You may recall that Bp. Lamb was one of the neighboring Bishops who attempted to get John-David Schofield deposed back in 2006. Imagine how much grief the people of San Joaquin would have been spared if they had been successful.
Bishop Jerry A. Lamb -- retired bishop of Northern California and most recently interim bishop of Nevada -- has been recommended by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to serve as provisional bishop of the Central California Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.
Lamb can begin work in this capacity after ratification by the diocese's convention, set to meet March 29 in Lodi, California.
The convention follows the House of Bishops' March 12 vote consenting to the deposition of San Joaquin's previous bishop, John-David Schofield, who is confirmed by the church-wide Title IV Review Committee to have abandoned communion of The Episcopal Church.
Continuing Episcopalians have been at work to reconstitute the Diocese of San Joaquin since Schofield led a December 8 convention vote purporting to realign the diocese with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.
Lamb is prepared to visit the San Joaquin diocese in mid-March, and to attend the March 29 convention.
Looking ahead to the possibility of his service in San Joaquin, Lamb told ENS that he sees his role as bringing "support for the leadership already there, offering direction, and helping to renew those in the area who remain part of the Episcopal Church.
"I'm really excited and very much humbled by the opportunity of being with that group of folks who are seeking a way to remain faithful to the Episcopal Church, and working to continue the life of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin."
Lamb said this work represents "a wonderful opportunity to rebuild, though I am so sorry it's come about in the way it has."
Lamb said he looks forward to working closely with the steering committee appointed for the diocese by the Presiding Bishop, and with local groups including Remain Episcopal and new faith communities.
He said he would continue to build on the work of the Rev. Canon Robert Moore and the Rev. Canon Brian Cox, two priests whom the Presiding Bishop named earlier this year to provide pastoral presence in the diocese.
Rebuilding "would not be possible without the absolute support of the Presiding Bishop; the President of the House of Deputies, Bonnie Anderson; and the Executive Council putting $500,000 into this effort," Lamb said, citing the Council's February 14 vote to allocate funds.
Lamb also praised the "generous contributions of expertise from across the church" and especially within neighboring and other dioceses in the Episcopal Church's Province VIII. " Bishops and leaders from surrounding dioceses and the whole of Province VIII have been extremely supportive and have offered aid and support to whatever extent they are able," he said.
"This extended family we call The Episcopal Church wants to continue to support the local initiatives of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin both through our prayers and other tangible forms of assistance," said the Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, canon to the Presiding Bishop...
This 2003 article, which focuses on the fallout in the Diocese of Northern California following Bp. Lamb's consent to the election of Bp. Robinson, gives us some good insights into who Bp. Lamb is:
...Soft-spoken and friendly, Lamb has the manner of a kindly grandfather. A former Roman Catholic priest, Lamb left the church and married. During this time, he worked as a parole officer. But he once again felt the call to ministry, became an Episcopal priest and served in Oregon before coming to Sacramento. He and his wife, Jane, a former nurse, have one daughter. The family lives in south Sacramento.Sounds like a good choice, San Joaquin.
The Rev. Marvin Bowers, rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Healdsburg, remembers what impressed him about Lamb when he first met him. He says there were four final candidates for the position of bishop. Each was asked how he would balance his roles as the spiritual counselor and disciplinarian to the clergy. Bowers said the first three said they would be good leaders and pastors. Lamb gave a different answer.
"He said as a parole officer he had heard it all … and if he ever caught a priest lying to him, he'd nail his hind to the wall," says Bowers. "He got my vote after that -- he's honest and not afraid of holding people accountable"...