Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Kanuga Gives Me the Kreeps

Usually, I try to slow down during Lent and focus on things Holy and true. This year, unholy Lenten reports keep coming in that I feel obliged to pass along as warnings to those who choose to keep a Holy Lent.

Kanuga Conference center and camp and I have been in relationship for 25 years. We have an understanding. Kanuga stays in Hendersonville, and I stay under my rock. I never was comfortable there. Years ago, our church used to hold an annual retreat there. After looking at the types of programs offered, and after looking at my work schedule, I came to the conclusion that it was just as well that I stay home and work whenever one of those retreats was held. On one occasion, the rest of the family wanted to spend some time in the mountains with the church and went to Kanuga, leaving me to have my own personal retreat. Later, upon their return, when I questioned them on their religious experiences during the retreat, they looked puzzled and proceeded to tell me stories of playing cards, drinking, and staying up late, but were unable to tell me one thing that they learned about the Lord.

A few years later, after one of the kids was voted "outstanding camper" during a stay at summer camp at Kanuga, I became convinced that it was the rarified air at Kanuga that was the cause of many serious errors in judgement by the staff and the governing board.

Now I am thinking that darker forces have Kanuga in their grip.

This past week, I found a note on my pew that read,
"Marcus Borg, Cynthia Kittredge among presenters for second National Episcopal Preaching Conference, March 21-24"
The note had all the hallmarks (and the smell) of that gremlin of the garth, Deep Pew. A quick web search pointed to the site of this so-called "preaching conference." You guessed it, Kanuga.

Lookie here, the Rt. Rev. Frank Griswold who was the 25th presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, serving from 1998-2006 will be there too! Guess who he consecrated as the first openly gay, divorced, father, bishop in the Episcopal church?


"Conference speakers will share what drives their preaching and how they stay inspired to make their messages reach a constantly evolving audience."

Yeah, maybe Briggs-Kitteredge can preach on "Moving Forward," the conference on LGBT inclusion in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, where she was one of the featured speakers last year.

Or maybe she will preach on "A Theology of Marriage including Same-Sex Couples: A View from the Liberals" which she co-authored along with Deirdre J. Good, General Theological Seminary, Eugene F. Rogers, University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and Willis J. Jenkins, Yale Divinity School in that lamentable Episcopal church work "Same-Sex Relationships in the Life of the Church."
To quote:
"We argue that the church should marry same-sex couples, because it requires their testimony to the love of Christ and the church, and because it recognizes that same-sex couples stand in need of sanctification no less than opposite-sex couples. In grafting same-sex marriage onto the domestic rite, the church follows the pattern of God’s grafting wild, Gentile olive branches onto the domesticated olive tree of Israel (Rom 11:24). The church does so because same-sex couples need the sanctification that marriage teaches, and the church needs the marital virtues that same-sex couples are already receiving. We would expand the theology of marriage to include same-sex couples based on our corporate life of faith in the Episcopal Church and our re-reading of the Christian tradition. This vision of marriage is offered not in arrogance, naivetė, or spiritual enthusiasm, but in trust and with hope, as our witness to the mission of Christ."
Low on theology, high on gratification of "needs."

How about Borg? Maybe he can preach about his palliative care plan for "common Christians."
He can start by expounding on his infamous line:
"If their congregation is mostly elderly and unlikely to survive beyond the death of its members, and if their elderly flock is not using 'common Christianity' to judge and beat up on other people, then there may be no need to try to change them. Clergy in situations like this might see themselves as chaplains in an old folks home."
Or maybe he can preach a little about the afterlife. He can take his "I am a committed Christian and a complete agnostic about the afterlife" line for a start and run with it.

The very idea that a supposed Christian conference center would host such a collection of heretics during Lent is terrible and should be condemned.

Yes, Kanuga is Kreepy...stay away...



  2. Laissez les bon temps rouler

  3. [I]f their elderly flock is not using 'common Christianity' to judge and beat up on other people, then there may be no need to try to change them.

    Wow. Instead of providing comfort as one approaches the "Valley Of The Shadow," we shall try to remove from them that which provides the most comfort.

    All for their own good, you understand.

  4. As I think about the quoted passage about marriage, it becomes obvious that the writer is proceeding from the assumption/given that Marriage is a man-made, civil contract in which God stands as a "super notary." This means, of course, that it is impermanent and subject to our whims.

    This is a long process which begins with removing the authority of Word, which then allows the rejection of things as "created" and "sacred" by definition, which ultimately provides the license to do anything we want, provided we invoke certain magic words like "God's love."

    I'm sure Satan is laughing his ass off.

  5. Randall,

    I believe that is the correct progression. Once the authority of scripture is "re-read" (to quote the authors) to fit one's need, the rest of the Word loses its authority as well.

    1. That applies to the Council of Nicea, as well.

  6. Anglicat8:58 AM

    Please say it isn't true, Pewster! Kanuga, for me, was the place I first heard glossolalia and "singing in the spirit" during a retreat with the Fisherfolk and Bishop Frye. Might as well have been centuries ago, from what you describe .... :(

  7. Anglicat,

    Kanuga's conferences have been heading in the wrong direction for several years now, and I apologize if I have not been documenting them.

    Did ya'll have an interpreter present? If so, I wonder what their qualifications were.

    "If anyone speaks in a tongue, let it be two or at most three, and each in turn, and one should interpret." 1 Corinthians 14:27

  8. Come on down to St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center near Kiawah, SC. That is where I am headed next weekend for a diocesan DOK retreat. LOTS of good programs there.

  9. Alexi,

    You are probably right, and that might be something to research.

    My belief that you are right comes from the following personal anecdote.

    The same child who was named "Outstanding Camper" at Kanuga also spent some time at St. Christopher's.

    We were told to NEVER come back!

    Therefore, I believe St. Christopher's holds to a higher standard than does Kanuga.

  10. Anglicat5:20 PM

    Yes, Pewster; several, as I recall. Their qualifications were probably quite similar to yours! ;)

  11. I feel for those who experience what is portrayed in this blog, but sense an awful amount of piggy backing on a few bad experiences. Kanuga is nothing like what's being portrayed and I do not know of one single camp where you can't find several incidents of misfortune. I know this doesn't exclude Saint Christopher's, unless it's a Perfect Camp? I'll share this blog with the Administration. Blesdings & God Speed❤️