Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The San Joaquin Thang


Puritans acting all innocent before they drag someone off to be burned or something


I've held off on posting about this weekend's events in the former diocese of San Joaquin because I wanted to wait until I had calmed down some; I didn't want to post something for which I would be sorry later. I did make some comments over at Fr. Jake's place but nothing which will get me in trouble, as far as I can tell.

My parents live in the Diocese of San Joaquin and the parish to which they belong has supported the Lovely Mona and I in our ministry here in Panamá. We love the folks at that parish, but, although I haven't checked yet, I seriously doubt that their Rector was one of the Twelve priests who remained loyal to the Episcopal Church. I don't know what our status with that parish will be now; I have no idea how their bishop will react to them supporting Appointed Missionaries of TEC since he has decided we are all apostate.

I visited my parents when I was in California last month (for the ordination of my new bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mary Gray-Reeves, bishop of El Camino Real) and while we avoided discussing national politics (they are Republicans and get all their news from FOX, sigh) we were unable to avoid discussing Church Politics. I could not believe the things they have been told about the Presiding Bishop. Their bishop and priest have misled them about her and about the state of TEC. And now we know that their bishop and Bishop Lyons and Presiding Bishop Venables mislead the people of San Joaquin in regards to what the Archbishop of Canterbury has said and/or approved. My parents believe that this crisis is all about Scriptural Authority. My parents were saved and stuff in the Assemblies of God church and only joined the Episcopal Church about three or four years ago. They really don't know much about Anglicanism and now I'm beginning to wonder what exactly they were taught about Anglicanism in their Inquirer's Class in preparation for Confirmation. Needless to say, we disagree about what the term "adherence to the Scriptures" means. My parents, like their bishop and their priest, are Authoritarians and believe what their leader tells them and they rarely question him (and it's always a "him.") I told them that we can disagree on all this and that it really doesn't matter in the long run, as God always wins, but I think that they are sure my immortal soul is at stake.

I am worried about the people in the pews in San Joaquin. I can't believe that they all approve of the actions of their clergy and Diocesan Convention; I seriously doubt that the opinions of every member of every parish and mission were solicited; that's not how that Diocese works. And once they hear of the deception in regards to what the +++ABC said, I wonder how many will want to return to TEC and not join the Church of the Southern Cone. We need to help these folks deal with the betrayal they have experienced.

I think that at this very moment the Diocese of San Joaquin is a Missionary Field and TEC should look at the situation in that manner. It's time to send missionaries into the field and support them as they work with the Episcopalians left in that area. We can also spread the Good News of God's love and that God calls all of us to service and that God the Holy Spirit works through whosoever the Holy Spirit chooses; it's really not our decision. We can evangelize the neighborhoods and the reach out to the campesinos in the area and help everyone work to be the Church and Christians God calls us to be.

13 comments:

Paul said...

Amen and Amen! (says the evangelical Baptist part of me and the Anglican believer in Good News too)

Having grown up in Central California Puritanism, I want to say that there is a very ripe mission field that desperately needs to hear a liberating message of Good News, one that sets people free, empowers them, and tears down oppressive power structures. Mass infantilization is endemic there - imagine what it would be like for people to grow up in Christ without being manipulated by some big daddy (of any religious stripe)!

Tara Mobley said...

This whole ordeal makes me sad, but it isn't exactly unexpected. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what is happening, because it is far from simple. Very far from it.

Now excuse me, Evelyn is pulling my hair.

Eileen said...

This Dio is in my prayers.

It's heartbreaking.

Caminante said...

I wept as I read the news about their leaving TEC.. sitting in the Jet Blue terminal at JFK no less. Prayers for all those who have been misled by their leaders. It is spiritual and emotional abuse.

Kirstin said...

I'm ready. Let's go.

Rev. Kurt said...

Can we nominate you for Bishop Padre?

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's going to be quite a "special" convention when Padre Mickey, Fr. Jake and a few other notables all "stand" for Bishop (I know, I know, you don't want to be Bishop...but we're not asking)...I still agree the best IMMEDIATE thing is to send in missionaries and clean up the mess that has been tracked/smudged around and soiled our parishes (by the former bishop and his terrorfilled/demented suck-em-ups)...the whole thing is really silly...imagine a self-loathing snit of a bishop hoodwinking scared-to-death conservatives into a church hating tizzy...and then, signing them INSTANTLY up with the oily/cowardly half-assed leadership of a failed "going nowher fast" province? These con artists and whackos simply are so oversized with ego and undersized with brains it's hard to believe ANYONE could fall for their hollowed-out holy prancing while dancing on the graves of fellow Christians!

Fr. Alberto Morales Steppenwolf Hollister Vacaville-Screamandshout

David Walker said...

Oh, el Commandante Bertie,
You are always so wonderfully understated. SF apparently didn't tame you one bit.

For a little bit of cheering up, everyone might want to check out the interview about VGR over at Susan's.

Peace, one and all. And especially to you, Padre, and your family in the jackal's den.

Matty Boy said...

I linked up to this post today, Padre.

Padre Mickey said...

Thanks, Matty Boy. I hope they aren't all looking for Giant Child Brides or math!

Tia Sue said...

Tia sue says, it is so sad to read all of this. To brighten up check out the Tia Sue blog.

Padre Mickey said...

Okay, Tía Sue, ya got yer plug in. I've made a post with a link to your blog.

Aghaveagh said...

You know, Padre, there are an awful lot of people in SJ who have no idea what real Anglicanism is all about. For twenty years the Bishop has hand-picked priests of his own ilk for the missions, and it's been pretty much the same way for the parishes. And the priests hand-picked the vestries and the delegates. I don't know how they can even call themselves Anglicans! How Father Keith got in we'll never know, but thank God he did! So many of us were driven away from St. James and/or St. Columba's by this encroaching unthinking fundamentalism-it's just not traditional Anglicanism...

but the intolerance and the lies, that is what drives me crazy: "apostate, heretic, pagan, they've rejected the Bible and the Holy Trinity..." Bullsh...erm, Poppycock and Balderdash! Lies, Lies, Lies....

and now some people in the pews are waking up and realizing that this schism is for real, that several priests voted yes out of fear, that they are now part of the Southern Cone, and now they're writing letters...a little too late. I feel like Cassandra right now.

And I'm still mad about it.

Please, Padre, come be our Bishop? I've never known a real Episcopal Bishop in SJ.

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