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had "abolished the space of mutual respect that has allowed people of differing views to co-exist...the middle has been replaced by a battleground."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."


  1. Another diocese bites the dust. And another dioces bites the dust.

    Everyone, sing along.

  2. Just Me,

    It (the dust) must taste good because we have been eating it for a while.

  3. So...what did you expect from a revisionist bishop who supports gay marriage and open communion?

    Ours is not to make reply
    Ours is not to reason why

  4. Anonymous7:29 PM

    How can this be happening? It is very frustrating to be a parishioner in the upstate. The election of the bishop was a joke, and we are heading for nothing but misery.

  5. This is what happens when you trade a beautiful prayer book for one which has people jumping around waving their hands and hugging each other in the middle of the service. Once respected - now a laughing stock - your Episcopal Church welcomes you.

  6. I just posted a little addendum. You may find that our new Canon to the Ordinary has a lengthy history of being a grumbler. I should know because I am a grumbler myself.

    Bishop Waldo in calling for a "Theological Council" to discuss sexuality planned for April of 2011 is asking for us to be guided by the Rule of Benedict when he writes:

    "Our first priority will be to ensure a safe, secure, and open environment that will keep us mindful of our unity in Christ Jesus. The introduction to the proposed Anglican Covenant, as well as The Rule of St. Benedict, provides helpful scriptural guidance for being together in this way. We will ground our dialogue in a rhythm of prayer and worship, flowing from meals, to worship, to spoken meditation, to reflection, to small group discussion, and then to plenary discussion."

    Uh, er, Bishop, I think you missed a thing or two in the Rule...

    Benedict warns about grumblers ("not less than twelve times")

    It is neglectful of the Rule to use our good money to bring in a grumbler, especially in a time of declining church budgets.

    I will, of course, be happy to continue to serve as volunteer grumbler for as long as the Bishop sees fit to continue to support grumbling.

  7. What, pray, is a "Canon to the Ordinary?". Does s/he keep the hoi polloi satisfied via misdirection or bread & circuses?


  8. ToilNotSpin1:21 AM


    I am so glad you asked that question; I am a lifelong Episcopalian and have never heard of that particular post either. Canon to the Ordinary what? or who? and is it possible the entire EC could save money just from getting read of some of these elaborate titles?

  9. Ordinary=diocesan bishop

    The Canon to the Ordinary is the bishop's chief of staff, occasional hatchet man, and fall guy for those occasions when the bishop screws up. He takes all the heat and gets none of the credit (if ever there is any).

  10. Anonymous4:35 PM

    At one time (and still in the greek church) bishops of a large area/city (jurisdiction over more than a diocese) were known as metropolitans, mere diocesan bishops were called Bishop Ordinary. Thus, the Canon to the Ordinary is the canon to the Bishop. In Anglicanism I suppose Metropolitans have been replaced by Archbishops and Primates.