News for Week Ending 5/26/08
Two bishops respond quickly to signs of parish divisionTwo Bishops, one in South Carolina and the other in Canada, have responded quickly to signs of schism locally.
Bishop Dorsey Henderson of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina has appointed Canon Michael Bullock as priest-in-charge at St. Christopher’s in Spartanburg. The parish’s rector and most of its vestry have resigned from The Episcopal Church. Bishop Henderson has moved to reclassify the parish as a mission; appoint a bishop’s committee, treasurer, and wardens; and inhibit the Rev. George Gray for abandonment of the communion of the church. Henderson himself conducted the service on Pentecost. The diocesan Web site has links to information about the St. Christopher’s situation, including to letters, press releases, and a story from The Living Church. A local newspaper story is available here.
David Virtue has published a letter from priest Kenneth Harding of the Canadian Diocese of Athabasca, in which he informs people that Archbishop John Clarke has inhibited him after he attended the April 25–26 Anglican Network in Canada conference and posted on the Anglican Mainstream Web site a long essay arguing that parishes should realign.
California parish announces equal treatment for all couples seeking marriageIn response to the California Supreme Court’s decision striking down a state law barring same-sex couples from marrying, All Saints, Pasadena, has announced that it will treat equally all couples, including same-sex couples, seeking to marry. The Diocese Of Los Angeles has not responded to the parish announcement. Three of the six California diocesan bishops had issued statements supporting the civil rights position of the court before the Pasadena announcement, but the bishops said they needed time to craft diocesan responses to the decision. (The statements by Bishops Bruno, Andrus, and Mathes are available on the Web.) Bishop Jon Bruno has now announced that the California bishops were appointing a joint task force to study the canonical, constitutional, and pastoral implications of the decision and to recommend a uniform response. Episcopal News Service covered both the parish and joint task force announcements in one story.
N.B. The above story was inadvertently omitted from our original posting. We apologize for the error.
Bishop Duncan addresses Wisconsin AAC chapterAccording to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Bishop Duncan addressed the local American Anglican Council chapter while in Wisconsin for events at Nashotah House. Bishop Duncan reported that, at a recent meeting of Common Cause bishops in Pittsburgh, there “was unanimity among us” and that, within the next 24 to 36 months, “a separate ecclesiastical structure in North America within the Anglican Communion will exist as a united reality.” While commenting on the possible outcome of the Global Anglican Future Conference, Bishop Duncan noted “we are not going to be held back by the existing structure of the Communion in our commitment to ourselves and the Gospel.”
Battle of words continues in Diocese of PittsburghAs the fall annual convention of the Diocese of Pittsburgh approaches, advocates on all sides are offering documents to influence Pittsburgh Episcopalians. In response to the diocese’s “Frequently Asked Questions About Realignment,” Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh recently released “Realignment Reconsidered,” intended as a point-by-point analysis of the diocese’s position. The Coalition for Realignment has also made available the text of an address by Ascension’s rector, the Rev. Jonathan Millard, given at a May 10 rally. The untitled address is available here. Millard argues that a split in the diocese is inevitable, and that realignment is the best way to free those who think as he does from a dying and unreliable Episcopal Church.
St. Andrew’s, Highland Park, is sponsoring a forum on realignment at 2:00 pm on June 1. Included on the panel are the Rt. Rev. Henry Scriven, the Rev. Canon Mary Maggard Hays, the Rev. John Bailey, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Hall, and the Rev. Cynthia Bronson Sweigert.
On June 5, the Coalition for Realignment is sponsoring a 7:00 pm workshop titled “Support, Care, and Protection for Clergy and Laity” intended for supporters of realignment. The event will be at Church of the Ascension in Oakland.