Thursday, November 16, 2006

Supporting Faithful Episcopalians in San Joaquin

Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin has issued a letter in which he unfolds his plans to leave the Episcopal Church. Part of this plan involves passing various resolutions at the diocesan Annual Convention scheduled to conclude December 2. There is some question as to if these resolutions will pass. If they do, then as of December 3, many in San Joaquin will have officially left the Episcopal Church. It is fairly safe to assume that some of those who leave will also take the keys to the buildings with them, which will most likely result in long legal struggles.

There are a number of faithful Episcopalians within San Joaquin. One would hope that the leadership of TEC will respond to their needs. But, if past actions are any indication of the future, we can't count on that happening. Consequently, it is very important that we respond on a grassroots level to the needs of those feeling abandoned with no place to turn.

Andee Zetterbaum, Contingency Representative for Remain Episcopal in the Diocese of San Joaquin, left a comment in our discussion of Bp. Schofield's letter. As it includes some practical suggestions as to how we might reach out to faithful Episcopalians in this diocese, I am lifting it out of comments and reposting it here:

Several of you have asked how you can help those of us in Diocese of San Joaquin who want to remain in the Episcopal Church. As one of the leaders of Remain Episcopal, let me be very practical:

1. If you know anyone in this diocese who doesn't want to leave ECUSA, who is saddened or sickened by what is going on here--put them in touch with Remain Episcopal, or with me personally. One of our greatest problems has been that we have not been able to get a list of Episcopalians (or bruised and dropped out would-be Episcopalians) in these 13 counties, so that we can reach out, support and encourage them.

2. Pray. That kind of goes without saying, doesn't it? But pray for those who are leaving, that God may bless them in their new denomination; pray for all who are hurt and hurting; pray with thanksgiving for the approaching end of this dark time, and being set gloriously free to proclaim the Kingdom of our God of love.

3. Donate. Lots, if you can. A little if you can't. ECUSA may carry the bill for the legal battles over the property, but we're looking at everything involved in healing the injured and rebuilding and growing. The diocese is a 5 hour drive from one end to the other, 3 hours East to West, 50 widely-spread parishes in which there are likely to be small pockets of remaining people to be served. Just the cost of seeking them out, of advertising to tell what the Episcopal church is REALLY like and inviting others to join us, of bringing in supply clergy and training new lay leaders and raising up locally trained clergy... The handful of us who are willing to openly oppose Bp. Schofield, and are committed to building a thriving and healthy renewed Diocese of San Joaquin are definitely going to need your help! Remain Episcopal is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and you can reach us at Remain Episcopal, 2067 W. Alluvial, Fresno, CA 93711.

4. Pass this message on, to everyone you can think of who might be willing to help.

Yours in Christ,
Andee Zetterbaum
Contact information for Andee and other members of Remain Episcopal can be found here.


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