Saturday, November 10, 2007

Integrity Press Release on Election of BP of Chicago and B033

Many thanks to Rev. Susan and John for this excellent press release!



620 Park Avenue #311 Rochester, NY 14607-2943



November 10, 2007

Integrity congratulates Jeffrey Lee on his election as the next Bishop of Chicago. "We look forward to working with Bishop-elect Lee in continuing Chicago's long history of working for the full-inclusion of the LGBT faithful in the life and witness of the diocese," said the Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity.

"Integrity also commends the Search Committee of the Diocese of Chicago for including the Very Rev. Lind as a candidate despite the chilling effects of Resolution B033—and Dean Lind herself for standing for election in spite of the House of Bishops' recent statement in New Orleans," continued Russell. "We may never know how significant a factor Resolution B033 was in the outcome of the Chicago election. However, we do know that Resolution B033 is noncanonical and discriminatory. Two dioceses—California and Rochester—have already passed resolutions to General Convention 2009 that will nullify B033. We strongly urge all bishops and deputies to support such resolutions and their intent to end B033's inequity when we get to General Convention 2009 in Anaheim."


The Rev. Susan Russell, President

714-356-5718 (mobile)

626-583-2741 (office)

Mr. John Gibson, Director of Communications

917-518-1120 (mobile)

The Anglican Civil War

I thought this was a great article and worth sharing. Gordon
----------------------- Anglicanism, a house divided against itself, can't survive its civil war in one piece, says Giles Fraser Giles Fraser Saturday November 10, 2007 Guardian TheAmerican civil war began with the secession of South Carolina from the UnitedStates. They left so as to defend their "right" not to have a liberal agendaimposed on them by campaigning progressives from the north. Interfering do-goodersweren't going to force proudly independent southerners to accept that slaverywas wicked. Parallels with the escalating crisis within American Anglicanismare now being made. The diocese of Pittsburgh, led by Bishop Bob Duncan,has just voted to quit the Episcopal church, and other conservative diocesesin the south might follow suit. They are sick to death of liberals tellingthem that gay is the new black. They want independence to protect their homophobia.And so they have reinvented the idea of the confederacy. Whateverelse can be said about this analysis - and conservatives do their nut aboutit - this is the script through which liberal US Christians understand thetheological culture wars over homosexuality. To them the argument over gaybishops is manifestly a civil-rights issue that requires strong leadershipand moral determination: General Grant and Abraham Lincoln. That is why USprogressives are so frustrated with Rowan Williams, for the only thing hehas in common with Lincoln is the beard. In 1858 Lincolnfamously quoted from Matthew 12:25 to insist that "a house divided againstitself cannot stand". For Lincoln, all talk of compromise was useless: theidea that each state determines its own attitude to slavery was morally indefensibleand politically unsustainable. The nightmare for Williams is that if Lincoln'sbasic philosophy is correct then Anglicanism is in deep trouble - and sotoo is the Church of England, which is, almost by design, a house dividedagainst itself. The fact that 46 members of the church's general synod, itsparliament, have this week written to Bishop Duncan expressing their supportfor his secessionism, bodes very ill. Effectively, theC of E is a peace treaty between Puritans and Catholics forged in responseto the religious culture wars of the 16th and 17th centuries that drenchedEurope in blood. As a reaction, compromise and a deep dislike of ideologybecame the defining genius of the English church - and, through that, theEnglish national character. The C of E was a peculiar settlement that keptmost Christians, despite their huge theological differences, around the samecommunion table. The moral of the American civil war - at least for progressives- is that what is right requires strength of purpose to force through thecause of justice. In contrast, the moral of the English civil war is thatunqualified belief in one's own rightness can lead to violent and destructivechaos. Thus far the Archbishop of Canterbury has maintainedthe traditional Anglican via media with impeccable impartiality, trying tohold things together with a generous policy of being kinder to his enemiesthan his friends. But the truth is, the only people who now believe thatAnglicanism can survive the current crisis in one piece are those holed upin Lambeth Palace. Both conservatives and liberals agree that a house dividedcannot stand. The battle lines are drawn. Conservative theologians once defendedslavery by refusing to accept the Bible as radically inclusive. Similarly,today's conservative theologians are twisting the Bible into bad news forhomosexuals rather than good news for all. It'sthe very opposite of the gospel message of God's generous and inclusive love. Thehead of the US church, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, has threatened theneo-confederate leadership with disciplinary action. Some US liberals hopeshe is leading the church to a new Gettysburg, a decisive victory over prejudice.Yet they may also recall that Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest days inUS history. The fight for right is seldom cost-free. And this fight willbe no exception. Glory, glory. Alleluia. · The Rev Dr Giles Fraser, the vicar of Putney, is currently on placement at All Saints in Pasadena, California

Letter from the Presiding Bishop to Bishop Iker of Fort Worth

The primate of The Episcopal Church, Presiding Bishops Jefferts Schori sent the following letter to Bishop Iker. Bishop Duncan of Pittsburgh got one, too. His was dated Oct. 31. There will be more going out in the weeks to come.
8 November 2007 The Rt. Rev. Jack Iker The Episcopal Diocese of Ft. Worth 2900 Alemeda Street Fort Worth, TX 76108 Dear Jack, As you are undoubtedly aware, it is my view that recent amendments to your Diocese's constitution violate the Constitutional requirement that the Diocese maintain an "unqualified accession" to the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. I have now reviewed several proposed constitutional amendments that will be considered at your forthcoming diocesan convention. It is evident to me that several of these proposed changes would further violate the Church's Constitution, while some other proposed changes would undo the problems created by the earlier amendments. It is clear from your public statements and from what I understand your position to be regarding these matters that you endorse the first set of changes. Your statements and actions in recent months demonstrate an intention to lead your diocese into a position that would purportedly permit it to depart from the Episcopal Church. All these efforts, in my view, display a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between The Episcopal Church and its dioceses. I call upon you to recede from this direction and to lead your diocese on a new course that recognizes the interdependent and hierarchical relationship between the national Church and its dioceses and parishes. That relationship is at the heart of our mission, as expressed in our polity. Specifically, I sincerely hope that you will change your position and urge your diocese at its forthcoming convention to adopt the proposed amendments that will bring the Diocese's constitution into agreement with the Church's Constitution and Canons. If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church -- by actions and substantive statements, however, they may be phrased -- and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action. It grieves me that any bishop of this Church would seek to lead any of its members out of it. I would remind you of my open offer of an Episcopal Visitor if you wish to receive pastoral care from another bishop. I continue to pray for reconciliation of this situation, and I remain Your servant in Christ, Katharine Jefferts Schori

St. Andrew's Lake Worth at Episcopal Convention, Miami

Top Picture:  Rev. Pat Masterman, Deacon, Laurel, Brenda Rasmus, Michael, Father Paul Rasmus.
Bottom: Michael, Laurel and Deacon Pat.
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Lake Worth is Larry's home church. It's also the headquarters of Integrity of the Palm Beaches.  During the height of the uproar from angry neo-cons at St. Mark's over the consecration of Bishop Robinson, I found myself in a nervous, anxious state. Some of those folks were plain mean (ask former rector, Father Robb!).  I took a break from St. Mark's for about a year and went to St. Andrew's.  When the angry people finally decided to stop trying to destroy our church and leave, St. Mark's calmed down and I returned.
I appreciate our Integrity leadership, especially Dr. Ben Lowe and Father Paul who put forth a resolution at the convention last weekend,  supporting full inclusion for gay folks.  The convention pretty much decided that the issue should be addressed by General Convention in 2009.  It's a game. In the 70's, the Episcopal Church started saying that we are going to talk and discern the gay issue.  Then they realized that if we keep talking and keep discerning, nothing has to be decided and they can keep stalling and telling us that "we love you and we're going to keep talking." That appeases those who don't support gay inclusion and let's the gay folk to continue being second class members and reminds us that it will talked about ONLY, but to please sit down, shut up.  Thirty years later we continue to be told to sit down, shut up and just listen as we continue to talk and discern so we can keep you in your place: not fully entitled to the same baptismal gifts as the other member's of God's body.
So the Episcopal Church continues to bless animals.  Larry and I celebrated our 20th anniversary on Sept 3rd. The church says encourages to bring their animals for a blessing on St. Francis Day, while Larry and me are to sit down, shut up and our told by The Episcopal church," No, you are not entitled to come to the alter for a blessing.  We're going to listen to you, but we won't bless your relationship. What do you want us to do? What do you expect? We are listening to you. We will continue to listen to you and continue to discern and nothing more." 
And that's my rant for the day.

St. Mark's at Annual Convention

Top:  St. Mark's Episcopal Church delegates, Mandy Frantz and Father Potter.
Second Picture:  Larry and me on Balcony of the banquet hall, Jungle Island.
Third Picture, Erin Potter (baby due early December), Keith and Jill Duke, Larry.
Fourth Picture: Father Potter and Father Cook sharing a moment at the banquet.
Father Cook's Florida shirt is really cool!

More Pictures of Annual Convention

At the top, is your's truly taken from our hotel patio on the 25th floor looking over Biscayne Bay and the Miami Yacht Club.
The middle picture are Larry and me at the Banquet held at Jungle Island.
Bishop Frade posed for a picture with us during a break from the business sessions.

Episcopal Diocese of SE Florida Diocese of SE Florida

The Diocese of Southeast Florida met at Trinity Cathedral, Maimi, for our annual convention. I was honored to be elected as a delegate to convention which was held on November 2nd and 3rd.
Top Picture: Bishop Leo Frade
Middle Picture:  St. Mark's Clergy:  Father Spencer Potter, Ass't Rector, Father Jim Cook, Rector,Pastor Lisa Barrowclough, St. Mark's School Chaplain, Deacon Bob Perrino.
The picture  at the bottom are Father Spencer, Ass't Rector, Father Jim Cook, Delegate Mandy Frantz and Jill Duke.