Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Buddhist elected Episcopal Bishop of Northern Michigan - more media reports coming in

Yes, it turns out it really is true.

The Living Church:
The Diocese of Northern Michigan elected the Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester as bishop Feb. 21 at a special diocesan convention. Fr. Forrester, the only candidate on the slate, was elected on the first ballot, receiving 88 percent of delegate votes and 91 percent of congregational votes, according to a diocesan news release.

The bishop-elect has served the diocese since 2001 as its ministry development coordinator and more recently as rector of St. Paul’s Church, Marquette, and St. John’s, Negaunee.

The announcement of Fr. Forrester’s nomination sparked controversy last month because he is also a practicing Buddhist and said he had received Buddhist “lay ordination” and was “walking the path of Christianity and Zen Buddhism together.”

Assuming sufficient consents are received from a majority of standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction, Fr. Forrester will be consecrated in Marquette on Oct. 17.
Read it all here. This is going to be amazing to watch. Here's another story from the Christian News Wire:
An Episcopal priest who has received a Buddhist lay ordination has been nominated for the position of bishop in the Diocese of Northern Michigan. The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester, who has served in the diocese since 2001, will be the only nominee for the vacant position.

Forrester currently serves as rector of St. Paul's, Marquette, and is the diocese's ministry development coordinator. The bishop's election is scheduled for a special convention to be held February 21 in Escanaba, MI. If elected, Forrester would still have to obtain consents from a majority of dioceses in the Episcopal Church, in what is usually viewed as a rubber-stamp procedure.

Forrester is not the first Episcopal clergyman to hold dual faiths. In 2004, Pennsylvania priest Bill Melnyk was revealed to be a druid; while in 2007 Seattle priest Ann Holmes Redding declared that she was simultaneously an Episcopalian and a Muslim. Both Melnyk and Redding were eventually inhibited from priestly duties.
Read it all here. One has to wonder what the dinner table conversation was like this evening at Lambeth Palace.

LATER: Funny, but 815 doesn't even mention the fact the bishop-elect is a practicing Buddhist. Either they didn't know, or they didn't care. Either it way, it's not a good sign for grasping the obvious up in the Manhattan Penthouse.


RMBruton said...

This could be positive, do you think it means that Episcopalians may be open to the possibility that there may be a God?

Unknown said...

Mary, despite the fact that the election was Sat., I find it pretty astonishing that no mainstream media outlet has picked up this story yet.

So far it is only the religious press (TLC, Religious Intelligence, Ch of England News, and Christian Newswire (using the IRD Press release)).

Is this silence the sound of One Hand Clapping?

The media tend to say we orthodox obsess over sexuality issues. But here we have a major doctrinal/creedal issue that has people up in arms at blogs around the country (do a google search), and SILENCE from the press.

So, who are the ones obsessed with sex?