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Andrew Waldo elected as Upper South Carolina's next bishop
December 12, 2009

Episcopal Church Lay Leader John Vanderstar addresses 12/5 Episcopal Forum

In This Issue:
Andrew Waldo elected as Upper South Carolina's next bishop
Episcopal Forum Board Elects Officers for 2010
Remarks by John Vanderstar at 12/5 Episcopal Forum
Upper diocese chooses new Episcopal bishop
South Carolina Episcopalians Website report on Upper Diocese of SC election
Join The Episcopal Forum of SC
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Andrew Waldo elected as Upper South Carolina's next bishop
[Episcopal News Service] The Rev. W. Andrew Waldo was elected Dec. 12 to be the eighth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, pending the required consents from the majority of the church's other dioceses.
Waldo, 56, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Excelsior, Minnesota (Diocese of Minnesota), was chosen on the third ballot out of a field of seven candidates. He received 129 votes of 234 cast in the lay order and 64 of 116 cast in the clergy order. An election on the third ballot required 118 in the lay order and 59 in the clergy order. The results of all the ballots are available here..........

Waldo, who has taught early music and has a master's degree in the recorder, served parishes in New Hampshire and Georgia before being called to Trinity in 1994. His accomplishments there include leading two capital campaigns and helping the parish grow to more than 550 members. He was ordained deacon in June 1988 and priest in April 1989 after earning a master of divinity degree from Sewanee: The University of the South in Tennessee.

Waldo and wife Mary Halverson Waldo are the parents of three sons. More information about Waldo, including his résumé and answers to the search committee's questions, is available here...............

Based in Columbia, South Carolina, the Diocese of Upper South Carolina is made up of approximately 25,300 Episcopalians worshipping 61 congregations in 22 counties in the upper part of the state.

Full Text of Article

Episcopal Forum Board Elects Officers for 2010
New Officers and Directors elected 12/5/09:

Barbara Mann, President, Scott Shaffer, Vice-President, Doug Billings, Vice-President, Ginga Wilder, Secretaryand Dave Mann, Treasurer.
The following were elected or reelected to a new term as an EFSC Director: Alex Barron +, Frances Elmore, Cynthia Harding, Dusty Parker, Philip Porcher+, Marilyn Roper and Colton Smith+. A listing of Board Members is maintained on the EFSC Website and will soon be updated to reflect these additions.
EFSC Board Bios on Website

Remarks by John Vanderstar at 12/5 Episcopal Forum
December 5, 2009, Charleston, SC

........... It’s a real pleasure to be among so many people who are determined to carry out God’s mission for the Episcopal Church no matter what the obstacles..........

For about forty years I have been a member of St. Columba’s church in Washington DC. .......... Then I became involved in the quote “National Church”. I put that in quotes because the Episcopal Church is not a USA Church but an international church, with dioceses in the Caribbean, South America and Taiwan.

As you know, the governance of the church is vested by our constitution and canons in the general convention, which meets every three years. It is bicameral: there is a house of bishops and a house of deputies – not delegates but deputies. Every diocese is entitled to send four clergy and four lay persons to represent it in the house of deputies. I was elected as a lay deputy from the diocese of Washington for the 1994 General Convention in Indianapolis, and I have attended every convention since then.

The “National Church” program is administered by the Presiding Bishop and her staff, with the assistance -- in between sessions of general convention -- of the Executive Council, which is sort of the national vestry. It has 38 elected members who serve six-year terms. Twenty are elected by general convention – ten at each session. The other 18 are elected by the nine provinces, one lay and one clergy. The diocese of Washington is in Province 3, which also includes the 12 dioceses in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania........

Let me turn now to the 76th General Convention, which took place in Anaheim, CA this past summer. If I had to sum it up in a few words, I would say that it was the most grace - filled convention I have ever attended. There was of course plenty of debate and disagreement about matters that came on the agenda. But there was little or none of the nasty language that had marked previous discussions of issues like human sexuality. It may be that one reason for this is the absence of the bishops, priests and lay persons who have decided to cast their lot with other member churches on the Anglican Communion. In a way, that is unfortunate, because we need to have everybody at the table and we need to know how to talk with one another respectfully and civilly, no matter how deep our disagreements...........

We were blessed by the presence of a large number of guests ....... including the so-called global south – Africa, Latin America and Asia, where much of the conservative branch of the Anglican Communion resides. Among these guests were fifteen primates, or heads of other member churches of the Anglican Communion.

Why do I cite this as an important fact? Because our church is probably the most democratic of them all. In many of the other provinces of the Anglican Communion all the power is vested in their bishops, if not in the primate alone. We, on the other hand, spread the power out among the bishops, clergy and laity. No action of general convention is valid unless it has passed both houses, bishops and deputies, and as I have said half of the members of the house of deputies are laypersons..............

Since the 74th General Convention held in 2003 in Minneapolis, our church and its Presiding Bishop have been bombarded with complaints about the sexual identity of the Bishop of New Hampshire. Our Presiding Bishop’s, Frank Griswold and Katherine Jefferts Schori, got a lot of very negative commentary from other primates on this, but these complaints were usually phrased as complaints about the appointment of bishop Robinson, and demands were made that our presiding bishop revoke the appointment. Of course we do not appoint our bishops at all. They are elected by the clergy and laity of the diocese, and then the election must be confirmed by a majority of diocesan bishops and a majority of standing committees or of the house of deputies. The Presiding Bishop has no role in this process and no authority to revoke the election of a bishop except through a proceeding in the church’s court system.

I believe it was also very revealing to the foreign visitors to learn that we are not of one mind on the human sexuality issues. That was very obvious at the convention. For example, a key resolution, d025, is the one that confirmed that the ordination process is open to all qualified persons irrespective of their gender identity. Although D025 passed by very large majorities – 72% of each order in the House of Deputies, and in the House of Bishops 99 bishops voted aye, 45 voted nay, and 2 abstained – that means there were quite a few bishops and deputies who voted not to permit gay and lesbian persons to enter holy orders. In fact the resolution itself states, in its seventh resolve,“that the 76th general convention acknowledge that members of the Episcopal Church . . . , based on careful study of the holy scriptures, and in light of tradition and reason, are not of one mind, and Christians of good conscience disagree about some of these matters.”

How many other organizations would lay out the fact of disagreement within their ranks in such a forthright manner?
You will also note from this language in D025 that the resolution gives legitimacy to the dissenting point of view, a profound courtesy that the conservatives do not generally extend to those of us who take the more progressive viewpoint. They demonize us and cast their disagreement as a case of heresy or apostasy. Your own bishop, according to “Episcopal life,” says we have adopted a “gospel of indiscriminate inclusivity,” which he says has “challenged the doctrine of the trinity, the uniqueness and universality of Christ, the authority of scripture, our understanding of baptism, and, now, that last refuge of order, our constitution and canons.”

I could not disagree more. I believe that instead what is involved here is differing interpretations of scripture and of human experience. Jesus told us that “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot hear them now. When the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth . . . “(John 16:12-13.)

Over the course of history, God has laid before us a host of serious issues. Galileo posed one, many long years ago. In more recent times, and in our own country, slavery was a major issue, with different folks reading the biblical precedent differently. Did you know that there were Episcopal bishops who defended slavery on the basis of scripture? And that bishops and priests owned slaves? And that numerous Episcopal Churches were built by slave labor? Fortunately the abolitionists won that battle. In our own time we have gone through turmoil over the role of women in the church, especially with regard to their participation in holy orders, and in fact this controversy still rages in some quarters.

Now it is human sexuality that is before us. Is resolution d025 a bold forward step, or is it heresy? I warmly supported this resolution, because I firmly believe, based on my own extensive study of scripture, that this is what God wants us to do. But I quickly add that others may have a different view, based on the same scriptures, and I respect that. Time will tell where we come out on these questions.

One key element of the controversy within the church and the Anglican Communion about human sexuality is what is known as the “listening process.” As far back as 1978 – yes, I said 1978 – the bishops at Lambeth resolved that they should listen to gay and lesbian persons. Actually talk with them, not just about them. In effect the resolution says let’s find out just what these people are like and lets then decide how we should treat their hopes and aspirations. But how do you carry out such a process in a country like Nigeria (or Uganda)?

Homosexual persons in that country are potentially subject to prison terms of up to fourteen years, and there is at this moment legislation pending in that country that would increase the maximum punishment to life in prison, with even the possibility of the death penalty for what is termed “aggravated homosexuality.” How can gay and lesbian persons in such a country offer themselves for conversation with the church leaders – even assuming the church leaders are interested – when to identify their sexual identity could result in long prison terms?

But there is a powerful need to educate many folks around the Anglican Communion. A bishop friend of mine told me that at Lambeth back in 2008 he was in conversation with some brother bishops from other countries about human sexuality, when one of them asked “why is there so much homosexuality in your country? Aren’t there enough women?” ...............

Tell me, do we need a wide ranging educational process on these issues? Minds might be changed, just as mine was.
Let me return to resolution D025 and specifically let me encourage you to print it out and read the language yourselves.......... You will I think be very intrigued to see the title of the resolution: “Commitment and witness to the Anglican Communion.” The text follows this lead by making clear our profound commitment to remaining in the Anglican Communion notwithstanding these differences. In other words, we have rejected the proposition that because we see these human sexuality issues differently from many of the other member churches of the communion we are declaring our intention to walk separately. Not so. We believe the communion is a gift of God and one that enables all of us to do a better job of carrying out the mandate given to us in Matthew 25 : to heal the sick, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, visit the prisoners, and so on. Those are the important issues.

As is often the case, it may well be that the women of the Anglican Communion will provide the leadership that is needed. A least once a year women from all around the Anglican Communion meet in New York at the same time as the UN commission on the status of women.......... These women have repeatedly made it clear that differences of opinion about human sexuality are not – repeat, not – going to get in the way of working forcefully -- and together -- to address these problems........................

To quote Gamaliel in the book of Acts:

“ . . . If this plan or this undertaking is of men, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

I believe what we are doing is indeed “of God” and that it will not be overthrown.

Link to Full Transcript of Presentation

Upper diocese chooses new Episcopal bishop

By Adam Parker - Post & Courier - Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Rev. W. Andrew Waldo, rector of Trinity Episcopal Church in Excelsior, Minn., and a native of Montgomery, Ala., was chosen eighth bishop of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina on Saturday.

The election required clergy and lay delegates to cast three ballots before a majority settled on Waldo, though he was a clear favorite from the beginning of the process, coming close to winning the necessary number of votes (59 clergy; 118 lay) in the second round of voting. Ultimately, he won with 64 clergy votes and 129 lay votes.

The Rev. Canon Dr. Neal O. Michell, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Dallas and an “orthodox” critic of The Episcopal Church, enjoyed a respectable showing with 22 clergy and 76 lay votes.

Before becoming a priest, Waldo was a musician. A graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, he studied Renaissance, Baroque and Avant-garde recorder and choral music, and later became the director of the Early Music Program at Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Mass.

He was one of seven candidates, including the Rev. Robert Brown, who was nominated from the floor Saturday morning. Other candidates included Michell; the Very Rev. John Burwell, rector of Church of the Holy Cross on Sullivan’s Island; the Rev. David F.O. Thompson, rector of St. Bartholomew’s Church in North Augusta; the Rev. Jerre Stockton Williams Jr., rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Kerrville, Texas; and the Very Rev. Dr. Philip C. Linder, dean of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia.

The election came as some parishes, including three in the Diocese of South Carolina, which encompasses the coastal half of the state, consider disassociating with The Episcopal Church because of controversies over same-sex unions, gay and lesbian clergy and various theological issues.

The Diocese of South Carolina called a special convention in October during which four of five resolutions were passed, including one that calls on the bishop and standing committee “to begin withdrawing from all bodies of The Episcopal Church.” Burwell, citing allegiance to his bishop, said he voted in favor of this resolution, a move that likely influenced voters in the upper diocese. He received just one clergy vote and no lay votes on Saturday.

Waldo is a professed moderate who argues that fellowship in Christ is more important than being “‘right’ on a matter of doctrine.”

“My approach as bishop would continue to follow this pattern — not permitting blessings until the Church has come to one mind, but neither glossing over the depth and authenticity of the questions that are before us and the pain that brothers and sisters in Christ experience,” he wrote.

Waldo’s election must be approved by The Episcopal Church’s 110 dioceses before he is consecrated on May 22. He would replace the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson Jr., who retires on Dec. 31 after 14 years as bishop of the upper diocese.
Link to Upper Diocese of SC Announcement

South Carolina Episcopalians Website report on Upper Diocese of SC election
News from the Upper Diocese of SC

NEW! It's Waldo!

Convention Rejoices over Election of Minnesotan
as VIII Bishop of Upper South Carolina
December 12, 2009

Waldo lead holds against Michell & Linder through three ballots; Delegates say dark horse Alabama native will stay the course

Hard line critics of the Episcopal Church rally behind Canon Michell,
but a majority for a right-wing candidate was never there
Link to:South Carolina Episcopalians

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