Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Learning From Picasso, Dylan and Jobs

From here:

Steve Jobs and Bob Dylan
Pablo Picasso

Andrew Ross Sorkin is puzzled: Why is Silicon Valley populated by one-hit wonders who have created one successful company at an early age, then withdrawn from the field as entrepreneurs to watch from the sidelines as venture capitalists? Sorkin notes that Steve Jobs was the rare exception, a serial entrepreneur.

Steve Jobs would not have been puzzled by Sorkin's observation. Jobs called Bob Dylan "one of my all-time heroes." He opened the public unveiling of the Macintosh by quoting a verse of Dylan's "The Times They Are a-Changin," and played "Like a Rolling Stone" at the public launches of both the iPhone and iPad. Jobs considered Dylan a role model:
As I grew up, I learned the lyrics to all his songs and watched him never stand still. If you look at the artists, if they get really good, it always occurs to them at some point that they can do this one thing for the rest of their lives, and they can be really successful...That's the moment that an artist really decides who he or she is. If they keep risking failure, they're still artists. Dylan and Picasso were always risking failure.

Read it all here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

First impressions of Bob Dylan's Tempest published

Allan Jones, editor of Uncut, is one of the chosen-few who have heard Bob Dylan's new album, Tempest, set for release in September. Apparently it was a sit-down-and-listen-to-it-once-but-please-don't-take-any-notes sort of event.  So this is all we have so far.

 From here:

Bob Dylan
On first hearing, though, Tempest seemed to find Dylan on unquestionably formidable form. Its ten tracks run over a total playing time of around 75 minutes, the title track alone taking up a fair chunk of that, with verse following verse in a manner that might remind you of “Desolation Row.” 
There was a lot, therefore, to take in on a single encounter, especially with note-taking discouraged. There was no track listing forthcoming, either, not that this matters at the moment since I am obliged to not go into premature detail ahead of the album’s September 10 release.

I think I can say without punitive consequences, though, that if you’re trying to imagine what Tempest sounds like you may want to think less perhaps of the rambunctious roadhouse blues that was central to most of Together Through Life and parts of Modern Times, although this is a recent signature sound that hasn’t been entirely abandoned.

Neither are there too many of the jazzy riverboat shuffles of “Love And Theft” in evidence here as much as there are echoes of a folk tradition that was manifest on, say, “High Water (For Charley Patton)” and also “Nettie Moore,” from Modern Times. You may also want to keep in mind as a point of reference “Mississippi” from “Love And Theft” and something like “Red River Shore,” recorded for Time Out Of Mind, but not released until 2009, when it appeared on the Tell Tale Signs three-CD set, where also lurked “’Cross The Green Mountain,” the epic civil war song Dylan wrote for the soundtrack to the 2003 film, Gods And Generals. Hardly anyone heard it when it originally came out, but it came several times to mind as Tempest unspooled spectacularly a few weeks ago, concluding with a song that will probably be much-talked about, although not here, right now.

High Water and Nettie Moore are top plays on my classic iPod, so that is good to hear referenced in this super-early "review." High Water in particular was a favorite must-play during the rather memorable 2006 ("They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway 5.").

 Since this is all we have for now, here is High Water from Love And Theft, by Bob Dylan, still timely:


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

#Tempest: Bob #Dylan set to release new album in September


Great news - Bob Dylan will release a brand new album with new compositions in September.  It's called "Tempest." the title of course makes me think of Prospero's last speech in The Tempest, by William Shakespeare.

When I was studying Shakespeare in London in my junior year in college, my professor said that this speech from the Tempest's epilogue is often thought of as Shakespeare's farewell to his art.  It is a poignant speech however we want to look at it, coming toward the end of Prospero's life.

Here is John Gielgud as Prospero presenting the speech:
Now my charms are all o'erthrown,
And what strength I have's mine own,
Which is most faint. Now 'tis true
I must be here confined by you
Or sent to Naples. Let me not,
Since I have my dukedom got,
And pardoned the deceiver, dwell
In this bare island by your spell;
But release me from my bands
With the help of your good hands.
Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant;
And my ending is despair
Unless I be relieved by prayer,
Which pierces so, that it assaults
Mercy itself, and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardoned be,
Let your indulgence set me free

The Tempest, Act V, Epilogue 

Loreena McKcKennit sings the verse here or here:



Here is the press release - note the release date.  Before we get too interested though, the original release date for Love and Theft was September 11, 2001.  Just one of those things, I guess.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW BOB DYLAN ALBUM – TEMPEST - SET FOR SEPTEMBER RELEASE
COLLECTION OF TEN NEW BOB DYLAN SONGS
MARKS MUSICIAN’S 50TH ANNIVERSARY AS A RECORDING ARTIST 
Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan’s new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962. 
Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35thth studio set from Bob Dylan, and follows 2009’s worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life. 
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan’s four previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist. The Platinum-selling Time Out Of Mind from 1997 earned multiple Grammy Awards, including Album Of The Year, while “Love and Theft” continued Dylan’s Platinum streak and earned several Grammy nominations and a statue for Best Contemporary Folk album. 
Modern Times, released in 2006, became one of the artist’s most popular albums, selling more than 2.5 million copies worldwide and earning Dylan two more Grammys. Together Through Life became the artist’s first album to debut at #1 in both the U.S. and the UK, as well as in five other countries, on its way to surpassing sales of one million copies. 
Those four releases fell within a 12-year creative span that also included the recording of an Oscar- and Golden Globe-winning composition, “Things Have Changed,” from the film Wonder Boys, in 2001; a worldwide best-selling memoir, Chronicles Vol. 1, which spent 19 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller List, in 2004, and a Martin Scorsese-directed documentary, No Direction Home, in 2005. Bob Dylan also released his first collection of holiday standards, Christmas In The Heart, in 2009, with all of the artist’s royalties from that album being donated to hunger charities around the world. 
This year, Bob Dylan was the recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. He was awarded a special Pulitzer Prize in 2008 for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.” He was also the recipient of the French Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres in 1990, Sweden’s Polar Music Award in 2000 and several Doctorates including the University of St. Andrews and Princeton University as well as numerous other honors. 
Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon.

Here is a list of the tracks:
1. "Duquesne Whistle"2. "Soon After Midnight"3. "Narrow Way"4. "Long and Wasted Years"5. "Pay In Blood"6. "Scarlet Town"7. "Early Roman Kings"8. "Tin Angel"9. "Tempest"10. "Roll On John"
News reports say that one song is about the Titanic and another one on his old friend and taxi companion, John Lennon.  It wasn't that long ago that Dylan was spotted on a regular tourist's tour of John Lennon's home.  He's popped up at other homes of old friends, including Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.  His visit to Springsteen's childhood home though might be worth a song all by itself.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tonight at the Cafe: Smoke on the Water



Jon Lord (1941-2012) member of Deep Purple (he's the one on the keyboards - organ) and composer of Smoke on the Water.  More here and here and here.  Isn't this the first song we all learned on the guitar?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Episcopal Bishop speaks out against actions of #GC77; plans to open talks on future of diocese in the Episcopal Church

Episcopal Bishop Mark Lawrence
From here:

The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina circulated a letter to his Lowcountry congregations today condemning the actions of the national Episcopal church on same-sex blessing and gender issues and said he would open talks this week about the future of the diocese in the U.S. church.

The letter from the Rt. Rev. Mark J. Lawrence is the clearest indication yet that he does not believe the conservative diocese can tolerate the latest changes in church doctrine approved at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church that just concluded in Indianapolis.

In the letter addressed to “Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,” Lawrence said “the actions taken mark a significant and distressing departure from the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this church has received them.” He asked that the letter be read at today’s services and copies provided to parishioners.

In probably the most public of its adopted resolutions, the General Convention that concluded July 12 endorsed a liturgy that can now be used for same-sex blessings. The U.S. Episcopal Church is part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, but the American church’s more liberal stance on same-sex issues has created the greatest rift within the 77-million strong Communion and provoked the biggest challenge to its top leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury.

“It hardly needs to be said, but for the record let me say clearly, I will not authorize the use of such rites in the Diocese of South Carolina,” Lawrence wrote in the two-page letter. “Such rites are not only contrary to the canons of this diocese and to the judgment of your bishop, but more importantly I believe they are contrary to the teaching of Holy Scripture; to two thousand years of Christian practice; as well as to our created nature.”

The Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina represents 29,000 Episcopalians along coastal South Carolina. Midlands and Upstate Episcopalians reside in the more moderate Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, with 28,000 members. The Upper Diocese leader, Bishop W. Andrew Waldo, said earlier he would not vote to endorse the same-sex blessing rite but would be open to establishing a task force to study the issue further. He has said his parishioners reside on all spectrums of the same-sex issue.

Lawrence, who has been among the most outspoken of U.S. bishops in his opposition to the ordination of gay clergy, said even more alarming was the adoption of new language that prevents discrimination toward transgendered persons and clears the way for the possible ordination of those who have undergone a change in sexual identity.

“They open the door to innumerable self-understandings of gender identity and gender expression within the Church; normalizing ‘transgender,’ ‘bi-sexual,’ ‘questioning,’ and still yet to be named self-understandings of individualized eros,” Lawrence said. “I fail to see how a rector or parish leader who embraces such a canonical change has any authority to discipline a youth minister, Sunday school teacher, or chalice bearer who chooses to dress as a man one Sunday and as a woman another. And this is but one among many possibilities.”

Lawrence had earlier sought alternative leadership for his diocese, contending U.S. leaders did not represent the beliefs of his congregants. The Sunday letter seemed to significantly heighten that unease with the U. S. church. He said he plans to meet Monday with his Council of Advice and on Tuesday with the Diocesan Standing Committee. Beginning July 1, Lawrence said he would open meetings with deans and clergy.

“Given these changes in the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church, the question that is before us is: “What does being faithful to Jesus Christ look like for this diocese at this time?”

The Rev. Kendall S. Harmon, the canon theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina, said when interviewed Saturday: “It’s clear we have to separate ourselves from the false teaching. It’s not clear what the godly response is at the diocese.”

Read it all here.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Letter from the Rector of Truro on #GC77 and next steps

The Rev'd Dr. Tory Baucum
Letter from the Rector of Truro:

I am writing this with a few days remaining of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Like many of you, I have followed with grave concern and grief the news and blog accounts of the events taking place there. Of particular concern were the "Bishopsgate" charges filed on the eve of General Convention against eight respected, conservative Bishops (including Truro's former rector, John Howe). Our hearts and prayers go out to these brothers who have tried to remain loyal to the institution of the Episcopal Church while maintaining a faithful witness.

The resolutions related to human sexuality, though heart rending, were predictable and yet another sign that TEC has stepped further away from us and the historic Apostolic Faith. The Episcopal Church is making decisions where decisions cannot be made -- an assault on reality. The journey that Truro is taking in our study of the Theology of the Body leads to profoundly different conclusions, ones that allow us to offer compassion and hope for all relationships. I will be writing about some of these different conclusions in a forth coming TFN article.

While I grieve for those who were and will be harmed by the decisions made at General Convention, my strongest emotion is one of gratitude for our new ecclesiastical home in the Anglican Church of North America and for all the faithful leaders, both lay and ordained, who risked much to create it. We now have a home in which we can engage our society redemptively. Though we share the same Anglican heritage with the Episcopal Church we obviously read and bear witness to it with increasing difference. The painful point of this convention for the rest of the Communion is that we are even further apart -- which is hard to imagine.

As you know, I reached out to Bishop Shannon Johnston of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia during the final stages of the litigation. He and I have attempted to build a constructive relationship that could survive the antagonisms and wounds inflicted during the course of the lawsuit. We have prayed for him and he has prayed for us. At some professional risk, he traveled with me to London to experience the home of Alpha (the greatest Anglican evangelization movement since the eighteenth century) and to meet many of my closest friends in ministry. His reception was characterized by grace and truth. I am grateful that Bishop Shannon continues to desire to build a relationship post-litigation. I hold out hope we can do so and I still consider him a friend.

What this General Convention underscores, yet again, is that the work of rebuilding trust with individuals, parishes and dioceses in the Episcopal Church, if it is ever successful, will take decades. It is worth doing, but it must be seen within the wider mission that God has given us. We are called to continue to speak and bear witness to the truth of God's revelation in all things but at this moment particularly as it pertains to human relationships. Why here? Because this is where the faith is under attack. In faithfulness to Jesus Christ, we must reflect in our relationships and in our words (even to theological opponents) the beauty of God's creation of the human person as male and female and the mystery of marriage as the only sanctioned context for sexual intimacy. In his teaching ministry on marriage and sexuality, Jesus located the norm in Eden -- "have you not read that He who created them in the beginning made them male and female" -- and so must we (see Matthew 19:3-9). It appears our witness to TEC will be much like it is to society at large: a matter of display rather than mere argument.

As a sign of our emerging missionary focus, and especially the Mission Conference on Marriage we are hosting in January, I have made some changes in the weekly prayers that you will certainly notice. Most important, instead of praying for Bishop Shannon and the Episcopal Church in the Prayers of the People on a weekly basis they will be placed on our Rota of prayers with other prayers for churches. In our personal prayers I hope all of us will continue to pray for them daily. We must remember that our enemy is not the Episcopal Church, but the ideological "strong man" that has ensnared them. In its place, on a weekly basis, we will pray two special collects. The first one is for land, which I composed around the great theme of Abraham's radical response to God's call to be a blessing to the nations. The second is for marriages, which I composed around the theme of God's nuptial love climactically revealed in Jesus' mission. I conclude with these prayers, which I encourage you to use during your daily devotions:

Collect for Land

Gracious Heavenly Father who called Abraham into a land that you had prepared for him to make him into a great people who would be a blessing to the nations: we ask that you lead us to the land you have prepared for us and that you would make us ever more fully into a people who will be a blessing to others. We ask this in the name of him who left his home to seek us when we were without a home, Jesus Christ our LORD. Amen.

Collect for Marriage

Gracious Father in Heaven, who officiated the first marriage in Eden and proclaimed the union of man and woman as "very good": we ask that our marriages will more perfectly manifest the mystery of Christ's love for the Church, His Bride, and be a sign of hope in a sexually broken age. We ask this in the name of him who wooed us at the well of our alienation and gave us the dignity of his spousal love, Jesus Christ our LORD.

Your brother in Christ,

Tory

Do all dogs go to heaven?

George Conger writes a stellar article that is not satire (well, on second thought), but actually did happen in the House of Bishops during the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Indianapolis.  Hand the man a Publizer please.

Here is his account:

Some Episcopal bishops are not so sure.
The doctrine that all dogs go to heaven has been placed in limbo by the 77th General Convention.

 On 11 July 2012 the House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church adopted a revised version of Resolution A054 “Authorize Rites and Prayers for the Care of Beloved Animals.”

The question of prayers for the souls of animals was brought to the convention by the Standing Committee on Liturgy and Church Music which submitted the text, “Various Rites and Prayers for Animals” for approval of the convention. 

However, the Convention’s Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music rejected “Various Rites” as a whole, and offered selected prayers for approval by the church.

The Bishop of Missouri, the Rt. Rev. George Wayne Smith said the prayers provided by the Prayer Book committee “no longer express the desire for our animals to be part of the resurrection.”

The committee removed language from the proposed “Burial Office for a Beloved Animal”, that has the officiant say: “Give us faith to commit this beloved creature to your care, and hear our hope that we all may one day be reunited with our animals in the heavenly places, where you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.”

The new language for the office states: “Give us faith to commit this beloved creature of your own making to your care, for you live and reign for ever and ever. Amen”

After Bishop Smith presented the resolution for debate, the retired Bishop of Alabama, Henry Parsley stated “I welcome the liturgy, but I have a question: Where do they go?”

“To heaven, where else,” the Presiding Bishop said.

The bishop "supported the pastoral intention of the rites,
but believed the doctrinal issues had not fully been explored." 
Bishop Parsley responded, “Not the animals, but the liturgy. I will leave the animals to God, but where does it go in our liturgical book?”

Bishop Smith replied the texts will not be in “Enriching Our Worship” or the Book of Occasional Services, but “somewhere in the cloud.”

“Why do we need to authorize this,” Bishop Duncan Gray of Mississippi asked. Bishop Smith responded that there had been a “steady, unrelenting call for rites like these.”

The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey Lee of Chicago added that “part of the reason” for this resolution “is the wide range of materials. We wanted to put something reasonable out there.”

The Bishop of Montana, the Rt. Rev. C. Franklin Brookhart rose and as he stated “no one loves their dog more than I do," other bishops rose from their chairs with objections and cries of “shame!” contesting the bishop’s remarks. One bishop was heard to say “I have no dog in this fight,” while other bishops offered witticisms and puns that appeared to express a degree of exhaustion after seven days of meetings.

After the presiding bishop called the meeting to order, Bishop Brookhart stated, “I simply want to ask if this material is asking for requiem masses for animals?”

Bishop Smith responded, “No,” while a second bishop said perhaps this could be referred to the Guild of All Souls.

The retired suffragan Bishop of New York, the Rt. Rev. Catherine S. Roskam asked whether these rites were to be used for the “Blessing of Animals” on the Feast Day of St Francis.

Bishop Smith stated, “No, there are separate rites.” Bishop Steven Miller of Milwaukee offered an amendment, asking the language of the resolution be changed from authorizing the rites to making “them available.” He supported the pastoral intention of the rites, but believed the doctrinal issues had not been fully explored.

The resolution was passed on a mixed voice vote. After the meeting concluded two bishops approached by Anglican Ink stated they felt the debate had been rather silly and signaled the desire of many bishops to pack up and go home. Asked if all dogs go to heaven, one bishop responded "we've spent so much time at this convention defining 'all' that I feel safe in saying that all dogs, both pure bred and mixed breed will go to heaven."

A second bishop added, "but not cats."

Speaking to the media at the Convention’s afternoon press conference, the Rt. Rev. Michael Smith, Bishop of North Dakota was asked if animals went to heaven.

“I don’t really know,” he said, adding that this was a “pastoral issue.” The “first concern” he had was “pastoral. ‘How does one help someone?’ respond to the death of a pet,” he said.

These are “theological issues not many of us have thought through,” he said, “but if a little girl needs Fluffy the cat to see the beatific vision, then Fluffy will be in heaven,” Bishop Smith said.

Read it all here.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tonight at the Cafe: Standing in the Doorway

I’m walking through the summer nights
Jukebox playing low
Yesterday everything was going too fast
Today, it’s moving too slow
I got no place left to turn
I got nothing left to burn
Don’t know if I saw you, if I would kiss you or kill you
It probably wouldn’t matter to you anyhow
You left me standing in the doorway, crying
I got nothing to go back to now

The light in this place is so bad
Making me sick in the head
All the laughter is just making me sad
The stars have turned cherry red
I’m strumming on my gay guitar
Smoking a cheap cigar
The ghost of our old love has not gone away
Don’t look like it will anytime soon
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Under the midnight moon

Maybe they’ll get me and maybe they won’t
But not tonight and it won’t be here
There are things I could say but I don’t
I know the mercy of God must be near
I’ve been riding the midnight train
Got ice water in my veins
I would be crazy if I took you back
It would go up against every rule
You left me standing in the doorway, crying
Suffering like a fool

When the last rays of daylight go down
Buddy, you’ll roll no more
I can hear the church bells ringing in the yard
I wonder who they’re ringing for
I know I can’t win
But my heart just won’t give in
Last night I danced with a stranger
But she just reminded me you were the one
You left me standing in the doorway crying
In the dark land of the sun

I’ll eat when I’m hungry, drink when I’m dry
And live my life on the square
And even if the flesh falls off of my face
I know someone will be there to care
It always means so much
Even the softest touch
I see nothing to be gained by any explanation
There are no words that need to be said
You left me standing in the doorway crying
Blues wrapped around my head

-Bob Dylan 1997



Maybe they’ll get me and maybe they won’t
But not tonight and it won’t be here
There are things I could say but I don’t
I know the mercy of God must be near

The Episcopal Church authorizes rite same-sex blessings; Diocese of South Carolina walks out of #GC77 in protest

From here:

Deputies debate the authorization of rites for same-sex blessings.
The Episcopal Church officially authorized provisional rites for same-sex blessings at their 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis yesterday.

The House of Deputies overwhelmingly concurred with the House of Bishops who had earlier voted by a substantial majority to allow provisional blessings of same-sex couples in the Episcopal Church with 76% of the clergy and 78% of the laity in the House of Deputies voting in favor of establishing the rite. The bishops voted to authorize the rites 111-41, with three abstentions.

“For the church to say, ‘This is an active part of our life in ministry, and we support this,’ is an extraordinarily important step,” said the Very Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, President of Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Dean Hancock married her partner, the Rev. Mally Lloyd at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston in 2011.

The Episcopal Church becomes the largest mainline church in the United States to authorize the rites for same-sex couples seeking blessings of their unions or civil marriages. The denomination follows the United Church of Christ (UCC), which has supported same sex marriage since 2005.

“I believe the Episcopal Church will continue to evolve on the issue of marriage equality and look forward to joining our UCC brothers and sisters in being a headlight instead of taillight on marriage equality,” the Rev. Susan Russell, a gay rights advocate and Episcopal priest based in Pasadena, CA, said in a statement.

Currently gay marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, with at least three more states poised to legalize gay marriage in the near future. Thirty states have constitutional amendments defining marriage as between a man and woman only.

Although Episcopal bishops are now able to publicly authorize the rites in their diocese, a “conscience clause” was also added that allows bishops to choose to refrain from authorizing the rites in their dioceses without penalty.

Twelve conservative and moderate Episcopal bishops released a “Minority Report” stating their opposition to the rites. “The liturgy entitled The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant, is for all practical purposes same-sex marriage,” they write in their Minority Report. “It includes all of the essential elements found in a marriage rite: vows, an exchange of rings, a pronouncement, and a blessing.”

“We believe that the rite subverts the teaching of the Book of Common Prayer, places The Episcopal Church outside the mainstream of Christian faith and practice, and creates further distance between this Church and the Anglican Communion along with other Christian churches,” the bishops stated.

They were joined in their opposition by the deputations of the both the Diocese of South Carolina and the Diocese of Central Florida.

This afternoon, the deputation of the Diocese of South Carolina walked out of General Convention in protest. "Due to the actions of General Convention, the South Carolina Deputation has concluded that we cannot continue with business as usual," they wrote in a statement. "We all agree that we cannot and will not remain on the floor of the House and act as if all is normal. John Burwell and Lonnie Hamilton have agreed to remain at Convention to monitor further developments and by their presence demonstrate that our action is not to be construed as a departure from the Episcopal Church," the deputation wrote.

Earlier this week the Episcopal Church voted to place no barriers against transgendered persons from assuming leadership positions in the Episcopal Church or from pursuing ordination as priests.

Now dipping below two million in membership, down from its peak of 3.6 million members in the 1960's, the Episcopal Church belongs to the 77 million-member Anglican Communion led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams. Much of its membership is centered in the "Global South" of Africa and Asia where Anglican leaders have voiced concerns about the actions of the Episcopal Church.

Following the election of the Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson as the bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire in 2003, global Anglican leaders asked the Episcopal Church to initiate a moratorium on electing non-celibate gay bishops. The Episcopal Church agreed at their General Convention in Columbus in 2006 to the moratorium. But at the 2009 General Convention in Anaheim, CA, even with the presence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, the church lifted the ban, allowing private same sex blessings at the local bishop's discretion.

The public rites for same-sex blessings will be available for use by December 2, 2012.

Read it all here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Let all mortal flesh keep silence

For all that has happened this evening in Indianapolis, this is the song that keeps playing in my mind, yes, in my heart.




Evening at the Cafe: Workingman Blues #2

Watch General Convention Live

Click here for live coverage from the 77th Episcopal General Convention in Indianapolis, IN.

Time Out: Walking the streets of Bob Dylan's Greenwich Village

Interesting short profile  profiling Dylan's Greenwich Village:


Walking the streets of Bob Dylan’s Greenwich Village

Episcopal House of Bishops affirms same-sex blessing rites #GC77

The Episcopal Church meets in General Convention.
From here:

The Episcopal House of Bishops voted to affirm rites for same-sex blessings July 9, 2012, at the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis, IN.

Resolution A049 was passed overwhelmingly by the Episcopal House of Bishops in a vote of 111-41, with three abstentions. It now goes to the House of Deputies for ratification.

The affirmation comes a week after the Episcopal Church in General Convention voted to approve the ordination of transgendered people.

The House of Bishops authorized "provisional" rites after the Standing Committee on Liturgy replaced the phrase "authorize for trial use" from the original resolution with the sentence to “authorize for provisional use I Will Bless You and You Will Be a Blessing for study and use in congregations and dioceses of The Episcopal Church.”

"We act in humility," Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said to the House of Bishops after the roll-call vote.

Bishop Shannon Johnston of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia proposed an amendment clarifying that the rites are only to be used for same-sex couples and not opposite-sex couples. On a voice vote, the House of Bishops adopted his amendment.

During debate, bishops rose in support or opposition to the resolution, including Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina, saying that it would likely be viewed and used as a marriage rite. “I do not want to lose the symbolism of the of the holy marriage feast of Christ and his bride,” he said in opposition to the resolution.

But Bishop Stacy Sauls, Chief Operating Officer at the Episcopal Church Center in New York, expressed support for the resolution. He drew a parallel with A049 and the decision fifty years ago to allow divorced people to remarry in the Episcopal Church, saying that the theological arguments to affirm gay blessings are as strong as allowing divorce and remarriage.

“They are the same,” Bishop Sauls said.

Bishop Marianne Budde of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington stated on the floor of the House of Bishops that she supported the resolution and rites for same-sex blessings. Gay and lesbian people “only want the church to honor their relationships,” she said.

The resolution is expected to be ratified by the House of Deputies this week.

Read it all here.

Now is the time to pray #GC77

It is not hard to want to turn away from the actions now underway at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church.  For so many of us, we have walked on, shaking the dust, and starting again. Why care?  Why care?

Why care?  Because there are hundreds of thousands of Christian believers in the Episcopal Church - maybe a million, maybe more.  Thousands more on the road, looking for Jesus.  They are our brothers and sisters and we share a common faith, a common story.  God the Father loves them, Jesus died for them, the Holy Spirit is alive, He is alive and at work, even when we cannot see, especially when we cannot see.

Now is the time to pray.  So for the next few days as General Convention continues in Indianapolis, let's pray for our friends, for our brothers and sisters, for those who are estranged from us and we from them.  May the Holy Spirit come and do a work in all our hearts, that we may see Jesus - step by step by step.















Monday, July 09, 2012

#GC77 Going, Going, Gone ...




Listening to this while watching the Episcopal House of Bishops debate their future at #GC77.  And this one as they vote:

House of Bishops actions at #GC77 appears to sink #TitleIV charges against nine conservative Episcopal bishops

From George Conger at AnglicanInk:

The House of Bishops presided by Bishop Jefferts Schori.

The push by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy to censure nine bishops for disloyalty to the Episcopal Church has failed in the House of Bishops and has likely sunk any attempt to discipline the accused through the church’s legal system.
After two and a half hours of discussion over three private sessions at the 77th General Convention meeting in Indianapolis, on 8 July 2012 the House of Bishops responded to claims of misconduct leveled against the nine by the provisional bishops of Quincy and Fort Worth.  The House of Bishops responded with a “Mind of the House” resolution proposed by one of the accused, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield, affirming the loyalty of Episcopalians in the dioceses of Fort Worth, Quincy, San Joaquin and Pittsburgh.
The House of Bishops had “no stomach” to discipline Bishop Martins, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, the retired Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House, and the Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, a participant in the 6-8 July meetings told Anglican Ink.
The “Mind of the House” resolution does not end the Title IV investigations into misconduct made against the nine, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori told the bishops.  However, by seeking an immediate resolution to the dispute the Title IV process has effectively been shut down as those bishops present in the discussions who serve on the disciplinary board will have to recuse themselves from adjudicating the case.  All of the episcopal judges that will hear the case are now disqualified from participation in a decision on grounds of personal involvement.  
On 5 July the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., Provisional Bishop of Fort Worth, and the Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan, Provisional Bishop of Quincy wrote to the presiding bishop asking the House of Bishops to “set the record straight regarding recent statements by certain bishops in our Church.”
They accused the seven of the nine for misconduct and disloyalty to the Episcopal Church for having filed a friend of the court brief in the lawsuit currently before the Texas Supreme Court between the breakaway Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth and the Episcopal Church.  The brief disputed the national church’s claim that the Episcopal Church was a unitary ecclesial structure, with the dioceses subordinate and creatures of the General Convention.  Their brief did not, however, support the secession of Bishop Jack Iker and the Diocese of Forth Worth.  Three of the nine were also accused of misconduct for having signed an affidavit in the Diocese of Quincy case affirming their view on the polity of the Episcopal Church.
In their letter of complaint, which drew upon the same issues and was directed against the same nine bishops as the Title IV disciplinary proceedings launched last month, Bishops Ohl and Buchanan leveled four charges against the nine. They had “falsely claimed” that “dioceses can unilaterally leave” the Episcopal Church. They “denied the Dennis Canon and failed to safeguard Church property”; the “recognize the wrong bishops” thereby injecting “chaos into core ecclesiastical functions” of the Episcopal Church; and they “violated the ecclesiastical jurisdictions” of Fort Worth and Quincy by having endorsed legal documents pertaining to questions outside their dioceses.
The charges drew sharp criticism from outside the House.  Canon lawyer Allan Haley – an attorney for the Diocese of San Joaquin – stated that the Ohl/Buchanan letter was “despicable” and “completely unworthy of the calling of a bishop. It is filled with lies and untruths.”
ACI leader Professor Christopher Seitz, who also signed the friend of the court brief in Fort Worth dismissed the charges as unfounded.  “This is a lot of grasping at straws,” he said.
After the Ohl/Buchanan letter was made public, one bishop told AI that he believed the letter was “ill-timed” and was an “end-run” around the Title IV canons.  By pressing their claims simultaneously in two venues -- the House of Bishops and the Title IV board – the bishops had effectively “shot their bolt” with the letter. Misspelling the Presiding Bishop’s name – a sensitive point for Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori – was also “unfortunate.”
In their public response released after the first closed session that reviewed the charges, the nine protested their loyalty to the church but acknowledged their actions had been “controversial. We took these actions, however, precisely because we thought it our duty to do so in order to uphold the doctrine, discipline and worship of The Episcopal Church as we all have pledged to do.”
The charges brought by Bishops Ohl and Buchanan were untrue.  The bishops said they had never defended the actions of Bishop Iker and the Diocese of Forth Worth, nor had addressed the question of diocesan secession.  Nor had they discussed the Dennis Canon or challenged the church’s right to “recognize its own bishops.” And the fourth charge, that by exercising their civic duties they had violated their ecclesiastical responsibilities, was false.  “To our knowledge, no one has ever before suggested that petitioning the legislatures or courts in Washington or state capitols—our brief was filed in Austin, not Fort Worth—requires the consent of the local bishop.”
Details of the three discussion sessions have not been made public, and those bishops contacted by AI have been unwilling to break the rules of the House by giving details of the deliberations.
However, through speaking with several participants in the meetings the general outlines of the proceedings have become clear.  Both sides to the dispute were able to present their concerns and responses to the House in a full and frank exchange of views.
The partisan wrangling and personal animus that had made past gatherings “poisonous” appeared to be absent this time.  Past scenes of applause following a personal attack on the integrity of a bishop by another bishop – Bishop Gene Robinson’s characterization of Bishop Robert Duncan as being untruthful was cited by one bishop – were absent from this proceeding.
Nor was the adoption of the Mind of the House resolution a “quid pro quo,” as there had been no negotiations.  The bishops’ “hearts were just not in it” – it being the sanctioning of nine of their members – AI was told.  By the end of the third session it was clear that the push to punish the nine “had no legs” one bishop said.
Writing in his blog on 8 July Bishop Dan Martins said: “I personally moved a mind-of-the-house resolution that affirms Bishops Ohl, Talton, Price, and Buchanan as the legitimate bishops of the Episcopal Church dioceses of Fort Worth, San Joaquin, Pittsburgh, and Quincy, respectively. This motion carried on a unanimous roll call vote. And it is in no way inconsistent with the amicus curiae brief that seven of us recently signed. My sense is that this has significantly lowered the thermostat in relations between the bishops. What effect it might have on the Title IV complaints remains to be seen. But I am hopeful.”
Speaking to Episcopal CafĂ© after the third session, Bishop Buchanan said: "Bishop Ohl and I triggered this resolution by writing our letter. The House of Bishops spent nearly two and a half hours discussing this matter in productive and collegial conversation that worked toward reconciliation. The matter will continue to be discussed at future meetings of the House of Bishops.”
"I am most grateful for the resolution that identifies me as the bishop of the Diocese of Quincy."
However, Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago told an 8 July press conference the Mind of the House resolution was “virtually” identical to a resolution adopted in 2009, and "said nothing new" one of the nine explained.

Read it all here.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Tonight at the Cafe: Million Miles

Bonnie Raitt's cover of Bob Dylan's Million Miles:

House of Deputies votes to sell Manhattan headquarters

From here:


The Episcopal Church national offices at 815 Second Ave.
The Episcopal Church, meeting for its 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, IN, is considering selling its headquarters located at 815 Second Avenue in Manhattan.
The House of Deputies, one of two legislative houses that make up the Episcopal Church General Convention, voted today to sell the property.

"People are not happy that we have a building in New York that takes millions of dollars out of our missionary operations," said Bishop Andrew Doyle, Vice Chair of the Committee on Structure. "They are not happy, and we have known that for years.”

The resolution to sell the church headquarters as well as home of the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, now goes to the House of Bishops for ratification.

The decision to sell the Manhattan property comes in the wake of budget cuts and staff layoffs as the denomination falls to its lowest membership in 70 years. The church has lost 200,000 members and 300 parishes between 2006 and 2010 with a total of 657,831 attending church on Sundays per year. Membership has declined to below two million, it's lowest level since the 1930s.

The Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F) has not yet completed a final budget for consideration to General Convention #77. Earlier this year competing budgets were submitted by both the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to the Executive Council, an elected body that provides oversight to the Episcopal Church between General Conventions.

The Executive Council is charged with presenting the budget to the PB&F at General Convention, but when the PB&F convened in Indianapolis earlier this week they accepted another budget from the Presiding Bishop based on the Anglican Consultative Council's Five Marks of Mission.

“The budget process does not work. PB&F right now is restructuring the Church by deciding who gets money and who doesn’t, even before we get the resolutions to vote,” Bishop Doyle said.
The House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson recently announced that she would retire to spend more time with her family and not seek re-election.

The General Convention legislative sessions resume their deliberations on Saturday, July 7, 2012.

House of Deputies Structures Committee votes to sell 815

UPDATE: The House of Deputies votes to sell 815 (but removed the word "now" from the resolution).  George Conger has his story here.

The Diocese of Virginia's Center Aisle reports on the Committee on Structures from the House of Deputies made a dramatic turn and called for the sale of the Episcopal Church in Manhattan. Lauren Stanley reports for the Center Aisle:
The Episcopal Church headquarters in Manhattan.
But the mood changed dramatically when the Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle of Texas, vice chair of the Bishop’s committee, spoke.

“I feel frustrated,” he said, “because there is nobody else. There’s us. There’s no special committee that is going to go away and do something and won’t have to come back to us.”

“This is a brilliant group of people,” he said, referring to the Structure committee. “We have expertise in this room to do this work. We believe, in our system, that God put us in this room to do this work. So the notion that we can’t do it is an unfaithful notion, in my opinion. It is unfaithful. That’s when the system no longer works.”

Doyle went on to declare, “The budget process does not work. PB&F right now is restructuring the Church by deciding who gets money and who doesn’t, even before we get the resolutions to vote.”

The governing system, he said, “is broken and we can fix that. We can change that. People are not happy with us spending this much money to talk to each other about people who are not here. … People are not happy that we have a building in New York that takes millions of dollars out of our missionary operations. They are not happy, and we have known that for years. How many studies have we done? Do we need to study it again? … Let’s force change. Don’t study it. Let’s sell [815]. We in this committee have the power to make change happen.”

He concluded, “We have the opportunity to make these changes. … To walk away and give it to somebody else is unfair.”

Other members of the committee voiced their own frustrations. Howard lamented that “we come into this place … without any real singular vision being projected and we’re let loose to debate things [with] no unified vision of what a budget for mission and ministry looks like.”

However, the Rev. Wendy Abrahamson of Iowa echoed Doyle’s call for action. “I do think there’s a need for a vision to be found, but I do think there are some specific themes that are well within our ability to address. The financial ones are very specific. All of the resolutions (on the structure of the Church) point out that administration is half the budget. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, parishes can’t afford a clergy person. … The stuff that we’re doing is not going to address that. But money in the world and the Church living in the world as it is, those are things we can do something about. … There are a lot of things that we can begin to attack that will create some room for maybe helping that vision to be clarified,” she said, referring to financial issues and the length of General Convention in particular.

Deputy Debby Melnyk of Florida ended that portion of Structure’s discussion by saying, “I left last night very enthusiastic, and I feel we have a wonderful opportunity right here to start some change. … We have an opportunity for creative thinking. … We have all sorts of opportunity to do greater thinking to create change. … I agree with Bishop Doyle. I think we can do it. We can put our minds to come up with a creative framework to effect that change.”

Twenty minutes later, Structure slashed seven “resolveds” from D016 and reduced it to the basics:

Sell 815 before the next General Convention and report back in 2015 on the sale.

Read it all here.  The committee is chaired by Gay Jennings, a leading candidate to replace Bonnie Anderson as President of the House of Deputies.

"Show Trial" set for House of Bishops today

SATURDAY UPDATE: 


Please note that the House of Bishops will again convene in closed session on Sunday to take up this matter.

Seven of the bishops have written a Open Letter to the House of Bishops "repudiating charges of disloyalty brought against them by the provisional bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy."  The authors of the letter are:
    The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida
    The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, 
    The Rt. Rev. William H. Love, Bishop of Albany 
    The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana 
    The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins, Bishop of Springfield 
    The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House 
    The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton, Bishop of Dallas,
They stated they had been forced to act in order to protect the Episcopal Church – not to harm it.  
“No charge is more serious to us than the one that we have acted against our own Church—in other words, that we have been disloyal. We assure each of you that we have acted out of a profound loyalty to this Church we love,” they wrote.
Read more about it at Anglican Ink here.

*

The 815-appointed bishops of the shadow dioceses of Ft. Worth and Quincy have petitioned the Presiding Bishop for a closed door session today.  Remember, these two bishops are appointed by the very person they are petitioning to hear their complaints.  What a show!  George Conger of Anglican Ink has the story:

A letter accusing nine bishops of disloyalty to the Episcopal Church and violation of its canons is scheduled for discussion on 6 July 2012 during a closed session of the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops meeting at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis.

The letter has been described as “end run” around the Title IV canons, one bishop told Anglican Ink, that seeks a political solution to a judicial process.

On 5 July the Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl, Jr., Provisional Bishop of Fort Worth, and the Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan, Provisional Bishop of Quincy wrote to the presiding bishop asking the House of Bishops to “set the record straight regarding recent statements by certain bishops in our Church.”

Misconduct complaints were filed and investigations under the Title IV disciplinary canons have been initiated against the Rt. Rev. Maurice Benitez, retired Bishop of Texas, the Rt. Rev. John W. Howe, retired Bishop of Central Florida, the Rt. Rev. Paul Lambert, suffragan Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. William Love, Bishop of Albany, the Rt. Rev. De. Bruce MacPherson, Bishop of Western Louisiana, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Martins, Bishop of Springfield, the Rt. Rev. James Stanton, Bishop of Dallas, the Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith, retired Bishop of Springfield, and the Rt. Rev. Edward L Salmon, retired Bishop of South Carolina and Dean of Nashotah House.

The nine bishops have so far not been informed as to the crimes they have committed or have been told the names of their accusers, but in their 5 July letter Bishops Ohl and Buchanan accused them of harming the church by “officially misrepresenting the polity of the Church; invading the episcopal jurisdiction of other bishops; taking official, formal, affirmative actions directly against their own Church and sister dioceses; and even recognizing the continuing authority of breakaway former bishops over the bishops who are recognized by this Church.”

“In doing so they give aid and comfort to breakaway factions who would take title and control of substantially all of the real and personal property of this Church and cripple its mission and ministry,” the two bishops said.

By endorsing an amicus curiae brief in the Diocese of Fort Worth lawsuit before the Texas Supreme Court, and having executed an affidavit affirming their testimony in the Quincy lawsuit the bishops had violated the doctrine and discipline of the Episcopal Church.

The two bishops charged their colleagues with having “falsely claimed” that “dioceses can unilaterally leave” the Episcopal Church. They “denied the Dennis Canon and failed to safeguard Church property”; the “recognize the wrong bishops” thereby injecting “chaos into core ecclesiastical functions” of the Episcopal Church; and they “violated the ecclesiastical jurisdictions” of Fort Worth and Quincy by having endorsed legal documents pertaining to questions outside their dioceses.

“This is not a matter of a few unhappy bishops stating their personal views on church polity. They each affirmatively and officially acted by injecting themselves, intentionally and without invitation from the bishops exercising jurisdiction, into local litigation, opposing this Church and sister dioceses on core ecclesiastical issues regarding the very identity of other dioceses,” the two argued.

“We respectfully urge that the House of Bishops set the record straight on the polity of this Church regarding its hierarchical character,” they asked Bishop Jefferts Schori.

Read it all here.




The Bishop's seem to be holding forth now as they are supposed to be back on the air, but are on hold.  Here is the text of the letter from SF here:


July 5,2012
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefforts Schori
The Episcopal Church
815 Second Avenue
New York, NY, 10017
Re: Request to set the record straight
Dear Bishop Jefforts Schori:
We, the bishops of the Dioceses of Quincy and Fort Worth, with the support of the Standing Committee and Council of each diocese, respectfully urge the Church’s House of Bishops, at its meeting at the 77th General Convention in Indianapolis, to set the record straight regarding recent statements by certain bishops in our Church. The subject bishops are:
1. The Rt. Rev. Maurice M. Benitez (resigned, Diocese of Texas);
2. The Rt. Rev. John W. Howe (resigned, Diocese of Central Florida);
3. The Rt. Rev. Paul E. Lambert (suffragan, Diocese of Dallas);
4. The Rt. Rev. William H. Love (diocesan, Diocese of Albany);
5. The Rt. Rev. D. Bruce MacPherson (diocesan, Diocese of W. Louisiana);
6. The Rt. Rev. Daniel H. Martins (diocesan, Diocese of Springfield);
7. The Rt. Rev. James M. Stanton (diocesan, Diocese of Dallas);
8. The Rt. Rev. Peter Beckwith (resigned, Diocese of Springfield); and
9. The Rt. Rev. Edward L. Salmon (resigned, Diocese of South Carolina).
FACTUAL BACKGROUND
The House of Bishops is well aware of the litigation across this Church resulting from breakaway factions who left The Episcopal Church but claim to have taken parishes and entire dioceses, and all the historic church property, names, records, and funds, with them, and claim to “be” the continuing parish or diocese. In the Dioceses of Quincy, Fort Worth, San Joaquin, and Pittsburgh, these breakaway efforts were led by former members of the House of Bishops.
Recent events illustrate that there are still bishops in our Church who harm the Church by officially misrepresenting the polity of the Church; invading the episcopal jurisdiction of other bishops; taking official, formal, affirmative actions directly against their own Church and sister dioceses; and even recognizing the continuing authority of breakaway former bishops over the bishops who are recognized by this Church. In doing so they give aid and comfort to breakaway factions who would take title and control of substantially all of the real and personal property of this Church and cripple its mission and ministry.
Specifically, on April 23, 2012 Bishops Benitez, Howe, Lambert, Love, MacPherson, Martins, and Stanton, purporting to act in their official capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by former bishop Jack Iker and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth.
Similarly, on October 6, 2011, 2011, Bishops Salmon, MacPherson, and Beckwith,purporting to act in their official capacities as bishops of The Episcopal Church and its House of Bishops, caused to be filed affidavits in litigation in support of a breakaway faction led by Alberto Morales and against this Church and its Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. The details of their misrepresentations are reflected in the documents themselves. However, generally the bishops falsely claimed as follows:
1. They Represented that Dioceses Can Unilaterally Leave: These bishops give aid and comfort to breakaway factions trying to alienate this Church’s historic property and identity and urge a false view of polity that would purport to authorize each bishop across this Church to lead his or her diocese and church property in the diocese out of The Episcopal Church.
2. They Denied the Dennis Canon and Failed to Safeguard Church Property: These bishops advocate that the breakaway parties should prevail in the litigation against The Episcopal Church and the loyal Episcopalians in those dioceses and assert positions that would strip millions of dollars of historic property and funds, lovingly accumulated by generations of Episcopalians, from the mission and ministry of this Church, and instead urge that they be used by breakaway factions for the mission and ministry of a new church. They thus would nullify this Church’s trust interest in all the real and personal property of congregations in those dioceses and, indeed, across The Episcopal Church and fail to safeguard property of the Church and its dioceses.
3. They Recognized the Wrong Bishops: The amicus bishops in the Fort Worth case expressly claim that Iker, not Bishop Wallis Ohl, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is still the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth; in the Quincy filing the affidavit bishops imply that Morales, not Bishop John C. Buchanan, repeatedly recognized by the Church, is the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Quincy. By this claim these bishops not only reject this Church’s authority to recognize its own bishops but they arrogate for themselves, in direct defiance of this Church, the authority to determine the episcopal authority of every other bishop in the Church, substituting at will their personal standards for those of this Church and trying to inject chaos into core ecclesiastical functions of The Episcopal Church itself.
4. They Violated Episcopal Jurisdiction: By their public filings in local litigation, without invitation or consent of the ecclesiastical authority in those sister dioceses, these bishops directly violated the ecclesiastical authority and episcopal jurisdiction of Bishop C. Wallis Ohl and Bishop John C. Buchanan, respectively, who have been consistently recognized by The Episcopal Church as being the current bishops of Fort Worth and Quincy. By inserting themselves in local litigation against the ecclesiastical authority in those dioceses, the subject bishops have violated the longstanding prohibition against “acting in another diocese without the consent of the diocesan authority”’ and have engaged in boundary crossing to interfere profoundly in the mission and the very existence of a sister diocese and the jurisdiction of other bishops of this Church.
CONCLUSION
This is not a matter of a few unhappy bishops stating their personal views on church polity. They each affirmatively and officially acted by injecting themselves, intentionally and without invitation from the bishops exercising jurisdiction, into local litigation, opposing this Church and sister dioceses on core ecclesiastical issues regarding the very identity of other dioceses.
We respectfully urge that the House of Bishops set the record straight on the polity of this Church regarding its hierarchical character. Respectfully submitted,
The Rt. Rev. C. Wallis Ohl
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF FORT WORTH
The Rt. Rev. John C. Buchanan
EPISCOPAL DIOCESE OF QUINCY