am

A draft agreement on alternative pastoral care for the seven dioceses was said to have been close. But reports from The Living Church said that “second thoughts” had come from the Presiding Bishop, who felt uneasy about the lack of consultation with councils of the Episcopal Churches; also from the Bishop of Pittsburgh, the Rt Revd Robert Duncan, Moderator of the Anglican Communion Network, who believed the agreement did not address Network parishes in non-Network dioceses; and from the Bishop of Fort Worth, the Rt Revd Jack Iker, who said that the appeal was for oversight, not pastoral care.

In an interview with Anglican TV in the US, Bishop Duncan made it clear that as far as he and other bishops were concerned there was no point in further meetings. He described the New York meeting as having gone “better than expected”, and said that everyone now understood the “chasm” that existed in the Episcopal Church.

The conservative bishops could not agree to something that simply “took the heat off” the situation, said Bishop Duncan, who said that the election of Bishop Jefferts Schori had confirmed ECUSA’s decision to go its own way. “Our objection to the Presiding Bishop-elect is not that it is a woman in the role, but rather that this is a thorough-going revisionist, somebody who is contra-Windsor,” he said.

Read it all and note carefully that there were objections to what was being proposed by both “sides”–KSH.

Elizabeth Kaeton Pleads for a Vote for Michael Barlowe on the First Ballot in Newark Tomorrow

September 22nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:16 am

Do I have my preferences? You bet. Three, in fact, and one in particular, who I think will win - on the 5th ballot. But, I’ll admit to the “favorite of my heart,” and I am unashamedly tossing my hat into the political campaign trail.

This is, after all, my blog. “Caveat lector.” (“Let the reader beware.”)

It is, of course, Michael Barlowe. I have been slowly, quietly suggesting to all of my LGBT sister and brother clergy to caste their first ballot for him.

Hold on, hold on. I know what you are saying. No, I’m not being “heterophobic.” Neither am I “heterosexually challenged.”

And, I’m not talking about throwing the entire election. I’m talking about FIRST BALLOT. What anyone does after that is up to their own spiritual discernment.

Here’s my thinking:

First: I am restricting my suggestion (and, it is only a suggestion) to LGBT clergy – not laity. Neither am I talking to our straight allies. I have made a quick assessment of the number of LGBT priests in this diocese. I don’t know the deacons well enough to know who’s who, much less their sexual orientation. Besides, a person’s sexual orientation is just not that big a deal here anymore – except, of course, when it is.

I’m told that there are approximately 265 canonically resident priests, 80 of whom are non-residential. I could be wrong (but not my much), but by my count, there are approximately 30 LGBT priests in the diocese – seven of whom are canonical but non-residential, and four of whom are retired. Even if all thirty voted (and all will most likely not), that’s hardly enough to elect Barlowe on the first ballot. Indeed, that’s not even a solid voting block.

More importantly, I’m told that there are 495 total registrations for the election on September 23, with “a handful more expected.” Of that number, there are 12 deacons and 160 presbyters. I’m not Louie Crew, and I can’t pretend to walk in his gold lame pumps, so I don’t have the statistics on how many are people of color, LGBT or the gender of the clergy registered to vote. But, well, you do the math.

This is not a scheme to elect Barlowe on the first ballot. It’s a political and spiritual statement of solidarity.

Next: The first ballot is always considered a ‘test’ (well, there’s another word for it, but it is a rather vulgar term associated with throwing dice and this is a ‘family blog,’ after all). I can only think of one election in the past 20 years of someone being elected on the first ballot – that was Tom Shaw in Massachusetts.

Finally: “All things being equal” – and of course, they are not, but especially so after B0 (hold your nose and vote) 33 – I am asking that, if folk feel that Barlowe did as well as I believe (and, I’m hearing he did) in the “Meet the Candidates” events, to consider voting for him on the first ballot – someone who would “otherwise be a solid candidate.”

It is precisely that “all things are not equal” that I am asking LGBT clergy to consider voting for Michael on the first ballot. That didn’t happen in the Diocese of California, where there are far more LGBT clergy than there are here in Newark. In fact, the LGBT candidates (and there were three), did not do well at all.

Many California clergy have said to me that they wished they had agreed to vote for at least one of the three LGBT candidates on the first ballot.


I thought you’d never ask.

First: Because Resolution B033 is evil. Why? Here’s why:

It was crafted in a desperate attempt to “comply” with the “invitation” (anybody else see the incongruity of that?) of the Windsor Report to “consider” a moratorium on the election of LGBT people to the episcopacy – after, of course, we “repented” of having duly elected Gene Robinson as bishop of NH.

Because, while the wording of B033 is vague – for all bishops with jurisdiction and all standing committees to ‘consider’ (there’s that word again) withholding approval of anyone whose ‘manner of life’ would pose a ‘challenge’ to the wider communion – its intention is clear. And, it is decidedly in violation of our canons which prohibit discrimination.

Which is precisely why it had to be so vague.

I agree with Elizabeth about the lamentable resolution which was ramrodded down the throats of General Convention at the last minute, B033, having vague language and being unhelpful, although my reasons differ from hers. And the requested moratorium is not on the election of any people, Elizabeth. Here is the relevant section of the Windsor Report (section D, paragraph 134) one more time:

“the Episcopal Church (USA) be invited to effect a moratorium on the election and consent to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate who is living in a same gender union until some new consensus in the Anglican Communion emerges.”

In any event, read it all.

Robert C. Clawson: Holy Silence at Saint Michael’s in Charleston

September 22nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:08 am

Robert Pringle must have felt some misgivings after he made his decision to transfer his letter from St. Philip’s Church to the newly formed start-up parish of St. Michael’s. St. Philip’s was, after all, the oldest Anglican parish south of Virginia, the mother church of Charleston, and the seat of Anglicanism in the South Carolina Colony.

Pringle had arrived in Charleston in 1724 from his native Edinburgh, Scotland, with the unambiguous intent of making himself a wealthy man. He had established himself as a shipping merchant, acting as a factor for merchants of New England and London, and earning a percentage of between 5 and 10 percent of the goods he either shipped or received. He built his resumé as he climbed the ladder of business and social success within Charleston society, and ultimately he was offered a seat on the vestry of St. Philip’s at a time when the vestry not only managed the temporal affairs of the church, but also acted as the government of Charleston, and ran a hospital and an orphanage. In a letter to his brother, Andrew, in London, Pringle expressed a sentiment that no doubt is shared by vestry members across the country today, saying he had been elected churchwarden of St. Philip’s, “an Office which is attended with some Trouble …”

The city, however, grew too large for its Anglican population to be accommodated by only one parish. Accordingly, by act of the legislature, St. Philip’s Parish was divided in half, with a newly created St. Michael’s Parish to be located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Broad and Meeting streets to serve the section of Charleston located south of Broad. In 1751, Robert Pringle was appointed as one of the commissioners charged with the creation of St. Michael’s. It was the efforts of this commission that produced one of the colony’s most impressive structures, St. Michael’s Church.

The decade of the 1750s was a difficult time to undertake the construction of a church of the magnitude of St. Michael’s. The Charleston economy was advancing at a fever pitch, and the competition for funds, labor, and building materials was daunting. A design for the building was completed by an unknown architect, but it is generally accepted that it was based on the churches designed by English architects Christopher Wren and James Gibbs. Samuel Cardy, a feisty contractor of Irish descent, served as general contractor. Ten years after it had been founded, the parish called Robert Cooper, an assistant priest at St. Philip’s, to be rector. On Feb. 1, 1761, the first Divine Service was held in the completed structure. Pringle noted in his family Bible that “all my Family went to Church & took possession of my Pew there, No. 29 in said Church.” The service was attended by an overflow congregation.

Read it all.

Mark Beckwith could leave home base

September 22nd, 2006 posted by kendall at 7:06 am

“He’s always been helpful to the most vulnerable,” said the Rev. Paul Kennedy, pastor emeritus at Trinity Lutheran Church. “He really has the heart of a good pastor.”

Rev. Kennedy said Rev. [Mark] Beckwith, 55, builds “meaningful relationships.” Rev. Beckwith noted how he easily implemented the ecumenical covenant struck between Trinity Lutheran and All Saints churches.

Tomorrow’s election will be watched closely nationally because one of the candidates, the Rev. Canon Michael L. Barlowe, the officer for congregational development for the Diocese of California, is a gay priest and has a longtime male partner.

Some believe that Rev. Barlowe’s election could propel the Episcopal Church in the United States to a schism with the global Anglican Communion.

The Newark Diocese is considered one of the nation’s most liberal and has a history of inclusion when it comes to gays and lesbians. It became the focus of a firestorm in 1989 when Bishop John S. Spong ordained an openly gay man as priest.

The other candidates in tomorrow’s election are: the Rev. William A. Potter, rector of St. Luke’s Church in Hope, N.J.; the Rev. Petero Sabune, 53, the pastor and Protesant chaplain at Sing Sing Correctional Facility in New York state and associate at Trinity Church, Ossining, N.Y.; the Rev. William “Chip” Stokes, 49, the rector of St. Paul’s Church in Delray, Fla.; and the Rt. Rev. Dr. Carol Joy Gallagher, the assistant bishop in Newark since 1995.

The Newark Diocese, which has about 40,000 congregants, encompasses 113 parishes in Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties, and one parish in Union County.

The voters will be canonically resident clergy and three elected lay delegates from each church.

An election is declared when a candidate receives a majority of votes in both the clergy and lay order on the same ballot.


Post a Comment

<< Home