‘Respect’ in action

Disciplinary Board for Bishops certifies that South Carolina Bishop has abandoned the church – The Episcopal Church, Office of Public Affairs, Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Disciplinary Board for Bishops has advised Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori that the majority of the 18-member panel has determined that Bishop Mark Lawrence of the Diocese of South Carolina has abandoned the Episcopal Church ‘by an open renunciation of the Discipline of the Church.’ Following complaints of 12 adult members and two priests of the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of South Carolina, the determination was made under Canon IV.16(A). The 18 member board – composed of 10 bishops, four clergy, four laity – issued a letter dated September 18. Following the assembly of numerous documents, the Presiding Bishop received the letter in her Church Center office on October 10; the letter was received via U.S. Mail. On Monday October 15, the Presiding Bishop called Lawrence and, speaking directly with him, informed him of the action of the Disciplinary Board. She also informed him that, effective noon of that day, the exercise of his ministry was restricted. Therefore, under the canon, he is not permitted to perform any acts as an ordained person. From here, Lawrence has 60 days to respond to the allegations in the certification.

Sixty days? Hardly! Before the day was out, the Diocese of South Carolina was announcing that it was leaving The Episcopal Church! No doubt further respectful action in the shape of litigation is even now being prepared by Mrs Schori and her hench-people.

‘Respect’ at work

Group for Rescinding the Act of Synod, Press briefing for immediate release 8th October 2012 . . .

GRAS objectives:

The l993 Act of Synod should be rescinded as a precondition of new legislation
A single enabling Measure to give clarity and affirmation to women’s full and equal status in all three orders of ministry. The legislation must be unconditional, with no discriminatory provisions.
A Code of Practice designed to recognise that there are essential elements of trust which need to be restored. The integrity and authority of the episcopate must be restored through the assignment of trust in each diocesan bishop, who should be responsible for provisions judged to be right for any in his or her care.
A commitment that, since the Church has accepted the principle of the orders of women as priests and bishops, in future all those being ordained should openly accept those orders as valid in accordance with the existing ecclesiastical rule (Canon A4).
Diversity Corner

‘Sheffield Cathedral is putting on its first beer festival this weekend’, reports Paul Holden on postcodegazette.com

‘Running over three days in a marquee on the cathedral forecourt and featuring over 40 beers/ciders and 11 musical acts, the event is being staged to raise awareness of the diverse nature of the Cathedral’s activities. Carl Hutton, the cathedral’s event manager, explained that the desire is expand the range of events. They are already a noted venue for hosting artists in the genres of folk and jazz and for taking part in Tramlines (a local music festival) for the first time’. Oh yes, and, er, Church. As in services . . .

Lincoln Green, anyone?

Many thanks to a New Directions reader in deepest Nottinghamshire for this gem from the Diocesan Continuing Ministerial Development Programme:

16th April COLOUR ANALYSIS WORKSHOP Or why that black shirt might make you look like ‘death warmed-up’! Which colours make you look healthier and more alive – and give you confidence? A fun workshop for male and female clergy which will introduce to the colour concept and assess your dominant type. The Workshop will be supported by CMD, but you may purchase your personal fabric swatches in 18 colours on the day. Places are limited so book early! Led by Cindy Rossiter 10.00 – 1.00 pm Burton Joyce Church Rooms

Of course, it could never happen here …

Finally, a spot-on little piece from the excellent Blog, Anglican Samizdat – the work of one David Jenkins;, who writes that his Blog is for his ‘own entertainment and to poke fun at the religious and political establishment’.

‘The Anglican Church of Canada is very shy about how many people attend its churches on a Sunday: there have been no attendance statistics since 2001. Even in 2001 or in prior years, the average Sunday attendance is not mentioned, rather the total members on the parish roll is given. Since I still receive a paper copy of the Niagara Anglican – a moment in the month that I have come to cherish – I have an uneasy suspicion that I am still on the “parish roll” of a Diocese of Niagara church.

The figures are almost certainly inflated, perhaps grossly inflated. According to statistics published in 2001, there were 641,845 people on parish rolls. The total number of clergy was 3591. In 1961, the church’s heyday, there were 1,320,649 on the parish rolls and 2380 clergy.

I’m surprised no-one has noticed this before, but, as the number of clergy increased by 150%, the number of laity decreased by 211%. Church membership is varying inversely to the number of clergy: far be it from me to concoct a spurious causal relationship, but it’s hard not to come to the conclusion that the clergy are driving out the laity.’

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