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Bishop William Persell of the Diocese of Chicago responds to the Communique

Thursday, February 22, 2007 • 9:15 pm


Our faithfulness to the Gospel mandate:
A response to the Primates communiqué

At the conclusion of their recent meeting in Tanzania, the Primates of the Anglican Communion proposed a series of steps toward reconciling Anglican churches alienated over issues of human sexuality, interpretation of Scripture, and Anglican theology and governance. Though some of the Primates’ conclusions respect the integrity and autonomy of the Episcopal Church, other aspects of their proposal run counter to our Church’s way of life and its interpretation of the Gospel.

The Primates’ Communiqué outlines a process for a “pastoral scheme” aimed at reconciling the Episcopal Church with other Anglican churches that are opposed to the Episcopal Church’s actions in the election of the Bishop of New Hampshire and its response to the Windsor Report; and at repairing the rift between Episcopal bishops and dioceses supporting the Windsor proposals and the Episcopal Church’s leaders and majority of dioceses and bishops that support the actions of the 2003 and 2006 General Conventions.

While several encouraging actions were taken by the Primates—not the least being the election of our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, to the five-member Standing Committee of the Primates —the Primates’ understanding of Episcopal Church polity and their recommendations for reconciling the current tensions are worrisome. Unlike several other Provinces of the Communion—particularly those in the Global South network—the Episcopal Church governs its life through a dispersed authority involving not only its bishops, but other clergy and lay representatives to its councils and General Convention. Asking the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “make an unequivocal common consent” to not proceed with authorizing rites of blessing for same-gender unions, and not consent to the election and consecration of a candidate for bishop who is living in a same-gender union ignores our constitutional processes that require the participation of the full
Church (through Diocesan Conventions, Provincial Synods and General Convention) in decisions ordering the life, work and worship of the Church. The House of Bishops may issue recommendations and teachings, but it is the responsibility of the Church as a whole, meeting in General Convention, to decide how to order its life.

Similarly, to constitute a nominating committee for an Episcopal primatial vicar composed exclusively of bishops (and only those sympathetic to the Windsor Report recommendations) as the Primates propose also violates our polity of shared authority. The bishops may produce a response to the Primates’ request by September 30, 2007, but a definitive answer on the Church’s stance on same-gender unions and the acceptance of gay and lesbian candidates for episcopal ministry will have to await the next regular General Convention in 2009, or a Special Convention. Or perhaps later.

The journey towards the admission of women to the priesthood in the Anglican Communion has taken over a century and is still unfinished (12 provinces still don’t ordain women priests, and only three have women bishops). Full acceptance of gay and lesbian members in all ministry of the Church may take much longer. Why is there such urgent need for an unequivocal resolution on sexual orientation issues, while accommodating ambiguity (for thirty years now) in the acceptance of women priests and bishops? The Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral—considered to be the most succinct statement of four foundational Anglican principles and adopted as such by the 1888 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops—recognizes the importance of the episcopate, “locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into unity of his Church.” The action of the 2003 General Convention regarding Bishop Gene Robinson, as well for that matter as the 1989 election and consecration of Bishop Barbara Harris as suffragan bishop of Massachusetts (first woman to be ordained bishop in the Anglican Communion), are examples of how the Episcopal Church has embraced and lived out this precept.

To attempt the application of extra-provincial structures and processes to the Episcopal Church’s constitutional and communal framework contradicts the Anglican principle of “autonomy in communion”
embodied in the Quadrilateral. It also runs counter to our culture as an American Church, one in which the principles of freedom, democracy, conscience, compassion and equality of condition and opportunity are held to be sacrosanct and intrinsic to our identity.

Additionally, the Primates give scant attention in their recommendations to other key provisions of the Windsor Report and the Lambeth Resolution I.10, namely to listen to the experience of gay and lesbian persons, and assure them of the church’s pastoral care for them. No allowance is given in the “pastoral scheme” proposed by the Primates for the voices of Episcopal gay and lesbian members to be heard; yet, the Primates provide ample opportunity for participation in the scheme by congregations, clergy and lay people alienated from the Episcopal Church. This is as if South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission barred black South Africans from testimony, while freely admitting white Afrikaners. Healing and reconciliation is needed not only between the Episcopal Church and those opposed to the General Convention actions; but also between the Church (including its disaffected members) and its gay and lesbian members who have been denied the full sacraments of the Church.

While recognizing that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori “was duly elected” according to our constitution and canons, and respecting the “proper constitutional autonomy” of all Communion churches, the Primates offer no clear-cut directive to primates and bishops to abstain from interventions in other dioceses and provinces. Only when the proposed pastoral scheme is approved and operating are renegade primates constrained from intervening in another province. Furthermore, the Primates leave ambiguous the fate of unauthorized jurisdictions such as the Anglican Mission in America and CANA (Convocation of Anglicans in North America), ventures respectively of the Anglican Church of Rwanda and the Anglican Church of Nigeria, stating that the proposed pastoral council should negotiate with the two primates to “to find a place for them within these provisions.”

By narrowing their focus to the Episcopal Church the Primates make it seem as if the Episcopal Church alone is struggling with the implications of a fully inclusive church; ignoring the efforts of the Anglican Church of Canada and even the Church of England in reaching out to their gay and lesbian members. This approach paints a false picture of the Primates united in disapprobation of our Church when in fact the Primates of Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa are sympathetic with our position. In issuing what is essentially an ultimatum, the Primates are assuming more authority than is accorded them in our Communion’s current structure and polity. The Communion has four entities where its faith and order are decided—in addition to the Primates: the Anglican Consultative Council (over 100 clergy and lay representatives from the 38 provinces), the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops (the oldest deliberative body of what the Primates term the “Four Instruments of Unity”), and the Archbishop of Canterbury—and of the four the Primates are the newest and most exclusive (understanding the Archbishop of Canterbury’s unique role as primus inter pares and convener). Before the Windsor Report recommendations can be understood to be “the most clear and comprehensive principles” for governing the Communion’s life, our Church must engage this debate in its member provinces’ synods and assemblies, and then at the Lambeth Conference and in the Anglican Consultative Council which follows it. In fact, the Primates at their 2005 meeting in Dromatine, Northern Ireland charged the ACC with responsibility for initiating a listening process on the issues surrounding the role of gay and lesbians in the church and reporting its work to the Lambeth Conference of 2008. The present course outlined in the Communiqué effectively annuls this charge, and divests the other governing entities of responsibility for determining the parameters for Communion membership.

Our Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, in her reflection on the Primates Meeting, asks that both sides of this dispute consider a season of fasting, refraining from authorizing rites of blessing for samegender unions, and from crossing diocesan boundaries to carry out unauthorized ministries. Those who seek full inclusion of gay and lesbian members in the Episcopal Church, “do so out of an undeniable passion for justice, others seek a fidelity to the tradition that cannot understand or countenance the violation of what the tradition says about sexual ethics. Each is being asked to forbear for a season.”

Patience is appropriate on matters affecting the fundamental nature of a faith community’s identity, but we should not allow such concern to unduly compromise our efforts to carry out the Gospel mandate of restoring all people to the unity of God in Christ. I would argue that our Church has prayerfully discerned its understanding of human sexuality in God’s kingdom, and exercised considerable forbearance in living out this understanding since at least the 1998 Lambeth Conference. Though the tensions had been building since the mid-1970s, the 1998 conference precipitated the current conflict with the bishops’ adoption of Resolution I.10. This resolution (a significant diversion in tone and intent from the report of the Lambeth section charged with addressing human relations and social justice), reaffirms the traditional understanding of marriage, and advises against same-gender blessings, but also commits the Communion’s bishops to listen “to the experience of homosexual persons” and assure them “that they are loved by God and that all baptised, believing and faithful persons, regardless of sexual orientation, are full members of the Body of Christ.” In the years since Lambeth,
the effort expended by the Communion’s bishops to this listening process has fallen woefully short of the expectation in I.10. If we are to enter a fast let it be one in which we truly hear the voices of those who have personally suffered the consequences of this forbearance: our gay and lesbian members.

As bishop of Chicago I will not sacrifice the gifts we enjoy as an inclusive church so that we might conform to a doctrinal uniformity that is antithetical to our historic identity and experience. I will continue to invite gay and lesbian Christians into the full life and ministry of our diocesan community, and celebrate their gifts of ministry and covenanted relationships. Admittedly, there are those within our Church, both in our diocese and the larger Communion, who prefer we suspend our efforts at full inclusion for the sake of a seat in the Communion’s councils. That approach, which we engaged in 2005 by our voluntary withdrawal from the Anglican Consultative Council, and institution of a moratorium on episcopal consents, has done little to increase sympathy and understanding of our church culture and experience among our critics. To continue in this fashion would undermine our integrity as a Spirit-led community, and constitute a moral injustice for our gay and lesbian members. I, for one, am not prepared to make that sacrifice. I continue to be profoundly grateful for the contributions of our gay and lesbian members, lay and ordained, in our diocesan life.

My hope and prayer for our church is that we continue our witness for inclusion, and not allow our efforts to bring the Good News to those in need, here in our local communities, or in the wider world, to be distracted or hindered by this present dispute. The world is hurting and we must respond. On Sunday, February 25 I will be traveling to New Orleans to join other members of the board of Episcopal Relief and Development to see firsthand how our Church is helping in the Katrina recovery effort. A number of our congregations have formed long-term covenants with their counterparts in Louisiana and Mississippi, expanding the vision of our strategic plan which calls on congregations to share resources and talents with each other “so that each congregation is in partnership with at least one other in substantive areas of ministry.”

Shortly after my return I will be heading to South Africa to attend the “Towards Effective Anglican Mission” conference in Boxburg, South Africa. Convened by South Africa’s Archbishop Njongonkulu
Ndungane, the conference will focus on how Anglicans can effect change on poverty, international debt, AIDS/HIV through advocacy and the Millennium Development Goals. The situation we face is dire, as presented by Archbishop Ndungane: “”In our world there is global apartheid where the rich are getting ‘stinkingly’ rich and the poor are getting desperately poor. We know that there are more than 800 million people living in poverty in the world ... this is not only immoral, it is a sin, it is evil.”

Building on the generosity of our Convention Eucharist offering and the many tangible efforts in mutual ministry with our companion dioceses and the people of the Gulf Coast, I am confident we will do all we can to redress the immorality that supersedes our present polity dispute: Our failure to love our neighbor as ourselves. Through our continued faithfulness to being a Church of compassion, shared authority, mutual ministry, justice and respect for the dignity of every human being, we will be a witness to the world of an Episcopal Church committed to incarnating Christ’s new commandment.

May this Lent be an opportunity for all of us to discern more deeply God’s Word and call to service in this broken world.

Yours in Christ,
William D. Persell
Bishop of Chicago


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Comments:

Mr. Persell was influential in my joining the Diocese of Bolivia in the Chicago area.

[1] Posted by R. Scott Purdy on 02-22-2007 at 09:43 PM • top

StandFirm bosses:  Any chance that you could set up a chart on TEC bishops’ responses to the Tanzania Communique?  Perhaps, there could be 3 categories: 1) Those bishops who value the Anglican Communion over the homosexual agenda; 2) Those bishops who have written articles but don’t tip their hats; 3) Those bishops who indicate that they value the homosexual agenda over the Anglican Communion.

Under #1, we’d have the Network and Camp Allen bishops (inc. Wolf of RI), and apparently Smith (Missouri), Smith (Arizona), KJS.  I don’t recall any others who have made clear their intentions.
Under #2, we’d have Beisner and Benfield.
Under #3, we’d have Jellinek, Smith (CT), Chane, Persell, Andrus, Marshall

You could then link whatever evidence for the bishop’s point of view to their name.

Just a thought.

[2] Posted by jamesw on 02-22-2007 at 09:48 PM • top

As a parish rector in Los Angeles decades ago, Bp. Persell helped me find my way out of nominalism and into Christian faith.
Now, we are way, way apart as to what that faith entails.  The divisions in the church are personal and painful.

[3] Posted by Timothy Fountain on 02-22-2007 at 09:57 PM • top

I’m not sure Smith should be in #1.  He’s made statements to that effect in the past(pretty much all of them have) but now that the rubber has met the road, I think he’ll throw in with #3 or face an internal rebellion.  Missouri has at least five Oasis congregations and the hard left basically controls this Diocese.

[4] Posted by Christopher Johnson on 02-22-2007 at 09:58 PM • top

How bout a fourth category for those bishpos that talk a lot but say nothing; those who we have NO CLUE what they are saying.  DEA+

[5] Posted by recusant on 02-22-2007 at 09:59 PM • top

Further to jamesw’s request, a permanent link to the DES communique would be helpful.  I suspect people will be referring to it often in the weeks to come.

[6] Posted by wildfire on 02-22-2007 at 10:03 PM • top

Mr. Purdy,

+Persell was also one of the reasons we left TEC 2.5 years ago, also.  +Mathes of San Diego served under +Persell here in Chicago.  Currently one parish has asked for release the Diocese of Chicago and that parish is waiting on the decision of the Standing Committee. 

Chicago is definately not an Orthodox-friendly place to be in TEC.

Susan

[7] Posted by Summersnow on 02-22-2007 at 10:05 PM • top

Christopher J.: You might be right.  I was going off of a statement I read from him given to the Diocesan Convention a month or so ago where he vowed that he would do what needed to be done to stay in the Anglican Communion.

BTW, my diocese (Northern California) has a particularly nasty extremist priest at one of its largest (but declining) parishes, and several less well-known extremist clergy.  But our new (and infamous) Bishop Beisner seems to be pushing this diocese meekly and cautiously towards the Anglican way. 

The question is how will these bishops react to the revisionist bullies when they are at risk of loosing the Anglican status?  Is Smith prepared to give up his Anglican status to please the radical left?  Or will the prospect of that loss give him the resolve to stand up to them?

[8] Posted by jamesw on 02-22-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

Boy oh boy, the Bp. of Chicago doesn’t like the communique one bit.  He’s not a happy camper at all.  Why those terrible primates have violated our sense of shared authority.  Who do those guys think they are anyway?  They have offended the dignity of the bishop’s robes (a little Andy Griffith phraseology).  And why are they picking on ecusa when other provinces feel the same way?  Does the bish need to be made aware of the small fact that other provinces have not yet consecrated their very own actively homosexual bishop?


Why, I get the distinct idea that this bishop would rather walk apart from the catholic and apostolic faith (while wearing the full Catholic vestments, to be sure) than to submit to the tyranny of the primates.  And isn’t it absolutely charming that he chooses to mention the four instruments of unity, the same ones that he and GenCon03 chose to ignore.

[9] Posted by TonyinCNY on 02-22-2007 at 10:20 PM • top

Susan- As a curious ex Chicagoan, can you tell us which parish that is?

[10] Posted by tjmcmahon on 02-22-2007 at 10:21 PM • top

Hmmm… All this leaves me something to think about. I wonder if the bishops will accommodate the Communion, but only until they call a General Convention where I am sure the issue will be given some,...uh…,great deal of thought (which means another 3 years).
In regards to Bishop Percell: I attended the Cathedral of St.James in Chicago for Christmas Eucharist and he told the congregation present that Christians were not to evangelize Jews, apart from some other tricky theological statements. Hmmmm,...I am still trying to figure what to think about that

[11] Posted by Cedric on 02-22-2007 at 10:26 PM • top

As the Coasters said in Charlie Brown, “Why’s everybody always pickin’ on me?”

the NOW BANNED BY JAKE snarkster

[12] Posted by the snarkster on 02-22-2007 at 10:35 PM • top

+Pursell summary:

“I ain’t!”

[13] Posted by Br_er Rabbit on 02-22-2007 at 10:53 PM • top

Don’t need another general convention, Cedric, the questions asked of TEC are still the same as would be the answer. 

“the primates’ understanding of Episcopal Church polity…”
“and of the four the primates are the newest and most exclusive”
Pretty arrogant statements.

“the primates are assuming more authority than is accorded them in our Communion’s current structure and polity. The Communion has four entities where its faith and order are decided”

Haven’t all four instruments spoken against TEC action?

Mark one more bishop for schism.

[14] Posted by BillK on 02-22-2007 at 11:02 PM • top

Just in case you were unaware, the Presiding Bishop is Katharine Jefferts Schori. +Persell apparently wants to make sure we know that, as evidenced by his use of her full title and name three times.

[15] Posted by Connie Sandlin on 02-22-2007 at 11:16 PM • top

I look forward to reading similarly succinct and literate messages from our bishops who stand on the side of the Gospel

[16] Posted by Texican on 02-22-2007 at 11:42 PM • top

wow…much to think about here…

Asking the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “make an unequivocal common consent” to not proceed with authorizing rites of blessing for same-gender unions, and not consent to the election and consecration of a candidate for bishop who is living in a same-gender union ignores our constitutional processes

He seems unaware that the processes already approved by TEC and confirmed in her canons clearly state that a bishop-elect must have two separate consents from bishops and standing committees.  Ergo if the bishops agree to withhold their consent…presto chango…no new bishop.

The Chicago Lambeth Quadrilateral—considered to be the most succinct statement of four foundational Anglican principles and adopted as such by the 1888 Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops—recognizes the importance of the episcopate, “locally adapted in the methods of its administration to the varying needs of the nations and peoples called of God into unity of his Church.”

It also says: 3. That in things of human ordering or human choice, relating to modes of worship and discipline, or to traditional customs, this Church is ready in the spirit of love and humility to forego all preferences of her own.

Just a thought that we might want to not put up any more barriers to Christian unity than we already have erected, eh?

This is as if South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission barred black South Africans from testimony, while freely admitting white Afrikaners.

Boy, I bet the African primates just loved reading that little line.  Then again…maybe not.

This approach paints a false picture of the primates united in disapprobation of our Church when in fact the primates of Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Japan, New Zealand, and South Africa are sympathetic with our position.

Then why did they and +KJS sign the thing?  Were they coerced or extorted in some way?  If so, why haven’t we heard about it?  The PB would not have kept quiet about that, nor do I think Rowan Williams would have allowed it.

It sounds as if +Persell is miffed that someone is calling TEC to come back to the Communion and enjoy the fellowship of the broader, worldwide church.

[17] Posted by Rom 1:16 on 02-23-2007 at 12:09 AM • top

No surprise here.  As Louie Crew joked, “In the diocese of Chicago how many straight priests does it take to change a lightbulb?  Both of them.”

[18] Posted by Nyssa on 02-23-2007 at 12:30 AM • top

Another hydrophobic revisionist bishop.  He talks about a “fully inclusive” church, apparently not realizing that “fully inclusive” is “completely meaningless”, for when every behavior is worthy of every office in the church, and deserving of the church’s blessing, nothing can be wrong. 

The bishop does not really believe that, however.  Do you think he would ordain a priest who admitted to having a concealed carry permit in a jurisdiction that allows it?  I think inclusiveness would stop at many behaviors not forbidden by Scripture, nor contrary to law, but frowned on by the political left.

[19] Posted by Cousin Vinnie on 02-23-2007 at 12:53 AM • top

How about a catagory for those bishops that don’t want to be leaders, but say they can’t possibly make a decision without the hiding behind the House of Deputies and Bonnie Anderson, Susan Russell and Crew.

Those guys aren’t showing any leadership much less spiritual leadership.

[20] Posted by jane4re on 02-23-2007 at 12:56 AM • top

It’s simple.
Here’s the heart of his response to the Tanzania Communique:

“I would argue that our Church has prayerfully discerned its understanding of human sexuality in God’s kingdom, and exercised considerable forbearance in living out this understanding since at least the 1998 Lambeth Conference.”

And there are a number of problems with and in this sentence alone.
Not the least of which is no argument.

[21] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 02-23-2007 at 03:31 AM • top

What is so difficult to understand.  The Primates have asked the TEC HoB to lead, to be leaders and make a decision.  Seems to me that GC only matters when some Bishops don’t want to accept the idea that they could be wrong and yet when it is something that suits ‘them’ they can and do act as they feel fit.  Each Bishop has only to tell his dio that these act must stop and now.  As a member of a Congregation that has broken with TEC, our Bishop found it easy to tell us to go and leave behind every last duster!!!

[22] Posted by justme on 02-23-2007 at 07:01 AM • top

Let’s all be clear.  The argument by +Persell and others who cite the Gospel of Polity (subset of the Most Holy Gospel of Canons and Constitution) is all about kicking the can down the road—to Lambeth, to the next GC, to .  .  .  .  Truth is that bishops all by their weak little selves can refuse to consent to the election and consecration of anyone elected to be a bishop and can flat out stop same sex blessings.  Any of you know a revisionist bishop afraid to lay the law down (and inhibit orthodox priests) when they want to?  They are now in a box and simply don’t want to be held accountable.

[23] Posted by hanks on 02-23-2007 at 07:38 AM • top

Any of you know a revisionist bishop afraid to lay the law down (and inhibit orthodox priests) when they want to?

I can tell you that the Bishop of Atlanta has pretty much stamped out the uses of the 1928 BCP - even though its use is optional.  Seems he shouldn’t have that much of a problem ending acts or processes that have been verboden.

[24] Posted by R S Bunker on 02-23-2007 at 08:13 AM • top

tjmcmahon,

The church is Resurrection in West Chicago.  One irony there is that this is a parish that split before—with the former rector and many of the parish forming the Church of the Resurrection/AMIA, Wheaton, IL.

I understand from their website ( link )that the church has received a letter from the standing committee of the Diocese of Chicago.  They will have more information on the website after this weekend.


Pray for the people of Resurrection and for +Persell.

Susan

[25] Posted by Summersnow on 02-23-2007 at 08:17 AM • top

+Persell may be feeling a little more bold because he is retiring this fall, “On March 27, 2006 Bishop William Persell announced he would be resigning his office as Bishop of Chicago in the fall of 2007 on the consecration of the 12th bishop of Chicago, and retiring shortly thereafter.” (From the Dio. Website)

It should be noted, however that he was never one to back down from full inclusion on all levels (unless you held orthodox views).  The orthodox rector of our former parish left for San Joaquin due in part to the lack of support from downtown, and when he left it was made abundantly clear to the parish that we were to be brought back to the “center of Episcopal worship and faith.”  Because of our small size and funds we needed to limit our choices to thoses candidates the Diocese sent to us for consideration.  Not one candidate held orthodox views.  We tried to stay, but needed to leave after 3 years.  The most difficult thing is that we still care so much.  But there is just no option to go back.

Susan

[26] Posted by Summersnow on 02-23-2007 at 08:39 AM • top

There is something that has been bothering me for quite some time. The difference between “leadership” and “law”. The Bishops may not be able to force the requirements of the WR, but they can at least show leadership in supporting it.  For example the bishop says “Asking the Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops to “make an unequivocal common consent” to not proceed with authorizing rites of blessing for same-gender unions, and not consent to the election and consecration of a candidate for bishop who is living in a same-gender union ignores our constitutional processes” is just an excuse. Its just a way of blaming the process for the issues within the Church. The bishops may not be able to “legally” require this, but they can admonish people that they SHOULDN’T behave this way. They can also bring pressure to bear on any individual not acting in accord in other subtle ways.
Why does this discussion always degenerate in to some extreme? Its not enough to understand that the issue is about homosexuality is not the model of the Church and limits those who live this life style from roles in the clergy. They turn it into some extreme form of homophobia where they act as though the main thinking is that gays should be “banned” from the Church? I am always shocked and saddened when I read intellegent people like this speak so foolishly.
:(

[27] Posted by Conoscenzo on 02-23-2007 at 08:50 AM • top

Pray for the people of Resurrection and for +Persell.

Susan

I was truely humbled when I reag George Kock’s letter to the Bishop and Standing Committe after theor evening of pray.  Permit me to quote:

We asked for an accommodation, knowing that your answer can range from “take your property and go with our blessing” to “you may keep nothing at all and you must leave.” We will take what you offer, and simply ask for mercy in your decision-making.

How trusting in God and in His mercy. 


RSB

[28] Posted by R S Bunker on 02-23-2007 at 08:55 AM • top

Yet another target rich article.  This statement - while not the Bishop of Chicago’s gem - certainly ought to be dissected

In our world there is global apartheid where the rich are getting ‘stinkingly’ rich and the poor are getting desperately poor. We know that there are more than 800 million people living in poverty in the world ... this is not only immoral, it is a sin, it is evil.”

Yes, I definitely think all the Bishops as well as all the leaders of the LGBT movement need to provide the various houses of polity of ECUSA with financial statements.  Just monetary you understand as they have already protrayed themselves as spiritually bankrupt.

As to the chart - I’ve already got one in the works.

[29] Posted by JackieB on 02-23-2007 at 10:13 AM • top

I am aware (from a family member) of at least one parish in Chicago that is becoming impoverished because orthodox are leaving. Their priest is openly engaging in several searches to hopefully find employment before the doors close. It is very sad, and the Bishop appears to be clueless. I met him at the funeral of the wife of a retired priest who had been our Rector when we lived in Chicago. Our former Rector said +P had been very pastoral, but that his faith was “well off the left side of the chart. Only nominally Chistian.”. Hmmn.

[30] Posted by Gulfstream on 02-23-2007 at 11:07 PM • top

Gulfstream,
I am truly sorry to hear about the Chicago parish whose orthodox are leaving.  It is a hard decision.  Our orthodox Rector leaving made our choice easier.  Unfortunately, we have little choice here as the climate is not hospitable to Biblical teaching.  We currently attend Willow Creek as there are no orthodox choices less than 45-60 minutes from home (on a good day).

When we left, my husband and I thought it was for the sake of our children.  How surprised were we when we discovered how spiritually dry we had become—so dry that even simple “seeker” sermons were water for our thirsty souls.  We now know that we needed to leave for our sakes as well—but the Lord used our concern for our children as the vehicle to bring us out.

[31] Posted by Summersnow on 02-23-2007 at 11:43 PM • top

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