Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daffodil Days

This time of year we are blessed with the annual appearance of the late winter seasonal flower, the daffodil. Ours are looking better than they did last year at this time. Although today's forecast calls for temperatures in the 70's, I won't forget the ice on the daffodils we had last year.

When I took these pictures and set up this blog post on Saturday, I was hoping to cut out early on Sunday and get away without having to type in anything about the Sunday service.

As it turned out, the Gospel reading for Sunday was Matthew 6:24-34
which includes these words of our Lord:
"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?"

Just another little Godincidence.

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvellous for me.
But I have calmed and quieted my soul,
like a weaned child with its mother;
my soul is like the weaned child that is with me.
O Israel, hope in the Lord
from this time on and for evermore.
-Psalm 131
Song of Quiet Trust
A Song of Ascents. Of David.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"Such truths are ‘non-negotiable'"

"What truths?" you ask (unless you are an Episcopalian in which case the question should be, "Who are you to define truth for me?).

This article from 2009 at LifeSiteNews came to mind when I was pondering the different conclusions reached by the Episcopal church and the Catholic Church regarding same sex relationships.
"Long Island’s Bishop William Murphy has come out swinging at Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi, after the New York politician publicly stated he was a 'practicing Catholic' who now supports same-sex 'marriage,' a position that Murphy said is incompatible with being Catholic."
But would be perfectly compatible with a practicing Episcopalian.
"Suozzi, the DeCounty Executive for Nassau County, expressed his support for same-sex “marriage” in a June 13 op-ed for the New York Times. Suozzi described himself as a “practicing Catholic,” who had abandoned his previous support for civil unions, saying now anything less than civil same-sex “marriage” would create “a separate and unequal system."
And same sex marriage is somehow equal?
"Bishop Murphy penned a forceful response in that week’s edition of the Long Island Catholic, the newspaper for the Rockville Center diocese, stating he felt compelled to respond publicly to Suozzi, “because [Suozzi] publicly identifies himself as a practicing Catholic.” Murphy stated that Suozzi was “contradicting some basic moral teachings of his own faith” that no Catholics are free to deny.

“The logic of Mr. Suozzi’s argument is difficult to discern,” wrote Murphy. “It seems that he has become convinced that because he has met homosexual persons who have suffered discrimination, they now have a ‘right’ to insist that the state redefine their private sexual relationships and give such the term of marriage.”

Bishop Murphy made clear that Suozzi’s disregard for the Church’s teaching on same-sex “marriage” and “abortion” do not qualify him to be a practicing Catholic, because these teachings are “unambiguous, faithful to the Lord and binding on all Catholics.”

“In saying this, I am not singling out Mr. Suozzi. I am speaking to all Catholics in our diocese and beyond, reminding them that what we bishops teach is not “another opinion” among many that Catholics may choose or not choose.”

Instead, such truths are ‘non-negotiable,’ binding on all of us who claim to be ‘practicing Catholics,’” reiterated Murphy. “Otherwise we are not faithful to our Lord, to His Church and to the ultimate truths about the human person which alone can bring us freedom, justice, joy and peace.”

I agree that there are ultimate truths about the human person which can bring us freedom, justice, joy, and peace. They can be found in the Bible. As an Episcopalian however, I lack a bishop who can render a statement about human sexuality as anything other than "another opinion." If I have a question, where am I to turn?

Ever since they started printing the Bible for the masses, problems of authoritative interpretation have been multiplying as fast as authors of controversial books. At the present time, some denominations have come to the point where all interpretations are acceptable as long as we can still hug each other during the passing of the peace.

The passing of the peace...requiem aeternam. Yes that is where our freedom can lead us, to the injustice of biblical revisionism, to the misery of the soul made slave to the flesh, to the loss of peace.

Bishop Murphy's solution to issues such as those concerning sexuality is to rely on the teachings of the bishops. The Episcopal protestant way was the way intended in the Articles of Religion,
XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation. (1801)
but as evidenced by the actions of recent general conventions and by the actions of the bishops of the church in ordaining whosoever they please and teaching highly individualized new gospels, the Episcopal approach has devolved into a "do as you so desire" non-solution that openly parades its contrariness to God's Word written.

We should learn from the failures of both approaches.

Catholics, follow your bishops, Episcopalians, please open your Bible and turn to...
Romans 1:16-28 (NAB)
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel. It is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: for Jew first, and then Greek.
For in it is revealed the righteousness of God from faith to faith;
as it is written, 'The one who is righteous by faith will live.'
The wrath of God is indeed being revealed from heaven against every impiety and wickedness of those who suppress the truth by their wickedness.
For what can be known about God is evident to them, because God made it evident to them.
Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what he has made. As a result, they have no excuse; for although they knew God they did not accord him glory as God or give him thanks. Instead, they became vain in their reasoning, and their senseless minds were darkened.
While claiming to be wise, they became fools
and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes.
Therefore, God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts for the mutual degradation of their bodies.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie and revered and worshiped the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity.

And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper."
P.S. Nassau County Executive Thomas Suozzi lost his re-election bid and conceded defeat on Dec. 1, 2009.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

First Theological Council of Upper SC Part II

The following was sent from our bishop to help prepare us for the so-called First Theological Council of Upper SC (His first letter can be found here). If you can decipher this latest missive, please help me to understand what in the world he is talking about. I wonder if it was written during his trip back from Canterbury where he attended a new bishop indocrination. He could have been suffering the effects of jet lag or perhaps an overdose of Canterbury tea, but I think he should seriously consider taking the word "Theological" out of the name of the event. You might also wonder about the appropriateness of the word "council."

Are you ready boys and girls? Okay, let's gather around the campfire and listen.

"The upcoming Special Convention/1st Theological Council will be an important event in the life of our diocese. There does seem, however, to be some confusion about the purpose of the Council."
I am not in the least bit confused, except by the very idea that there could be a purpose. Let us see if he clears up the confusion as to the purpose of the council.
"I need your help as clergy and ambassadors to communicate clearly what this Council is and what it is not."
If he needs their help, he is not getting off to a good start.
It is my belief that the time has come for the diocese to collectively, honestly and “seriously lay to heart the great dangers we are in by our unhappy divisions” (BCP, p.818)...
Once again, I must reiterate that 80% of his clergy appears to be united and happy, so what's the danger?
"...and begin the demanding process of finding a way forward fully aware of the great potential for loss and damage if we choose our path unwisely."
How much has been lost already? "Moving forward" has always been Episcobabble for "get over it" and cannot undo any damage already done, nor can it pull the church out of its decline.
"Developments in the church nationally will put us under increasing pressure to define our response to the issues of human sexuality that challenge and divide us."
Does he mean that the purpose of the council is to define a response?
"Until we are able as a people to understand each other more fully, and to share honestly and transparently what is at stake for each of us in these decisions, I do not believe that we will be able to find a path forward that honors God and advances the coming of God’s kingdom among this people, in this place and at this time. Faith tells me that that there is an answer to challenges we face, one that leads to health and vitality for this diocese. But that answer is not my answer or yours. It can only come after all of us begin to understand what is at stake for each of us in these choices and after each of us bring the gifts of Christian maturity to bear on the process of finding the right path for us all collectively."
In keeping with his moderate indecisiveness he is trying to show that the "collective" will provide the solution. What ever happened to studying the scriptures????? Hmmm????
"The divisions in our beliefs and commitments around these issues are real. We can no longer safely ignore them, if we ever could. We can only come together in honesty, humility and love and look for a path forward that with God’s blessing we all can walk together."
All that are left are walking pretty much in lock step.
"It is important that we understand at this time that we are at the beginning of a process. The most important work will do in our 1st Council will be to define the norms and values that will shape our work together on these issues going forward. For that reason, This Council is principally about identifying and engaging norms for being in relationship within the Christian community."
Then maybe he should have named it "A Council on the Theology of Christian Community."
"Human sexuality is on the agenda for engaging those norms, but this is decidedly not a place for debating the issues inherent in that subject or issuing decisions."
Forget what he said earlier about defining a response.
"The goal of that part of our dialogue will be to help delegates articulate—each person for him/herself—what is most deeply at stake for them in the questions about human sexuality that we face and genuinely to listen (not argue about) and to hear what is at stake for others. “Seek first to understand…” All facilitators will be trained to keep us on this track."
Goal 1: Articulate.
What does he mean by deeply at stake? Does he mean personally? What about the body of Christ? Oops, that might involve theology, and I don't think he wants us going there.
"Why is this our approach? In the Suzuki method of teaching music, within which all three of our sons learned their instruments, students frequently learn a piece of music not so they can expand their repertory, per se, but so that they can learn a particular technique. This allows them to engage the real repertory pieces with a more comfortable familiarity with their instrument."
He's just fiddling around with us here isn't he?
"Furthermore, our faith begins and ends with a relationship, a relationship with God the Father in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. That relationship does not begin with theology, but is nonetheless the foundation for all theology. No relationship, no theology. That is why we are calling this a “theological” council. Our theological conversation can only be built upon real relationships within the Body of Christ."
You cannot do theology if you do not first believe, but I believe the overuse of the word "relationship" needs to stop.
"The second goal for the 1st Council will be give us a fuller understanding of the breadth of thought and the depth of feeling on these issues within the diocese."
Goal 2: Understanding

As if you need 2 days to figure that one out.
"Our silence about these issues as a body has allowed us far too often to speak about them only with those who agree with our positions. In our impatience and callousness, we have too often dismissed or denigrated those who disagree with us."
Now that those who disagree have left, the conversation should be a whole lot easier.
"Such an approach is entirely at odds with the consistent witness of Scripture and violates Jesus’ mandate that his disciples show extraordinary love for their fellow Christians."
Does that mean he is going to people the diocese with some fire breathing reasserting priests to make up for the damage done by his predecessor?
"For that reason, The Council is also about better understanding who and where we are in this diocese on issues of sexuality, how deeply committed we are to our positions, and even in our differences, what commitments we share as Christians."
Nope, but we will understand where 80% of the clergy and 0% of the scriptures stand.
"So, when people ask you about the upcoming 'sexuality debate,' I am counting on you to be my ambassador in explaining that this is not, in fact, a debate; it is the beginning of a diocesan conversation."
Shades of the "listening Process." We now have the "diocesan conversation."

• We will have no guest speakers from one side or the other. It will just be us.
Empty minds in = empty minds out.
• We will not publish any Council materials arguing for one side or the other, nor use any such resources during the Council itself. (And, in case you were wondering, people from all over the country on both sides have been sending in such resources!)
I will be happy to provide anyone who so desires with a list, but there seems little point in studying scripture for this "diocesan conversation."
• Scriptural resources will be about scriptural norms for how we are called by God to be in relationship, not about sexuality itself.
Group hug!
"I am excited about this opportunity to engage with each other. To touch a deeper part of each others’ souls. I don’t know how it will change us, but I’m confident that it will change us."
On the other hand, forget the group hug.
"Our plates are full, and our opportunities for living more fully in Christ are abundant. Blessings to you all, and I look forward to seeing you next week at Gravatt.
Your brother in Christ,

Your brother in Christ,

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo
Eighth Bishop of Upper South Carolina"

Kumbaya please...please...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paul's Church Nightmares

"Health food may be good for the conscience but Oreos taste a hell of a lot better." Robert Redford
If you are a channel surfer, you probably have seen quite a few "reality" T.V. shows. Among these are a couple of shows which feature a celebrity chef who is invited to help turn around a failing restaurant. After watching a few episodes of "Ramsey's Kitchen Nightmares" it is inevitable that one might try to apply the principles demonstrated in these programs to other failing organizations.
Since the “mainline” Protestant churches have been in decline for the past several decades, and in spite of the efforts of some individual pockets of the Church to reform, there remain a huge number of failing “restaurants” out there that somehow manage to stay in business (as long as the old Sunday morning crowd remains satisfied with lousy fare and lousy service).

Watch for eerie parallels between failing kitchens and failing churches as we study the methods of the reality show (with a few helpful ideas from our celebrity Saint thrown in for good measure).

Step 1. There has to be a call for help.
The owners of the restaurant are finally facing up to the fact that they are losing their shirts and about to go belly up.

- Many churches have not faced the facts.
"A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup.
For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying." 1 Corinthians 11:28-30 (NAB)
2. Analysis of the problems.
The celebrity chef checks out the decor, sits down and tries out the food and service. Problems are usually noted right off the bat as unacceptable food must be spat out, and servers are seen rolling their eyes or shaking their heads as the owners cringe or scowl in the background.
The chef then inspects the kitchen and often discovers stale, rotten ingredients, unsanitary practices, and lack of, or misplaced, authority.

- It often takes an outsider to spot the obvious problems in the church. Those inside have been made blind by a steady diet of an inauthentic gospel.
"For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within?
God will judge those outside. 'Purge the evil person from your midst.'" 1 Corinthians 5:12-13 (NAB)
3. Submission to authority.
Everyone must be shown what they are doing wrong and admit that the celebrity chef knows best. Many owners, cooks, and staff can't believe that the food stinks, the cooks and owners do not care enough about the stuff that comes out of the kitchen to even taste of it, the staff lacks leadership, and the servers don't know the menu. They thought the chef was just going to come in and rearrange the furniture. This sometimes causes an awful lot of anger, denial, name calling, and usually (but not always) repentance.
"Are you so stupid? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now ending with the flesh?" Galatians 3:3 (NAB)
- Authority is not recognized by the liberal church since there can be no lawgiver, no right or wrong, no truth. In addition, nobody wants to confess that they have erred and gone astray. The demons that infect the Church will kick and scream if exorcism is attempted. In this way, many an exorcist has been scared off.
"So now have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?" Galatians 4:16 (NAB)
4. The clean out.
The old food is tossed out, equipment is cleaned, employees who refuse to repent are fired, owners are made to make the tough decisions.
"Clear out the old yeast, so that you may become a fresh batch of dough, inasmuch as you are unleavened. For our paschal lamb, Christ, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with the old yeast, the yeast of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:7 (NAB)
- Most churches never reach this point. The patrons just leave or continue to be slowly poisoned.

5. The make over.
Needed renovations are made.
This usually costs money, and that is something the troubled restaurant does not have. The producers of the television program ante up. A new menu is prepared by the celebrity chef which is within the capabilities of a remade kitchen team.

The problems point to something deeper that is wrong.
"for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there, namely, Jesus Christ."
1 Corinthians 3:11 (NAB)
6. Spreading the word.
Samples of the new menu are handed out to people on the street. Everyone loves the taste and promises to try out the restaurant.

- Try to imagine the most amazing sidewalk evangelist ever. The message is so sweet that you want more of that divine food.
"Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed received and in which you also stand. Through it you are also being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you, unless you believed in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NAB)
7. Reopening night tensions and problems.
Many of the old problems resurface as hordes of new customers appear for the grand reopening. The lousy cook can't handle the new menu. The staff is not used to preparing and serving such a large crowd. Owners lose focus on putting out a quality product. Old patterns of behavior resurface. The celebrity chef quickly identifies the problem areas, and demands correction.

-As they say in the South, "They heard it, but it didn't take." It seems that every generation has to re-learn the hard way.
"Do not be led astray: 'Bad company corrupts good morals.'
Become sober as you ought and stop sinning. For some have no knowledge of God; I say this to your shame." 1 Corinthians 15:33-34 (NAB)
8. Final changes.
Sometimes these are too painful to accept, but the owner who has learned his/her lesson will step up and make the changes needed to both themselves and their staff.

- How often do we see this happen in the Church?
"If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be accursed. Marana tha." 1 Corinthians 16:22 (NAB)
9. Promise to do better.
As the chef departs and all promise to give it their very best effort, the chef turns to the camera and expresses his hope that they will indeed change their ways for he knows what happens to those who backslide.

"For even if I saddened you by my letter, I do not regret it; and if I did regret it ((for) I see that that letter saddened you, if only for a while),
I rejoice now, not because you were saddened, but because you were saddened into repentance; for you were saddened in a godly way, so that you did not suffer loss in anything because of us.
For godly sorrow produces a salutary repentance without regret, but worldly sorrow produces death.
For behold what earnestness this godly sorrow has produced for you, as well as readiness for a defense, and indignation, and fear, and yearning, and zeal, and punishment." -2 Corinthians 7:8-11 (NAB)
10. The revisit (optional). On occasion, the series returns to see how the restaurant is faring. Sometimes the place is closed or sold to a new owner. On other occasions, the celebrity chef's interventions have been tossed out and the place has gone back to serving poorly prepared or even canned food to small numbers of non-discriminating customers. Sometimes, the chef returns to find that everything is going swimmingly well to the joy of all.
"I am writing this while I am away, so that when I come I may not have to be severe in virtue of the authority that the Lord has given me to build up and not to tear down.
Finally, brothers, rejoice. Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the holy ones greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the holy Spirit be with all of you." 2 Corinthians 13:10-13 (NAB)

WWPS (what would Paul say) if he came to your church as a consultant? Several things come to mind, but he has probably already written them down. In modern language, perhaps he might say:

1. What have you done to the menu I gave you?
2. Your food is lukewarm.
3. Your staff needs to study the menu, deliver the menu, and let the meal work its magic.
4. Where has your passion gone, do you not care anymore?

"I never eat in a restaurant that's over a hundred feet off the ground and won't stand still." Calvin Trillin (1979)

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Choices We Make

Today's service at ECOOS was shorter than usual because of the need to have our annual parish meeting. Our sermon was based on the O.T. reading,
Sirach 15:15-20,
If you choose, you can keep the commandments,
and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice.
He has placed before you fire and water;
stretch out your hand for whichever you choose.
Before each person are life and death,
and whichever one chooses will be given.
For great is the wisdom of the Lord;
he is mighty in power and sees everything;
his eyes are on those who fear him,
and he knows every human action.
He has not commanded anyone to be wicked,
and he has not given anyone permission to sin.
To Mary Cat's credit, she mentioned sin and our propensity towards it several times during the course of her sermonette. It seems like the shorter the sermon, the less likely the preacher is to stray from the scripture.

Curious that the Gospel reading for today was ignored (Matthew 5:21-37)
. Maybe not so curious as that is where Jesus teaches about adultery, divorce, name callin, and cussin.

It is easier to talk about generic sins than to dive into the nitty gritty. It also takes less time. Besides, who, on a pleasant spring like Sunday morning, would choose to stay and listen to what our Lord has to say about those things anyway?

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The First Store Bought Casket in Avery County

The other day, my mother in law and I were talking about the old times. As we traded stories, she passed along one that her aunt had told about my mother in law's grandfather. According to the story, he was a coal miner and died from lung disease at an early age, but somehow the family had enough money to buy a "store bought casket" for the funeral. Such a thing had never been seen before in that part of the mountains. The casket reportedly arrived by the Tweetsie railroad and was then carried by "the men" over the mountains to where the body was being kept. Folks reportedly came from miles around to see, not the procession, but the casket, this being the first store bought casket in Avery county.

Entertainment at its finest.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Islam Meets Valley Speak

"How shall the faith develop, or be permitted to develop, in the face of differing local conditions, challenges and gifts?" Presiding Bishop Schori.
We have seen the Episcopal solution. Forget about development. Allow the local conditions change the faith.

How will Islam "develop" when it encounters the American "local condition?"

At first, I thought that there could be no possibility of Islam changing itself as it moves into America, but then I saw this:

H/T Nickie Goomba

Islam, meet our secret weapon.

I still can't figure out if she is in favor of the mosque or not.

I get a similar feeling of confusion after listening to certain TEc spokespersons trying to explain what goes on in the Episcopal church (same link as the first).

I mean, like, it's sooooo boring, ya know.

Friday, February 04, 2011

In Honor of the 400th Anniversary of the Authorized Version of the Bible

Services will be held on the first Sunday of the month (beginning this Sunday) wherein a Rite I liturgy will be used with readings from the Authorized Version. Fr. Dunbar will be the celebrant and there will be no music and no sermon. The church doors will open at 3:30 pm for silent prayer and the service will begin at 4:00 pm.

We would like to thank Fr. Dunbar for coming back to provide this service, and for giving us the best possible Super Bowl pregame show imaginable.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Canon to the Left of Me

From Midlands Biz,
"The Rt. Rev. Andrew Waldo, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Upper South Carolina, has called the Rev. Tommy H. Tipton, rector of Holy Cross Faith Memorial Church on Pawley’s Island, to serve the diocese as Canon to the Ordinary.

Tipton has served Holy Cross as rector since 1991.

'During his years at Holy Cross, Pawley’s Island, Tommy Tipton has demonstrated his ample gifts and competence in congregational and leadership development and his substantive managerial and teaching skills,'" said Bishop Waldo.

How do I know that the Canon is to the left of me?

This article from 2003 about a special convention of the Diocese of South Carolina provides the answer.

Called by the standing committee and bishops, the special convention was to consider three resolutions repudiating the actions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church this summer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in confirming the election of the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, a gay man in a long-term relationship, as bishop of New Hampshire and in adopting a resolution that has been interpreted as permitting local option blessings of gay relationships.

Despite emotional opposition from moderate clergy and lay delegates, all three resolutions passed by wide margins.

Although some delegates called for continued discussions of human sexuality issues, the Rev. Richard Belser, rector of St. Michael's, Charleston, declared, "I think the discussion is ended. It ended in Minneapolis. We need to do something to speak out against [General Convention's actions]."
Bishop Salmon, in an address to the convention delegates, said the actions of General Convention had "abolished the space of mutual respect that has allowed people of differing views to co-exist...the middle has been replaced by a battleground."

He and other speakers cited anecdotal evidence of widespread dismay in Episcopal congregations throughout the South, with church signs draped in black in several dioceses, a black flag flown from the cathedral in Birmingham, Alabama, a funeral for the Episcopal church held at one Georgia parish the Sunday after General Convention, and prisoners in Florida refusing to see Episcopal church pastoral visitors.

A permanent deacon who ministers to bikers and street people said, "We as deacons have to take the gospel outside the church, into the streets. I don't believe we can take the results of General Convention into the streets."

The Rev. Tommy Tipton of Holy Cross/Faith Memorial, Pawley's Island, read a statement from 17 clergy who were opposed to the standing committee's resolutions. He said that the resolutions sent the message that homosexuals were not welcome.

Salmon took issue with Tipton. Noting that he had gay members of his own family, he said, "Our debate is not whether gays and lesbians are welcome in the church...If they are not, no one is. Rather, the debate is around the question of a new creation," a theological innovation permitting extramarital sexuality.

I am surprised that Tipton stuck it out so long.

It should come as no surprise that Bishop Waldo should ask someone with the views of the Rev. Tipton to move to Upper SC to take the job as Canon to the Ordinary.

With this appointment, it should no longer be a secret as to which direction Waldo is steering the Diocese of Upper SC.

UPDATE and ADDENDUM (h/t to Sarah)

-- Here's T19's thread on the subject:

-- And here's commentary at StandFirm:

-- Here's Bishop Lawrence's response to The Episcopal Forum's request for an investigation of his and the Standing Committee's actions from late 2010:
Opening Excerpt: "Yesterday a group within the Diocese known as the Episcopal Forum of South Carolina wrote to the House of Bishops and the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church urging them to investigate my actions as Bishop and the actions of our Standing Committee. They have cited seven concerns as the foundation for their request. While these are trying times for Episcopalians and there is much need for listening carefully to one another, I do not want to let these accusations stand or go without response."