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Welcome to Stand Firm!

A Report from the Diocese of Montana

Tuesday, October 9, 2007 • 12:17 pm


Via email, from a reader who, for obvious reasons, wishes to remain anonymous:

I was present at the Montana Diocesan Convention. Bishop Brookhart has not provided a written statement on the HoB meeting. He spoke informally, without notes, for about an hour at the Convention, after business had been completed and folks had eaten their evening meal.

For me it was a depressing evening. No conservatives chose to ask any questions. The meeting had an unpleasant, sneering tone - both from Bishop Brookhart and the clergy and laity who did choose to ask him questions. Among the points worth relating:

1. Bishop Brookhart said that a retired TEC Bishop (Bob Jones of Wyoming) had sworn at Archbishop Mouneer Anis after he spoke, saying, ‘That’s bullshit’.

2. He called four Bishops ‘the usual suspects’ and predicted that their dioceses would be declared vacant and they would be put on trial.

3. He said the alternative oversight proposal was simply a ‘gesture’ and would never be used.

4. He said that ‘public’ (in reference to same-sex blessings) was a ‘code word’.

5. He compared African bishops to ‘mafiosi’.

6. He told folks that the Africans were against the Episcopal Church just because they were Americans and could not distinguish between the actions of President Bush and those of the Episcopal Church.

7. He said the Archbishop of Wales had been asked to speak to the HOB and told them that if TEC was guilty then the Church in Wales was guilty of doing exactly the same.

8. He said several members of the JSC advised them on what ‘words’ they needed to use – which he said was ‘very helpful’.


55 Comments • Print-friendlyPrint-friendly w/commentsShare on Facebook
Comments:

Is there any way this can be corroborated? If so, then it’s very inappropriate for ANY bishop in ANY Christian church to behave in such a manner. If this is indeed all true, then it says a lot to me about who’s church TEC is, and it’s NOT Jesus. It’s the antichrist!!!!

If anyone else was present at the meeting above mentioned, please speak up. We need to verify this. Do not fear! Jesus is your protector and Savior! Let us speak the truth of His word!

Your sister in Christ
Mugsie

[1] Posted by mugsie on 10-09-2007 at 12:33 PM • top

7. He said the Archbishop of Wales had been asked to speak to the HOB and told them that if TEC was guilty then the Church in Wales was guilty of doing exactly the same.

I agree with this statement (surprised thought I am).

[2] Posted by Antique on 10-09-2007 at 12:39 PM • top

Uh.

Wow.

That’s all I know to say.

[3] Posted by Sarah on 10-09-2007 at 12:41 PM • top

The idea that a Bishop related this information in a public setting is just mind boggling. What possible benefit, other that degrading your “enemies”, is there for a Bishop to do this? He should give up being a Bishop and go into blogging or become a gossip columnist.

[4] Posted by Rocks on 10-09-2007 at 12:45 PM • top

If this is true - can anyone confirm? - then what shepherds our Episcopal flock has. It’s no wonder we are off course.

[5] Posted by oscewicee on 10-09-2007 at 12:49 PM • top

Why is anything here surprising to anyone? The only surprise is that the mask has slipped. Now that continuing membership in the AC seems assured, and that the complete recognition of SSB and same sex matrimony will occur in GC 09, there is no longer any need to hide the agenda or pretend that it is something different.

Welcome to TEC. It is a secular, left wing, political organization, with a veneer of religion to add a gloss of respectability to the political agenda. TEC is no longer about the divinity of Christ, and helping us find and follow Christ in our lives. It is all secular, temporal politics all the time.

[6] Posted by BillS on 10-09-2007 at 12:52 PM • top

C L A R I T Y - we asked for it, we continue to get it…

[7] Posted by midwestnorwegian on 10-09-2007 at 12:57 PM • top

The idea that a Bishop related this information in a public setting is just mind boggling. What possible benefit, other that degrading your “enemies”, is there for a Bishop to do this? He should give up being a Bishop and go into blogging or become a gossip columnist.

Rocks,
Nah, good bloggers leave space for people to criticise them.  They also don’t get to wear purple shirts that match their eyes. wink

Cheers,

Phil Hobbs

[8] Posted by gone on 10-09-2007 at 12:58 PM • top

In a way I am amazed.  If true, saying this in a public setting was not just unwise but downright stupid.  It shows a person that is not very wise.  Also, if true, this shows the true ilk of the “leadership” of TEC and frightens me greatly.

To Mr. Brookhart, I say resign if such is the case.  Under these circumstances you are not the material to be a Bishop in the Church.

[9] Posted by BillB on 10-09-2007 at 01:00 PM • top

This is disturbing! I mean we have seen, heard and witnessed disturbing before, but his is outrageously disturbing indeed. Yes….comfirmation needs to be done and then a call for this bishop to be brought forward to answer for his unchristian and uncharitiable behavior needs to be addressed.

[10] Posted by TLDillon on 10-09-2007 at 01:01 PM • top

Well I don’t see why this shouldn’t be forwarded to the Good Bishop for his comment. I’m sure he would appreciate the opportunity to clarify this.

[11] Posted by Rocks on 10-09-2007 at 01:07 PM • top

With co-authors ABC and JSC, ECUSA doesn’t worry about being civil, or careful or least of all—truthful. When ECUSA bishops, retired or no, swear at others for their Faith and views you have to know they are where they need to be—on the trash heap. I won’t be in communion with Jones or his ilke (and at NO, ABC and JSC were indeed his ilke and I hope they are proud of their buds). Let’s have more HOB and Lambeth meetings so that ECUSA and ABC can repeat their lies and insults.
But you are exactly right, BillS, why is anybody surprised.

[12] Posted by stevenanderson on 10-09-2007 at 01:11 PM • top

From Brookhart’s report on GC 2006:

The General Convention enacted a number of resolutions in response. The debate surrounding these motions was serious, civil, and of a high quality, at least in the House in which I sit. In these resolutions the Episcopal Church expressed regret for actions that caused such furor around the Communion, stated its intention and deep desire to remain a part of the Anglican Communion and in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury, pledged not to authorize rites for the blessings of same sex unions (please note that this and the previous General Conventions refused to move toward developing such services), to refrain from consenting to the consecration as bishop anyone living in a same sex relationship, pledged to be a part of the development of a covenant to bind together more closely the Communion, expressed profound sorrow for any pain caused gay and lesbian people by the Church, and called upon other parts of the Communion to be involved in a listening process regarding the lives and experiences of gay and lesbian Christians (we were told that the Archbishop of Canterbury has recently appointed a person to initiate and coordinate the listening process).

I believe that these are reasonable, good faith, and acceptable responses to the Windsor Report, and, in fact, we had indications from the Archbishop of York and the president of the Anglican Consultative Council, both of whom were present, that our actions were in the ball park. At this point let me warn you about reports that you may read about these actions. The secular press often slants stories so as to highlight conflict, and, indeed, the story I read this morning in the paper (I write this while on vacation in West Virginia) was not accurate at several important points. Also, certain groups in the church will put full throttle spin on what happens, so as to promote their own cause (be cautious about the reports from Anglican Communion Network, American Anglican Council, David Virtue, Kendall Harmon, Integrity, and the Witness). Reports from Episcopal News Service, Anglican News Service, or conversations with our deputies and me are likely to be more accurate.

Yeah, I’m beginning to believe Broohart said what was reported here.

I wonder why Stand Firm didn’t make his enemies list. I think it may now. wink

[13] Posted by Rocks on 10-09-2007 at 01:17 PM • top

What a good christian witness is +Brookhart.  Are we not glad that so many of TEC’s bishops are such elevated men and women.

RSB

[14] Posted by R S Bunker on 10-09-2007 at 01:18 PM • top

I believe that Bishop Brookhart and Bishop Robinson, in their public statements, have told us all we need to know about the value of the HOB Statement and the JSC findings:  not worth a plug nickle !!!

[15] Posted by Anglican Observer on 10-09-2007 at 01:28 PM • top

Greg,
I think you should note this man is an Episcopal Visitor.
All is Well! ™

[16] Posted by Rocks on 10-09-2007 at 01:34 PM • top

“1. Bishop Brookhart said that a retired TEC Bishop (Bob Jones of Wyoming) had sworn at Archbishop Mouneer Anis after he spoke, saying, ‘That’s bullshit’.”

If this was said, and other Bishops heard it, why is there no demand that Bishop Jones at least be contradicted. Don’t any of these Bishops wish to apologize and disassociate themselves from the unholy, crass words that no one who claims to be Christian should use against another Christian. If retired Bishop Jones really said this, and he is not contradicted, are we to assume that he represents the House of Bishops?
Maybe our Bishops are as Archbishop Mouneer Anis says of a “different religion”.

[17] Posted by Betty See on 10-09-2007 at 01:56 PM • top

If the above incident with +Jones occurred, it’s time to quit maintaining an outward facade of “collegiality” and start calling thing by their right names.

Do they truly have no shame?

[18] Posted by bigjimintx on 10-09-2007 at 02:06 PM • top

Re:  Bishop Brookhart

Well, guys, this is why I was so completely indignant when he was chosen as a DEPO bishop and was called a ‘bridge builder’.  This is what the Anglicans in Montana have had to deal with for four years now.

You could say to us that ‘we chose him’ - but I was at his interviews for bishop - the man he presented there and the man he presents now were two different people.  What he said he would do and what he has DONE are entirely different things.

Having to deal with this man several times, do I believe he said these things?  Yes, I do… and his true feelings are much more severe than this. 

However, I look at him much like Custer - making poor choices and defending his little hilltop trying to vilify the Sioux and N. Cheyenne he was trying to crush to the first place.  He will eventually loose his cause and history will relate honestly who was to blame for the downfall of the TEC churches in his diocese.

In such cases as these, we need to do nothing but pray for a change of heart for him and those who follow him.

Thanks be to God both history and truth are on our side. 

PS Rocks

The only reason he didn’t list StandFirm is that he was unaware of its existence - but I can guarantee after he first published that little missive that he became aware of it.

[19] Posted by Eclipse on 10-09-2007 at 02:09 PM • top

I wonder what people in TEC who don’t accept that SSBs etc. are reconcilable with Scripture will do when acceptance of SSBs is a condition of ordination.

I further wonder on what grounds people who reject the prediction of para. (1) do so, given what so many bishops say.

[20] Posted by Ed the Roman on 10-09-2007 at 02:20 PM • top

I believe that reports of this nature should be spread as far and as wide as possible but basically it simply serves to corroborate what we already know…...and it incenses us all over again.  Until the average Episcopal pew sitter who “might” still care can be reached nothing is going to happen within their church.  That “might” is a huge word in that I am beginning to wonder if this disease has so infected the members that they can neither see nor hear.

I truly do not mean to be critical of the rightfully discouraged gentleman who wrote the email above, but were there not any others who could stand with him and demand certain explanations from +Brookhart?......or was he the only orthodox present?  I am assuming since it was a convention there were lay delegates present who would not be in fear of losing their jobs as a priest probably would if he spoke up.  (I note upon second reading that he said there were other conservatives there who chose not to speak up.)

What else might one do but take a stand and fight for what is right in the name of our Lord or just pack up and leave a denomination that has become so rifled with inappropriate language, lies and outright heresy from very men who are supposed to be leading in the name of Christ?

[21] Posted by Petra on 10-09-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

<a >Rocks</a>,
If Brookhart actually wrote what you cite (and I have no doubt he did), then he’s even more clueless than he seems—he’s apparently confused the Archbishop of York (++Sentamu) with Barry Morgan of Wales!  (I thought ++Sentamu was off mending fences in Africa or some such and couldn’t attend.)

[22] Posted by Craig Goodrich on 10-09-2007 at 02:55 PM • top

Could anyone enlighten us on the organization and membership of the House of Bishops? I didn’t realize that retired Bishops were members of the House of Bishops. Are all Bishops members of the House of Bishops or are they appointed and by who?
If it is true that this offence was committed by “retired” Bishop Jones it seems to suggest that retired Bishops are part of the House of Bishops. Is John Shelby Spong a member of the House of Bishops?

[23] Posted by Betty See on 10-09-2007 at 03:29 PM • top

Craig,
  No, what I cited was Brookhart’s report for General Convention 2006, not NOLA. But considering how snippy and smarmy he is an official written communication I can just imagine what he must be like commenting off the cuff.

[24] Posted by Rocks on 10-09-2007 at 04:10 PM • top

Dr. Seitz, I would hope you add this to the list of responses from TEC bishops you were looking for…  it’s far better than any “official” response put on paper.  It was a Candid Camera look inside the mind of the HOB.  I’m sure your friends in the rest of the Anglican Communion would like to know the dreadfully un-Christian and racist views that inform TEC.

[25] Posted by Nevin on 10-09-2007 at 04:32 PM • top

Petra :

Let’s just say things happen to orthodox believers who question B. Brookhart in anyway, shape , or form.  They have become rather few and far between in the diocese these past four years…

So, whoever they are they need to keep under the radar if they are going to survive long in that Diocese.

[26] Posted by Eclipse on 10-09-2007 at 04:52 PM • top

To borrow a Montanism, this man insults the intelligence of geese.

[27] Posted by J Eppinga on 10-09-2007 at 04:58 PM • top

I think I am just going to repeat Sarah:

Uh.

Wow.

[28] Posted by robroy on 10-09-2007 at 05:10 PM • top

I know Montana has a sparse population, and probably not many Episcopalians, but ISTM that someone needs to send some missionaries into that darkened state.  Lord Have Mercy

[29] Posted by PROPHET MICAIAH on 10-09-2007 at 05:32 PM • top

Ecplise:
It just makes you feel as though you would like to gather a band of brothers and sisters and go up there to take a stand.  Assuming the conservative folks were lay people if they can not speak in this country anywhere because of fear, and this situatiion is rampart within the denomination as a whole, then there is really no hope left for the Episcopal Church. (Not that I think there is, anyway) Under this sort of duress the clergy is subjected to a very different set of serious problems so if they were all clergy I could well understand their reluctance to confront the bishop.

[30] Posted by Petra on 10-09-2007 at 05:35 PM • top

Petra :

Well, it’s really hard to explain, actually, what happened there was that most of the orthodox clergy left for one reason or another after 2003.  So, there were only a couple left by 2005 and, frankly, I know of none in the state at present (at least willing to stand up against the Diocese in any public way)<i>. 

This put the orthodox laity at a real disadvantage.  This is the reason my church, for example, could not ‘hold its stone bridge’.  We had no clerical support for a long time and it was the laypeople who had to stand up to the Diocese <i>(who treated us with contempt) and had to eventually lead our church out of TEC

When I was part of TEC I did stand up to B. Brookhart - on several occasions.  However, his response was not any attempt to listen or engage us - he’d already decided we were all just homophobes and fundies before ever walking into the room.  How do you deal with someone with that kind of bias?  I don’t know. 

So, this was the situation when we left in 2006 - and Rocks gave you the heads up on what the bishop was doing even at that time.  How it is now, well, this narrative gives you a good account, I’d imagine is even more difficult. 

So, whoever he or she is, they show courage even to give this account.  Know, whoever you are, that you have all our prayers and support.  God called some of us out of TEC, God called some of us to stay there.  I’m glad to know that there are some in the Diocese of Montana who still know that Jesus is the Christ and the Bible is the Word of God.

Thanks be to God - what encouragement is that!

[31] Posted by Eclipse on 10-09-2007 at 06:13 PM • top

Rocks had noted above that Brookhart is one of the Episcopal Visitors of ++KJS. Here is the link.

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/79901_90174_ENG_HTM.htm

He was also on the panel of the TEC’s news conference at the close of the HOB meeting in NOLA.

http://www.anglicanjournal.com/nc/100/article/us-bishops-echo-general-convention-in-message-to-anglican-communion/

Haven’t times changed. Here is his story in 2004, when he was troubled by +Robinson’s pending ordination:

http://www.helenair.com/articles/2004/01/29/helena_top/a01012904_03.txt

If you read his earlier writings, the above comments are not inconsistent with the tone of discussion. Orthodox Anglicans are just flies on the liberal pot luck.

[32] Posted by Dr. N. on 10-09-2007 at 06:18 PM • top

Eclipse, et al,
I think you might be interested in the old Time Magazine 1968 article just posted to the Surrounded weblog dealing with another Bp of Montana.

[33] Posted by Rob Eaton+ on 10-09-2007 at 06:29 PM • top

Thank you Eclipse, for your responses. It all makes you sick enough to lose it. You realize how the need for continued power over principle gets to these people when you read your account of the +Brookhart you interviewed vs. the person he has become…...at the gut level we now know what empty suits these guys are.  I have a friend in Colorado who is laboring under a similar situation to what you experienced and, God only knows, those fighting for the orthodox position are suffering all over this country.
Meanwhile, I have just returned from my home church group bible study.  My church has historically had a good foundation of these groups but we now realize how very important they are in case we lose our church and grounds…..for which Tec is suing us to the ends of the earth.  (If TEC loses at the state level they will keep at it on the constitutional level)  Our home groups will form the basis of a continuing church experience until other arrangements can be made.
Wherever you are, Eclispe, I pray things are good for you now.

[34] Posted by Petra on 10-09-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

Well, I am deeply saddened and feel betrayed. Like Eclipse, I came from the Diocese of Montana.  My husband and I stayed long enough to see him installed.  In fact, that was our last service as official members of the Episcopal Church.  I, too, was wooed by his soothing words of affirmation of persons, his commitment to amenable discourse, and his penchant for deliberative prayer. 

That article from the Helena Independent that was referrenced above, regardless of some disturbing elements in it, had a suggestion of hope that we could still sit down and discuss the matter as people who revere the same God and the same Bible and love each other.  That’s the Frank Brookhart I remember!  I met him when he came to Missoula.  He seemed kind, thoughtful, and more interested in reconciliation and healing (MT had just endured and abusive episcopate tenure) than he was in crusading this or that agenda even this one so dear to his heart.  Now, I am very disturbed to read Eclipse saying that

“Let’s just say things happen to orthodox believers who question B. Brookhart in anyway, shape , or form.” 

Would you share with me what those things might be.  My only source for information in MT since I left the state is a godly woman who happens to be on the other side of the fence, so I would never hear about this. 

I’ve already asked Jefferts Schori to explain her hermeneutic to me (which she was gracious enough to provide); perhaps I need to take my former bishop to task as well.  I’m probably a lot less threatening being so far away that someone within his own jurisdictional borders.  I hope he would respond and respond as graciously as the PB did.  Not only are these our spiritual leaders, they are also responsible to us as our elected officials.  That is the danger of modelling your canon after the U.S. constitution:  leaders must be accountable to those they lead.  grin

In the meantime, I will pray specificially that God would soften Frank Brookhart’s heart and for the believers still there enduring the scorn (I’ve witnessed it) of those who disagree with them.  Thank you for sharing Eclipse.

[35] Posted by Modest Mystic on 10-09-2007 at 11:17 PM • top

Modest Mystic :

Hmm, let me ponder what I can say as opposed to what I cannot say.

One barebones fact I can give you is this - when B. Brookhart came to MT, we had 3-4 orthodox parishes and several orthodox priests.  Now we have none of whom I know.

Two of those parishes were forced out the door - one in Billings - one in Butte - the others lost orthodox leadership. 

That should give you an indication of the ‘bridges’ that have been built here.

[36] Posted by Eclipse on 10-10-2007 at 07:47 AM • top

I was so discouraged by what I read above that I began to think, “What would I do if I found myself in Montana? Where would I go to church?”  Well, the situation is not as hopeless as I thought.  I looked at the listings at http://www.shelterinthestorm.org/ and found FOUR churches. Two are Anglican, affiliated with Uganda, in Butte and Billings. Another is an ACA/TAC parish in Hamilton, and the fourth is in Miles City.

If you haven’t discovered this marvelous website, take a look at it now.  You may need it on your next business trip or vacation.

[37] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-10-2007 at 08:27 AM • top

Thank you Eclipse.  I know that somethings must be delicately put.  I’m probably fortunate that I was not in MT when the previous bishop was still in force.  I imagine that those who were under his rule and are now enduring this “bridge building” are pretty weary at this point.  I’m sorry to hear that. 

Sue, when I left TEC in 2003, all I knew of any orthodox Episcopal churches was the badmouthing I heard about Butte (didn’t even know about the ACN) and the Anglican one in Hamilton.  The one in Hamilton was way down the Catholic end of the spectrum, so we opted not to go there.  (But, yes, shelter in the storm is how we found our current orthodox Episcopal church in Portland.) 

At that time, as we looked around for anyone who would embrace us, we only saw evangelical churches.  So, I did not send in my discernment papers to Brookhart and began going to an independent church.  It was there that my heart was restored and I went off to seminary.  It is a sad state of affairs when MT (being so sparse as to need new leadership) ends up chasing off the few aspirants and some of its much needed existing leaders.  Brookhart has some serious house cleaning to do for sure. 

Something I didn’t mention before… my contact in Hamilton said that when he came to her church’s vestry, he seemed worn down.  And, that was only a couple of years ago.  Even as betrayed as I feel, perhaps he needs our prayers more than our scorn.

[38] Posted by Modest Mystic on 10-10-2007 at 12:44 PM • top

Sue Martinez :

Well, unfortunately, that list is now down to three.  The Miles City church no longer has its orthodox priest.  We have brothers and sisters in Hamilton - but they separated a long time ago from the diocese - and that predates Brookhart’s time in the Diocese.  Their priest was recently ordained last year - which is awesome for them.

Re:  Orthodox experiences with B. Brookhart

I think the best way to deal with this is just on a personal level because I cannot speak for others in this matter.  I can tell you a great deal but what can be told that is beneficial is an entirely different matter. 

Like I said, I spoke to this man several times and tried to articulate where we were coming from - I tried to be both forthright and respectful.  He was never rude - but you got the feeling that his ideas of us were already set - just a group of homophobic fundies that he had to patronize and re-educate.  Of course, we lacked a priest to speak for us - which didn’t help matters much - but it made real communication a challenge at best.

I will tell you one of the many odd things that happened before my church left TEC.  We had been told by our former priest that B. Brookhart had OK’d our joining the ACN.  The priest said several times that the bishop had given us a ‘cautious green light’ to proceed.  So, our Vestry voted to join the ACN.  Two weeks later, we find on the website of the Diocese this note:  link .  This letter was not given to our Senior Warden and we had no knowledge of it until someone stumbled across this on the net.  Needless to say, we were very upset - as our church (the Butte church) was the only church in the diocese at that point which was a member of the ACN.  These are the kind of things that would happen to us in our old diocese. 

Re:  Where we are now

1.  As I look at the role B. Brookhart has played in our parish I would just say what was meant for evil God has used for good.  Many curious things happened that last couple of years - heartwrenching and mind blowing things - things that made one very angry at the time.  However, God has made them a ‘severe mercy’ for us.  If the bishop had played a different role, been more of a true bridge builder, I seriously doubt we’d gone under Uganda.  I really think - actually I know - we’d still be struggling in TEC.

And sincerely, if we are going to do what we need to do for Christ - preach His Word and reach others - we can’t be wasting all of our time fighting apostacy in our own denomination.  So, B Brookhart’s actions allowed us to leave TEC for a place that DOES want to accomplish the goal of drawing people into relationship for Christ.  For this, I cannot but be thankful.  That’s what we’re supposed to be about.  Now we can focus on that.

2.  I really think you hit the nail on the head when you state that instead of indulging in anger - we should love and pray for this bishop as well as all the others.  Really, when you look at it honestly, they are all on a slowly sinking ship - they have no future and are just trying to hold on to what they have.  They lash out in anger and say demeaning things because they know they are really in the wrong and are backed into a very sad corner.  So, if we are truly in the right, we should not be angry - but should pity them and love them as Christ does.  That is what is right - though I will admit that it is not easy to act upon.

3.  So, actually, all things considered, we are doing well - a little battered and travel-worn (makes me think of a new essay on montanaanglican) but probably more where God wants us to be than 4 years ago.  I cannot complain - if I am wise - I am grateful and thankful God loves me enough to continue to lead me down paths I do not want to travel.  So, thank you but God has been and continues to be good to all of us in MT.

[39] Posted by Eclipse on 10-10-2007 at 06:19 PM • top

Eclipse, you have said some very profound things. Thank you for your testimony.  I think that I’ve seen the bishop’s letter about “Choose This Day” elsewhere—or perhaps the bishops had some sort of a form letter they passed around.

My parish has been a member of the AAC and the ACN since their beginnings. They have been working for years to reform TEC from within.  There was no intention of taking the orthodox parishes out of the denomination, but as each HOB and CG has shown, TEC has proved intransigent to the pleas from within and from without, and sadly, the AAC and the ACN are concluding that they will not change. The video does not encourage people or parishes to leave, but instead, asks you to choose whom you will obey—Scripture, Christ, or the current, politically correct ethos. Since TEC is picking only the parts of the Bible it likes and is defying two millenium’s worth of Christian moral teachings, as well as (probably) 99% of world-wide Christians, to stay with this denomination is to sell your soul. I thank God every day that my parish left three years ago and that we have Uganda bishops and ++Orombi as our archbishop.  I have heard him on three occasions, and a more wise, Godly person does not exist.  He has sent us a wonderful African bishop, and now, Bishop Guernsey, whose opening question to our parish was, “How can I help you?” I also pray daily for our former bishop, who is not serving Christ, but other powers. Sometimes, though, I’m not as forgiving as you are about Bishop Brookhart.  Your link to the letter was wonderful because of all of the responses right below it.  I can see that the orthodox of Montana are very brave.  God bless you all!

[40] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-10-2007 at 08:47 PM • top

Thanks Sue - glad to know you and I share the same diocese!  Thanks be to God.  Glad you all have been able to escape intact as well.

Wish I could always live up to what I know to be right - but I stumble more than reach the summit.  It’s taken awhile to see God’s hand in everything that has happened.

I have yet to hear either of my bishops in person… but I hope too in some near future!  Sure appreciate them, though - they rescued us and kept us safe.

[41] Posted by Eclipse on 10-10-2007 at 10:31 PM • top

Eclipse, I sent you a private email that I hope will be of some encouragement to you.  Hope you got it because I wouldn’t be able to recreate it.  Besides Bp. Guernsey, who is your other Ugandan bishop?

[42] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-11-2007 at 02:26 AM • top

Sue:

I didn’t get it!  Is there a copy in the sent folder? 

Oh, I was thinking of AB Orombi.  I just so appreciate them both - just so nice to have Godly leaders who actually say what they mean and believe in Christ.

[43] Posted by Eclipse on 10-11-2007 at 07:34 AM • top

Eclipse, I think we need some help from the SF hosts with this.  The way I understand that emails work here is that you go to “Your Account” at the top of this screen and look up the subscriber’s account name from there.  There is an “Email” button next to it.  (This guards your email and real name.)  Up pops a window with this message at the bottom.

By sending this message, your email address will be revealed to the recipient.
Note: Email messages are logged and viewable by site administrators

When you are finished, you click on “Submit” and off it goes—only this time it didn’t.  It’s worked before, so I don’t know what went wrong.


Maybe there’s hope that it can be retrieved. At one point, I copied it into a Word document and kept it, but I did some major changes.  I also asked that a copy be sent to my email, and it did not come.

I’ll email our hosts and see if it can be retrieved and sent on its way.  Maybe they have to read it first and manually send it. It’s early in the morning yet. In the meantime, I’ll try to recreate it from my draft. Do you have “Accept emails from other members” checked on your account settings?

[44] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-11-2007 at 08:36 AM • top

After reading Sue talking about the original intent of the AAC and the ACN above, I recall that Luther never wanted to break from the Catholic Church, only to reform it.  It was the Catholic Church which tossed him out.  He had to flee for his very life.  Our present situation bears much resemblance to Luther’s.  I do not seek to dissociate from TEC, but to call them to repentance.  It is only when we must flee for our immortal lives that we will separate.  For some of us, it appears, the time to flee has already come.  For others, we’ve found a safe harbor for the moment.  I wonder if Luther had this feeling of standing on a precepice looking into an abyss of uncertainty.  But, we need not fear because God lives in our uncertainty.

[45] Posted by Modest Mystic on 10-11-2007 at 02:56 PM • top

“Luther never wanted to break from the Catholic Church . . .”
The same with the Wesleyans.  John and Charles Wesley, of course, never did break with the Church of England although they endured a great deal of abuse from their fellow churchmen.  The church was in a terrible condition then: even ordinary textbooks on the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries tell how bad that institution was.  At last, it was not possible for the dynamic Wesleyan movement to coexist with it.  The present situation reminds me somewhat of that time. 

Allow me to quote (of all people, you may say) ++Rowan Williams about John Wesley:
“arguably, the greatest saint, the greatest witness to Jesus Christ, produced by the eighteenth-century Church of England—the last place you’d expect to find fools for Christ’s sake. . . .  He has rightly been compared to the great monastic reformers, Bernard, Francis, Ignatius . . . . Thank God for a saint who had to live his life so embarrassingly beyond the conventions that had marked our sanctity in Christendom!  Thank God even for the eighteenth-century Church of England, so clueless about how to handle a man irresponsibly devoted to God that it forced him into . . . unshakable witness to free and full grace.”

++Williams was well able to understand the greatness of some of our present orthodox leaders, and it was a sad day when he decided not to recognize the “missionary” Bishops despite encouragement from the previous Archbishop.  We should hope it was not a permanent decision.

[46] Posted by Paula on 10-11-2007 at 03:12 PM • top

I guess my last note was a little off-topic, but I feel it is relevant to our general circumstances.  Of course, it is a shame when the unfaithful leaders are the ones who are rewarded while the most faithful are being marginalized, forced to convert elsewhere, and shut out.

[47] Posted by Paula on 10-11-2007 at 03:24 PM • top

I see that +Brookhart is commending news from the “Episcopal News Service, Anglican News Service.”  I would like to point out something about the JSC statement on the website of the Anglican Communion News Service.  Although we were told that the “minority report” of ++Mouneer Anis would be included as an addendum, it is NOT attached to this document.  The same is true on the website of the Episcopal News Service.  (Of course, the Global South website has a complete record of this JSC business, and ++Anis’ statement is attached in full.  But apparently not thanks to the official channels!)

[48] Posted by Paula on 10-11-2007 at 04:15 PM • top

Maybe we need to write to ANS and ENS and ask them what happened to the miniority report?

[49] Posted by oscewicee on 10-11-2007 at 04:19 PM • top

Well, Eclipse, nobody at Stand Firm seems to be reading their emails, or maybe the email feature isn’t working.  If you don’t mind my having your real email, please send me one and I’ll reply off-blog.  Mine is susanmartinez at roadrunner dot com I have recreated the long email from last night and will send it to you. (Anybody else probably wouldn’t be interested in what two Ugandan escapees from bad bishops have to say to each other.) If you want to keep your identity hidden entirely, I’ll understand, but I did have some encouraging things to say to you.

[50] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-11-2007 at 04:39 PM • top

Sue:

Let me see if I can e-mail you through the post first.  I actually just have a couple of moments - so I’ll do it quickly.  I have an appointment tonight and just got home about half-hour ago.

Blessings - Eclipse

PS Priests should remember that pizza parlors are great places for children to interact and grow - it’s good advice.

[51] Posted by Eclipse on 10-11-2007 at 06:29 PM • top

Sue,
The video “Choose This Day” was first offered, I believe, at the “Hope and a Future” conference a couple of years ago in Pittsburgh where Bishop Duncan was the host.  I picked up several copies to pass around in that I felt it made a very straightforword and honest statement that was passionate but not strident.  It can still be purchased over the internet but may still be up on some sites…..an effective tool to use.

[52] Posted by Petra on 10-12-2007 at 08:55 AM • top

Petra, I agree that it is straightforward.  I saw it at “A Hope and a Future,” but I didn’t buy any copies then and trusted my parish to order them. It does grab your attention right from the beginning as a Bible is having pages torn out of it. You don’t even have to buy it because it’s been made downloadable. Here is the link.
http://anglicandecision.org/

So many “pewsitters” in TEC have no idea how TEC has changed its theology. The thread about N. Michigan is just the latest example, How many ordinary people will recognize the heresy? I’ll bet that the average Episcopalian has no idea how deep TEC is into it. This video shines the light of day on it, and the leadership is reacting in anger. There are excerpts from Kendall Harmon+, +Bill Murdoch, +Duncan, and others.  I can see how bishops might not like statements like these (said by laypeople), “The church has been hijacked.” and “The leadership has embraced a pagan religion, and nobody has told the people in the pew.”

I would suggest that if you don’t have a copy of this, GET ONE and lend it to your friends who still think everything is just fine. If you haven’t seen it, go to the link above and WATCH it!

[53] Posted by Sue Martinez on 10-12-2007 at 11:50 AM • top

*Update - confirmation from a priest in Montana - courtesy of Titus One:Nine -

  link

The comments are the most illuminating, I think… especially the ones talking about the cowardice of the original report. 

What is more a show of cowardice I wonder? 

Giving a report or just not giving any information at ALL which is the MO of the Diocese of Montana?? 

According to them, there WAS no convention…  Amazing… did you know there was no meeting New Orleans either? 

As a matter fact NOTHING is going on… this whole site is just a figment of your imagination..

[54] Posted by Eclipse on 10-13-2007 at 10:10 PM • top

Wait… the screen is fading in and out…. reality is fiction…. fiction is reality… 

Ah. Everything is better now. All is well.

from the Briar Patch,

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

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