Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Drama Continues to Unfold in San Joaquin

You can watch the Diocese of San Joaquin's Convention here. If you do, I'd recommend making a contribution to Anglican TV. I realize that most of us disagree with those who are hosting this video feed, but they are providing a service. If we use it, it seems to me that they should be compensated.

I watched for awhile last night. There were a few rather chaotic moments. There was about ten minutes of debate at the front table between Fr. Jim Snell and the chancellors regarding if a two thirds majority meant "votes cast" or "all present". The issue was what to do with the vote of those who abstain. They never resolved the question, even though the wording of their constitution clearly states "those present."

What was most interesting was that in the discussions, a question was asked about how the diocese would "transfer" to the Southern Cone. The Bishop casually mentioned a resolution that would be revealed for the first time today (Saturday) that would accomplish that "realignment." At the request of a delegate, copies were to be made and distributed to voting members last night.

Presenting such an important resolution at the last minute is a manuever that Dan Martins previously addressed:

...What I'm suggesting is that adoption of the new Article II is not, in an of itself, a smoking gun. Such evidence of "abandonment of the communion of this church" would have to be found elsewhere, in some other act of the convention or the elected leadership of the diocese (i.e. the Bishop, the Standing Committee, and the Diocesan Council all acting in concert in a way that unambiguously separates themselves from TEC).

One such act, of course, would be for the diocese to accede to some larger direct authority other than the General Convention--like, for instance the Province of the Southern Cone. By all accounts, this is what the Bishop and his inner circle hope will happen. To my knowledge, however, there is no resolution to that effect that has been drafted, vetted, and submitted through channels. Anything that comes before the convention that would formalize an alignment with the Southern Cone will be something that most delegates will not have laid eyes on before their attention is directed to the PowerPoint projection on the white walls of the Eden Community Room of St James' Cathedral. Anything put forward at such a late hour, and without thorough discussion beforehand throughout the diocese, is bound to raise both concern and confusion, which does not bode well for the passage of a resolution that would provide a clear "we're outta here" gloss on the constitutional change...
Pray for the Diocese of San Joaquin.

Pray for the Church.


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