Friday, October 10, 2008

EPISCOPAL NEWS SERVICE: Bp. of South Dakota now refusing certified letters from Pine Ridge church members

Yes, this coverage is from Episcopal News Service (ENS), the official news outlet of The Episcopal Church. This is not from some "right wing blog" or any of the other excuses used by lying, gossip-mongering excuses for clergy here in South Dakota.

Go to the link and read the whole thing. Here are some lowlights:

The strongest public challenge to the closings to date has come from members of Christ Church, Red Shirt Table, who sent a six-page letter to Robertson dated September 10. Copies were also sent to members of South Dakota's Standing Committee, as well as national church officials. The letter was also circulated to local media.

In the letter, members of Christ Church said they were given a copy of Robertson's August 6 letter on September 5 and raised several "questions and concerns." Among them are:

A claim that Robertson "has not once crossed the threshold of Christ Episcopal Church, Red Shirt" for a visitation since he became bishop;

A question regarding the closing of "these particular churches when it is a reality that financial hardship and low attendance are real and the same for all the churches on all the reservations;"

A question as to whether other churches on other reservations will be closed;

A question as to "timing," wondering why the action is being taken just as a search is beginning for a new bishop; and

A suggestion that criterion used to judge church attendance across the Episcopal Church may not be "an accurate measure of success in Indian ministry."

"Indian ministry in the Episcopal Church is a uniquely rich and challenging arena understood by a very few in the Episcopal Church, clergy and laity combined," stated the members of Christ Church. "Abandoning the challenge at this point would only result in deepened pain and suffering. It will be experienced by our people as yet another act of racism and sin."

The letter also notes that Robertson is "our first Native American diocesan bishop" and solicits his thoughts on "why our people are not coming to church on a regular basis."

Christ Church leaders also said that "the expectation that members can or will drive 50 miles roundtrip for communion is ludicrous and is a poorly thought plan given the high cost of gas.

"Today we stand with our other Lakota Episcopal brothers and sisters and say enough is enough. Something has to be done and we all need to be in conversation about it."

The letter also includes a detailed history of Christ Church, Red Shirt Table, suggesting it is still a viable center of a living faith community.

"With all due respect to your office, you would know all of this past and current history if you had found the time to be with us. We would meet and converse while breaking bread together. Sadly and inexplicably, this has not yet occurred."

When asked to comment on the letter, South Dakota Diocesan Administrator Randy Barnhardt said the bishop's office had not received a copy.

Lorri Ann Two Bulls, a member of Christ Church, reported that the certified letter sent to Robertson "was returned and had been refused by the bishop's office."

Barnhardt subsequently confirmed that the diocese had refused to receive the letter.


Anonymous said...

What absolute disgrace this man brings to the office of Bishop. This is a man whose leadership in this diocese should have been over years ago! To not even have visited ANY church in his diocese during his entire tenure is appalling. My question is: There are many churches he has not visited for quite a while--why has no one stepped out and called him to the carpet on it? They have obviously seen what he did (and still does) to former priests within the diocese that were not bending over for him.

The proud Lakota people have repeatedly asked for "conversation" with the Bishop about the closings of their beloved churches. Good luck! We are left with a man who is just counting the days before he retires, ready to leave all this at the feet of the person to take his place.

""Lorri Ann Two Bulls, a member of Christ Church, reported that the certified letter sent to Robertson "was returned and had been refused by the bishop's office.""

Where is the respect you should have shown your own people? Does it only apply to the Presiding Bishop and not to the Lakota people who have trusted you and supported you during your entire time as lawyer, priest then Bishop!

Shame on you Bishop Creighton, shame on you!

The Oblate

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Robertson is one of those bishop impersonators that Christopher Johnson mentioned at Midwest Conservative Journal a while back.

Hope and pray South Dakota will wake up and get a REAL bishop who loves Jesus Christ more than the prestige and earthly power (which isn't much, since kings and rulers are only temporary and mortal)and who has the mind of Christ and whose skull won't end up paving the floor of hell. (St. John Chryostosom)

Jesus is Lord! He builds up and tears down. He brings forth and removes. He opens doors no man can shut and shuts doors no man can open. May His will be done, His Kingdom come in South Dakota.

Dear Holy Father,
Bring to this region (within or outside TEC) a man who shines with the light and character of The Good Shepherd, to care for your priests and people.
In Jesus' Holy Name, Amen

Anonymous said...


Thanks for calling attention to this scandalous affair. I posted my comment about it on Stand Firm before I saw your approach to it here. And I too was immediately struck by the odd fact that this dirty laundry was being aired by a most unlikely news source, TEC's own inhouse news service, ENS. You have to wonder why.

I suspect that the officials in New York have concluded that +Robertson's sins are so blatant and indefensible that he can now, like +Bennison of Philadelphia, be thrown under the bus.

But I'm wondering about something that some of you could probably clear up. Normally when a bishop screws up so badly and anger builds to this level, +Clay Matthews is called in from the national headquarters to investigate matters and mediate the dispute between the embattled bishop and the angry diocesan leaders. Can anyone there in SD verify if +Matthews was ever called in to help? If not, you have to wonder why.

Anonymous said...

Lord, I ask your prayers for the people shut out by the hardened heart of the bishop of South Dakota.

May you grant courage to them in their quest for justice.

May you also give courage to others to make public their stories of the obvious mismanagement of the resources of what WAS the lively spiritual heritage - of The Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota.

Thank you Lord. With your help, justice will prevail.

Anonymous said...

Dear Father God, I pray for this man who has taken the office of bishop, that you will confront and convict him, make the light of Your countenance (from which nothing can hide) to shine upon him, pierce his heart with your holy sword, and bring him to godly sorrow unto repentance.
Let your eyes expose all lies, secrets, injustice, idolatry, occult, power-mongering and other evils throughout the House of Bishops of the Episcopal church and the UMC, ELCA, PCUSA, UCC and others that mis-use the name and the resources and the flock of Jesus Christ.
Let judgment begin in the household of faith.
Bring down the imposters and install true shepherds and priests...those with servants hearts.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Anonymous said...

What a contrast between the same 15 year tenure and character of Bishop Robinson and Bishop Hare, a much earlier Bishop of South Dakota, who was described this way:
"...during these fifteen years we have had a leader who is fearless and prudent in conducting our Christian warfare; an overseer of the vineyard who is himself a diligent laborer; a preacher of the gospel who, rightly dividing the word of truth, boldly declares the whole counsel of God; a father, who, by precept and example, promotes peace and good works among the members of the household. It means, also, that we duly honor the diligence and fidelity, and thoughtfulness and perseverance with which the weighty duties of your solemn office have been performed, and appreciate the loving kindness and sympathy that have gone out from the heart of our Chief Pastor to the people of his flock."
(from Northern Plains Anglican, August 4, 2008)

Also see the Niobrara Cross Bishop Hare designed for the Native American Christians.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say, 'what a contrast of character and action within the same 15 year length of tenure in the same office.'

May Creighton Robinson be granted godly sorrow unto repentance and live the rest of His life in love for Jesus Christ as a true bearer of the Cross, Blood and Resurrection.

Anonymous said...

my nae is Juliana Renee Robertson and i am creighton robertson's daughter....i do not agree with how he is handling his tenure as bishop, and my own disgust has caused me to leave the church ( for more, family related reasons)

i would think that as a native Dad would have a more sympathetic and realistic eye for what should be done...i cannot understand why he closed these the city there are 5-6 episcopal churches, which people can get to easily with local is a reality though that on the rez this is not as easy for the faithful!

i would be open to receiving any correspindence

Anonymous said...

To: Juliana Robertson...I'm speechless. You mean to tell me that you're actually the daughter of Hitler Robertson? I'm a Lakota and my church is one of the churches being closed on Pine Ridge. Robertson has never visited our church. He threw us away. I hope he sleeps good at night.

Anonymous said...

to anonymous: yes i am Creighton's daughter...yet, i am disappointed with how he is handling things, calling him HITLER ROBERTSON, to me, is a bit over the edge. he is a human being and this cannot be easy for him, and we must all try to walk in his shoes...i doubt he sleeps well at night, he does care genuinely about people, he is not a BAD man, he has just lost sight of certain things....he is my father and i love him...i understand your venomous lash at him is out of frusteration, but if you are a true christian, rethink the way that frusteration is revealed..... thanks, peace,

Anonymous said...

To Juliana...again...
I think you're blogging all over the net trying to do some spin control on your daddy's behalf. I'm Lakota and my church was closed down by your dad and his crazy bunch of cronnies. I think your daddy's new nickname "Hitler Robertson" fits him just fine. If I walked in your daddy's shoes I would definitely take my role as a Bishop more seriously. Your daddy should've stepped down when he first became ill. Now, your daddy has breeded a sick, dysfunctional diocese. I hope Hitler sleeps good at night because he's caused lots of pain and suffering. I know of a elder who died of a heart attack over his loss of his dear church...thanks to Hitler. Oh...and thanks, and peace to you too Juliana Robertson.