In Other News: Diocesan Convention For Western Louisiana Next Weekend

From here:

We will soon gather in Alexandria for our 29th Annual Diocesan Convention (October 10-11) and I encourage each of you to consider being a part of this important event. The convention is open to everyone in the diocese, and for those not serving as delegates, you are invited and encouraged to attend as visitors.

The convention begins at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 10 with the opening Eucharist at St. Francis Xavier Cathedral (Roman Catholic) and then continues across the street at the Alexander Fulton Hotel (formerly the Holiday Inn Convention Centre Hotel). The convention will be blessed with two guest speakers, Ms. Edwina Thomas, National Director of Sharing of Ministries Abroad (SOMA), and the Rev’d Canon Dr. Gregory Cameron, Deputy Secretary General and Director of Ecumenical Affairs for The Anglican Consultative Council.

The Bishop has invited a heavy hitter indeed. The idea the Bishop will be trying to sell is that our membership in TEC won’t be a stumbling block to our continued membership in the Anglican Communion. Cameron will tell us so, and all will be well, right?

But, bishop, tell me how am I to remain in a church that promotes abortion, ignores scripture, doesn’t follow its own canons, whose clergy replace words they don’t like in the prayer book, that thinks 1% of its budget fulfills Jesus’ commands in Matthew 25, doesn’t believe Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and who will not likely consent to the election of another bishop who does?

Why should I remain even in the Anglican Communion when its most vibrant parts are on their way out due to alienation and estrangement due to claimed liberal superiority and racism?

Why should I remain within a Diocese whose clergy couldn’t endorse the pastoral scheme from the Dar-es-Salaam communique last year at Diocesan Convention? With Cameron here, you can be sure that any resolution that calls for Western Louisiana to leave TEC will likely fail. So, what are folks in your Diocese to do who find themselves where I am – completely estranged from the national church because, frankly, the national church no longer even resembles Christianity?

In any event, Bishop, these are the questions you need to answer for the folks out there in your Diocese who have had enough and are ready to leave. I hope you will address these in your convention address. If you do not, I am sure parishes will start trying to find these answers for themselves under Episcopal leadership from elsewhere. That is not to say we don’t all love you, Bruce, because we do.

21 Responses to “In Other News: Diocesan Convention For Western Louisiana Next Weekend”


  1. 1 Tregonsee October 5, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    One would hope that a respected, influential member of the standing committee would make precisely these points, in public, in a manner which makes clear that they are not rhetorical questions, for which an answer is expected, now.

  2. 2 Timothy Fountain October 5, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I agonize for +Bruce. It is impossible to lead coherently in TEC today… along with theological disputes, there is just abysmal national leadership and the clergy seem to be getting more and more absurd all the time.

    Actually had a priest argue that all the litigation costs are “the fault of the parishes that are leaving – they forced TEC to sue them!” Another argued, “We can’t question to litigation – we are a hierarchichal church and we shouldn’t question the leaders.”

    Then there was the idea that, “TEC is one family. So what happens in California or Virginia need not concern us.” Huh???

    I’m holding a forum for my congregation to update them on stuff in a few weeks… but it is hard to put together any coherent message beyond, “This sucks and it’s gonna get worse in ’09.”

  3. 3 Sarah October 5, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    I also am an admirer of Bishop MacPherson.

    However, I don’t think it will be a comfort for the conservatives in Western Louisiana to realize that Gregory Cameron is supposed to be the “it’s all going to be okay” advocate when he doesn’t even share their theology.

  4. 4 George Gray+ October 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    The bishop needs to get off the dime. He has to lead or the Diocese will melt away.

  5. 5 Bob Maxwell+ October 6, 2008 at 2:33 am

    Bishops learn how to be bishops from the dioceses where they were molded.

    Ft. Worth –I spent several years right next door and doing Ultreya with Ft. Worth clergy & laity– was apostolic faith focused, come hell or high water.

    Dallas appeared to me over the decades to have an “organizational” focus that seeps into the orthodox from the diocesan down.

    There is a reason why Bp. Davies went with Ft. Worth.

    +A. Donald was my seminary class sponsor and an orthodox believer. While he appears to many to have been unstable in his retirement, he always was unstable in seeking to be as orthodox as he believed it possible to be.

    [i]If I lose it Lord, help me to lose it seeking to be as faithful to you as I can possibly be.[/i]

    Bob+

  6. 6 Scott October 6, 2008 at 11:32 am

    I assume that to leave you need votes two years in a row. As was said by some in dioceses who have left, the first year’s vote did nothing more than to allow for the second year’s votes. In effect they could see the first year’s vote as keeping options open. Present this approach in light of expected changes in 09 GC and the results might surprise you.

    Some may not be ready to leave. Others might respond to the speaker and at least for the moment might not feel ready to leave. Nevertheless, if all you are doing is keeping options open for next year, they may still vote in favor. A year from now they could be glad they voted to keep the option open or they could vote not to leave on the ballot that really counts.

    Scott+

  7. 7 Julie October 6, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Bummer, Brad. It all makes me very sad…

  8. 8 Dean Reed October 6, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    I will keep you, the diocese, and your bishop in my prayers. May God’s will be clear for the good people of WLA. These are difficult days for all of us regardless of diocese or bishop.

    Dean Reed

  9. 9 One Small Voice October 6, 2008 at 6:06 pm

    I agree with Scott’s response for more than one reason. First: With some of the already purposed resolutions for to 2009 General Covention, ALL options available for the faithful Christians in the pews should not only continue to be explored, but should also, be protected! Secondly: Bishop Bruce has always been a “Constitutional and Cannons” bishop. As well, he has stated publically numerous times that he would uphold SCRIPTURE. I personally have always believed he was honest with the people God has placed in his care. Therefore, no one knows what the outcome of the 2009 General Convention will bring; nor does any one know what doors will forever be closed for congregations and/or diocese after these resolutions pass. (I’m sure many of you who are keeping up with the mess on an hourly and daily basis understand!)

    By being proactive verus reactive, we, as faithful believers in faith once delievered to us by the Saints, who struggle each day to live this faith better today than we did yesterday will be protected instead of finding ourselves searching for another place in which to practice our faith and bring others to our Lord Christ.

  10. 10 anglicanprayer October 6, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    Brad,
    It’s tough to read this. My heart aches for you & your diocese, and for +Bruce. I’ll be praying for you and +Bruce and all the decisions/choices ahead. May the Lord give wisdom and boldness, and even joy in the midst of the severe trials.

  11. 11 Milton October 8, 2008 at 4:59 am

    Timothy+, does this quote you relate from a priest have a chilling familiarity?

    “we shouldn’t question the leaders.”

    After all, we were only following orders.

    Brad, I hope between you and others sharing them, that every one of your questions gets asked aloud, publicly, at open mike, at the convention.

    For family reasons, my personal exit from our mostly faithful Episcopal church with 2 new, believing, proclaiming priests came mid-June, to Nashville 1st Church of the Nazarene. It is not yet clear to me whether this is permanent. God has answered prayer in giving our 2 daughters a heart for Himself and many teachable moments at home with them, which continue. Perhaps I have a beach head for safe haven for my family, perhaps only for myself, though out daughters have expressed some interest.

    God will still, I think, raise a true church from the ashes of false TEC, especially with firmer plans for a North American orthodox province due to air in December. Several people have befriended me at 1st Nazarene, and the LORD provides, much as He provided for Elijah at Ravensbrook, until He moved the place of blessing. Brad, KTF as you have been doing, keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, and all will ultimately end well.

  12. 12 C October 9, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Brad … Of note are the following portions of the Bishop’s address to the Primates in Tanzania in February 2007 …

    “…we are deeply concerned with the substantial loss of many lifelong faithful Episcopalians, and the increasing number of congregations that are seeking the leadership and oversight of bishops in other Provinces of the Communion. This loss is not only in dioceses that are exercising oppressive behaviour toward these congregations, but also in dioceses that have affirmed the Windsor Report or are under the authority of bishops who are considered Windsor compliant. Action of this nature not only weakens the structure of the diocese, but exacerbates the fractured nature of The Episcopal Church and Communion.
    In keeping with this action on the part of these congregations, and the spirit of the Windsor Report, many of us specifically raise the importance of paragraph 155, that calls for “a moratorium on any further interventions.” [WR 155.p59] We realize fully that in some cases there was no other choice at the moment, but feel this needs to become a realistic goal, and to do so, we are dependent upon the support of the primates as it relates to bishops within your respective provinces.
    “The very existence of the Instruments of Unity points to the desire of the Communion to work together, with bishops, clergy and laity all involved as fully as possible.” [WR66.p32] To facilitate this we are committed to working with the bishops of The Episcopal Church, and in those cases where a congregation has placed itself under a bishop of another province, to make provision for the present needs of the congregation. This oversight would be done with the full agreement of the local bishop and congregation, and would enable the particular body to continue to exercise their ministry as the Covenant process unfolds. We must provide care for our own, and endeavour to find solutions to some of our problems.”

    and

    ” … In closing, permit me to say, that as Windsor Bishops, we share a deep concern that should the General Convention of the Church elect to not participate in the Covenant process, and therefore “choose to walk apart,” then we pray there will be a structure that will permit those who desire to remain “a constituent member of the Anglican Communion and in communion with the See of Canterbury,” to be a part of this process. This is important to the approximately two dozen diocesan bishops that have affirmed the Windsor Report process and expressed the desire to remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury. This is important to laity and clergy across the Church who desire to do likewise.”

  13. 13 C October 9, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Brad … Of note are the following portions of the Bishop’s address to the Primates in Tanzania in February 2007 …

    “…we are deeply concerned with the substantial loss of many lifelong faithful Episcopalians, and the increasing number of congregations that are seeking the leadership and oversight of bishops in other Provinces of the Communion. This loss is not only in dioceses that are exercising oppressive behaviour toward these congregations, but also in dioceses that have affirmed the Windsor Report or are under the authority of bishops who are considered Windsor compliant. Action of this nature not only weakens the structure of the diocese, but exacerbates the fractured nature of The Episcopal Church and Communion.
    In keeping with this action on the part of these congregations, and the spirit of the Windsor Report, many of us specifically raise the importance of paragraph 155, that calls for “a moratorium on any further interventions.” [WR 155.p59] We realize fully that in some cases there was no other choice at the moment, but feel this needs to become a realistic goal, and to do so, we are dependent upon the support of the primates as it relates to bishops within your respective provinces.
    “The very existence of the Instruments of Unity points to the desire of the Communion to work together, with bishops, clergy and laity all involved as fully as possible.” [WR66.p32] To facilitate this we are committed to working with the bishops of The Episcopal Church, and in those cases where a congregation has placed itself under a bishop of another province, to make provision for the present needs of the congregation. This oversight would be done with the full agreement of the local bishop and congregation, and would enable the particular body to continue to exercise their ministry as the Covenant process unfolds. We must provide care for our own, and endeavour to find solutions to some of our problems.”

    and

    ” … In closing, permit me to say, that as Windsor Bishops, we share a deep concern that should the General Convention of the Church elect to not participate in the Covenant process, and therefore “choose to walk apart,” then we pray there will be a structure that will permit those who desire to remain “a constituent member of the Anglican Communion and in communion with the See of Canterbury,” to be a part of this process. This is important to the approximately two dozen diocesan bishops that have affirmed the Windsor Report process and expressed the desire to remain in full communion with the See of Canterbury. This is important to laity and clergy across the Church who desire to do likewise.”

  14. 14 Mad Potter October 9, 2008 at 1:20 am

    It is going to be an interesting convention! See you there.

  15. 15 ted mcwhorter October 9, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    I echo Brad’s comments. Unless we realign, the diocese is doomed to a revisionist bishop in the next go round.

    I have no intention of waiting for that to happen. I will not be a delegate next year unless this convention adopts language that allows the Diocese to realign with another (and Christian) Province. No scheme where the ACC, ABC and Kate Schori have any say is acceptable. I have spoken to hundreds of Louisana Anglicans in the last 18 months, and there is a surprising uniformity in this opinion. This convention must act. It is crunch time.

    Ted

  16. 16 Bobby J. Kennedy October 9, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    Yes, this Diocese, at this Convention, needs to adopt language which begins the process of leaving TEC.

  17. 17 descant October 9, 2008 at 9:23 pm

    Two small points:

    Such a resolution would fail in the clergy order.

    The failure of Bishop MacPherson to rule such a resolution out of order might make him liable to be deposed for abandonment of communion.

  18. 18 One Small Voice October 9, 2008 at 11:56 pm

    Timing is everything and for everything there is a season. GC 09 will be the tipping point, not only for WLA and +Bruce, but for more dioceses and parishes. Patience is a virtue. And as they say all good things comes to him who waits. What’s another nine months?

  19. 19 William Tighe October 10, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    “Such a resolution would fail in the clergy order.”

    Why? Have they assumed “the ostrich position” for all these years?

    “The failure of Bishop MacPherson to rule such a resolution out of order might make him liable to be deposed for abandonment of communion.”

    And this would put him in the company of Schofield, Duncan, Ackerman and Iker — hardly bad company to keep — not to mention certain bishops of the 4th and 5th centuries.

  20. 20 Bobby J. Kennedy October 10, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Yes, if we don’t stand for something we will fall for everything. Who cares if charges of abandonment of communion are issued. What about abandonment of the Gospel? What about abandonment of the faith once delivered by a perverse TEC? I know these are all issues that we are all concerned about, and we have different opinions about how to stand and bear witness, but enough is enough. Enough is enough.

  21. 21 Bobby J. Kennedy October 10, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    To clarify, I don’t mean to sound as if I don’t care about what Bishop Bruce would have to deal with personally if such charges were raised. I just wish what 815 says didn’t matter as much to us, considering how 815 doesn’t show any regard to Canons, the Scriptures, etc…


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