Sunday, July 15, 2012

Servings from the Platter

Today's reading from Mark 6:14-29 presented us with the gruesome image of John the Baptist's head being served up on a platter for Herod's daughter.

Caravaggio (Wikipedia)

Today, I will serve up the remains of the Episcopal church as a gift of its recent General Convention. Every three years, the church dances around in convention and some new body part winds up being delivered to Herod's child. This year gave us a pretty horrific vision. By the time they finished with GC 2012, and I put it on a serving platter, you might need a forensic pathologist to tell what the unholy mess was to begin with.

Let us pick through the leftovers to see if any sense can be made of where this church is headed.
Leftovers from the Integrity (gay activist group within TEc) "Eucharist" included the following prayer,
“Spirit of Life, we thank you for disordering our boundaries and releasing our desires as we prepare this feast of delight,” the offering prayer began. (Image Here)
Leftovers from the House of Bishops vote on same sex blessings included,
 "Bishop Michael Vono of the Rio Grande rose in support of the resolution, urging the House to vote in favor of the resolution as it was the 'Jesus thing' to do 'for our time.'”  (AnglicanInk)
"Bishop M. Thomas Shaw of Massachusetts stated his state was the first in the country to authorize gay marriage.  He noted the progressive stance of his diocese on gay and lesbian issues had led to “'significant growth recently, in thanks to including all people.'”  (AnglicanInk) (Actually his diocese shrank (T19) significantly from 2007-2010)
 ...the Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo of Upper South Carolina said he was in favor of the “full inclusion” of gays and lesbians into the life of the church, but the “theological rationale” offered for gay blessings was “weak.”  “I want to vote ‘yes’ but cannot,” he said. (AnglicanInk)
 Yes, I am paying the last guy's salary. What an idiot... I am.

Way out in left field leftovers:
"Right after that, we considered a resolution that would invite the church membership to read the Bible in 2013. You ready for this? The committee that presented the resolution recommended that we reject this resolution. They claimed it was redundant. In debate, a deputy urged the resolution's defeat and said, 'We are in favor of the Bible, but we don't want just anyone reading it. They might get wrong ideas.' Oh yes, she did say that!" "Deputy Farrell of North Carolina saved the day. He said, 'I would not like to pick up USA Today and find a headline that says the Episcopal Church is not in favor of reading the Bible. We'd best pass this resolution.'" We did, by the way. Passed it handily. -John Burwell+
Way, way out in left field you can find the Presiding Bishop dishing it out,

“The Episcopal Church is healthy, it’s becoming healthier, and it’s poised for an even more significant impact on the world around us. There’s no stopping us. Watch out world. We’re coming.” Presiding Bishop Katharine Schori

And lastly the only food I could pick from this carcass were,
"This General Convention action is unbiblical, unchristian, unanglican and unseemly. It will further wreak havoc among Anglicans, and indeed Christians, in North America and around the world.
By making this decision, The Episcopal Church moves further away from Jesus Christ and his teaching. It thereby makes it necessary for the diocese of South Carolina to take further decisive and dramatic action to distance itself from this false step.
We in South Carolina must differentiate to stay loyal to Christ, but also to keep our own parish members and not hinder the mission of Jesus Christ who loves all and transforms all by the power of the Holy Spirit to holiness of life, a holiness which has a clear shape agreed by Christians East and West throughout 20 centuries."
--The Rev. Canon Dr. Kendall Harmon is Canon Theologian for the Diocese of South Carolina and convenor of his blog (and he makes this statement for himself)
"These resolutions in my opinion," said Bishop Mark Lawrence, "are disconcerting changes to the doctrine, discipline and worship of the Episcopal Church--to which every bishop, priest and deacon is asked to conform. More importantly they mark a departure from the doctrine, discipline and worship of Christ as this Church has received them, therein making it necessary for me to strongly differentiate myself from such actions." 
 Differentiation may be possible in the other diocese in the state, but what about us up-staters stuck as we are with a bishop who will not let his yes be a yes or his no be a no?
"Each General Convention is an opportunity for another wave of TECers to see the light, to distance and detach and differentiate, and to stop sending money to the corrupt leaders that are currently in charge." - Sarah
Call them corrupt or call them idiots, but take the money away and there really will be no meat left on the bone. If God could raise dry bones and clothe them with flesh, will he ever raise up these remains and breathe his Holy Word into the carcass of the Episcopal church?

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