The Presiding Bishop of ECUSA responds to schismatic Bishop of San Joaquin
November 21, 2006

Episcopal Church struggles to unite despite differences

In This Issue:

The Presiding Bishop of ECUSA made public a letter that she sent to the Bishop of San Joaquin

The wording of this letter is blunt. Here is an extract:

I have seen reports of your letter to parishes in the Diocese of San Joaquin, which apparently urges delegates to your upcoming Diocesan Convention to take action to leave the Episcopal Church. I would ask you to confirm the accuracy of those reports. If true, you must be aware that such action would likely be seen as a violation of your ordination vows to "uphold the doctrine, discipline, and worship of Christ as this Church has received them." I must strongly urge you to consider the consequences of such action, not only for yourself but especially for all of the Episcopalians under your pastoral charge and care.............

As you contemplate this action I would also remind you of the trust which you and I both hold for those who have come before and those who will come after us. None of us has received the property held by the Church today to use as we will. We have received it as stewards, for those who enjoy it today and those who will be blessed by the ministry its use will permit in the future. Our forebears did not build churches or give memorials with the intent that they be removed from the Episcopal Church. Nor did our forebears give liberally to fund endowments with the intent that they be consumed by litigation.

Read full text of Letter

Bishop John-David Schofield's letter to Diocese of San Joaquin


The Spiritual Crisis In The Episcopal Church. Much has been said and written about the controversy over the revisionist teachings of TEC. The truth is that TEC (1) denies the unique divinity of Jesus Christ and (2)takes a position on human sexuality which undercuts marriage and is destructive to the family unit designed by God and revealed in Scripture. These are not positions and teachings which are merely "revisionist" or "liberal." These are positions of those who have abandoned the Christian faith..................

TEC's unrepentant adherence to these heresies has wrought havoc within the American Church and throughout the world-wide Communion. At least 22 of the 38 provinces of the Anglican Communion have declared impaired or
broken communion with TEC. ............

Continuing in communion with TEC poses a clear and present danger to the spiritual health of the Diocese and its parishioners. ......... We must remember, we are Anglicans first and Episcopalians second.

What Does Scripture Tell Us To Do? When faced with unrepentant and public false teaching, Scripture is very, very clear. Christians are called to withdraw from Eucharistic fellowship.........

Is Our Place In The Anglican Communion Assured? Yes. First, we have a commitment from the Southern Cone (Archbishop Greg Venebles) that the bishops of his dioceses are open to our joining their Province............ The Diocese could be the vanguard of a new 39th Anglican Province in North America. At present, there are seven or more dioceses
lined up behind us waiting to follow our leadership example.

Are There Risks? Yes, of course. TEC is highly litigious and will likely file lawsuits in the California state courts seeking to take our property away. Our lawyers tell us we can successfully defend ourselves but there are risks inherent in any litigation. There will be significant costs of defending such lawsuits. However, property considerations are, and should be, secondary to our spiritual salvation and well being. Ours is a spiritual decision which should not be driven by property issues. ........

Episcopal Church struggles to unite despite differences

This article was written by Robyn Passante for the Island Packet, Hilton Head, SC. - excerpts follow, full text is at link below:

"Three years after an openly gay Episcopal bishop was consecrated, the Episcopal Church U.S.A. is still faced with a dilemma that has been described as moral, biblical, political and logistical -- whether and how it can stay unified in the face of divisive views on the issue of gay leadership, and the larger issue of biblical authority."

If Lawrence is approved and consecrated, and the diocese breaks from the Episcopal Church, issues will arise as to whether parishes would have to forfeit land that technically is owned by the Church. Plus, there are moderate parishes in the diocese that would likely choose to remain in the Episcopal Church, and they'd need new leadership................................

Kronz and Lipscomb both believe nothing will be decided until the 2008 Lambeth Conference, the next meeting of the archbishops and bishops of the Anglican Communion, held once every 10 years.
Until then, parishes of both viewpoints continue to pray, and worship, side by side.

Pagliaro said he's remaining optimistic about his future as an Episcopalian in South Carolina.

"We're hopeful in the Forum that a lot of Episcopalians would stay in the Episcopal Church," Pagliaro said. "I've been an Episcopalian for 40 years. It's a joyful, inclusive church. I'm just proud to be a part of it."

Lipscomb was more guarded in his comments about the direction of the church he serves.

"Optimism," he said, "is for people who don't understand the problem."

Link to Island Packet Story

The Episcopal Forum to meet for lunch in Charleston Thursday, November 30

The Episcopal Forum will meet for a luncheon Forum at 12 Noon on Thursday, November 30. The Forum will be held in the Holiday Inn Historic District at the corners of Meeting & Calhoun Streets. Please e-mail at link below to reserve a seat or call 209-8247. Suggested donation - $20

A Forum will also be held on Sunday afternoon, December 10 in the Myrtle Beach Area. More details to be announced.




Go to The Episcopal Forum Website by clicking on the logo at the top of this newsletter

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