We recently came across a letter from the 1990 Vestry of Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls, in response to Diocesan and Episcopal News Service "dialogue" about the church's teaching and practice.
So sad that they (and many other Episcopalians) were ignored. And how funny that the Diocese of South Dakota keeps holding "Sharing our Story" workshops at Convention every year, when the Episcopal Organization has destroyed our ability to give any kind of coherent Christian testimony.
Anyway, here's the letter from early '90:
TO THE EDITOR [of Episcopal News Service]:
We’re a group beginning to prepare ourselves for the Decade of Evangelism (L.I.F.E.), but we’re feeling somewhat defensive as we set out to tell our story. We accept that our authority is based on Scripture, Sacraments, Credal Statements and the Episcopacy, and is brought to us through the Book of Common Prayer. We look to the Episcopacy to “carry on the apostolic work of leading, supervising and uniting the Church’’
Our concern is that it appears that we have one bishop speaking out and in a way that neither represents Scripture nor the majority conclusion of our General Convention. We were outraged at the appearance of the practicing homosexual priest and his “partner” on a recent talk show — this priest having been ordained by Bishop Spong, who seems to he the self—appointed spokesman for the Episcopal Church.
In the 1979 Actions of the General Convention; “Sexuality of Ordinands” (A—53s): .. .we believe it is not appropriate for this Church to ordain a practicing homosexual, or any person who is engaged in heterosexual relations outside of marriage.”
Reference on the show was also made to Bishop Spong’s desire to “rewrite the Ten Commandments for the modern day” — the priest stating that there is “no adultery — only infidelity”; as well as a very flippant treatment of Scripture (1 Corinthians 6:9, I Timothy 1:8—11).
While we realize that reacting to such performances only prolongs a bad incident, nevertheless, we believe it would help our evangelism efforts if our bishop and the Presiding Bishop would affirm and proclaim at every opportunity our Church’s stand (based on Scripture, Tradition and Reason) on today’s social issues — the ones that plague the laity as we try to tell our story to the unchurched and the lapsed. We need the authority of the bishop’s words (and actions) to help us counteract the often—heard statement, “no one knows what we stand for”.
Joni Miller, Shirley Clark, Irma Johnson, Jini Haggardt, Polly Gregg, Margaret Wright, Lloyd Olson, Inez Olson, Bev Berry.
Most of these folks have gone on to be with the Lord, but a few are still here. I give thanks for their witness.