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.
I See You!
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