Wednesday, March 12, 2008

San Joaquin is Moving Forward With Plans to Rebuild the Diocese

For the third time today - from Episcopal Life:

..."I am very pleased that the House of Bishops has acted with integrity, following the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church (TEC)," said the Rev. Mark Hall, rector of St. Anne's Church in Stockton, where a new diocesan headquarters has been established. "We recognize that we've had some people not following the Constitution and Canons and that's not been helpful for the diocese and the church," he added.

For Nancy Key, co-founder of Remain Episcopal, an organization of continuing Episcopalians, the news, though expected, brought both relief and sadness.

"Now we can get back to the business of being church, we can move forward in rebuilding our diocese," said Key, a member of the steering committee appointed by Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to help organize the March 29 convention to elect a provisional bishop.

"I have mixed feelings," she added. "It was a responsible decision to be made. It had to be made. The entire situation which precipitated it over many years is very, very sad. Now, we have a lot of healing to be done, a lot of pieces to be picked up."

The Presiding Bishop, during a telephone press conference after the conclusion of the March 7-12 Camp Allen meeting in Navasota, Texas, said she will personally convene the special convention in San Joaquin. She declined to identify a nominee for provisional bishop.

"As of today he is no longer a bishop in the Episcopal Church," she said of Schofield. "Matters down the road will include clarifying the status of Corp Sole, which is how property is held in that diocese"...

...Hall said preparations are rapidly underway for the March 29 special convention, including accommodations for 500 and a couple of pre-convention get-acquainted meetings with Bishop Jerry Lamb of Northern California, the provisional bishop nominee. He will meet with continuing Episcopalians at 6.30 p.m. Thursday, March 13 at Christ the King Church in Riverbank, and at 6.30 p.m. on Friday, March 14, at Holy Family Church in Fresno.

He said 17, possibly more, churches are expected to participate at the convention, including three new congregations. All attendees will be asked to sign a letter of conformity acknowledging the authority of General Convention, the Presiding Bishop and the Constitution and Canons of TEC.

"We invited everyone to the convention. Everybody got notified, we have not tried to eliminate anybody by our process," added Hall...
Lots of good news from Episcopal Life. If I were in San Joaquin, I'd make a point of turning up either tomorrow or Friday to meet with Bp. Lamb.

The Presiding Bishop will convene the Convention in Lodi on the 29th. Excellent. Also, note that she is fully aware and working on that "corporate sole" matter, by which Mr. Schofield claims ownership of all the property through papers filed with the state of California. Sorting that out will open the way to getting the church buildings back.

A letter of conformity will be required for those who participate in the Convention. As a rule, I don't like such letters, but understand why one is necessary in this situation. I see no other way to keep the schismatics from crashing the party.

The Lead has links to stories by the secular press about San Joaquin. Most are inaccurate, especially in their statements regarding the Diocese voting to leave for the Southern Cone, and then continuing as if such a Diocese exists. As we have discussed, the creation of such a Diocese is impossible, according to the Southern Cone's Constitution and Canons, regardless of what Presiding Bishop Venables or anyone else claims.

The new Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin website is brimming with useful information for the members of San Joaquin. Make sure you check that site regularly.

There's still a lot of work to be done, but it's starting to feel a lot like Easter already, isn't it?

Pray for the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Pray for the Church.


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