Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin Scheduled for March 29

Lots of good news to be found in a recent article in Episcopal Life:

...A growing number of Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin are opting to remain within the Episcopal Church (TEC), as the Fresno-based diocese prepares for an anticipated March 29 special convention that would elect a provisional bishop.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, in a letter to be distributed via a new diocesan newspaper, notes the proposed convention date and reassures the people of the diocese that work is ongoing "to ensure that you and your fellow Episcopalians may continue to bless the communities around you well into the future"...

...Moore noted as signs of progress the appointment of a 26-member steering committee to help continue the diocese (see roster below); 17 congregations who have opted to remain with TEC; the anticipated March 29 special convention to elect a provisional bishop; establishment of new diocesan headquarters in Stockton and a partnership with Episcopal Life Media to facilitate dissemination of information and to provide a new diocesan newspaper edition...

...In the absence of ecclesiastical authority, the Rev. Mark Hall, rector of St. Anne's Church in Stockton and the senior active priest in San Joaquin, is also serving as temporary diocesan administrator...

...Delegates to the anticipated March 29 convention will, in addition to electing a provisional bishop, also elect the standing committee, deputies to General Convention, provincial representatives and diocesan officers.

Michael Glass, a San Rafael attorney who represents many of the continuing Episcopalians, said Title III. Canon 13, Section 1 provides for the election of the provisional bishop "in consultation with the Presiding Bishop."

Glass predicted additional congregations will also "come out of the woodwork" and decide to remain with TEC after the election. "Right now the only authority is Bob Moore and Brian Cox and the steering committee," he said. "When people have a new bishop they can call up and an alternative functioning structure to interact with, you'll see more people."

TEC is providing the funding for ongoing mission congregations, and other forms of support have been designated by the Episcopal Church's Executive Council...
So, finally, we can see how things are going to unfold. A list of the members of the steering committee are included in the article.

Congratulations to the members of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. There's still much to be done, but your perseverence is now bearing fruit. I want to offer my heart felt thanks to our Presiding Bishop and the Executive Council, for their continued expressions of support for these faithful Episcopalians enduring a very difficult time.

I do want to point out one more curious comment from the EL article:

..."We talked to people this morning who simply hear rumors on blogs and get the impression that these various blogs and web pages are the national church speaking with some uniform voice...
Just for the record, this "blog" is the personal web log of an eccentric Episcopal priest who has no connection with the "national church," and whose voice is usually out of uniform. A black t-shirt and an old pair of jeans is my normal attire when at home. No reason to dress up if one is simply functioning as the voice of yet another backwater blog trafficking in rumors, right?

Congrats again to all our friends from San Joaquin. Easter is coming!


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