Thursday, November 16, 2006

PSA: Supporting Faithful Episcopalians in San Joaquin

"Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin has issued a letter in which he unfolds his plans to leave the Episcopal Church. Part of this plan involves passing various resolutions at the diocesan Annual Convention scheduled to conclude December 2. There is some question as to if these resolutions will pass. If they do, then as of December 3, many in San Joaquin will have officially left the Episcopal Church. It is fairly safe to assume that some of those who leave will also take the keys to the buildings with them, which will most likely result in long legal struggles."

Read the rest from Father Jake.

I don't live there, but a good friend does; the suggestions Jake posted are hers. The diocese covers the Central Valley of California, from east of the coastal mountains to the Nevada border, and from just south of Sacramento to just north of Los Angeles. They need support--emotional, spiritual, financial--to help them build Episcopal communities if the diocese affiliates elsewhere, and to continue in their current ministries if it doesn't. If the diocese does align itself with a more reactionary province, polity will be the least of the changes. The spirituality, culture, and ethos present in the Episcopal Church will be much more difficult to find. In its place will be the homophobia and sexism that are motivating this schism.

The bishop of San Joaquin is one of three remaining Episcopal bishops who does not ordain women. The rest of us have been doing that for 32 years. General Convention decided three years ago to affirm New Hampshire's choice to call a gay man to be their bishop. The bishop of San Joaquin believes that practicing non-heterosexuals are sinners. He is choosing to align himself with an official body that preaches the same.

We believe that God is love. This schism is driven by the desire to exclude. Please help those who may be left without a church that feels like home to them.


Mary Beth said...

I ache for these concerns. I'm in the Diocese of Dallas, next door to Dio of Fort Worth...geographically AND episcopolitically!

And my parents' church in West Texas has the opposite situation - wanting to leave and bishop threatening to lock the church and defrock their priest. I disagree with them but it is very painful.


Happy Delurking Week! @ RevGals

Mimi said...

I've been suspecting that a splintering will be happening in your denomination (there's another term I want to use, but I'm having a brain hiccup, I'm sorry). Hugs.

Mark said...

It is stunning how hurtful some people can be in the name of God. I tell myself that they are doing what they are doing out of a desire to be faithful, but then I find that I'm asking myself how anyone could think excluding others and preaching such hateful things in the name of God could be anything close to faithful. I guess those of us who believe in a God of radical inclusion just need to speak a little louder, eh?
In other news, the RevGals have declared this Delurking week, so I figured I should comment, as I often read your blog but seldom (or never?) comment. It has been fun to follow along on your journey!