Friday, July 3, 2009

UPDATES: Continuing to mishandle conflict, sectarian Episcopalians seek to boot other denominations out of historic Women's prayer order. PLEASE PRAY

2 UPDATES at end of post...

I am seeing Facebook posts indicating that some non-Episcopalians are being refused seats at the triennial meeting of The Daughters of the King (DOK).

If true, this is really sad news. DOK has been one of the few groups to keep folks together in prayer during church upheavals over various "issues."

This is due to DOK's stated identity, which prioritizes Christian spirituality over denominational religion:

The Order of the Daughters of the King (DOK) is a spiritual sisterhood of women dedicated to a life of Prayer, Service and Evangelism. We have made a commitment to Jesus as our Savior, and we follow Him as Lord of our lives. We are an Order for women who are communicants of the Episcopal Church, churches in communion with it, or churches in the Historic Episcopate. Today our membership includes women in the Anglican, Episcopal, Lutheran (ELCA) and Roman Catholic churches.

I caught the following comment on Facebook less than an hour ago:

Word just came in to me via e-mail that the Anglican delegates have been denied their seat this first day. Pray for God's mercy for what the Episcopal DOK's have done this day.

What seems to be happening is that a faction which formed in 2006 under the name "The Episcopal Community" has been working to get the Anglicans out of the Order. In May, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church and a member of her former diocese (Nevada) held a public exchange of letters suggesting that the DOK needed to be reigned in and that the PB should exert some kind of executive authority over it. Some proposed bylaw changes before the triennial appear to support this effort, and probably explain the action to unseat delegates who might be oppossed.

Please pray for the order. The sectarian isolation setting into The Episcopal Church is truly disturbing. At about the same time that the Diocese of South Dakota was founded, Episcopalian leaders had a much nobler vision:

We, Bishops of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, in Council assembled as Bishops in the Church of God, do hereby solemnly declare to all whom it may concern, and especially to our fellow-Christians of the different Communions in this land, who, in their several spheres, have contended for the religion of Christ:
1. Our earnest desire that the Savior's prayer, "That we all may be one," may, in its deepest and truest sense, be speedily fulfilled;

2. That we believe that all who have been duly baptized with water, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, are members of the Holy Catholic Church.
3. That in all 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;
4. That this Church does not seek to absorb other Communions, but rather, co-operating with them on the basis of a common Faith and Order, to discountenance schism, to heal the wounds of the Body of Christ, and to promote the charity which is the chief of Christian graces and the visibile manifestation of Christ to the world.

Please ask God to save this spiritual sisterhood from fragmentation.

UPDATE 1: Well, prayers seem to be helping. Caught this post on Facebook: "DOK just voted to reseat the Anglicans. However, this is a bittersweet victory because there are so many hurt feelings on both sides." Please keep praying.

UPDATE 2: DOK Episcopalian delegates defeated bylaw changes that would have excluded their non-Episcopalian sisters from the Order. The current, more inlcusive bylaws will stand for the next three years. Thank you for praying today and please pray for God's blessing and guidance of DOK going forward.

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