When Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin gather on Saturday, January 26 for "Moving Forward, Welcoming All" at the Church of the Saviour in Hanford, California, they will welcome an online audience.If you are in the neighborhood, by all means make it to Hanford Saturday morning. For the rest of us, if you are free, plan to gather here at Jake's at 10:00 Pacific time. I'll have the link to the video stream, and we can comment here for the first two hours of the conference.
Viewers may access the live video stream, to be carried via Episcopal Life Online, by logging on to http://www.episcopalchurch.org/.
The video stream will also bring Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's greetings to continuing Episcopalians gathered at the Central California Valley historic church, starting about 10 a.m. Pacific time (11 a.m. Mountain, 12 a.m. Central, 1 p.m. Eastern), said Mike Collins, Episcopal Life Media Video/Multicast Unit director.
"The situation in the Diocese of San Joaquin is something that is on the minds of Episcopalians across the country," Collins said. "We felt it was important to provide live streaming coverage to the wider church as well as to show support for those who remain in the diocese."
House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson and the Rev. Canon Robert Moore, appointed by the Presiding Bishop as the interim pastoral presence for continuing Episcopalians, will keynote the gathering on site to offer support and encouragement, along with other speakers. Anderson's comments to the gathering, expected to draw Episcopalians from across the diocese and the state, will be videocast.
The event will culminate Moore's five-day "listening tour" of the experiences and hopes of clergy and laity remaining in the Episcopal Church in Stockton, Riverbank, Fresno, Bakersfield and Visalia...
The afternoon sessions, which will not be telecast, will include presentations by House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, the Rev. Canon Bob Moore, attorney Michael O. Glass, and The Rev. Charles Ramsden and Holly McAlpren from the Church Insurance Agency Corporation.
Regarding what has been going on in the Diocese of San Joaquin, things continue to be pretty chaotic. You may recall that the latest development was that Bp. Schofield dismissed six of the eight members of the Standing Committee. In the first version of the announcement of these actions, Bp. Schofield claimed that the members of the Standing Committee had resigned. When that version of events was challenged by some of those present at the Standing Committee meeting, who emphatically declared that they had not resigned, the first version was pulled, to be replaced by a sanitized version, in which the term "resigned" does not appear.
You would think whoever it is running this Southern Cone show would have learned their lesson from that embarrassing episode of a couple of weeks ago. You may recall that on the morning of January 12, in response to the news that he had been inhibited, Bp. Schofield claimed to be in the House of Bishops of TEC and the Southern Cone simultaneously. That afternoon, that announcement was pulled, to be replaced by a statement from his new boss, Presiding Bishop Venables of the Southern Cone, stating that he was not a bishop in TEC. Someone needs to work on their communication skills, it appears.
So, after dismissing six members of his Standing Committee, including the elected President, who was "appointed" as the new President? A gentleman by the name of Mr. Ted Yumoto.
But hold on. Yesterday, over on The Lead, JB Chilton noticed that Mr. Yumoto is also a member of the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church. Since it seems clear that the criteria to be President of Bp. Schofield's Standing Committee is that one be a member of the Province of the Southern Cone, we've got a problem.
So today, we have this announcement from Episcopal Life:
...The Rev. Jack Eastwood, Province. VIII president, said that a decision was made to vacate the seat held by Ted Yumoto of the Fresno, California-based Diocese of San Joaquin after Yumoto told them he "had voted to amend canons and the constitution of the diocese" to realign with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone...Well, imagine that. Good catch by The Lead, eh?
So what is the response from those who are now part of the Southern Cone? If Rob Eaton is to be considered a fair example of their current state, they are offended. Why? Here's part of the reason:
...Big insensitivity issue. Big inclusivity issue. Big diversionary issue for this Church. Howso? At the same time that Fr. Mark Lawrence will be consecrated the bishop of South Carolina in Charleston — where truly this Church’s attention should be focused — the two elected leaders of General Convention will be on display, in what could now be considered the uninvited intrusion of a bishop in another diocese, the business of Authority being unsettled. It may be the Prerogative of the Presiding Bishop to make visits to all the dioceses within her term of office, but not without the permission of the diocesan. I don’t know that she asked, and I don’t know if she got it, but I kinda doubt it...Here's a couple of news flashes for you, Rob. First of all, Bp. Katharine, the Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church, was told that she was not fit to preside at the consecration of Mark Lawrence. After such a blatant rejection of her authority, granted to her by a majority vote of the House of Bishops, did you really think she would wait around in the reception hall hoping you men would change your minds? I think not. She will go where her gifts are honored, thank you very much.
Second of all, what causes you to imagine that "the matter of Authority is unsettled"? It is quite settled. According to Presiding Bishop Venables, Bp. Schofield is no longer a member of the Episcopal Church. He is certainly not the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Oh, and by the way, that is not just my opinion. You may want to take a look at this listing in the Provincial Directory of the Anglican Communion. Notice that the position of Bishop of San Joaquin is listed as "vacant." There is no confusion.
Bp. Katharine is offering support for the members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. Since Bp. Schofield, and I would assume you, are no longer part of that entity, I really don't see how the actions of faithful Episcopalians are any longer any of your business.
Uninvited intrusion? And this accusation from the same people who brought us the invasion of the Southern Cone? The audacity of these folks is simply astounding.
Saturday, 10:00 Pacific, 1:00 Eastern. See you then.