Sunday, June 10, 2007

Storm Clouds?

Bishop Robertson of the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota says something cryptic and troubling in a statement on his Diocesan Information Exchange: "Diocesan Council will meet on July 6-7 in SF [Sioux Falls] at the Cathedral. Special guests have been invited to be with us and discuss future business of the Diocese."

Could this be about wringing more money out of local churches to support the anti-Gospel bureaucracy of The Episcopal Church (TEC)? TEC's Executive Council is militating for dioceses (who get most of their funds from their local congregations) to give more money to the national church. Steve Waring of The Living Church reports, "Among the steps taken was creation of the task force to 'develop strategies for increasing participation and accountability by dioceses that are not fully meeting their commitment to the budget for The Episcopal Church.'”

And why does the national church need more? There are all kinds of reasons, but one of the most disgusting is the unbiblical practice of suing congregations and individuals who don't agree with TEC's rejection of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Bishop Martyn Minns is one target of such litigation. As reported in this Sunday's St. Petersburg Times, Bishop Minns and other faithful Anglican Christians in the U.S. are "...now facing potentially the largest lawsuit the Episcopal Church has ever initiated against congregations. They are trying to evict us and indeed to take all of our property and all of our resources away from us. ... Our replacement cost is estimated at about $30-million, and we're just one of the churches."

The Diocese of South Dakota is made up of mostly small congregations. They are not affluent and, in the case of the Reservation Chapels, some exist in the poorest counties in the U.S. It would be more than a shame - we would call it a profound evil - to take money from such congregations and give it to clergy, lawyers and church bureaucrats in New York who are suing faithful Christians.

Meanwhile, Katherine Jefferts Schori, TEC's Presiding Bishop, looked at TV interviewer Bill Moyers with a straight face and said, "I think if we're willing to hold our positions a little more lightly. To say, 'Yes, this is where we come to as a conclusion out of faithfulness. We understand you may come to a different conclusion, also out of faithfulness. Perhaps we don't have to decide one way or the other immediately.' If we're willing to live in that place of a little more humility, yes, we can live together."

TEC has slipped from ineffectual, incoherent and inconsequential leadership into complete spiritual and moral pollution. And there are going to be few, if any "safe places" for Anglican Christians within TEC.

2 comments:

Chip Johnson+, cj said...

I don't usually foment rebellion, but Church of God in South Dakota, this is the day.

"TEC has slipped from ineffectual, incoherent and inconsequential leadership into complete spiritual and moral pollution. And there are going to be few, if any "safe places" for Anglican Christians within TEC."

I have yet to encourage any SD Episcopalians to 'jump ship', but I do so now. The Executive Council of TEC has decreed that each and every diocese MUST increase their 'asking' to the General Church. What does that do to your budget? Where does that support your mission?

I agree with NPA, there is only so much blood in the turnip, and it has all been drained, especially in South Dakota. If there is not an Anglican presence in your community, start one! Start with a regularly meeting prayer group for Morning Prayer, then contact a faithful priest for the Sacrament, perhaps on a monthly basis...face it, that's all (or more than) the reservation congregations have. Raise up and seek training for a local minister, it can be, and has been done, you will NOT be the first!

Contact another Anglican authority, many of these are listed on 'shelterinthestorm.org', or contact the NPA or myself, for help in your quest.

The lifeboats have been lowered and are ready to take you aboard. Godspeed!

Chip Johnson+, cj said...

I forgot to tag 'myself':

sdanglican@gwtc.net or sdanglican.blogspot.com

Mea maxima culpa.
Kyrie eleison.