March 22, 2017

December 13, 2009

Lessons From Upper South Carolina: A Few Notes About How TEC Bishop Elections Work

One thing that has been quite interesting over the past several months of my watching this process in Upper South Carolina is to get an idea of how Episcopal elections have worked over the past 30 years—and how they have changed.

Here are a few notes for your insight and review as you approach Episcopal elections—for every defeat and every victory is an opportunity for learning.

—In the old days, the laity had very very few connections outside of their parish.  Few within the diocese, fewer still within other dioceses.  So it was difficult to discover much about bishop candidates, either from sources within those candidates’ dioceses or from their writings and other information.  Obviously, that has changed drastically for the better.  Laity are now afforded massive amounts of excellent-quality information if they have the knowledge and means to seek it.  Unfortunately—as is apparent today—it is often the case that laypeople do not have that knowledge or means.  This means that they must depend on their clergy for information.

—The rise and escalation of informal lay networks and the Internet, with access to emails and blogs, leads to inevitable attempts at control and decrying of such networks and blogs by clergy to their laity.  Laity are often told not to read the blogs—of course, those blogs are ill-informed and not to be trusted.  It is made a spiritual matter when clergy piously announce that they are not reading blogs and others shouldn’t either.  But that’s all about control of communication channels, and little to do with spirituality—although certainly clergy are willing to claim spiritual reasons for their self-serving goals.  I should add that, for all of the decrial of “the internets” by our Clerical Baghdad Bob’s, a group of some 15 clergy in this diocese had a lovely private FaceBook page.

—In the old days, clergy organized amongst themselves, spreading information to one another in networks via phone and conversations and visits.  They were the ones with the privileged information—and the laity were dependent on them for that information or what little was given to them.  Blogging and social networks greatly threaten that old monopoly of communication that clergy once owned.

—In the old days, a responsible committed layperson went to walkabouts, and went away thinking mainly about personality “fit” for the diocese.  It was difficult to get real information about the theology of the candidates through the walkabout system—how did one even know what to ask when one was unaware of the clergy records—and all that one was left with was “he seemed like a nice enough fellow” or “he seemed somewhat testy or cold.”

—In the present day, laypeople are far more aware of what they have gotten in a new bishop and much much earlier too.  A good chunk of laity in this diocese—30% or more is my estimate based on the ballots—are crystal clear about the revisionist theology and stances of Andrew Waldo.  In the old days, one would have had to wait until at least the next General Convention and be “surprised and shocked” by the stance of the bishop, or just permanently confused and muddled until “clarity” of insight about the bishop’s theology was received over a decade or more of experience.

Now there is great clarity in communication about the stances in advance of the arrival of a new bishop.  In all three of the last episcopal elections in Southern dioceses, large chunks of laity won’t be caught by surprise—they know already what their bishop believes.

As a result, Episcopal elections are now much more “divisive”—to use a favorite word of revisionists when describing the clarity that comes from knowledge of facts and belief.  People don’t go into elections thinking “one’s as good as another” or “if I don’t get my guy, it’s no big deal.”  Now, to be true, that hasn’t been the case for revisionists for 20 something years.  Though they may have pretended ease and calm and unconcern in the public eye, every election was and is of vital importance to them, as it serves to either advance or hinder their agenda.  The only difference is that it’s now true for informed traditionalists in The Episcopal Church as well.

—It’s interesting.  The move, logistically, by diocesan staff and other authorities is to attempt to “slow down” elections.  I heard from one old-timer who attended the election of our previous bishop—they had a new bishop by about 3.30 and had gone through five ballots.

Even without the logistical irritations of yesterday [only one ballot taken by lunch in the midst of some unfortunate lengthy frills and furbelows], the schedulers had planned for only two ballots to be taken by 12.30 p.m. and then a lunch break.  This is a pattern of many Episcopal elections now in TEC—and the only thing I can think is that they want to get people to throw up their hands and just “go ahead and agree on somebody” to beat the traffic and weather.  In the case of DUSC they didn’t have to do that—Think of this as the Rowan Williams tactic as well—recall that in most of his important meetings he attempts to put off the important decisions—as with Dar and Lambeth to name only two—until the very last day or two, such that “discussion and decision time” run out and people are in haste to catch their planes and get home. 

—Many revisionist clergy lie—a lot—so desperate are they to counter certain bishop candidates that they find threatening.  I don’t know if that’s the way it was 30 years ago—I wasn’t around.

But here’s a few examples of bald-faced lies told consistently by some revisionist clergy in this diocese.

1) Concerning an interview with Neal Michell in which he states something along the lines of “we traditionalists should be willing to stay in TEC even if we are ashamed—shame is not the end of the world—after all, Hosea was shamed by Gomer and yet was commanded by God to stay with her.”

I literally received an email with a link to that interview with a line that said that Neal Michell wants to take the diocese out of TEC.

Of course, Neal Michell wants the opposite—he wants people to stay in TEC.  And the article itself said the precise same thing—he hopes people will stay in TEC.

But the people sending that email and spreading that word were lying.  And it’s hard to beat lies.

2) Desperate to counter Smith’s strength in Louisiana, revisionists spread the word that Smith’s wife was literally going to refuse to move to Louisiana if Smith was elected.  As a result, the moment that rumors were started here in this diocese that Michell’s wife did not wish to move to South Carolina, all of us recognized the pattern of The Deliberate Lie.

3) Lies about both Burwell and Michell, stating that they did not support women’s ordination.

Burwell has a female clergy member on his staff, has sponsored two women for ordination to the Commission on Ministry, has served on the Standing Committee and voted to approve female clergy, and has laid hands on women [the clergy are invited to do that in that diocese].

Neal Michell recruited the diocese’s Canon for Church Planting, who is a female priest.  He placed an interim priest who is a woman in a parish—and helped the parish decide to keep her as their permanent rector just recently.  He voted for plenty of women who have come through the Commission on Ministry.  He sponsored one woman for the priesthood himself.  He has frequently recommended women on a regular basis to help them with deployment. 

But still, despite the truth and the facts, the revisionist clergy continued to lie over and over and over and over and over.

Most perniciously, one female associate rector in a large parish in the Diocese of Dallas—who clearly had to know Neal’s record regarding women’s ordination—took it upon herself to contact numerous clergy in this diocese and lie to them herself, claiming that Neil did not support women’s ordination.  I won’t name her in this post—but anyone from Dallas who wishes to know may email me and I will be glad to share her name, as it’s important for you to know what kind of priest you have in that diocese.

Ironically, their support for women’s ordination and for staying in TEC has earned them the ire of other conservative Episcopalians and Anglicans.

This last point about clergy lying—deliberately and malevolently in order to cause others not to vote for the candidates which they fear—is a hard one for me to stomach.  Revisionist heresies are one thing.  Major character flaws are another.

But I will have to now acknowledge that if you are speaking with a revisionist clergyperson in TEC, and something that he is saying is helpful to his own goals, you need to recognize that he or she may simply be . . . lying.  I would lay it 50% odds, now, knowing what I now know after the past several months of watching emails fly through cyberspace and hearing from laypeople and clergy.

Understand, many revisionists are honorable people, however wrong in their theology, and have excellent character.  But I think now I’ll have to grant that the percentage of Episcopal revisionists who will blatantly and unashamedly lie is remarkably high.  We need to remember that not only with bishops and clergy but with all the various press releases and communications issued by Episcopal news organizations, political activist groups like Integrity, and various other revisionist Episcopal groups and associations.  They could simply be straightforwardly lying.  If a revisionist states even the most basic of facts—like “we have 20,000 members”—it’s best to look that up before responding. 

One just never knows.

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The last election for bishop in the Diocese of San Diego was not all that long ago. That was my mother’s diocese at the time, and almost her only source of information was the diocesan newsletter. Even from other sources, it was difficult to get anything reliable about the candidates. When they got their new bishop, he was a divisive, unmitigated disaster in the +Bruno mold. There seemed no way to predict that in advance.

[1] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 12-13-2009 at 03:41 PM · [top]

#1 - Didn’t Mathis come from the Dio. of Chicago?  I would have thought that would have been a fairly good tip-off.  I know that’s not completely iron clad, but you could have jumped to that conclusion fairly easily.

[2] Posted by Cranmerian on 12-13-2009 at 03:45 PM · [top]

Chicago? Solid, dependable Middle America, right? Not like New Jersey or the Loony Left Coast. Should be fine!

No, there was no information stream that indicated that Chicago was a problem. And I was on the mailing list for the AAC.

[3] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 12-13-2009 at 04:05 PM · [top]

The two aspects go together.  The loss of control leads to deliberate efforts to poison the information stream. One would think that ultimately such a strategy must be self-defeating.  But I suspect that in this case, all that matters is victory.  Once the office is occupied, the means of victory becomes moot, and the victor gets to exercise power as he sees fit.  The only check on his power becomes the silent, steady exodus of people from the organization.  Attendance drops.  Revenues fall.  Churches close.  It is death by a thousand individual departures.

But the church bureaucracy goes on and on and on ... at least until the endowments run out. 


[4] Posted by carl on 12-13-2009 at 04:17 PM · [top]

Just as a look at some of these examples from the other side of the aisle, number point by number point. While I would argue with the label stridently, I’m pretty sure most everyone on the site would consider me a “reappraiser/revisionist.” But some alternate perspective couldn’t hurt, right?

(1) Michell’s comments were taken out of context in the election; while many of us were troubled by the likening of TEC to a prostitute, his point was larger, and especially given that the essay was an argument for staying in TEC, it’s not fair that it was brought up the way it was. I was disappointed by the lack of context that many clergy used when excerpting that article.

(2) Really? I never heard this one at all. Not even once. I was in the thick hearing rumors about candidates, and this one never hit my radar screen… and never heard this from any delegates. I’m not doubting the existence of the rumor; that said, I’m not sure it had as big of an impact as folks might thing.

(3) While it was a misconception, it didn’t help that Burwell’s female associate didn’t appear on Holy Cross’s website until after he was asked about the issue - he could have combatted that misconception early on by making sure her portrait was there as a staff member. Granted, people concerned about this should have done more groundwork of their own in this regard…. I never heard concerns about Neal Michell and WO. Once again, that certainly doesn’t mean they didn’t exist…

[5] Posted by uppersc613 on 12-13-2009 at 05:51 PM · [top]

Evidently I can’t spell the word “think” (paragraph 2). Apologies.

[6] Posted by uppersc613 on 12-13-2009 at 05:52 PM · [top]


We may still lose this battle, but if we are to lose it, let it not be because we continued to extend trust to our opponents well past the point at which it was obvious they were untrustworthy. This is the folly of those who insist that a perfunctory apology here, a procedural do-over there, and a general “de-escalation” of tensions on both sides is all that’s needed to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

It is not, as Dan writes, the “perception” of dishonesty that’s the problem. It is the fact of dishonesty, and the willingness of those in the national TEC leadership to engage in it so openly, so frequently, and so brazenly.

The problem is not that a few procedural corners were cut by people who are good at heart and want to play by the rules. The problem is that our opponents have every intention of breaking the rules whenever doing so advances their agenda.

The problem is not that some well-meaning revisionists made a few honest mistakes in applying the canons here or there. It is that canonical lawlessness is part of who they are. It is how they get things done.

[7] Posted by Greg Griffith on 12-13-2009 at 06:16 PM · [top]

Br_er Rabbit,

Chicago gave us Frank Griswold.  That should have been tip-off #1.  Chicago gives us Ruth Myers.  Sorry for over generalizations but it also gives us Seabury Western in its backyard.  So no, Chicago isn’t exactly the bastion of orthodoxy.

[8] Posted by Cranmerian on 12-13-2009 at 06:34 PM · [top]

Sarah, you state: 

Revisionist heresies are one thing. Major character flaws are another.

I frankly don’t see the distinction. The phenomenon of lying by “revisionist” Christians illustrates the unity of the Decalogue (James 2:11.).  If I can read “Thou shalt not commit adultery” in a revisionist way, why not also “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor”?

[9] Posted by slcath on 12-13-2009 at 06:34 PM · [top]

About the last point (lying), if you lie about what you believe to get ordained, if you lie about what you believe publicly every week in church and you lie about what you believe to get a job, it’s hardly shocking that you would lie about other things.

Expanding on that point, how many priests and bishops do we know that are not orthodox in belief and still say the creeds? How many affirmed their beliefs and willingness to defend the same upon ordination? And how many fudge what they believe when dealing with non-progressives?

All too many say grand words that are either insincere or carefully chosen to conceal actual belief.

A very simple way to detect orthodoxy is to listen to someone state what they believe in. True faith produces straight forward speech.

[10] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 12-13-2009 at 06:39 PM · [top]

RE: “I never heard concerns about Neal Michell and WO.”

Hi uppersc613 . . . there was an email list of some 15 clergy passing that one around.  I had it double forwarded it to me.  They continued brazenly lying—over and over and over and over.

Thanks for your perspective, but having been through the past three months and watched it all with some interest, I now understand that revisionist Episcopalians—in large swathes and percentages—are okay with lying, and knowingly so, persistently and malevolently.  After all . . . it’s worth it to achieve what they need for their gospel.  Their gospel is deeply important.

It will be a fascinating decade or more with Andrew Waldo as our bishop.  And fortunately—most fortunately—I don’t have any kind of acquaintanceship with him.  So I’m remarkably freed up to post without walls, so to speak.  ; > )

[11] Posted by Sarah on 12-13-2009 at 07:02 PM · [top]

After the second, actually officially the first ballot, I was stunned to overhear a delegate say that one of the vestry in her parish (which I did not discover) had told the rest of the vestry that Neal Michelle’s wife did not want to be a bishop’s wife, and that’s why he was turned down before.  The tone of her conversation earlier led me to believe that she was a traditionalist, but to accept that kind of information without checking is just plain direlction of one’s duty as a delegate, and for a seemingly responsible parishioner to pass a scurrilous rumor on without checking it out is just that, scurrilous.  I guess I should not be surprised at anything any more.  Disappointed, yes.  Surprised, no. Tch!

[12] Posted by Charles III on 12-13-2009 at 07:02 PM · [top]

Thanks Sarah…

Like I said, I didn’t doubt that the rumor was floating around. (Because just about everything imaginable did… the very unfortunate nature of the beast…). And it helps me to hear your perspective, too.

I can certainly understand the frustration about lies floating around - I find myself deeply frustrated with, well, both sides of the aisle.

And agreed, it will be interesting to see where Waldo and the Diocese move in the next several years. A great start, from my perspective, would be to go back to the positions on communion of the unbaptized that he wrote about back in 2000…  we’ll see what happens.

I’ll continue to pray for you, as I hope, you’ll continue to pray for me… even if we’ll almost never agree on anything!

[13] Posted by uppersc613 on 12-13-2009 at 07:10 PM · [top]

RE: “After the second, actually officially the first ballot, I was stunned to overhear a delegate say that one of the vestry in her parish (which I did not discover) had told the rest of the vestry that Neal Michelle’s wife did not want to be a bishop’s wife, and that’s why he was turned down before.”


A baldfaced lie.

But that’s what they do.

The good news is that I’m more aware of it now and can take it into account.

[14] Posted by Sarah on 12-13-2009 at 07:11 PM · [top]

Thanks for the prayers, uppersc613, although I expect that your intentions on my behalf may be greatly challenged in the coming months and years.

[15] Posted by Sarah on 12-13-2009 at 07:14 PM · [top]

What would it take to create 100 sets (3 people each) of “pen”-pals, who don’t use pens and who don’t live on different continents?

[16] Posted by Elder Oyster on 12-13-2009 at 07:29 PM · [top]

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (King James Version)

13For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.

14And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

15Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.
John 8:44
44Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

By their fruit…..

[17] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 12-13-2009 at 08:18 PM · [top]

I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that someone in the current leadership of the Diocese of Dallas is against women’s ordination.  I have been there when Bishop Stanton laid hands on several women and ordained them deacons and priests.  I’ve been there when Canon Michell was there and spoke positively about them.  I’ve heard Canon Michell speak positively about women in the ordination process - both for the Diaconate and for the priesthood.  There may be some individual women that Canon Michell does not support for ordination, but that is more about discerning a call than it is about WO.

I am not surprised to hear of the lies that were told about the orthodox candidates.  It seems that the most important thing to the revisionists is not Truth, but winning.  When winning, and not the Truth or God’s will is the goal, then anything you do in support of that goal is OK.

Phil Snyder

[18] Posted by Philip Snyder on 12-13-2009 at 09:33 PM · [top]

I am not surprised to hear of the lies that were told about the orthodox candidates.  It seems that the most important thing to the revisionists is not Truth, but winning.  When winning, and not the Truth or God’s will is the goal, then anything you do in support of that goal is OK.

Ding!  We have a winner.  If you stop thinking about the revisionists’ long march as a religious exercise and instead as a political project, your understanding will be infinitely enhanced.  And in politics, winning is everything…you cannot pay off supportive constituencies from the minority position.

[19] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-13-2009 at 09:44 PM · [top]

Sarah, echoing #18 above, although it shouldn’t be a surprise that people will lie to get what they want, it still is painful and shocking when one is face to face with it in one’s own backyard. And, the rationale is usually the same—the means are justified by the end.  It’s WHATEVER it takes to get WHATEVER our side wants.  When I experienced it at GC 2003, I was really surprised and undone. There’s a part of me that is so tempted to say, “You want to play dirty pool…two can play that game!”  But then, what’s the cost of that? Our souls? Where is balance between innocent as a dove and smart as a snake in this kind of situation?

[20] Posted by Village vicar on 12-13-2009 at 09:53 PM · [top]

No, VV, the solution isn’t to lie and deceive like the revisionists.  Truth is on our side.  But don’t be above some good hardball politics at the parish and other levels.  Build coalitions, talk to members, work the vestry, nominate people you know are reliable and please, please don’t be afraid to say “no” to priests, deacons and other clergy who hold unaccaptable views because you’re afraid of being called names.

This a huge source of frustration for me in watching the orthodox being crushed before the heretical juggernaut.  These folks know what they are doing and will keep doing it until you all get smart.

[21] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-13-2009 at 10:03 PM · [top]

#20, we shouldn’t resort to dirty pool. But one positive way to respond to someone else’s cheating is to call them on their behaviour each and every time they misbehave. Confront and confront again armed with the facts.

[22] Posted by Matthew A (formerly mousestalker) on 12-13-2009 at 10:40 PM · [top]

RE: “It’s WHATEVER it takes to get WHATEVER our side wants.”

Right—and keep in mind that the lying clergy weren’t actually concerned at all about women’s ordination.  After all—they already knew that both men were fully supportive.

No, they were worried about having people who actually believed the gospel as their bishops.  And that was a terrifying thought and had to be crushed with all the lying they could muster.

[23] Posted by Sarah on 12-14-2009 at 05:49 AM · [top]

Jeffersonian, #21, USC was probably the best organized diocese under a self-described “moderate” bishop, due to the presence of Sarah Hey.  The bishop holds great sway in committee appointments, clergy searches, etc.  The playing field is not level.
There is a spirit of lawlessnes at foot in TEC—misleading resumes and interviews, disregard for scripture and creeds, violations of canon law, etc.  We may well have to watch and wait until this spirit plays itself out.  What that will look like, I’m not sure, but it will be ugly.

[24] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 12-14-2009 at 08:40 AM · [top]

There is a spirit of lawlessnes at foot in TEC—misleading resumes and interviews, disregard for scripture and creeds, violations of canon law, etc.  We may well have to watch and wait until this spirit plays itself out.  What that will look like, I’m not sure, but it will be ugly

One of the primary places a spirit of lawlessness is afoot is within the TE({[c]}) diaconal/presbyteral discernment process.  I’ve heard some pretty sad stories about how unevenly and unfairly some aspirants/postulants/candidates get treated and how others are given a green light from the get-go despite the evident unsoundness in the faith that such ones readily demonstrate.  All this within a so called “orthodox” diocese.  Lawlessness are them; TE({[c]}).

[25] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-14-2009 at 09:05 AM · [top]

“had told the rest of the vestry that Neal Michelle’s wife did not want to be a bishop’s wife,”

This is the 4th time Canon Neal has stood for a Bishop election. It does not take a genius to figure out that if the story were true, he would have, in the interest of preserving his
marriage, declined the honor of being nominated.

[26] Posted by Marie Blocher on 12-14-2009 at 09:24 AM · [top]

I have heard the lie regarding Bishop Stanton. It has popped up repeatedly for many years. It was amazing considering the fact that there are women priests serving in the Diocese of Dallas, Bishop Stanton has ordained women and even had an agreement with the Bishop Iker of Fort Worth that Stanton would accept women from the Diocese of Fort Worth into the ordination process in the Diocese of Dallas and would provide Alternative Pastoral Oversight to any parish in the Diocese of Fort Worth that desired a woman as their rector.

We all know, however, who the Father of Lies is.

TEC is guided by a spirit, but it is not the Holy Spirit.

[27] Posted by Septuagenarian on 12-14-2009 at 09:49 AM · [top]

Lies and situational “ethics” are bad enough, but I believe it utter filth to invoke Canon Michell’s wife, or any clergy spouse for that matter. 

But, unfortunately, in both the revisionist and traditionalists arenas, I’ve met a lot of people who don’t have a very developed view of the 9th Commandment. 

A shame…for some, obviously “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” didn’t stick. 


[28] Posted by Passing By on 12-14-2009 at 10:04 AM · [top]

Well, I think the real key in DUSC is that 80% of the clergy are revisionists.  Just very very hard to go up against this.

The reasons for this are many—not the least of which from the past several years has been the practice of throwing out the CDOs of numerous conservative Episcopal clergy on the front end of a clergy search process by the canons to the ordinary, Mark Clevenger, and then Michael Bullock, refusing to allow parishes to even give phone calls to those clergy who submit their CDOs.

This has gone on for some four years now, in a rather transparent attempt to control and manipulate the search processes of parishes.

So bullying the abuse, that many parishes are in the end forced to accept some random clergyperson that the diocese throws at it.  Some search processes have gone on—for no particular reason other than the control and manipulation of a canon to the ordinary—for three solid years.

Disgraceful behavior.  All of which I assume is approved by our bishop.

Interestingly, all of this started somewhere around 2005/2006 when the diocese tried to pawn off on unsuspecting parishes something euphemistically often described as the “fast track process.”

Parishes would be told that their search could go much faster if they would just surrender to the diocesan house offering them 4-5 solid-gold fantastic clergy for them to choose from.  For that “fast-track” privilege they surrendered all rights to recruit or interview *any* other clergy.  Once trapped in the fast-track process, parishes were refused or bullied into not being allowed to “withdraw” from fast track once they discovered that the candidates the diocese submitted were not “solid gold” at all and once they discovered that it certainly was not remotely a “fast track” as it still took massive quantities of time and that the entire thing was a simple farce.

After parishes figured out this game, they started refusing the “fast-track process”—at which point the diocese decreed that all CDOs had to be first submitted to the diocesan house for review before any phone calls or interviews could be made.  Once the CDOs make their way to the diocesan house, they’re then weeded out for various conservatives and such, and the expurgated slimmer group of CDOs is sent to the parish.

All of this centralization and control, of course, takes a great deal of time.  So often by the time the group of sterilized CDOs arrives to the parish search committee, many of the CDOs are out of date and the clergy are no longer “on the market.”

Just to offer one [of many] examples, one poor parish received a grand total of 33 CDOs . . . of which only 3 - that’s right 3—were available and interested to have a *phone interview,* the first step in the interview process.  And they knew that the 33 had been a larger pile for it had been stripped of *at least* 14 CDOs on the front end, and probably much much more.

Dreadful way to do human resources for any organization.

This sort of thing has gone on around the diocese—my email box and phone have burned up over the past four years with these stories.

[29] Posted by Sarah on 12-14-2009 at 10:07 AM · [top]

Sarah #29,

The manipulation of process and people you have shown here is breathtaking in scope and ruthlessness.  To the very limited extent I can, I share your sorrow.

Your post has so stirred my mind and heart that I’m changing my prayers for TE({[c]}) in the direction of supplication for a deep Holy Spirit-driven breakthrough NOW to occur like a tidal wave sweeping the entire North American TE({[c]}) ghetto.

E’en so, LORD Jesus, quickly come!

[30] Posted by Athanasius Returns on 12-14-2009 at 10:21 AM · [top]

Jeffersonian, #21, USC was probably the best organized diocese under a self-described “moderate” bishop, due to the presence of Sarah Hey.  The bishop holds great sway in committee appointments, clergy searches, etc.  The playing field is not level.

I’m certain that’s the case, but at some point the rubber has to hit the road in terms of membership and leadership.  Not all positions are appointed - this isn’t Rome - it’s the job of the orthodox to identify those positions and get their people elected to them.  From there the rest will come…watch your pennies, and the pounds will take care of themselves.

Of course, it may be entirely too late in TGC now with so many of the orthodox driven from its increasingly heretical and corrupt environs.  But the way I described is your only path, if it indeed exists at all.  It will take some time.  And know the fight will be far harder than it was for the heretics…they know what the essence of the struggle is and they are not bound by morals, scruples or ethics.  Either prepare to bloody your knuckles or prepare to live under their diseased rule.

[31] Posted by Jeffersonian on 12-14-2009 at 10:26 AM · [top]

Anglicanism has always been a very porous brand of Christianity, close to dominent cultures and power centers. I say this as a convinced Anglican. 

Ovr the past few decades the temper and “morality” of politics has deteriorated in this country.  Although this phenomenon invites widespread disgust, the general public is daily entertained by incidents of corruption. 

That the corruptions of secular political life; lies, dirty tricks, character assassination should have invaded the “democratic” process in TEC is to be expected although lamented. The ideal of “election”, in Christian terms a general recognition of God’s call has degenerated into a tussle between factions and the outcome often determined by a simple majority vote rather than biblical consensus. “Discernment” of call or of God’s will is now manipulated by political majoritarian theory and this infects the church from the level of the AGM or vestry meetings, through the election of bishops to General Convention itself.

[32] Posted by wvparson on 12-14-2009 at 10:40 AM · [top]

Sarah #29,

I have heard of similar cases but I don’t have the documentation. Last year I witnessed a tiny church speak out at our convocation meeting over their frustrations with the diocese in securing a priest, they were being forced to submit everything all over again and start from scratch and were quite upset.

[33] Posted by Undergroundpewster on 12-14-2009 at 10:46 AM · [top]

the real key in DUSC is that 80% of the clergy are revisionists

[29] Thank you, Sarah, for your detailed description of how that came about. It provides a chilling snapshot of how a bishop goes about remaking a diocese into his or her own image.

I had thought that it might take a decade or so for your new bishop to remake the diocese into his image, but by your estimate his task is already 80% completed. Add the triennial tide of GenCon, and the process is accelerated.

I give it four years (max) before you can count the number of orthodox rectors in DUSC on the fingers of a single hand.

[34] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 12-14-2009 at 10:53 AM · [top]

Sarah, please accept my sympathy for the disgust you have experienced with the “process” you have just endured.  My prayers are with you, as I respect your faithfulness.  I also am very grateful and respectful for your candor, in posting these specific examples from your recent experience with the endless lying and political scheming and amoral manipulation for absolute control, which has been the continual revisionist obsession for several decades. Watching TEO is like watching a friend from long ago dying slowly of cancer.

[35] Posted by Long Gone Anglo Catholic on 12-14-2009 at 12:10 PM · [top]

Sarah, #29 is chilling insight into Henderson’s, Clevenger’s and Bullock’s “inclusivity.” Br_er rabbit’s prediction (#34) may well be right, but I wonder if we won’t see God’s law of sowing and reaping played out in unexpected ways as well.  The spirit of lawlessness can turn on anyone and take many forms.  Typically, it is the bishop and canon to the ordinary that have to clean up the mess caused by lawlessness.

[36] Posted by Jill Woodliff on 12-14-2009 at 12:22 PM · [top]

Frankly I am disappointed by the results in DUSC, but not surprised by the tactics.  Lies abound and are a way of doing business in TEC, which any more is more about the “business” and less about being a church. 
Not to take attention away from DUSC, but currently under way in SW Florida is an investigation as to who is telling the truth about whether lay persons can in fact designate funds away from the TEC by earmarking them on a special card to be used for a specific missionary project, or not. In the years prior to 2007 that process was begrudgingly allowed by the diocesan convention, with the consent of the bishop, due to up roar by laity not wanting their money to support TEC in any way.  In the last two DC’s however that permission was retracted by the convention. But, it was heard from the office of the bishop that he would permit the practice to continue.  However, upon further review this year when some of we laity who disputed that the diversion was in fact being allowed by the diocese, we learned that it has not occurred in the last two years (2008 and now 2009).  Despite this, some clergy in the diocese insist that the bishop is still providing a “pastoral dispensation” along those lines, and in recent pledge campaigns encouraged increased giving, with the special card being available to those who requested one. 
When asked directly by two lay persons the bishop was quoted to say “As far as I know” the funds are being diverted.  However, the truth is that Council, which involves the bishop and some of these clergy as members, has specifically NOT allowed this diversion as indicated above, and probably will not again in its year end meeting this year.  AHH so many convenient truths….

[37] Posted by aacswfl1 on 12-14-2009 at 12:38 PM · [top]

RE: “Despite this, some clergy in the diocese insist that the bishop is still providing a “pastoral dispensation” along those lines, and in recent pledge campaigns encouraged increased giving, with the special card being available to those who requested one.”

Heh—those are the really big givers with a lot of power, is my bet.  Along with the really really big parishes whose rector has some clout.

Again, once one recognizes that lying is a way of life for large chunks of certain categories of Episcopalians, one then has to take other steps.

For instance, one can’t believe that diversion is actually taking place—they simply can’t be trusted.  Which goes back to my other point on another thread: the best way to force a diocese to reconsider its priorities, is for parishes to have to reconsider its priorities.

[38] Posted by Sarah on 12-14-2009 at 12:44 PM · [top]

“He wants to leave TEC” is one of the things we were repeatedly told about Michell when he was a candidate here in TN. And even after we presented statements written by him that specifically said he was not going to leave TEC, some of the liberal folks in our diocese did not believe him. They believed he secretly wanted to take the diocese out of TEC, no matter what he said. Of course that resulted in our first election becoming a complete stalemate.

[39] Posted by Scott K on 12-14-2009 at 03:40 PM · [top]

I think the real translation of “he wants to leave TEC” is “WE want him him to leave TEC.”

Sarah, I wish I were surprised by your comments, but I’m not even surprised by the lies. And if there’s anyone here who was on the nominating committee for the DioGA, I would love to hear who insisted on putting political questions on the diocesan survey.

[40] Posted by oscewicee on 12-14-2009 at 07:16 PM · [top]

Sarah, you should bump this post when it comes time for nominations in Dallas.

[41] Posted by Don C on 6-6-2013 at 11:43 AM · [top]

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