Reconciliation Is the Episcopal Mission

The Episcopal Church continues to focus on its mission of reconciling the world, particularly as it cares for the least, … Continued

The Episcopal Church continues to focus on its mission of reconciling the world, particularly as it cares for the least, the lost, and the left out.

While the Episcopal Church laments the recent votes by some persons in Virginia congregations to leave this Church, we are clear that individuals may depart, but congregations do not. Congregations are created and recognized by the diocese in which they exist, and can only be closed by action of the bishop and diocesan governing bodies. Even if a large percentage of a congregation departs, the remaining people will be assisted by the diocese and the larger Church to reconstitute their congregation and continue in mission and ministry in that place.

These recent departures have received a significant amount of publicity, but they represent a tiny percentage of the total number of Episcopalians in the Church. We regret and grieve their departure, and pray that they may continue their journey as Christians in another home.
In the hope that some may decide to return, we intend to keep the door open and the light on.

Those Episcopalians who remain will be offered every pastoral assistance we can provide, in the hope and expectation that mission and ministry continue in their communities. Our Anglican tradition is a broad and comprehensive one, with space for people of widely varying theological opinions. We will continue to model an expansive welcome for all people.

Our mission as a Church is the reconciliation of the world. We will continue to feed the hungry, house the homeless, educate children, heal the sick, minister to those in prison, and speak good news to those who have only heard the world’s bad news. That is the work to which Jesus calls us, and that is the work we shall continue – with a priority of peace and justice work framed by the Millennium Development Goals. May God bless that which seeks to unite and build up and heal this broken world.

The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori is Presiding Bishop and Primate of the Episcopal Church.

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  • John

    I have a huge amount of respect for The Most Reverened Jefferts but this is NOT an insight into faith or religion but a press release about current church events. I am terribly disappointed with how this series is shaping up.

  • jigomez0441

    The bishop is missing the point. She’s for matters that are against the Bible and as such she’s clouding the issue by mentioning what all the churches are supposed to do in matters of apostolate, not in matters of dogma. Homosexualism is contrary to all religions and just because these are different and more modern times, religion, true religion dos not change with times. The congregation, along with its clerics, it’s the one who decides how comply with their beliefs. I would like to ask the bishop what the words in the Bible of Sodom and Gomorrah mean and if her interpretation of it means God condones and promotes homosexualism, she’s a wolfe in sheeps’ skin.

  • Scott

    Jesus ministered to the sick and the outcasts – literally cast out of the city walls and denied access to the Temple and religious rights. He ministered to women, interacting with them freely in public, a severe taboo in his time.But today we have “mainstream citizens” critical of the Church ministering to our own society’s marginalized outcasts and treating women as full equals. I say good riddance to them and their clear sacrilege. Conservatives? No – heretics.

  • WWB

    I was born and raised an Episcopalian and I firmly agree with the way Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is dealing with the defection of disgruntled parisioners. There are plenty of other faiths and houses of worshop that seem to wallow in dark side of harsh judgement of others. Let them go there and maybe someday they will lookback and realize that love and patience towards others always trumps judgment laced with anger.

  • Mike

    Isn’t it wonderful that the Washington Post discussion on religion has turned into a talking points forum for a church in crisis and decline.

  • Chris

    jigomez0441,I am afraid that YOU are missing the point. The Bible is full of contradictions and subjective interpretations. Even the translations themselves are subjective, as there are many words in the Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic texts that do not translate directly (just as many words in today’s various Latin-based languages, i.e. English, Spanish, French, Italian, etc. may not directly translate from one to another). So you how can you say definitively that Bishop Jefferts Schori is wrong? Personally, I have recently JOINED the Episcopal Church, after a lifetime of being at odds with the Southern Baptist roots of my extended family. I am proud to be a member of a congregation that tolerates differing views on subjects that are so deeply important.

  • John Locke

    Ms Schori might as well speak for the Rotary club and every service club in the country. The Episcopal Church last summer, in national convention, failed to pass a simple resolution saying the Bible is the final authority. On that day the Episcopal church ceased its existance and the Episcopal club was born.

  • Ed Donnelly

    Bishop Jefferts writes; “Our Anglican tradition is a broad and comprehensive one, with space for people of widely varying theological opinions. ” Or perhaps no theological opinion at all, which begs the question why a church?

  • rob

    I find it very hypocritical when Episcopalians, whose Church was founded by an adulterer because he couldn’t divorce his first wife, start becoming Biblical fundamentalists. In doing so, they reveal their sexism and homophobia, which are the real causes of this current schism. Don’t believe me? Then spend, oh, 30 seconds making a looong list of the Biblical things Episcopalians routinely ignore, starting with re-marriage after divorce.

  • Still Smoldering in Potomac

    Bishop Jefferts Schori writes:”Our Anglican tradition is a broad and comprehensive one, with space for people of widely varying theological opinions.”That describes my former church home — St. James’ (Potomac, MD) — prior to the General Convention in 2003. It was a kind, generous, tolerant, loving, and multi-cultural congregation with a strong backbone of conservative leaders. But, after the convention, most of the conservative members departed and the truly unique nature of this particular congregation was forever changed.I wish that the leaders of our faith would more prayerfully ponder the consequences of their actions before they take steps that alienate their conservative (more Anglican) brothers and sisters.

  • An Active Episcopalian

    I back Presiding Bishop Jefforts Schori 100 percent! We should all know that God does NOT single out one group of people. God LOVES everyone. Only God has the right to be the judge of our sins. I firmly believe that God is a forgiving and a loving God. However, our biggest sin is not stamping out hunger, house the homeless, educate children, heal the sick, minister to those in prison, and speak good news to those who have only heard the world’s bad news. There are millions in this terrible situation and we’ve done NOTHING to resolve it. This all boils down to mankind’s reluctance to fully listen to God from the beginning. We’re nothing but a bunch of selfish brats and God loves us anyway–Go figure!

  • unmerited

    The attempt to stand upon and claim the “high ground” has been attempted in the United Methodist Church and two groups have found their corners : The Reconciling Movement and the Confessing Movement.One portrays itself as the medicine, while portraying the other as the disease.The other reminds the medicine-pretender, while sharing scripture, that it was they that caused the disease. This second group does not portray itself as medicine…it points to the Word, and says that the Word is the medicine.

  • Don Butler

    The marvel of faith to me is that I cannot know for sure. The journey is what intrigues and inspires me. I was drawn to the Episcopal church because is makes me responsible to make decisions based on a three legged stool of tradition and reason as well as the Bible. As to homosexuality, I have found very little in the Bible and no mention by Jesus. What I find in the Bible is open to interpretation and argument. How can I explain away many Biblical statements about numerable topics such as slavery or killing one’s child for bad behavior but not be willing to discuss and consider full acceptance of homosexuality?

  • jj

    Jesus was a nut job, and so are people that believe in god. You might as well pray to Santa Claus like a 4 year old does.

  • Sam

    I am not an Episcopalian. I do not agree Bishop Jefferts if we can call her that. God gave certian principles in the bible that do not change according to time or peoples’ thoughts. I know many have misinterpreted the bible for their own benifit. However, there are some bed rock rules which even if you try you cannot misinterpret or change the meaning. One of them is Homosexuality. Bible clearly I mean clearly says that Homosexuality is sin and grave one. Jefferts is an open homosexual and she living in sin and hence she is not worthy to be a bishop. She can repent and not continue or she can choose some good voluntary organization to serve the good cause of feeding the hungry. Church feeds the soul and the body not just the body. So Bishop Jefferts cannot feed the soul as she herself needs feeding.

  • Kent Laborde

    There is too much talk about how the Episcopal Church has moved away from the core beliefs of Christianity. The Episcopal Church is one embodiment of Christianity, as is Catholicism and other Protestant denominations. It is insulting that anyone questions the merit of our faith or its authenticity just because we are Episcopalians, and have differing philosophies from other denominations. Blind obedience to dogmatic principals does not make someone more virtuous. Loving your neighbor as yourself should be the baseline of our beliefs. It is past time for all Christians to move beyond this petty bickering and focus on the things that we hold in common. There are many troubling things that happen outside of the the walls of our churches. We do not need to creat more strife in the world from within the walls of our churches. I applaud Bishop Schori and all the bishops, clergy and partitioners of the Episcopal Church who continue to make it a welcoming and holy place.

  • donbl

    I don’t believe it is “just about homosexuality” as discussed by two members of Falls Church.A church is a community. They have a right to their interpretation and to affiliate their community with like minded.Jefferts has been undermining various spiritual elements of the church and undercutting the members long term beliefs in elements of their religion. It is not just about homosexuality.The Falls Church even existed BEFORE the Episcopal Church was created and they “decided” to affiliate with the Episcopal Church. Now, they are making a new decision.Maybe the Episcopal Church is no longer a church…… but, gosh, that line was already used by a political conservative who has been demonized by the WP…….

  • unknown

    The bible say to hate the spirit but love the person. But to openly accept something the bible speaks against is wrong in the body of christ. we are to be of this world not in it.I am not against ministering to Homosexuals.

  • jerry wolgin

    Many posters seem to confuse their view of who they wish Jesus was with who he actually was. There is no doubt that Jesus preaches forgiveness to all sinners and that the sin of homosexuality is no worse than the sin of anger. But he says to the woman caught in adultery “Go and sin no more.” The issue isn’t forgiveness and love, but sin and holiness. When the Prsiding Bishop says that the Church’s Mission is reconciling the world (to whom? Jesus Christ? or to the poor and downtrodden?), she is taking the Church away from its historical mission: “Go and make disciples…” Finally, it is disingenuous of her to say that individual church bodies cannot leave the Church. What will she say when the world-wide Anglican communnion finds the American Church in apostasy and disciplines it? That the American church can go its own way? Then why not individual church bodies?

  • sam

    Church is not a welcoming mat for everyone to trample on its core beliefs. God gave us the bible no person should change the beliefs. Everyone is welcome in church but no one is welcome to change it core beliefs.

  • Kathleen

    Dear Bishop Schori,As an Episcopalian and a female scientist doing postdoctoral research, I was very happy to learn that my new presiding bishop would be a female science PhD! I am very excited and happy about your leadership.However, I was worried when I read your NY Times interview and felt that it came off as a little smug. I am certain you didn’t mean it that way. But I feel that it may have seemed that way, and may have turned off some readers.Sometimes liberal Christians can accidentally come off as a little smug. I don’t know if you are a South Park fan, but if you are, check out the best-ever episode (actually about hybrid-car owners, not liberal Christians), “Smug City.” It is both a good lesson and really funny.My concern is that unintentional smugness on the part of many liberal Episcopalians, not only Bishop Schori, might be helping to drive a wedge between wings of the Anglican Church.

  • Brian Davis

    This is a sad indictment of our society. There are certian things that should not be up for debate as it pertains to the Bible. The bible is supposed to be the ultimate authority on all matters regarding the church as well as in the lives of all of those who profess belief in Christ. However, we constantly end up in debates over issues that the Bible addresses very explicity. First of all Mrs. Jeffries has no right to be called Reverend. God did not ordain women for that role. Her being allowed to be in the position of a reverend is not by God’s design but rather by man’s faulty reasoning in regards to scripture and the impact of the feminist movement. Secondly, her position on gay ministers is clearly against what the Bible teaches. The act of homosexuality has not ceased to be an abomination to God. However for a person who is supposed to be a reverend and be an authority in matters pertaining to God she has shown herself to be in great error in regard to what the scriptures truly teach. I applaud what the churches in Virginia have done. Some one has to stand on the truth. Societal beliefs and the Word of God are like water and oil. When we try mix them it will always be a mess. Case in point, the state of the Epicopalian church. I encourage other Episcopalian churches to follow the path of Virginia. We as believers in Christ need to follow God’s true law and not the man made version of God’s law.

  • Michael Newman

    Bishop Katherine speaks for the great majority of Episcopalians; liberal to conservative, who believe in the Episcopal Church US and will not see it hijacked by a bunch of Pharisies who believe that only they have received the truth of God thru the Bible. These hijackers are just old fashiond bigots who disdain anyone unlike themslves. The talk about Jesus’ love but act out Herod’s hate and fear. They are fee to leave the Episcopal Church as individuals, but they are not at liberty to steal property and traditions that are not theirs. It is sad that these Pharasies cannot see the real needs of the poor, the sick, the uneducated, the unloved rather than focusing on a narrow and myopic vision of the world. I am tired of their diatribes of intolorance and hate. I urge them to go away and let those of us who remain to serve and honor the Lord; not their false idols.

  • AM, Vienna, VA

    Obviously this does not belong here. It is simply the statement of one side of a contractual dispute: Who owns the property?Better to try to stay on message.

  • Boomer

    Just to keep everyone honest, would one of you please quote and cite the exact scripture referring to homosexuality? Thanks.

  • SAM

    Michael,

  • Jon

    This schism just makes me feel amazingly sad. I very much doubt that God is happy with the splintering of his house or having his believers at eachother’s throats when there is so much good they could be doing in the world otherwise.

  • SAM

    (Lev. 20:13) “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”

  • Sancho

    What is it going to take for you bible thumpers to understand that your bible is NOT the final authority on anything? It is a book written by human beings (not a god), translated about a million times, and it completely contradicts itself over and over again. If you want to pretend that a book of sexist, small-minded, and fantastical fairy tales is the “ultimate authority” then fine. Those of us in the reality-based community (you know, the ones who can think critically and don’t believe everything some mega-church meth abusing pastor tells us) don’t give a rats **s what the bible says and would appreciate it if you’d stop shoving your silly beliefs down everyone’s throats. Or maybe if you just stop cherry-picking verses about homosexuality and being complete hypocrits, that would help too.Happy Winter Solstice, the ORIGINAL winter holiday before it was stolen by the Christians 🙂

  • cpwdc

    This terse official statement style of communication might be part of the problem of the Episcopal Church. I wish the bishop had offered some insights “On Faith” since that’s what this forum is supposed to be about. Moreover, I think she could make a very good argument for inclusivity based on the biblical prophets and Jesus’ ministry. Many denominations struggle with the same issue, including my own, so a less of “Staying the Course” and more on “Following the Way” would be appreciated.

  • Karen

    Sam is one messed-up dude and shows how the literal interpretation of the Bible can mess up your head further if it’s already messed up by fear and homophobia.I give Bishop Jefferts Schiori my respect and my best wishes in her efforts to keep the Episcopal Church together and moving forward.

  • Heather

    I appreciate the way the Presiding Bishop has put this. I have always known that while some Episcopal churches are more liberal, others are more high church. In many towns I’ve found two or more Episcopal churches, accomodating the differing traditions of the community. This sort of diversity has also extended to the dress code for church, what time the services are, and whether there is a coffee hour after service or not. That this broad inclusiveness goes from coffee hour (or not) all the way up to academic, social and/or theological differences is important.

  • SAM

    When I quote the bible, people attact personally. Instead of understanding the bible.

  • winnie

    To Sam,

  • SAM

    Winnie, Sorry I meant she supports Homosexuality

  • Winnie

    Oops, I didn’t mean to write to Sam, but to the anonymous poster responding to Sam.

  • An Dliodoir

    How long before the Episcopal Church rationalizes itself out of existence. If we are not to judge than no one is a sinner or at least no sin is worse than any other. Is it really all relative? Jesus is love. And we must love our fellow man to be more like Jesus. This does not mean that we must condone all behavior and accept all difference as legitimate. When will Bishop Schori consecrate the first bigamist bishop? How about the first bishop in a loving an intimate relation with his dog? You think I’m kidding? How is that any different that the situation now faced by Episcopalians? It’s just a question of where you draw the line of tolerance. See, you judge too.

  • silence dogood

    In response to Boomer,Luke 16:15 And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.Romans 1:21Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.There are many more, from before the Testator died as well as after.

  • anthony loche

    The fact is the Episcopal Church is turning

  • Anonymous

    It’s good to see a person with the depth of Bishop Jefferts Schori at the helm of a church. She has grappled with issues involving science and religion and you can’t say that of most other religious leaders. They are just there because of a deep voice and a bit charisma. It’s sad that she is confronted with congregations leaving, I think she says the right things in this context. You can’t keep people in by force. They have to find out by themselves that their backwards mentality doesn’t make the world better.

  • Tomcat

    If Jesus raised himself from the dead, this would imply that he was divine. If God raised Jesus from the dead, this would imply that Jesus was mortal. I think that the story of Lazarus was an attempt in the Gospel John to show that Jesus could raise people from the dead; to indicate his divinity.

  • Gabriel

    L’est all the reformers forget: One God”You are Peter; and upon this rock I will build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”I think St. Peter is buried in Italy somewhere? One, Holy,Catholic, and Apostolic Church.

  • Oh, Brother

    Dear Sam,You’re not helping yourself or this forum. You profess your unending knowledge of this subject and don’t even know what the scenario is. You’re like Bush’s foreign policy.Jefferts is not ‘the homosexual’ in question. She’s just your average God loving straight female.But, you are right, she would have been reviled not long ago simply beucase she is a woman who thinks it appropriate to seek a leadership role in the church, and that this leadership role should be open to whomever the majority of the electors choose. It’s too bad that some in her church find that radical.

  • Brian

    It seems satan has a firm grip on our Chruch. I think we should all pray for the Lord’s guidance.

  • Brian

    Someone asked for verses stating the Biblical position against homosexuality. Here they are. Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:14, I Corinthians 6:9, and I Timothy 1:10. Read the entire chapters for each.

  • Jim

    I have two questions for the Biblical fundamentalists who posted. In Mark 10:11, Jesus preaches “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her.” In Matthew 19:9, He preaches “I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery.” Which is it? If I divorce my wife for marital unfaithfulness and marry another woman, is it adultery or not? The verse from Mark contains no exception for marital unfaithfulness while the verse from Matthew does. Similarly, Luke 16:18 does not contain the unfaithfulness exception while Matthew 5:32 does. Which is it? Jesus, by the way, never preached against homosexuality. As “Christians”, we’re supposed to follow His teachings, yes? Speaking of homosexuality, Leviticus 18:22 describes a man being with another man as with a woman as having committed an abomination. Deuteronomy 22:5 describes a woman who wears man’s clothing as having committed an abomination. We should, therefore, be amending state and Federal constitutions to prohibit women from wearing pants or neckties. I have never yet found a “Christian” bibilical literalist or fundamentalist who was willing to abide by every single verse in the Bible, if such a thing was even possible to do.

  • SAM

    Oh Brother,

  • Bill

    To Sam:Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori is NOT a homosexual from my understanding, as her husband will profess. Bishop V. Gene Robinson is an avowed and non-celibate homosexual.To Bishop Jefferts-Schori: I must respectfully disagree with much of the theological and canonical thrust of the arguements that you have made over the last few months; while I am most definitely NOT an Episcopalian who is against female priests (having recently helped in my own small way a friend take up her Holy Orders in the church). Our church also hosts a now retired female priest who also occasionally fills in for our Pastor. My Diocese (the Diocese of Southern Virginia) has until recently had a female Bishop. And I have no issue with any of those, and welcome them strongly, as part of God’s Grace shining in all of his children.However, Bishop Robinson should have remembered that the call to the Episcopacy is a call by God to do what is best for God’s Church. It is not a glorification of the self, as too many bishops over the years have felt. What was best for God’s Church was for him to be recognized, and to state plainly why he COULD NOT accept the Episcopacy; the very crisis we currently confront. Such an act would have been Christ-like. It would have shown that a good man was not chosen for the Episcopacy only because of human issues, something that we as Christians must correct both in our church, and in ourselves. It would have fostered constructive dialog throughout the Episcopal Church, and throughout the Anglican Communion. That he failed to decline publicly the office shows that he is not fit to be a bishop; he has harmed the church immeasurably, by his selfish human need and desire to become a bishop at this time. Yes, he was in a situation where he could not possibly “win”. But God’s Church isn’t winning or losing, it’s loving… and that is where he failed, to lovingly consider others, while reminding them by example of how THEY need to live Jesus’s message. While I sincerely believe that there is no issue PERSONALLY with the idea of Homosexual bishops, I must strongly say that only by understanding each other, and lovingly considering how each of us serves God, can we find His Church. Unfortunately, you and Bishop Robinson both believe in confrontation instead of understanding, forcing issues as opposed to discussing and reflecting on them with others. It is time for a female Presiding Bishop. But not you. And it WILL be time for Homosexual Bishops to be welcomed… but it is not yet. Both of you have chosen to Glorify yourselves, and not God. I pray for you both, and hope you will both find in your own prayers the wisdom to start making more reflective, and more prayerful, decisions.

  • hsing lee

    This op-ed series “on faith” is an EMBARRASMENT to this daily newspaper. WHY is time and space being wasted on pandering to religious moderates whose actions give cover and respectability to extremists like Fred Phelps, Franklin Graham, Pat Robertson, Mullah Omar, and the Israeli Settler movement?Monotheism has been the root cause of more death and suffering than any other force on earth… the bubonic plague wouldn’t have been nearly as bad if not for the Church demanding that people stop bathing because “Satan was in the water”. Human population growth wouldn’t be nearly as bad as it is today if not for the Church’s stance on birth control. There STILL hasn’t been an apology for 1100 years of crusades and even worse, we STILL continue to demonize Napoleon because of Christians who feel humiliated by his exposing the Pope as a political creature without enough faith to be martyred (the Pope crowned Napoleon Holy Roman Emperor rather than be martyred), and for Napoleon putting an end to the Holy Inquisition (once again, the Pope refused to stand by his “beliefs”).Enough is enough. Please stop wasting our time and your front page web space on this nonsense.

  • An Dliodoir

    Jim wrote: “Jesus, by the way, never preached against homosexuality. As “Christians”, we’re supposed to follow His teachings, yes?”Jesus never preached against pedophilia or insider trading but I understand his teachings to not condone those things.

  • msh

    Sam,The passage you refer to in Leviticus calls for death for homsexuals. Do you agree with this – that all homosexuals must be killed? If not, why not? The Bible, the Word of God, very clearly demands it. I, too, believe the Bible to be the Word of God. But we must read it critically and historically. In fact, I don’t think it is possible to understand the Bible in a completely literal and inerrant way, as many in this forum seem to demand.Liberals in this debate need to concede that the Bible does in fact condemn homosexuality. Conservatives need to concede that we cannot read the Bible in a simple-minded literal way. Maybe if we can agree on these premises, we can begin to have a real dialogue.

  • Anthony

    The Episcopal/Anglican church only exists at all, to the extent it still does, because the most morally rotten king in the history of England wanted a divorce from a loving and faithful wife and the Pope wouldn’t give it to him. Some title of legitimacy! Keep on nattering–in another century the Episcopal Church in the USA will be about as big as the Rosicrucian Society, and few will miss it.

  • Peter

    So lets talk about the crass materialism we’re finding in churches now. The Hummers in the parking lot. The prosperity preaching. The marketing of kitch music and products. The bigger-is-better philosophy of so many megachurches that leads to filling in of wetlands in order to build a gymnasium or a (I detest this phrase) “worship center.” The common consensus that tax cuts are sanctioned by the Almighty. The worship of the free market above Christ’s teachings. The idolatry that led to the nearly unanimous support by evangelicals of the Iraq War.How many people are taking churches and denominations to task over these things? Very few, because it is essentially challenging a system of entrenched sin. Start talking about the evils of homosexuality in a conservative church and you’re bound to make friends. Point out the materialism and consumption in the church and you’ll be able to cut the discomfort in the air with a knife.

  • Jim

    To An Dliodoir: True, and a good point. The main thrust of my post relates to abiding by every verse in the Bible. I notice that you didn’t answer my question regarding His teachings on divorce. I’d be interested in your answer. I’d also be interested to know if you support bans on women wearing pants and neckties. For that matter, I’d be interested to know if you follow the Biblical dietary laws. Thanks.

  • Tomcat

    If a church follows the Bible, then they shouldn’t allow divorced people to join, because Jesus was against divorce (Matthew 19:3). No church does this, because they would lose most of their members. So all churches cherry-pick from the Bible the doctrines they want to follow, including their view on homosexuality. If you want to follow Jesus would do, I suggest he would tell you to abstain from sex altogether and prepare yourself for the end of days.

  • Jim

    To Ma: Do you really think that those “conservative Anglicans” who support polygamy “adhere to scripture”?

  • mary

    Those who believe the Anglican church was started only so Henry VIII could get a divorce need to refresh their knowledge of church history. It was much more complex than that.Those who spout that the Bible condemns homosexuality need to get past the Old Testament. And in Romans, this is Paul talking, not Jesus. Jesus said nothing on the matter. We try to make rules so as to make sense and order out of our world and our faith, but in doing so, we risk speaking for God. If you recall, Jesus frequently showed the establishment that their rules of faith were not those of God.

  • An Dliodoir

    Jim, That said, I abhor the hatred and vitriol spewed by so called “Christians” at homosexuals and others not like them. We’re all sinners and Jesus specifically admonished those that publically judged others (remove the plank from your own eye. . . .). It is a sin to presume to know the state of another man’s soul. We must live our lives the best we can. Love others, be more Christ like and set an example for others.

  • kb

    You will know them by their fruit.The good bishop is interested foremost in the very Christian work of helping the needy.And these defectors are modern-day finger wagging pharisees. I’m not even philosophically Christian, and I can see that as plain as day.Her consistency and courage will no doubt reap the fruit that she seeks. The defectors better invest in some gardening gloves or else they will need to start plucking the thistle-splinters from their palms shortly.

  • Peter

    Ma,If the conservative Anglicans support the Religious Right and their representatives in Congress and the White House, then I think whatever commitment they have to the poor is an afterthought. I rarely hear political conservatives talk about poverty unless it is in a supply-side sort of way. But if those theologically-conservative Anglicans are politically moderate or liberal, then I might be persuaded that they do give some thought to the well-being of the poor and the lost.

  • Tomcat

    Jesus never preached against homosexuality, but Paul was against it (Romans 1:27), and Paul’s writing was the closest to Jesus’ time, so we can assume that Paul’s view was close to Jesus’ view.

  • Anonymous

    MSH,

  • Melissa

    I have considered long and hard the issues that lay before the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. For me, what is most distressing, is the use of certain literal interpretations of the Biblical text, and theological treatises based on the same, which are disconnected from the lived experience of the vast majority of God’s people and use to substantiate church-endorsed discriminatory policies and beliefs. The process of selecting one Biblical text over another as the text that holds the ultimate truth is a practice that has its roots in the interpretative practices of fundamentalism beginning in the late 19th century. The history of the church, of Biblical interpretation, and of theological discourse is so much wider and more profound than the inane discussions we continue to engage. Further, Bishop Jefferts Schori is demonstrating her intelligence, wisdom, and capabilities as a leader in the Church in choosing not to engage in such banter but rather to redirect our the energies of the Church she represents towards its mission of healing and reconciliation in a world that is torn apart by physical violence and economic injustices. I pray daily for the presiding bishop, for her wisdom and her work, and that the voice of God in her, and in all of us, may rise above the mess that we, in the (wealthy) West have the privilege of wallowing in and treating as if the life and death of this world hangs on our petty differences.Offered in peace and for the sake of reconciliation.

  • mary

    to DLiodoir:Relations between 2 consenting adults is not like either of those.

  • Jake

    If you worship the “Bible”, then your responses to all of this are understandable.Some prefer to worship “God”, the God who most Christians claim to be omnipresent and omnipotent..everywhere at all times.God is larger than a book. God created this world out of goodness and for good. God is revealed in other places and other dimensions, some that humans can know and some that are mysterious and unknowable. We cannot box God in. If we try to contain God and hold him under our thumb then ..we have committed the biggest sin of all.All things necesary for salvation are contained in scripture. Scripture is cerainlyScriptures are a guide, not a set of handcuffs or straightjacket. Our man Jesus violated scripture left ,right and center. What I believe is that God wants us to be good to one another.

  • Doug

    Well sam I guess we will see what happens when God talks to both of us, me a Open Homosexuel and you a Pius hate monger

  • Steve

    It’s clear that there are a lot of people who want the Episcopal Church to suffer for having done some things that they disagree with. In Falls Church, for instance, many people are insisting that the breakaway congregation be allowed to keep the historic Falls Church property that they have been worshipping on, since, in some sense, it is the Episcopal Church which has “let them down,” and not the other way around. Fine, but the congregation is not the building, nor is the building the congregation. If the congregation would like to worship in a way that the Episcopal Diocese does not allow, they certainly don’t need to stay, and they will find no shortage of welcoming churches that agree with them on the fine points. But why shouldn’t the Episcopal Church be able to present it’s own ideal of worship, on its own property, for those who agree with that ideal?

  • Tomcat

    Jesus was clear in saying that He replaced the laws of the Old Testament and thus Christians are not bound to strictly follow the rules set forth in Leviticus. The point of His teaching was that we should follow the spirit of the law, not the letter (like a Pharisee). Jesus didn’t apply this to divorce, because there are situations where a divorce is a good thing. I would like the opportunity to ask him about it. I always thought the idea of annulment was a Pharisitical way out.

  • kaboom

    Leading a church in a time when its essential doctrines have become difficult for intelligent people to take seriously is hard enough without having to deal with yahoos baying that said doctrines should be taken even more seriously. The Church should be allowed to continue peacefully down the path that leads it to becoming one continuous Bingo Night, with all the winnings devoted to uplift. The bishop has my best wishes, if not my respect.

  • Eric

    If you’re an Epsicopalian that’s caught up in this mess you need to ask yourself, am I CHRISTIAN or an EPISCOPALIAN?

  • Anonymous

    Jake, you said it so well. “Worshipping scripture” leaves no place for the Holy Spirit, which works through our conscience and our intuition. In those moments where we come face-to-face with the Truth, we know when are are doing right and when we are doing wrong. The beauty and the curse of it is that we can’t box these religious experiences into words and we can’t make a creeds out of them without somehow bastardizing them in the process. It brings to mind the old adage from Lao Tzu: He who knows does not speak, and he who speaks does not know. Couple that with Chrsit: By your fruits they will know you.

  • mac

    I am not Episcopalian. But I do know that in the passages were homosexuality are mentioned in the Bible it is usually in a long list of sins. Often pared with adultery (yes adultery and homosexuality are both sins). I believe that most people in the service of God seek God’s guidance to transform their lives and become more like the whom they serve as should all who say they a Christians. But the preist who proclaims that sin is his lifestyle and that he intends to remain in it, is in need of spiritual guidance himself and should not be guiding others. I applaud the VA congregations for recognizing this rebellious hypocracy and not becoming a party to it

  • HRB

    Ok, Well this is indeed the usual back and forth religeous view argument, which by the way will never be solved. GOD wishes us, through Jesus to love each other. GOD is interested in having us in relationship with him, not spewing venom and hatred at each other.How does anyone expect to evangelize when you have to strong arm them to see your personal viewpoint, which by the way is NOT GOD’s. God has made each and every one of us the way we were meant to be…we all of us have the spirit calling to us in some form, call it what you will. He gave us our bodies and told us to treat them as a holy temple, but humans get FAT! SMOKE! DO DRUGS! It is widely known that Homosexual people were born that way. Scientists have sliced up brain tissue, done MRI’s etc. And see that Homesexual men have areas of the brain very similar to heterosexual women.No one has the right to say they know god wants all Homosexuals killed.GOD calls all of us to serve him with the talents he has given us to do so. How do you KNOW FOR SURE what he wants? Based on the bible, as it currently stands? When Emperor Constantine ordered a bible to be made, many “books” were left out, not surprisingly due to the times boks about mother Mary and Mary Magdalene( especiallly as it appeared she was looked on by favor in the group of apsotles by Jesus – and how convenient to place her in the bible just near enough to a prostitue that people then believe she was actually that!) Forbid us to have anything looking like a female was important or equal to a man in Jesus’s eyes! SO like the time period then when women were basically chattel. Not to mention, we do have the “letters” chapters, but so many of the books of the bible were written hundreds of years AFTER Jesus died!So we all in essence have our faith through the holy spirit that resides in us and how we believe in GOD.The situation in the MIDDLE EAST is another case where non-constructive viewpoints have set them to actually war on each other for thousands of years…Where is GOD’s plan in this? Well we will find out someday. Let us not wish this human made disaster on ourselves.I recently read the most interesting comment from a Jewish person. They inherited the theatrically angry GOD, fire and brimstone, then Jesus comes along and makes it all nice for the rest of us:)

  • Anonymous

    For those who insist they had to break with the Episcopal church because they are merely following the scripture:Mark 10: 17-21:And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.———————When you sell whatsoever thou hast and give it to the poor THEN you may some credibility.All Christians pick and choose from the Bible the teachings or laws THEY want to live by. The church I grew up in chose to believe the Bible said blacks were an inferior race and they could point to scripture to back it up. They were bigots.What a person or a church or a denomination chooses to observe and chooses to ignore says a lot about them. Those who choose to split from a church because they don’t want to include gays are bigots. I’ll bet those same people do not vilify remarried divorcees, or sell all their earthly goods and give it to the poor. Picking and choosing.

  • David

    Ms. Schori’s religion is basically that of a Unitarian Universalist. She has been fairly clear with whoever asks her. Her “big box” of gods provides multiple pathways to the divine. The core problem here is that is not what the Bible teaches. It does not seem to matter to her, but it matters to a very large number of people in Virginia and many other states.

  • Ken

    Why is it that so many right-wingers & religious conservatives can’t spell?

  • Elena Thompson

    I for one take up the call to keep the door open and the light on. I have always believed that when Jesus returns it will not matter one bit what the brand name on the church says, but only that when he arrives the door is open to him. And he says that whatever we do for one of the least, we do for him.

  • Joe

    blah blah blah the bible says blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.Who the f*** cares!

  • virginia cynic

    As an episcopalian I am happy for those that no longer agree with the church to leave. They can easily follow the teaching of the bible: if the people of a land do not heed the teachings then shake the dust of that land from your feet and go. The trouble with the people at Truro and The Falls is that they think that they should take the property with them. No. If one no longer agrees then vaya con dios. But leave the pews, the chalices, the prayer books, and the vestments. why would these people want them anyway? According to their thinking these places and objects may have been used or touched by women or gays, so it is a mystery that they would seem to want to stay in the same place. Ahh the mysteries of faith financed by the Ahmanson foundation and other right wingers.

  • leviticus

    Oh the rich irony of a group of wealthy Southerners joining an African church. When were they planning to tell the Nigerians they expect them to come over here and work as slaves in their big McPlantations in Fairfax County? After all, it takes a lot of labor to mow those huge lawns and good help is so hard to find these days, isn’t it Muffy?

  • bibleboy

    I’ve been thinking a lot about the Bible, trying to come up with some use for it. Then, after hours and hours of intense thought, I came up with one. I suppose I could use it to wipe myself if I ran out of toilet paper.Just a thought.

  • Anonymous

    We are now reaping the Pandora’s box that Marin Luther opened some 465 years ago when he decided that all people were equally qualified in interpreting the Bible. If you really want to know what God intends in the Bible, then why not ask the authors…the Catholic Church…after all, it was founded by Jesus himself with Peter as its first Pope; it was blessed by Jesus with the gift of the Holy Spirit to interpret the will of God, and it was given authority by Jesus to bind and loose sins here on Earth. I don’t recall Jesus ever having given such authority to Martin Luther, to Reverend Schiori, or anyone else for that matter. Also, if the Bible is the infallible word of God, and the Catholic Church wrote the Bible, then doesn’t that necessarily make the Catholic Church’s interpretation of the Bible equally infallible?

  • martha franks

    Hear, hear, Greg. I love being an Episcopalian because that denomination respects and embraces reason. Too many people, religious and non-religious, assume that religion must be at odds with reason. They believe, very wrongly I think, that the whole point of religion is to find something authoritative that relieves us of the task of thinking for ourselves. Some find that authority in Scripture, and surrender their minds to it. Some find that authority in tradition and obediance to clergy and surrender their minds to that. Episcopalians, with their three-legged stool, seem to me to face truthfully the fact that our human experience rests on a confusing array of authorities that we must constantly negotiate, one of which is reason. The negotiating principle among these authorities, the compass needle, is love. Thus, Scripture can be wrong, church traditions can be wrong and reason can be wrong, if they are without love. Working together, understood through the eyes of love, they all three guide us.

  • donbl

    This discussion is really hung up on homosexuality and I do not think that is the only issue.A homosexual in a leadership role is but one example of the Episcopal Church moving away from what some would call conservative Christian doctrine. In many ways, the conservative wing of the Episcopal Church has the values of other evangelical protestant denominations. Open (and brash) sinners are forgiven and even loved but not allowed to lead. Haggard in Colorado is an example.This is not about property or bible verses but core values that people have grown up with. The best the Episcopal Church could now do would be to put all these churches under one bishop with shared values and separated from the those going the Unitarian route.

  • mary

    If we needed any more proof that religion is basically a colossal waste of time, this is surely it.The breakaway churches and the Episcopal Church will probably spends years and untold amounts of money in legal fees wrangling over who gets to keep the property.Meanwhile, a good percentage of the breakaway churches’ beloved African brethren will go to bed hungry tonight (and tomorrow night, and the night after that).Jesus would love this!

  • The Moderate

    “While the Episcopal Church laments the recent votes by some persons in Virginia congregations to leave this Church, we are clear that individuals may depart, but congregations do not.”Bishop Schori, while writing of reconciliation, reminds those of differing interpretation of a great religious tradition that she controls the buildings that they spent generations building and financing. Other discussions have mentioned threats to pension accounts for recalcitrant clergy, and loss of health insurance.As an Episcopalian of tolerance, even for conservatives, I think that this is the wrong point of balance.

  • Derek

    Bibleboy, you and Schori share a lot in common. The Bible isn’t worth anything once you go down the road of distorting it from of its original meaning in order to live life on your own terms. At that point, you might as well use it as toilet paper.

  • paul

    Donbl:You said:”This is not about property or bible verses but core values that people have grown up with. The best the Episcopal Church could now do would be to put all these churches under one bishop with shared values and separated from the those going the Unitarian route.”In a way, you are right. This issue is about core values – they just don’t particularly have anything to do with what Jesus taught. The values seem to be wealth, privilege, power, patriarchy, and personal animus toward homosexuals, to name a few.Personally, I don’t know why the Episcopal Church would bother trying to keep the conservatives in the fold. If they want to leave, let them. For that matter, who cares about the Anglican Communion? It is overwhelmingly black and African, and let’s cast political correctness aside and admit that they have very different values than most people in the West. Support for polygamy just to name one of many.

  • Jon

    The escalating focus of the Episcopal Church on progressive secular causes is very disturbing. I have tried to accept the resulting changes, but I have been overwhelmed. As a result, my family and I have recently left the church. As a past Senior Warden, church school board member, and very active church member, it was not a decision I made lightly. But increasingly, there have been too many things going on that I don’t understand, don’t feel comfortable with, and don’t want to have to explain to my young children. And by the way, I’m not some conservative, right-wing nut. All I wanted was a wholesome church home for my family, something the Episcopal Church seems no longer willing or able to provide. Perhaps the church welcomes a departure such as mine, since the fewer people there are like me, the faster the changes its leaders desire can take root. I’m sure the new members they hope will soon flock to the now-enlightened Episcopal Church will bring the same if not greater dedication of time, talent and treasure that I once did.

  • Yikes

    The Presiding Bishop has made a calm, honest, compassionate comment. She is greeted with catcalls and insults that are more appropriate to bathroom graffiti than any kind of conversation.

  • Susan

    What the heck is this woman talking about? The mission of the church is to “reconcile the world”? Last time I checked, you needed two things to reconcile. How did she even get this job?

  • Scott

    The same Leviticus who forbids homosexuality also forbids the eating of shellfish (ie, oysters) as an “abomination,” and advises us to invade foreign countries and bring back captives as slaves. In fact, the Bible is full of endorsements of slavery, in both the old and new Testaments. So why did we fight the Civil War? And who will lead the charge to go out and arrest all those abominating oystermen on the Chesapeake Bay?

  • TJ

    Those Episcopaleans who object to the loss of property to the departing congregations might well check their history books and recall all the churches, cathedrals, abbeys, and other Church property that their founder, Henry VIII, snatched from the Catholics of England. What goes around . . .

  • a texan

    take the gnat out of your own eye first. instead of condemning homosexuals, why not devote your time and energy to helping the poor and afflicted? the youth of the diocese? i commend Jefferts and Robinson for holding the glue together during this difficult time. many of you in this forum think that homosexuality is something that is a sin or something that should be repented from. what if you were born with both male and female reproductive organs? or what if you were raped and chose not to be with a man? or what if you simply were born with a desire for the same sex, whether by biological or environmental factors? didn’t god make you that way? the bible may speak against homosexuality, but, then again, it says the sun revolves around the earth… the bible and christianity have to evolve… but the inherent message is clear: love one another.

  • xchristian

    Scott,You have an excellent point. However, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you can use either reason or irony to talk to a conservate Christian – I’ve wasted many precious hours of my life trying and it never gets you anywhere.For the most part, they are psychologically rigid people who need an authoritarian system in order to feel secure. They read the Bible, and retain only the elements of it that support their own prejudices. They don’t even have the courage to admit, for example, that they don’t like gay people because they give them an icky feeling in the pit of their stomach, but rather, hide behind the Bible to justify their feelings.They have no trouble ignoring everything Jesus said about wealth and power. Also, Jesus explicitly forbids divorce, but says nothing about homosexuality. That doesn’t stop conservatives from getting divorced like it’s going out of style.

  • abc

    A Texan: thank you for your comment. If there were more Christians like you, I might still be one.

  • Dan

    According to The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts Schori, “Our mission as a Church is the reconciliation of the world.”The pages of history have no shortage of leaders who have redefined the mission of the church to suit their wishes and desires. Jesus in Luke 12 defined His mission differently: 49 “I have come to set the world on fire, and I wish it were already burning! 50 I have a terrible baptism of suffering ahead of me, and I am under a heavy burden until it is accomplished. 51 Do you think I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I have come to divide people against each other! 52 From now on families will be split apart, three in favor of me, and two against—or two in favor and three against. 53 ‘Father will be divided against sonI am more comfortable with the words of Christ than the words of Katharine Jefferts Schori. She may be The Most Reverend but she’s got a ways to go before her words carry more weight than His.

  • fred

    Dan – how do you reconcile the words of Jesus that you quoted with “family values?”

  • Former Episcopalian

    I was a religion major in college and once planned to become an Episcopal minister. Indeed, I completed the discernment process and received my local bishop’s permission to attend seminary. Thankfully, I realized that I do not have a calling to the ordained ministry and attended law school instead. I became a Catholic in law school, at the Easter Vigil in 2001.This entire episode makes me increasingly grateful that I left the Episcopal Church. It is one thing for a church to be socially liberal. Although I disagree with the Episcopal Church’s stance on issues like homosexuality and abortion, I could perhaps accept that a church could hold liberal views and still call itself Christian. Unfortunately, though, the flaws in the Episcopal Church run far deeper than standing on the wrong side of social issues. I do not believe that a church that allows its clergy to, for example, deny the bodily resurrection of Christ, the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Virgin Birth (see “Bishop” John Shelby Spong) can any longer truly call itself a Christian body.Sadly, now that the Episcopal Church is not willing to stand up for Christianity, it will fall for anything.

  • Kathleen

    Scott, Given the pollution levels in the Chesapeake Bay, those same oyster restrictions that made sense in the time and place of Leviticus’s inspiration are starting to look good again:Not really a joke. Just a reminder that God gave different inspirations to prophets of different times and places. There’s probably a reason for this.The Church has agreed for the book to be closed on new Scriptures but that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have new messages for our time and our place.That’s why the Anglican three-legged stool of Scripture + tradition + reason is stable.The three-legged stool encourages each of us to struggle to reach our own understanding of what God’s message is for us here and now.

  • doglover

    An Dliodoir says:”How long before the Episcopal Church rationalizes itself out of existence. If we are not to judge than no one is a sinner or at least no sin is worse than any other. Is it really all relative? Jesus is love. And we must love our fellow man to be more like Jesus. This does not mean that we must condone all behavior and accept all difference as legitimate. When will Bishop Schori consecrate the first bigamist bishop? How about the first bishop in a loving an intimate relation with his dog? You think I’m kidding? How is that any different that the situation now faced by Episcopalians? It’s just a question of where you draw the line of tolerance. See, you judge too.”It’s really amazing how whenever homosexuality comes up, right-wingers immediately jump to bestiality. One has to wonder why bestiality occupies such a prominent place in their mental landscape.I am a gay man, and last time I checked, there is a HUGE difference between loving another man and a dog. Another man is a) the same species, b) can communicate with me in my language and is capable of having a reciprocal relationship.If An Dliodir is too stupid to know the difference between a relationship between two human beings and a human and an animal , then he or she should be careful, she might end up sleeping with a horse by mistake.Congratulates An Dliodir, you are just helping the rest of the world to see how stupid and bigoted you and your fellow wingnuts are!

  • fathersonandholyghost

    Former Episcopalian:Glad you found a church where you are more at home.Regarding the Virgin Birth, did you not ever learn that the word for virgin in Hebrew can also mean “young woman”. There goes the virgin birth.And, what the heck is the trinity anyway – I’ve never heard it explained in a way that did sound like a bunch of medieval mumbo-jumbo. Perhaps with your theological background you can help to enlighten us on that.

  • fedup

    This discussion is a good example of why so many people are turned off by Christianity.

  • seeker

    Can any Christian here give me one good reason why I should believe in the Bible, and not the Koran, or some other holy book? And, don’t tell me because the Bible says it is true – that is circular reasoning.

  • Anonymous

    All of this is a real shame. What used to be a great institution is now a shill for the UN with a lot of dead people’s money to spend. If this church is so concerned about the Millennium Development Goals, why don’t they just give all their money towards that cause and stop their yapping. No, they just want to keep yapping.

  • Anonymous

    Seeker:No.

  • sok7

    Divorce is a not God’s ideal for us, and neither is homosexuality. But comparing the two is like comparing apples and oranges:No one advocates ‘Divorced’ as a lifestyle. It is usually viewed by liberals and conservatives alike as a sad and tragic occurance – even when it becomes the best remaining solution to a failed relationship – and this is key: divorce is seen as a failure.Unlike the view of many gays toward their homosexuality, I do not know of anyone who advocates “The Divorced Lifestyle”.No American city and no organization I have ever heard of holds a “Divorced Pride Parade”. And if one were to hold such a parade, I don’t think many divorced people would be all that excited to march in it.No one says they feel they were “born divorced”. If someone were to make such a statement, they would probably be labeled as ‘disfunctional’ or ‘depressed’.Lets stop trying to rank the lifestyles that God would prefer we abstain from, whether you want to call them sinful or just sad.Bishop Schori believes that everyone is going to heaven regardless of what they believe. As such she believes Christ’s sacrifice doesn’t matter. If she wants to believe this, then fine. What I want to know is why someone would want to call themselves Christian after removing Christ from the equation?

  • Reeking Havoc

    Let those who would exclude some of God’s offspring from the human race go their way. Let them be free to worship their wrathful God. Perhaps they like worrying about being unworthy…Those who can make room in their hearts and minds for others who were created different, will stay here to worship a loving God. We take comfort in knowing that He will never turn His back on us, even when we don’t measure up…

  • Tom in Ohio

    Former Episcopalian – you made the right choice. I was in the Episcopal Church for 31 years and finally pulled my entire family out recently when +Schori started preaching about “Mother Jesus”. I am a real big tent kind of guy, but the leadership in the Episcopal Church is no longer Christian as far as I can tell. Frankly, I don’t know what it is or where it is going. I don’t think the leadership does either. Good call.

  • gayboy

    SOK7:Yes, homosexuality and divorce are two different things.Homosexuality is an orientation that is either genetic or established very early in life. If you are born gay, you can’t much help but be gay, and as most of us have human feelings (which might be hard for people like you to understand), most of us want to share our life with someone we love. I have been in a seven-year monogamous relationship with my partner. We have had some really hard times, but we’ve stuck it out, because we truly love each other.Divorce, on the other hand, is something that one can choose to do or not to do. Often it is done for selfish reasons, as when a man dumps his loyal wife to marry a younger, more physically attractive woman. Or like Newt Gingrich, who handed one of his wives (there have been three, I believe) divorce papers while she was in the hospital fighting cancer.Yep, apples and oranges indeed!P.S. Gays, and many other people, are sick and tired of all the sanctimonious crap we keep getting from right-wingers and we are going to keep fighting back until you all crawl back into the caves you came out of.

  • sacrifice

    SOK7I can’t imagine why anyone would want to call themself a Christian period, given the history of the church (centuries of anti-semitism leading up to the Holocause to name just one minor issue).Jesus was a man, and NOTHING MORE! He was killed by the Romans because he was a political rabble-rouser. GET OVER IT!

  • Anonymous

    Holy Cow! From reading these comments, if reconciliation is the mission, something is seriously wrong! What gives? Sounds like a whole bunch of unhappy people to me! I’m outta here!

  • motherjesus

    Mother jesus…ooohhhhh that’s scary. Good thing you got your family out in time. You should make a movie about it – a la The Sound of Music. Could be the family hit of the season!

  • Ken

    For Dan, who believes Bishop Schiori is wrong in saying Jesus calls us to reconcile the world through him. You might want to check out:Matthew 28:19or Colossians 1:20 orEphesians 2:13-16

  • RudigerVT

    Tom, if you really pulled your entire family out of the Episcopal Church because the Presiding Bishop offended you so much, it seems a pity that you didn’t at least bother to do a little research. KJ Scori was evoking and invoking a long, rich tradition. After 31 years, it’s news to you and, it would appear, offensive. That may say something about the state of Christian Education in the Episcopal Church. LPR

  • recon

    Anonymous,Well, this is what religion is all about: creating divisions between people, fostering hatred, and in the end, slaughtering as many people who believe different things than you do as you can.Yes, there are a lot of unhappy people, because we are tired of living in a Christo-fascist country.Don’t blame you for wanting to get outta this forum!

  • machoman

    RudigerVT -Tom is obviously not really concerned about religion. He probably has an insecure sense of his own masculinity, and needs to be in a patriarchal church or else he feels threatened.Be gentle with him – he is just a fragile, frightened little boy.

  • Tom in Ohio

    No, praying to “Mother Jesus” it is not scary at all. It is just not Christian. The Episcopal Church was chartered to be a Christian Church and it has renounced the basic tenets of the faith. I hold no grudge against people that believe differently that I do. I hope you feel this way too. God Bless you and have a Merry Christmas!

  • RPlat

    If the dissenters put this to music the title would be: “Take this church and shove it”

  • RudigerVT

    Tom, of course you will find plenty of churches where the Mother-Jesus tradition is ignored, silenced, denied, suppressed, and otherwise kept in its place. The Episcopal Church is not one of them. Given the force of your parting shots, it’s pretty clear, though, that the MJ issue’s a bit of a red herring, anyway. If it gave you the escape velocity you needed, well, okay. And no, I hold no grudge against people with different beliefs. That’d be stupid, for starters: they outnumber me by a lot!Best wishes in your new faith community. LPR

  • motherjesus

    Tom in Ohio:Obviously there are many different ways of practicing the Christian faith and there are many different denominations – nothing wrong with people going where they feel most comfortable.I do have a problem with your saying the Episcopal Church is not Christian. Praying to “mother Jesus” may seem weird or unconventional to you, but I don’t see how it is renouncing the basic tenets of the faith. Whether you like it or not, Christian doctrines and beliefs have evolved over time. Given that Jesus and the Bible left a lot of things unclear, there have had to be various councils and processes for deciding what to believe, and why should we think that everything was completely settled in the year 451? How do we know they got it exactly right? And, if they were divinely inspired, how do know that Bishop Schori isn’t also inspired?I assume you became a Catholic, since they were the first Christian church, and Jesus did institute the papacy starting with Peter. If not, then you are probably a false Christian.Happy Holidays!

  • Al Ferguson

    O’Rilley would not give this PR piece a pass on the No Spin Zone!

  • Peter

    Seeker:Grace.

  • Don’t let the door hit you

    Frankly, I am glad to see Truro and Falls Cult go. They have not been Episcopalians for a very long time in any meaningful way, not with their “charismatic” worship or their embrace of worldly wealth and power or their puritan desire to separate themselves from the world.We are better off without them and I am happy to see them leave.And this might come as a shock to some of the more outspoken commenters here, but sola scriptura has never been Anglican doctrine. It is a Reformation-era innovation, and the sort of fundamentalism that many Americans consider “traditional Christianity” originated in the late 19th century.There’s much more to theology than the Jerry Falwell approach.

  • Josh Thomas

    The fundamentalists in Falls Church and Truro are going to find themselves in bed with a rapacious, greedy and corrupt bigot in Peter Akinola, the Nigerian archbishop. He is bound to do ever more outrageous things, not only in the U.S. and Canada but in England. He wants to supplant Canterbury and crown himself the Anglican pope. The good people in Truro, Falls Church and the other secessionist parishes just sold themselves to the devil. I hope they endure their fate, because someday they’re going to realize they got screwed by their own ambitious rectors.

  • Roy

    Let the Christian extremist Episcopalians go and bicker with each other in the name of Jesus. By their fruits ye shall know them and this will be their example of their testament of their love and understanding of Christ. They are like poster Sam who is an open bigot and he living in sin and hence he is not worthy to be a Christian – to paraphrase his own words..

  • Oh No! It’s Mother Jesus!

    As for the Mother Jesus business, it’s a reference to a great Christian mystic, Julian of Norwich, who likened the work of the cross to childbirth, in that the blood and agony and sweat of the cross brought about new life.There is a long tradition in Christian thinking of making these sorts of parallels, but I guess we can’t expect the Falwellians to know that, since Jerry never told them about it.

  • tripdc

    If you read between the lines, what she’s actually saying is “Sorry you’re going, but it’s our real estate. If you’re going then quit trespassing on it.”And I have to say, I couldn’t agree more.Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. But he said remarrying is adultery. It’s remarkable how obtuse so many quote-unquote “christians” have become.

  • sean

    One of the great things about America is the ability to worship as one pleases. It’s kinda like today’s media: Don’t like something you see or hear? Change the channel! The Bible, in some form, has been around for more than two thousand years. The Episcopal Church has not. Those of us who know our sins are nailed to the cross are sitting back and watching the pregame show. This is what happens when authority is questioned before it even assumes power. The Episcopal Church has been a mess for decades. If a Christ-based church can’t make up its mind whether The Bible is the final in-print authority…well; I think that, in itself, speaks volumes. Bishop Jefforts Schori better hire a top-notch PR firm before proceeding with doctrine. If this continues; soup kitchens and thrift shops nationwide will start taking Visa and Mastercard and have Indian call centers do fundraisers. God, right now, is not a happy camper. I’d venture to say Jesus has his half-frames on, frantically flipping through The Bible, saying, “now wait a minute…”

  • tony

    The Diocese of VA has to hope that they can work out an agreement with Truro and TFC. These are huge churches that are going to cost the diocese an enormous amount of money to run with the minescule number of members that are left should the vast majority of the congregations leave as they have voted to do.

  • Follow the Money

    Anyone who is new to this story really needs to read the following: It is a report on the key players and moneymen for the schismatic movements in the Episcopal Church and other mainline denominations. Recent goings on have little to do with homosexuality, or even religion, and much to do with the desire of the usual right wing financiers (Coors, Scaife, Ahmanson, etc.) to transform the mainline churches into wholly owned subsidiaries of the Republican Party, just as they have already done with the evangelicals.Right now the Episcopalians are on the hotseat, but these same people are financing so-called “renewal movements” targeting the UCC, the ELCA, the United Methodists, and the Presbyterians. Anyone who fails to bow his knee and confess the gospel of George W. Bush will be hearing from them.

  • nf

    At the present time lets call it as it is..Episcopal Church is not a church at all, nor is it based on the bible. It is a group that meets and sets it own code of morality based on its own code of ethics and politics. Though their rules and objectives may be moral, it is certainly not a religion, nor is it spiritual.

  • NJY

    Tony, Falls Cult and Truro Pentecostal Church have not paid their diocesan assessments for years (don’t want to soil their hands by associating with dirty sinners, you know), so their departure will probably not have a devastating impact on the diocesan budget.Frankly, I think that the diocese should let them buy their buildings at fair market value, and then they can wave their arms around and shout “gobblegobblegobbleoombalawaggahoohoo” and get slain with the spirit and bring down imprecations on the sodomites to their hearts’ content.They ceased to be Episcopalians long before the coup.

  • whatisachurch

    nf says:”At the present time lets call it as it is..Episcopal Church is not a church at all, nor is it based on the bible. It is a group that meets and sets it own code of morality based on its own code of ethics and politics. Though their rules and objectives may be moral, it is certainly not a religion, nor is it spiritual.”Actually, this sounds like a perfect description of Falls and Truro, except their objectives are not moral, they are all about money and power.Some of you need to actually READ the New Testament and see what Jesus has to say about moneygrubbers and powermongers.

  • David

    They strain out the gnat and swallow the cow. These religious conservatives who become filled with righteous indignation at the thought of two people of the same sex loving each other have nevertheless seen fit to either embrace or ignore the policies that have left thousands unnecessarily dead and maimed in Iraq and take from the poor to give to the rich. To quote Ezekiel: “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” Sounds like Dubya’s America to me. Religous conservatives really just want a religion that takes the pressure off their own consciences by pointing fingers elsewhere. Pharisees, all. No one should celebrate the bitter conflicts in the ranks of Christians, but I don’t see any crowns likely to be passed out in heaven to people who want to fall in behind that Nigerian archbishop who thinks it’s a dandy idea to put gays to death.

  • Erin

    If the Bible was consistently for or against anything at all, I would have a much easier time looking that way for moral authority. It’s clear to anyone who really reads it, though, that it’s a conglomeration of writings from many, many people over many, many years. Why do we allow those people to pretend to speak for God? Why can we not trust God to speak for Himself? Are we so afraid of what God would really say that we must shove those words from the Bible into His mouth? I love the Bible for its many truths, but until I am present at the Throne and hear God speak to me with His own voice, I will know that I am only hearing the voices of humans. We are fallible, we are frail, we are sinners. We get things wrong all the time. I’m not about to trust my eternal salvation to a book that people wrote, no matter how holy they were.I am utterly certain that one day, many of the people in the churches who are “leaving” the ECUSA will regret their actions, when it becomes clear to them how un-Christian their behavior is. People who focus on homosexuality are missing the entire Christian message of forgiveness and reconciliation to God. Jesus did say, “judge not, that you not be judged yourselves.” Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it.

  • Anonymous

    Amused…Haaa! That’s pretty funny Scott.I never did like shelfish.

  • The Moderate

    “Can any Christian here give me one good reason why I should believe in the Bible, and not the Koran, or some other holy book? And, don’t tell me because the Bible says it is true – that is circular reasoning.”Seeker,As a Christian I recommend that you read the Bible, the Koran, and many other books. The study of many religious traditions is enriching to the spirit. The process of discernment of your own spritual journey and understanding it takes time and patience. The Confessions of Augustine, The Greek Myths by Robert Graves, The Hero with a Thousand Faces by Joseph Campbell, The Screwtape Letters and others by C.S.Lewis all are interesting. The Physics of Immortality by Frank Tipler is a wild and wonderful speculation. Of course, don’t miss the four Gospels.I wish you the best in your search.So many books, so little time. 🙂

  • Presbyterian second — child of God first

    For the many who posted messages about…Thank you! I feel renewed that faith in God can trump the arguments of humankind.Someday maybe when we see God it will all make sense. If all of us who posted (even Bibleboy) could all get together in a hotel ballroom tonight, I think God wouldn’t want us to argue about all this. I think he (or she) would want us to wash each other’s feet, shake each other’s hand, and praise her (or him) together.If you love the Lord, pray for peace in our hearts and in our world.Also, I think SUVs and McMansions are a tool of the devil.

  • timothy james

    as i stand and walk among you upon and within you i am planting the seeds for the beginning of a new creationif you need me you’ll never be alone

  • Dan Smedra

    Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. Colossians 1:21All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God was making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:20For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10The Epistles of the Apostle Paul are vitally important to genuine Christianity. In them Paul explains: our alienation from God due to being born a child of the First Adam (sin), our resultant evil behavior (sins), our mental posture of enmity toward God and His authority, Christ’s work of reconciliation, His New Life versus our Old Life, and our responsibility as act on His behalf…as ambassadors appealing to a lost world to be “reconciled to God.”What happens when you castrate and reformulate Christianity without the fundamental biblical truths of: alienation, sin, sins, enmity, Christ, and ambassadorship? You get the feel-good perversion of humanistic inclusivism, and then falsely promote it as Jesus’ message of “good news.”

  • Steve B

    I truly believe that The Nigerian Church is exploiting the gay issue in hopes of controlling very wealthy American Churches. Nigeria is the home of elaborate con games and scams. They see an opportunity to receive millions of dollars by convincing conservative Americans to affiliate with the Nigerian Church. In my view this is a very transparent scam and I’m shocked that so few people realize it.

  • timothy james

    as i stand and walk among you upon and within you i am planting the seeds for the beginning of a new creationif you need me you’ll never be alone

  • k

    Those who say referring Jesus as mother is unbiblical would do well to look at how Jesus referred to himself: Mt 23:37bLu 13:34bThis should also be instructive for those in this conversation who were slamming the Episcopal Church for understanding some scriptures metaphorically, and who insist that the Bible must always be interpreted literally. If so, then Jesus here is claiming himself to be a small feathered creature who lays eggs.

  • what’sreallygoingon

    Taylor – thanks for contributing – it is always interesting to hear an “inside” perspective.I agree with everything you said 100%. However, the secessionists would never just leave and join a fundamentalist church because they have a political agenda, which is to take over the Episcopal Church in the US and claim all of its resources for themselves.I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually succeed – after all, there are 70 million Anglicans in Africa and only 1.8 million or so in the US. What people keep forgetting is the the Anglican church is no longer predominantly a Western institution.God only knows (if you’ll pardon the expression) where this unholy alliance between Minns & Co. and Akinola will go. Of course, once it stops suiting the political agenda of one side or the other, it will dissolve into thin air. Somehow, I can’t believe that a bunch of rich, very elite Virginia Republicans are really that deeply connected to African Christianity.Archibishop Williams is already talking about creating a new system where the fag churches like ECUSA (pardon my crude language; I am adopting the lingo of Fred Phelps because I put Minns and Akinola in his camp) have “second-tier” status within the Anglican Communion.I am a former Episcopalian of 20 years, who became completely disillusioned with all of this stuff and left. I no longer even consider myself a Christian. For what it’s worth, I think that as long as the Episcopal Church USA could do it without losing all of their property, they should just voluntarily leave the Anglican Communion. They don’t need it for anything, and I am afraid that the Christianity of Africa is fundamentally incompatible with the Christianity of most Americans. Africans have every right to define their religion for themselves, but I for one could not reconcile myself to being in the same communion with a group of people who persecute gays while they condone polygamy.

  • k

    Instead of talking past each other, perhaps we could attempt to understand where each other are coming from. The following websites are a good starting point:WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITYRELIGIOUS GROUPS’ POLICIES ON HOMOSEXUALITY

  • bob

    I applaud the Bishop for her faith in Christ and resolve to stay true to that faith, as she and her denomination see it. So-called conservative Christians should leave this denomination and go somewhere they find more like-minded souls (pity for them). The Episcopal denomination is constructed with power largely vested in a Bishop. They simply don’t get to pick and choose where they go and what they take with them. Thank God for people like the Bishop who stand up for those parishioners who disagree with the conservatives.

  • Profoundly sad

    As a member of The Falls Church for 25 years who does not support the actions of the Rector and Vestry, this is a profoundly sad time. There are a few of us left who worry more about loving our neighbors, feeding the poor and being stewards of the earth than condeming others. As the mother of a Gay son, I cannot stay in a Church that has a Nigerian connection (still ill defined). The Nigerians do not allow women in leadership positions in the laity or the clergy, have allowed polygamy in Bishops (it is Grandfathered in) Is Polygamy right or wrong? The excuse for imprisoning homosexuals is that it is to appease their Muslim neighbors. Is it right or wrong? You cannot have this both ways.

  • Troyce Key

    you bible thumpers are the most disgusting of all. what gives any of you the right to quote scripture to another? you think you are the risen Jesus? You are the very same hoilier than thou people he chased out of the temple. Get it? You will al burn in the everlasting fires of damnation.

  • Anonymous

    This lady is light weight! How did she get to be in charge of anything?

  • Betty

    Can’t we “all just get along?” I pray that those that choose to stand in the shadows of the Episcopal Church may one day see the light. I pray for those that choose to hate because of sexual orientation may one day find peace in their hearts to accept others. I pray for those souls who choose to criticize and alientate themselves that they may one day join hands with the Episcopal Church and work for a common goal of love, peace and tolerance.

  • EpiscoCricker

    *sigh*As an expatriate Mo. Synod Lutheran who left that denomination when they moved to the right of Ghengis Khan and joined the ECUSA, to these Va. congregations I say, “Don’t let the screen door hit you in the butt on the way out the door.”The folks who love to point out the sinfulness of homosexuality in Leviticus often conveniently omit that the law as defined in Leviticus also prohibits wearing clothes made of two kinds of cloth. In other words, cotton-poly blend is an abomination. It appears to me that this law is flagrantly violated in fundamentalist churches, judging from the amount of polyester blends you see in them. So, I’m sorry, beating me over the head with a Bible and hollering “abomination” doesn’t cut it for me.I find it very enlightening that Jesus himself did not say doodly-squat about the topic in the Gospels, yet he was pretty clear on D-I-V-O-R-C-E and again, that issue again appears to be a flagrant offender in plenty of churches.Homosexuality didn’t even make the top 10 list as given to Moses, but coveting your neighbor’s donkey certainly did.I have a feeling that a lot of the Old Testament verses that deal with reproductive and non-reproductive sexual behavior has more to do with the fact that 3,000 years ago, procreation was a little more important than it is now. Hardly anyone ever lived to age 40 and the health and well-being and the future of the community in that region of the world in that era rested on the locals’ ability to reproduce. If you made it to old age, you needed those kids and grandkids to care for you in your dotage. Therefore, it was in the best interests of their society to frown upon non-procreative sexual activity. What better way to do that than to make it religious law?Personally, I get so worn out from the fact that the only face of the ECUSA the media seems to want to show is its brightly colored rainbow colored gay face. Forget all the aid Episcopal charities did in the wake of Katrina. Forget the fact that the ECUSA has many dynamic congregations and an influx of expatriates from many other Christian faith traditions who find the denomination “home”.My home church is an Oasis congregation in the ECUSA (that is the designation for an openly gay-friendly church in our diocese) in a town of 17,000 in rural Missouri and it is a dynamic, exciting expression of God’s love. We don’t think about “our gay members” and “our straight members,” they’re all just “our members.” It is exciting that no one cares to peek under anyone’s bed but we are all there to celebrate the Eucharist. Period. I am not sure if outsiders think every Sunday at an ECUSA church is some kind of leather-laden gay pride parade or what. They might be disappointed. They’d come in and see people singing hymns and taking communion, and drinking coffee afterwards. Our sermons are about such radical notions as feeding the poor and loving our neighbors. Not exactly subversive behavior. Y’all might try it sometime.

  • Laurenwoods17

    Why is everyone upset about these congregations leaving the Episcopal Church? If you read about the resolutions from the last Lambeth Conference, Furthermore, the Episcopal Church stepped out of line from the rest of the Anglican communion. I am saddened that Bishop Schori does not recognize this as a serious problem. It is easy in Western culture to “accept” everything and everyone, but in most parts of the world they do not enjoy the religious freedom that we do in the States. There are many Christians sacrificing their jobs and lives for the faith that they passionately believe and embrace — how can anyone fault someone for their beliefs? Isn’t everyone in a huff because these churches are “judgemental” and “not accepting”? That is a contradiction, right?I would also encourage everyone to read more about the situation in Nigeria. I am surprised that Bishop Schori hasn’t said more about the unfair press that Bishop Akinola has received over the past few days — I assume she is familiar with the situation in Nigeria and how his voting to jail active homosexuals is an attempt to protect them from the Islamic radicals that think stoning is a better option for those who are openly gay. I wonder what you would choose if you were in Bishop Akinola’s position?In the midst of everything that is going on in Nigeria, there are 17.5 Million members of the Anglican church in their country. That is over 8x more than the entire membership of the ECUSA. So while the churches who have opted to split in Virginia may represent a small percentage of the ECUSA, their realignment will bring them closer with at least 17.5 Million Anglicans who are in agreement with the Bible, Lambeth Resolutions, and the 39 Articles (1979 Prayer Book). T

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    BLESSINGS to you Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and thank you for saying “no” to puritan folks who love to say “no” and “get lost sinner” to people whom they discriminate/disagree against/with! My early family were settlers from England to Virginia before going “west”…I’m part of ALL of the Episcopal Church and I’m so pleased we are a OPEN and loving, and such a determined, and open-minded, loving lot!Thanks be to God the “Episcopal Church Welcomes YOU”…the Episcopal Church welcomes YOU just as you ARE!

  • Sam P Jackson

    I didn’t know that the Episcopal Church USA had decreased so much in size, that it’s now about 1/2% of the USA’s population. The movement of the Episcopal hierarchy becoming more Unitarian, and ignoring the rest of the Anglican Communion and centuries of Biblical interpretation, began in 1955 with the repudiation of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. That’s when people, individually and in groups, began to leave the Episcopal Church USA. The elevation of a practicing homosexual to bishop is a linear extension of this trend.The “orthodox” Episcopalians believe that they are the true Anglicans, and most of the Anglican Communion agrees. Ms. Jefferts Schori can believe, and preach, whatever she wants, but it’s not Anglicanism, any more than it’s Islam, or Mormonism. By the way, many of the congregations dis-affiliating themselves with EC-USA existed BEFORE the American Revolution, and the creation of EC-USA as a province of the Anglican Communion. The EC-USA claim to own their property is tenuous.

  • jf mckenna

    All this blather about compassion for those who are suffering is empty when no thought is given to the enormous amount of physical and emotional suffering that takes place when people with homosexual urges are encouraged to act upon them. The lifespan of the average gay is equal to the lifespan of all men in 1871 according to an article published by Oxford University’s International Journal of Epidemiology. Hardly any gays have long-term faithful relationships, which means that most of them are in continual emotional turmoil. Meanwhile support for that way of life means support for creating fatherless families, which happens to be the social pathology that correlates the most closely with all the others. And yet, have you ever heard of any discussion of this kind of suffering on the airwaves or in the newspapers?

  • HOOKER

    No, John Locke, the Bible is not the final, i.e. sole, authority in the Episcopal Church. The famous Anglican “three-legged stool” balances Scripture, tradition, and reason. If we followed Scripture alone, we would still burn witches (Exodus 22: 18). If we followed tradition alone, we would still endorse slavery as biblically-sanctioned. Reason now includes science. Anglicans would be well-advised to remember that the Roman Catholic Church for centuries ignored science and decreed that the geocentric universe was the view taught in the Bible. As a result, the Church very nearly burned Galileo at the stake. Science is coming closer each day to understanding the biological basis for homosexuality, that it is a heritable trait like left-handedness or any other and therefore not a moral issue at all. I am grateful that the Episcopal Church does not have a fundamentalist approach to Scripture. If I had wanted to be a member of a fundamentalist church, I would have joined one. I personally believe the Archbishop of Canterbury should use his influence to ask the Nigerians to declare a moratorium on consecrating fundamentalist bishops. Let them look to the statements of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on this subject.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    The heretical views of the hierarchs of The Episcopal Church have made it impossible for many Christians to remain affiliated with TEC. I was an ECUSA priest. In March 2006 I renounced my priesthood and left the Epsicopal church for the Orthodox Church.The problem is that TEC isn’t really a church. It is a neo-socialist political organization posing as a church and demonstrates about as much toleration as Stalin did to those in Russia who refused to collectivize.

  • Steve in MD

    Three Cheers for Bishop Schori. For those who don’t want to live in a modern world, who don’t want to recognize the value of all people, including our gay citizens, for those who think the Bible is “the perfect word of God” etc, I would suggest there is another religion they can join where some of its adherents take their Bible literally also. With apologies to the billion plus people of this religion who probably are basically good people who don’t want to hurt anyone, perhaps those who want to leave the Episcopal church can join the right wing of that religion. Of course I’m talking about Islam.To Bishop Schori, I say right on! We all know how religion has been distorted in so many ways, e.g. who / what supported the idea of slavery in this nation, this nation’s perfect crime. A terrible war had to be fought to end slavery, and then it took another hundred years, Martin Luther King, activist courts, etc., to knock down its successor, the Jim Crow laws enacted by the God Fearing, Jesus loving Christians of our deep south that kept Afro-Americans in virtual slavery for another 100 years.Religion has the ability to totally blind the mind, cause one to “check their brains at the door of the church” etc. This mentality can be seen in the actions of our current president, who wears his religion on his sleeve. His actions re Iraq are not a disaster, but a catastrophe, and he doesn’t have the guts to simply admit he was wrong. He talks about life, is anti-abortion, anti-stem cell research, yet he would send even more troops to Iraq, just to try and protect his place in history, even on the dead bodies of more of our soldiers. I predict his presidency will go down into the dust bin of history, and so will the bigotry and blindness of right wing religions and their blinded victims who simply have to have another group to dislike or hate, this time the gays.

  • NYP

    Sam P. Jackson, do you know what the word “Unitarianism” means? (Here’s a hint: it doesn’t mean “anything of which Sam P. Jackson disapproves.”)We recite the Creed every time we meet for services, and it is explicitly Trinitarian. I, for one, do not cross my fingers when I recite the Creed.Bearing false witness is wrong, and it also makes you look dishonest.Laurenwoods17 is also either dishonest or misinformed. Akinola’s not proposing simply to jail gays–Nigeria already has a sodomy law.No, his new legislation will imprison people for speaking in support of gays, or for meeting in support of gays, among other offenses. In other words, this law is an attack on the rights of free speech and free association that all civilized people recognize as basic human rights. This is fascism, pure and simple, and it’s not at all surpsising that the reactionaries in Virginia would seek to defend it, since they would do the same if they could.And J.F. McKenna, if you are truly concerned about fatherless families, then you need to take that up with the self-indulgent heterosexuals who create the vast majority of them. I can’t count how many kids I have known over the years who were absolute messes because their dads dumped their moms for trophy wives. Your concerned “blather” seems more at attempt to rationalize your prejudices than anything else.

  • AMH

    “I assume she is familiar with the situation in Nigeria and how his voting to jail active homosexuals is an attempt to protect them from the Islamic radicals that think stoning is a better option for those who are openly gay”Excellent comments, I offer a slight modifications. Islamic law calls for stoning for married persons proved by court to be homosexual. Single homosexuals proved by court to be homosexual endure 100 lashed by whip.

  • Genuine Orthodox

    Alice C. Linsley, you were not a priest. You might have dressed up like one and pretended to say the Mass, but you were not a priest. It is simply impossible for you to be one.Robinson is a sinful bishop, but he *is* a bishop. You, on the other hand, were simply a woman playing dress up.

  • Richard

    Richard in Pa.Look the bottom line is that three of the greatest failed institutions of the 20th century were Soviet Communism, the Roman Catholic Church and regrettably the Episcopal Church of the good old USA.All of this dialogue about Gays etc merely covers up the fact that over the past 40 years the Episcopal Church has probably had the greatest group of incompetent leaders of any major organization. Reflect for one moment on the fact that this organization has lost over a third of its members over this period of time all the while there had been a great spiritual awakening in our country. A Church with too much money, too much arrogance, too much nepotism..etc etc. Any non church organization with this record would have been declared bankrupt years ago. All of this has created a deep lack of spiritualiy at the highest levels of this Church. And you know what, we lowly members in the pews know it! The Gay issue has simply brought this to the forefront. This place has become a deeply unhealthy organization. Meanwhile the members and parish ministers who have held this organization together over the years can only watch this leadership in deep embarrassment. I say thank God for the Gay issue so that at last the remaining Christain members can get out of this organization and try with God’s help to recover some meaningful sense of Christain Spirituality and once again try to rebuild the great heritage that our Anglican Communion has given the World. Amen.

  • Me ‘n George

    Yup … me ‘n George (Father of our country) both served on the vestry of The Falls Church. The past three years (post-2003 General Convention) has seen The Falls Church become a magnet for disaffected conservatives from all over the greater Washington area. The whole issue of human sexuality has been subcontracted out to “partner” organizations rather than being dealt with directly by the clergy. “Dialogue” means the clergy handpicks instructors to purvey the homophobic party line while avoiding any real discussion of the issues. The Rector admits to doing a 180 on working for reform from within the church. After 25 years he’s “changed his mind” and feels the need to move his flock elsewhere. I guess the Holy Spirit was leading him astray all those years and now finally got it right. It wasn’t but a few months ago that he said he would be uncomfortable affiliating with an organization outside of North America. Then Truro’ Rector grabbed the spotlight as Missionary Bishop to America from the Church of Nigeria and he changed his mind again. The congregation has been led down the garden path by the majority of the vestry and the clergy who think it’s going to be a slam dunk to walk away with the property. I think Bishop Lee has indulged these whackos long enough and may not be quite as endlessly patient as they perceive.A 90% “we’re out of here” vote? Seems like a decidedly unbalanced group to me. The Rector is no doubt one heck of a preacher and teacher. His “aw shucks” southern charm keeps packing them in every week. He’s also over 60, so whose next in line? Sad to say he’s the only real horsepower in the stable. A one-man mega church on a roll. I wish him well.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    Genuine Orthodox, I fully agree with you. I renounced my orders because I no longer believe that women should (or can) be priests. This is yet another of The Episcopal Church’s herestical innovations. It was necessary because in order to ordain gays, ECUSA had first to break catholic orders.

  • Kathleen Ball

    I am a lifelong Episcopalian but now I am a member of an Evangelical Lutheran church. I moved from an area where the Episcopal church I was a part of was thriving and standing for the Truth. When I moved, I could not find an Episcopal parish that stood for the Truth. The Church Triumphant I feel sure will be non-denominational, but will be the Church of Truth. I am so sad that my beloved Episcopal church is straying so far from the Gospel.

  • Denise (we met)

    Alice, you are a role model for me. Thank you.

  • David

    JF MCENNA, I am so touched by your concern for the emotional and physical well being of gay men. It would behoove you to get to know a few. I think you’d find that living a double life in the closet to please bigotted family, “friends”, employers, landlords, etc. is the greatest emotional drain on gay people. It leads to all kinds of wickedness and hypocrisy as evidenced in the Roman Catholic Church and among the leaders of the so-called evangelical movement. The ECUSA, among all the mainline churches, has made a courageous effort to deal with this issue intelligently and compassionately. As for the “emotional turmoil” caused by the lack of stable long-term relationships among gays, I have never seen any gay relationship more screwed up and drama-filled than what almost seems to be the typical straight marriage in this day and age. Since most seem to divorce and remarry, leaving unstable, confused children in their wakes, this would seem to be a far greater concern. Best to recognize the real problems and clean up one’s own house.

  • Sweetness

    Do you Roman Catholics on this board just float around and spread your Roman supremacism whenever the opportunity arises? No matter what happens with ECUSA, Anglicans by and large aren’t joining your Rome churches. That’s not even on the table.You can whine about Henry VIII all you want, but the bottom line is that the RCC was trying to interfere with English domestic politics. That’s not acceptable. And so y’all got the boot. And that’s permanent. So go away.

  • Andrew

    My gentle criticism of Bishop Jefferts Schori’s comments concern her truncated definition of the church’s mission as the “reconciling of the world”. The mission of the church, as more fully defined by the Book of Common Prayer (1979), is “to restore all people to unity with God and each other in Christ” (BCP, p. 855). Christians, and, yes, Episcopalians are Christians, believe that in and through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God initiates a process in which all people, indeed all creation, will eventually be restored to a their originally created beauty. During Christmas we remember the biblical images that speak of this restoration of unity — swords being beaten into plowshares, the lion lying down with the lamb, deserts blossoming (today the prophets might have added “progressive” and “conservative” Christians dining together).The Church, (liberal and progressive, high and low, protestant and catholic) through the energy and inspiration of God’s abiding Spirit, continues God’s mission in Jesus. What is missing, though implicit, in Bishop Schori’s statment is this God directed, Christ centered and Spirit inspired understanding of the Church’s mission. The reconciliation within the Episcopal Church, let alone the reconciliation of the world, will be based upon clarity and conviction that all of us –sinners set free by God’s grace — are humbly invited to share in God’s work. However, Bishop Schori emphais on the church’s mission to the “least, lost and left out” is reminding the Church and teaching the world the importance of Jesus’ words: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you did it to me” (Matthew 25:40).Peace to all.

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    “The heretical views of the hierarchs of The Episcopal Church have made it impossible for many Christians to remain affiliated with TEC. I was an ECUSA priest. In March 2006 I renounced my priesthood and left the Epsicopal church for the Orthodox Church.” Alice LindseyAlice+ you got dumped by your Bishop and forced to resign. Sorry, but let’s not get all holy and beaky simultaneously…I’m certain you meant well but one must consider the “bigger picture” which includes everyone being accepted at the Episcopal Church…may God Bless you and Bishop Katharine…don’t forget the “light is burning” so get your butt home.

  • Hernan

    Beyond the Inadequacies of Translation, the Source of the Bible Itself.I’ve heard many people throughout my life vivaciously discuss biblical passages, translations, interpretations and methods of historical criticism (e.g. JEDP). But I guess what strikes me is that often the most basic question is not asked.Where does the Bible originate? Whose cultural values does it carry? I suppose one acquires various sensibilities by various means in life. In my case, I was born in the Amazon to a missionary family of a fundamental Christian faith and traveled a bit, first with family, but mostly during and post college years. I would say that my quest for knowledge led me to live in 5 continents and travel 40+ countries by the age of 24. I studied Greek and Hebrew while working on a Masters of Divinity that ultimately led me to a biblical archeology degree. Throughout the 90’s I visited and lived for extended periods of time in Israel, Jordan & Egypt, as that became my realm of discipline and interest.Although I grew fond of the land and the people of the Middle East, there was a glaring question I could not avoid, to which I came to a very sad conclusion. Why is the birthplace of the Bible, the Holy guide that was passed down for my acquaintanceship and emulation of a merciful God, so caught up in bloodshed and strife? Pertaining to generalizations, we’ve all heard of Western culture, especially nowadays as it is contrasted to “Middle Eastern culture”. Since September 11th, 2001 there has been an unprecedented rush to try to understand the latter. The positive cultural values therein are unfortunately drowned in the current bloodshed and violence, which I believe is a result of intolerance. At some level, nearly all feuding groups are using either the Bible or the Koran to justify their views and actions. The Middle East with it’s sphere of influence from Morocco to Pakistan, I find is sadly lacking in the most basic of human rights towards women, not to mention homosexuals. And they are quick to point out how their views are grounded in the Holy Koran.Women’s rights and gay rights are not just personal issues I’ve chosen to mirror current debates in this country, but rather the two that have often been enforced in some of the most gruesome ways, as of recent. One can hardly bear the images of women being shot to death in a stadium in Kabul accused of adultery under the Taliban, or the public flogging and hanging of two teenage boys in Iran who were accused of homosexuality. Of course such practice is not limited to the Middle East – Nigeria is a microcosm reflecting this very reality with religious powers using both the Koran and the Bible to assert themselves along these hard lines. It just baffles me that some people in this country are plugging into that source with little understanding (or regard?) as to where they may be headed.Whether people like to admit it or not, both the Koran and the Bible are very similar. They both allude to many of the same key characters, from Adam through Abraham, to Jesus. The background is the same, they both have character building stories, the same claim to exclusivity for salvation, and equitable social codes. And in all fairness, both have very disturbing stories of incest, torture and bloodshed, such as commanding the burning of a daughter (Lev. 21:9), Cutting off her hand (Deut 25:11-12), female births get penalty (Lev.12:2/5), women shall not speak (Corinthians 14:34-35) rip up pregnant women – infants to be dashed to pieces (Hosea 13:16) slavery condoned and regulated in many passages (Gen9:25-27, Eph. 6:5, Peter 2:18, etc ) genocide of three entire peoples by David (1 Sam 27:8-9).By today’s Western secular and religious standards, acts including slavery, racism and genocide are considered immoral, as biblically founded as they may be. Sexism is no longer acceptable in secular society and in many churches. Also, many people today, including some churches, no longer feel it is morally justifiable to exclude, persecute, and much less condone a death penalty on the basis of sexual orientation.In this spirit of unconditional Christian love, compassion, justice and reason, I see the Episcopalian faith leading the way.

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    “The heretical views of the hierarchs of The Episcopal Church have made it impossible for many Christians to remain affiliated with TEC. I was an ECUSA priest. In March 2006 I renounced my priesthood and left the Epsicopal church for the Orthodox Church.” Alice LindseyAlice, you were bounced because you were defiant and indignant/uncooperative with your Bishop. I’m certain you’re a well meaning and loving Christian person (you’ve often demonstrated those qualities to me) but probably you can do a lot better than joining up with bigots and cultivating thugs for a “place to stand”…remember, “the light is still burning” and I’m certain Bishop Katharine, and many of us, would feel blessed to have you come home to your priestly “calling” again. Blessings to you dear Alice.

  • Dean Bonney

    I recently returned to my hometown in Texas for my 30th HS reunion and was immediately confronted with the pride and predjudice that my life could no longer accomodate those many years ago. On my first morning breakfast, blacks entered the local Drive-in and occupied the booths to the back and away from the windows. The reunion organizing committee held the reunion dinner at a country club that was not welcome to blacks in the seventies, and was boycotted by them this fall. Friends were still engaging me in discussion as to why there will always be black and white baptist churches in town. And, a new element of predjudice was observed: Downtown had a new Super Mercado to serve the barrios that were once white working class enclaves to the norh and east of the courthouse.And then one of my best friends invited me to join him for Church Sunday at St. Paul’s. I had not been there since high school. I grew up Greek Orthodox in a town largely split between fundamentalist baptists and evangelicals,all, God bless them, working hard to save my soul. The Episcopal church was my refuge. I served as an acolyte. I learned about the Episcopalian spirit of charity and genorosity, practiced as unpredjudiced as practical in the blacklands of East Texas.On that rainy Sunday, I entered a Church full of life, embracing a rainbow of God’s children bursting with pride and absent of predjudice, if only for those several hours of communion and fellowship. God bless all of you who have shared yourselves in this forum today.

  • johnieb

    She speaks, most eloquently, for me; thank you, Bishop Katharine.

  • Anonymous

    What an insufferably phony pinhead Mrs. Schori is. What a heartbreak for those who wish it were still possible to be both Episcopalian and Christian.

  • Hypocrite Detector

    >>>What an insufferably phony pinhead Mrs. Schori is. “Whoso calleth his brother fool, is in danger of hell.”

  • RH

    Most comments in this conversation string seem to be focused on questions of whether homosexuality is a sin and whether women should be ordained. These are simply long-running, hot button issues that divert attention from the actual sin involved in this matter, which is greed.Aside from the material greed we see now via looming lawsuits — these breakaway congregations don’t want to be affiliated with the Episcopal Church but are greedy to keep the fine, historic properties they’ve enjoyed for so long; in fact, the churches are the property of the diocese, held in trust for Episcopal congregations — greed for power is really the impetus of this matter.Archbishop of Nigeria Akinola overreached first when he made Rev. Minns a Missionary Bishop to America from the Church of Nigeria and now again with the affiliation of congregations in Virginia, which is clearly outside his jurisdiction. He plans to continue consecrating more American bishops in the coming months to build up the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. The Anglican Communion recently released this statement from The Revd Canon Kenneth Kearon following consultation with The Archbishop of Canterbury:”The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) is, to my knowledge, a “mission” of the Church of Nigeria. It is not a branch of the Anglican Communion as such but an organsation which relates to a single province of the Anglican Communion. CANA has not petitioned the Anglican Consultative Council for any official status within the Communion’s structures, nor has the Archbishop of Canterbury indicated any support for its establishment.” ‘

  • Sing Along, Everybody!

    And they’ll know we’re evangelicals by our hate, by our hate,Yes they’ll know we’re evangelicals by our hate!

  • Legal questioner

    I’m wondering what the parishoners of Truro and the Falls Church will do when Abp. Akinola asks each of them for his/her tithe to the Anglican Church of Nigeria. Will they happily pay the bishop of their choice? And why do they think they are going to hold on to “their” property if they do succeed in wresting it from TEC in court? Will Akinola accept that the property is theirs, not the property of the AC of Nigeria? Will he sue for legal control?Nigeria isn’t a congregational church any more than TEC is. In fact, it’s much more hierarchical and upper-clergy centered, as the members of the Falls Church and Truro will soon find out.My prayers to PB Katharine, who is filling her office with dignity and grace.

  • W.C. Swift

    Personally, I prefer to think of myself — and my church — as the Whiskeypalions.

  • Kendall

    Rob, altho he may dissaprove of the Episcopal Church, is absolutely correct that it is pathetic and ridiculous for Episcopalians to try to become biblical literalists. And those anti-gays who try to claim their stance is a core and cardinal point of christian faith are picking and choosing scripture. What about divorce? What about usery? Are you telling me the parisioners of Truro church don’t divorce, don’t have credit cards, mortgages and savings accounts? Do they approve of death by stoning and owning of slaves? The eternal word may be unchanging, but our understanding of it does change.

  • Jason

    Bishop Schori states: “Our Anglican tradition is a broad and comprehensive one, with space for people of widely varying theological opinions. We will continue to model an expansive welcome for all people.”For someone who claims to be a Christian (although most of her comments suggest otherwise), she should remember Jesus’ own words in Matthew 7:13-14 – “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

  • Laurenwoods17

    Legal Questioner – The Falls Church and Truro have not given dollars to the diocese of Virginia in several years. I can’t imagine that anything would change but if they feel called to give to Nigeria, wouldn’t it probably make more sense to give to CANA? I would like to see Archbishop Akinola ask each and every one of the members of The Falls Church and Truro to contribute to the Diocese in Virginia. That’s a stretch.Additionally, they probably think they can hold on to their property because their were parishoners worshiping at these churches before the American Revolution…which is long before the ECUSA was created. What exactly would Archbishop Akinola do with the property? In Ms. Schori’s statement she acts like she isn’t concerned that these Virginia parishes are leaving. The total membership of these Virginia parishes is LARGER than the diocese of Nevada, only 6,000 members in 37 congregations, which is really sad given that the population is exploding in Nevada right now. The impact of this split is about the same as if her old diocese of Nevada decided to leave TEC.

  • Orthodox Radical

    Misunderstanding Anglican Tradition on the Authority of Scripture and the 2003 General Convention Vote on Same:Much is made of the vote at the 2003 General Convention of the ECUSA by which Episcopal Church supposedly “denied the authority of Scripture.”Having attended that General Convention as alternate delegate, and having spoken to many involved, I can say that those who voted against the resolution in question did so not to deny the authority of Scripture but to AFFIRM THE TRADITIONAL ANGLICAN UNDERSTANDING OF THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE. In Anglican tradition, Scripture has never been THE ultimate authority. In Anglican tradition the ultimate authority is the will of God, as apprehended through the lens of Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. Anglican tradition has never understood any of these three to be inerrant, but that taken together the bring us a better understanding of God’s will. Never a perfect understanding, because that is impossible for fallen humanity. In addition, the traditional Anglican view on the inspiration of Scripture has never been of a merely static inspiration which occured once in the past, but an active inspiration in which the Holy Spirit acts in the heart of the reading believer (and in the reading faith community). Which means that our imperfect understanding is always being expanded by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit working through our imperfect minds, hearts, and will.For the real traditionalist Anglican, a little humility about our understanding of God’s will is always in order.

  • Dallas Bob

    Bishop Jefferts-Schori is a brilliant person who in her “former life” earned a Ph.D in marine biology and also became a pilot. A bible thumping nut job she is not.And those right wingers who underestimate her are in for a surprise – she will not go quietly into the night.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    Kendall, the opposition many millions of Anglican Christians around the world to the actions of The Episcopal Church is based less on a literal reading of Scripture than on 2000 years of unbroken tradition.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    Leonardo, we meet again! Please get the facts right. I resigned as Rector of St. Andrew Episcopal Church “effective immediately” on the Sunday that Vicky Gene Robinson was consecrated. I, along with 3 other clergy of the Diocese of Lexington, were subsequently inhibited from ministry by Bishop Stacy Sauls. That gave me the distance and time I needed to study ECUSA’s recent history and theology and come to the conclusions I’ve reached. Then in March 2006, I voluntarily renounced my orders. All of this is public record and can be read on the internet.

  • ex-episcopalian

    As someone who left the Episcopal church (not to join a more conservative church, mind you, I’m an agnostic and not religiously affiliated at all now), this all just reaffirms my decision.While there are many intelligent, sincere, and loving Episcopalians, and it’s nice to see them posting here, I can’t help but thinking that any argument about religion is like arguing whether the Tooth Fairy is better than Santa Claus.Rather than wasting so much time and energy arguing about whose interpretation of the Bible is correct, why not admit that religion is a man-made institution (regardless of whether or not God exists), and just let everyone go their own way. Let the people who don’t want gays and women in their treehouse have it that way as long as they don’t try to pass laws that oppress the rest of us.Hmm, but there is the property issue – money and power will trump love and justice every time.Good luck settling your playground dispute, kids!

  • tradition

    Alice – according to thousands of years of tradition, women should be seen and not heard, so shut up.

  • John in Arlington

    So many of these posts are hostile to “bible-thumping nut job(s)”… I must have stumbled into an online version of the Episcopal Church’s General Convention!Mrs. Schori’s episcopal church is only inclusive if you have banished all absolutes from your thinking. “Live in tension.” “Mother Jesus.” “We’re too educated to reproduce.” These are the teachings of the new PB. Some traditionalists have been self-righteous and overly focused on sexuality issues. But, Dallas Bob, not all of us are rabid right-wingers or narrow fundamentalists.The Pikes, the Spongs, the Robinsons and the Schoris have now pushed us out.And they rest in their denial. The Episcopal Church has only half the membership it had 40 years ago; the Diocese of Newark is closing dozens of churches; and last week a fifth of the active members of the Diocese of Virginia have said “enough.” And there is more to come. Don’t you see? You can’t create social change or even have a voice if you don’t have members!The good ship episcopal is not in good shape. Not in good shape at all.

  • tradition

    Alice:1 Timothy 2:11-15 “Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet woman will be saved through bearing children, if she continues in faith and love and holiness, with modesty.”I think it is pretty clear, isn’t it. If you have children, you should be tending to them instead of posting on this forum, and if not, better get married and pregnant ASAP, because otherwise, you have no worth.

  • Rob

    This Katherine Jefferts Schori lady should be arrested for fraud. They take in money for telling people that they can live an eternal life by beleiving in Jesus. They threaten damnation unless you join thier team.Most Right Reverend? Please. Your a fraud Kate. Admit it. Mosty wrong snake oil salesman is what you are.

  • Anonymous

    “Our mission as a Church is the reconciliation of the world.”is that a friggin’ joke? Religion is the thorn in the world’s paw. We live in a Christian dominated world. For like 2000 years now. Christianity is the problem folks. The Church is the cause for the strife. Attempting to foist it’s version of reality on the weak has ramifications unfortunatley. If the Church really had an interest in reconcxling the world, it would ban itself. Do us all a favor Katie, help reconcile the world by disbanding the fraud.

  • ex-episcopalian

    Although I am on the opposite end of the spectrum from you, I think there is an element of truth to what you are saying.I think it is accurate to say that today’s Episcopal Church is not a particularly congenial place for religious tradionalists (frankly, that was why it appealed to me in the first place), so I’m sure some of the membership loss is due to disaffected traditionalists leaving.I think it is also because the EC generally appeals to well-educated white people who don’t tend to have a lot of children. Also, many Episcopal parishes are urban and have many members who are single, gay or lesbian, or past their child-bearing years, so there is not a built in source of new members.Finally, Americans tend to treat religion like a shopping mall – they shop around for a congregation that appeals to them, and most people are not that knowledgable about the differences between denominations and don’t really care. I have been continually surprised by how little people I know actually know about whatever faith tradition they belong to actually teaches. For example, I have a friend who is a lifelong Catholic who had no idea what the doctrine of Immaculate Conception was, and basically wouldn’t believe me when I explained it to here. Anyway, my point is that while some people may take theological issues very seriously and know a lot about them, most people are going to church for a variety of reasons, many of which have little or nothing to do with the substance of religious belief itself (they may be lonely, may be looking for a community, or be going because in order to fit in and make business connections in a certain community you have to attend the right church).The Episcopal Church, while liberal in theology, is traditional in worship, and that only appeals to a very select group of people. The average 20 or 30-something who does not have a prior commitment to a given denomination is much more likely to be attracted to the flash, rock music, and pop culture orientation of an evangelical megachurch than they are to Anglican Chant and “smells and bells”. I think the Episcopal Church has probably found its natural level of membership, and will survive as a niche brand (this is America baby, religion is big business in addition to whatever else it is). Since probably 90% of the churches in the US are evangelical or traditional, it would be foolish for the EC to try to hang on to its traditionalist members (they should not try to get them to leave, just recognize that it is inevitable that most of them will).The wild card is that the Anglican church worldwide has become an African institution. I don’t think there is any way the Anglican communion will hold together in the long run, and I think it is futile to try. It would save a lot of time and trouble if all concerned would be realistic and accept that fact sooner rather than later.

  • Gail

    So, if being a marine biologist qualifies you to be the head of a church, I suppose being the head of a church qualifies you to be a marine biologist? That sure is some twisted logic.

  • sok7

    A recent poll of Anglican priests in England showed that 13% of them did not believe Jesus was the devine [the son of God] and they did not think that he rose from the dead [the reserection is a fraud]. These priests have removed Christ from Christianity.America is no different. There are Episcopal priests writing books that say that Jesus never lived at all or if he did that he was no more special than you or I. This is the issue that fractures the Episcopal Church. How we address the issue of homosexuality is at best a sub-issue and at worst a flagrant diversion from what matters most.The Old Testament Law states that the wages of sin are death. Traditional Christianity does not seek to overturn the Law. It believes that God sent his only son to pay the price for our sin by dying on the cross. We can receive a communion with God [salvation] by 1) asking forgiveness and 2) accepting God as our Lord and Savior.Schori preaches that the Law of the Old Testament is in many places irrelevant or wrong. She believes that she (as an intellectal) is compentant to determine where her opinions superceed that of the profits and the Apostles.Schori teaches that there are many ways to achieve salvation that do not include Jesus Christ. While this message is politically correct, it is very different than what Peter, Paul, and the Apostles passed down to us in the New Testament.While this issue has been spun to make conservatives seem like the bad guys, when the Apostles says one thing and Schori says the opposite, are the conservatives wrong to side with the Apostles?Is what Schori preaching really Christianity?Can Episcopalians remain one big happy family when half believe Jesus is the savior and that his death is the key event in human history and half think it matters little or not at all?Divorce is a terrible thing, but there are worse things than that. Let the Church split peacefully.

  • ex-episcopalian

    SOK7I agree with you that the Church should split peacefully. Actually, I think it is pretty clear the Schori agrees with that too.BTW, it’s “divine” and “resurrection”.

  • The Pilgrim

    ” It is past time for all Christians to move beyond this petty bickering and focus on the things that we hold in common.”The problem is that Christian denominations have nothing in common with the Episcopalians.

  • Proud Male

    Gail, shut up. I am a man, and as such, I am your superior.Women and children are to be seen, not heard. It says so in the Bible.

  • Bob Witt

    Just another PR Spin Release. Bishop has been in DC too long. Jon Stewart summed the issues succintlly in his style on a recent DAILY SHOW. In satire he sided with the insurgents, exclaiming ‘look what they are doing to the church! Ordaining women and treating homosexuals as human beings’! Parishies are going to any length, U2charists, etc except proclaiming as Martin Luther, Hier stehe Ich! Christ was loving and inclusive. He sure did not emulate most of his follwers.

  • Ronald in San Diego

    Thank you, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts-Schori. You are truly a gift from God during these times of growth and progress in Christianity. Jesus did not leave us the Church for us to allow it to grow old, stale, legalistic, and irrelevant. His message continues to resonate today as one that challenges our comfort zones on all issues. I am fifty-two years old, and I have been an Episcopalian since my teens. I have never been happier with the Church than I am today. Does a lot of what’s happening in the Episcopal Church today challenge certain traditions? You bet it does–just as Jesus did during his time. While some congregations feel the need to leave, most of us belong to parish and cathedral congregations that are happy, vibrant, and growing in the fullness of Christ’s true message of love and welcome. I invite all of you who are troubled by such issues to visit a welcoming parish like mine that supports our Presiding Bishop and welcomes all to its Eucharistic sharing of peace and joy. Despite the sadness we feel for those who wish to leave, this is truly a wonderful time to be an Episcopalian in the United States of America. Merry Christmas to each and every one of you!

  • Sarah

    Lord, Have Mercy. It’s amazing that God has love for people like us.

  • lancerandowl

    As a Lutheran, I have followed the matter of the Episcopalian disagreements with interest. We, of course, have experience with trying to change the church and, when all else fails, leave it. I was saddened, though, when reading the Post story the other day, to read a quote from a parioshoner of one of the seceding congregations, that she was “embarrassed” to admit she was Episcopalian.Embarrassed? How can anyone be embarrassed by faith? Embarrassed to be saved by grace? Embarrassed that there are disagreements? I’m not embarrassed that I have disagreements people or policy in my church, just as I am not embarrassed by differences in political and policy views. We revel in the notion of free speech, in free exchange of ideas. That freedom, in and of itself, is grace. In this case, there is dialogue, but not exactly real, substative dialogue, between both sides.Frankly, I don’t see any real, substantive theology in all of the hubub over Robinson. I see this as one big series of personality clashes and everyone has dug in their heels. The seceeding parishes seem to want to leave the Episcopal Church but it’s not at all clear that they want to remain affiliated with the Anglican Communion because CANA is not a part of that. You could make an argument that the election of Jefferts Schori was simply a “run in the face” effort by the leftwing dominant in the Church (I say that even though I personallt strongly affirm the legitimacy of women in the priesthood)I view the whole issue in terms of globalization. In a globalized world, we must have true dialogue and also respect matters of local culture. This requires give and take. This matter would not have gotten to this pt if Robinson had simply stepped down for the good of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. There is no principle to be asserted here – -there never was and there never will, since there is a clear ministry for homosexuals and lesbians and they must be ministered to, like all people. This dispute violates the essential nature of globalization. Imagine this in another context. What if a state decided to leave the Union and affiliate with another country? Imagine the debate…Unilateralism is what put the Roman Catholic Church in the contretemps it is today in many places in the world.Jefferts Schori’s comments on feeding the sick, hundry, etc., was not necessarily a statement that the Church itself has to do that (although in some parts of the world, it most certainly does because of the weakness of political authority). It might be better if she clarifies the nature of what her context of discussion is.

  • Robert

    To be blunt, I don’t see any reason to join up with either the high church Southern Baptists or the liturgical United Way that seems to constitute the predominant parties in this dispute. While I know some fine Christians, I am becoming more convinced that they are good people in spite of their faith, not because of it. If the mission of your church is to “reconcile the world”, start with yourselves, Anglicans, and maybe the rest of us poor benighted sinners will find you a bit more credible.This dispute is all about power, property, and prestige. The “God mit uns” rhetoric is a despicable smokescreen.

  • Sheila

    One comment quotes Leviticus as the authority against homosexuality. How did we decide to get rid of most the Levitical laws and just keep that one? Leviticus requires ritual animal sacrifice for almost every occasion and offense. We don’t do that anymore. Leviticus requires anyone with a scab or spot on their skin to be evaluated by a rabbi. We don’t do that, either. Rules about menstruation and conjugal relations abound. No sex before marriage, and adulterers are stoned. (or is that Deuteronomy?) We don’t follow them. Until you are willing to start sacrificing every pigeon in the country in response to Levitical requirements, please don’t use Leviticus as a final authority. And if we use Paul’s letters as a final authority, my head is going to be shaved for speaking in church, I can’t have my religious questions answered because I have to ask my husband and he is dead, and as a young widow I am a threat to the community, causing trouble in other homes and need to get remarried so I don’t sin. I also shouldn’t wear gold or pearls, no one should get married as the end time is near, we should accept our slavery and be loyal to our masters… Need I go on? If all these Biblical things are open to interpretation and change, how did we decide homosexuality was not?

  • pseudopiskie

    So many of these posts reveal how low most people are on Fowler’s Stages of Faith and other theories of stages of human development. “Christianity” as presented by many here is evil and harmful which seems to me to be the antithesis of what Jesus taught. (It is also amazingly unAmerican.) Unfortunately the people who could benefit most from books like Sam Harris’s Letter to a Christian Nation would never read them. It is difficult to grow in the knowledge and love of God if one never lets new ideas penetrate the smokescreen of prejudice, fear and guilt constantly billowing from so many pulpits.

  • a queer episcopalian

    Just a few questions for all these people who keep insisting that their bible be taken literally regarding homosexualty: do you like lobster? How about pork? Do you ever wear an outfit made of two different fabrics? Did you ever talk back to your parents when you were a kid? If you’re a woman, do you attend church with your head uncovered? If you’re a man, do you shave your beard? If the answer is “yes” to any of the above, you’re guilty of ABOMINATIONS, according to your rule book, which also has a ton more of prohibitions that NO ONE but ultra-orthodox Jews even attempt to follow. So why are you so hung up on gay people? Could it be you just want an excuse for your petty hatred and FEAR? I’ve always maintained that anyone who claims to be a fundamentalist and believes the (Christian) bible must be taken literally hasn’t got a clue what’s in it. Shut your bigoted mouths, read the WHOLE damn book (not just the bits that support your intolerance), and LEAVE EVERYONE ELSE ALONE. Oh, and good luck with making any coherent sense of your holy scriptures.

  • Annoyed

    I find it odd that the bigots in the Virginia churchs would align themselves with a Nigerian bishop! My how things have changed since the days of slavery.

  • Wil Dyer

    Ministry to those in spiritual need is one thing. “Affirming” what the bible refers to as abomination is quite another.Jesus saved the woman caught in adultery from being stoned, by he instructed her to go and sin no more. That is loving ministry and differs greatly from ECUSA’s response these days.

  • disputatio

    The Most Rev. KATHARINE? Why, that certainly is an odd name for a man.

  • G.

    It would appear that our species will never be free of hate, persecution and non-understanding. All of these arguements about right and wrong; morality and immorality are pointless.

  • Ready to throw up

    The holier-than-thou attitudes taken by most posters (I remember Betty as a marvelous exception), INCLUDING (but not limited to) many religious liberals, is just sick. Honestly folks, can you feel good about yourselves after putting folks down for misspellings (typos, probably, but it feels oh so much better to pretend the person you disagree with is an ignorant fool) or (with disdain in your own electronic voice) typing childish things like “they’ll know we are evangelicals by our love”? Specifically to the liberals, who claim to be in a loving tradition and then bash the conservatives here: Is the idea that if you accept homosexuality, then hating people you disagree with doesn’t count? Can’t you hear the sniping little comments you make when you type (I’m thinking, for instance, about the SUV and McMansion comments… don’t make me laugh! I’ve belonged and not belonged — not due to this controversy — to the ECUSA, and I’ve seen plenty of that on both sides of the liberal/conservative religious divide… in fact, when I was poor, I briefly voted Republican because I hated watching my “fellow” liberals who sat around with lattes talking about how socially aware they were)? Is this such a conversational habit of yours that you don’t even notice it? I guess it is the nature of electronic forums, where we are all anomyous, to bring out our worst selves, or maybe many of you just need to do some more growing up, but honestly, people in glass houses….We can debate all we want about homosexuality and sin, but hopefully we can agree that when Jesus condemned the pharisee for thanking the Lord that he was not like the sinful tax collector, he meant it. And maybe we can actually recognize it in ourselves and repent.Okay, so I doubt anything I’ve said is going to lead to one person going back, looking at their postings, and saying they are sorry, but I could not NOT say it. Call me crazy, but I think God wants us to say some things, and I could not keep silent.I also need to give a quick word to the “see-how-divisive-religion-is” atheists: You can blame the fighting on religion if you wish, though I see the same spirit in many of your postings. I can’t prove this to you, but I believe it: it isn’t religion that does this, but our own brokenness, our own sin… which is what religion addresses.

  • Proud Man

    Let’s stone her to death, it is the Lord’s way.

  • Robert Henkel

    I have not read all these comments–short notes are more effective folks.That said, the Nigerian Episcopals endorse polygamy. So will someone explain to me why these folks are aligning with polygamists??Thanks.

  • Bill Tell

    It looks to me as if the secession says it all: the time for debate has passed.Everyone involved has already picked a side. But the shame of it is that the remaining Episcopalians don’t want to accept what has already come of their worldly policies.I wonder if the call for reconciliation is out of a desire that the “bigoted” and “homophobic” (and apparently reviled) dissenters actually rejoin the denomination, or just a last ditch effort to hang onto the property those members lay claim to…

  • Bill Bridges

    I have been listening, from afar, the public conversation with respect to gays and women in the Episcopal Church.”Me thinks” it is time I check out the Episcopalians. Their love and committment to God, and all his children, is perhaps the most secret message of Jesus. And what better time of year to begin that journey than at Christmas.Happy Holidays everyone.Bill Bridges

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    Dear Alice Linsley+,Reading over some of the “junk” posted here I keep thinking that you ought reconsider your departure and upsetting change in “calling”…surely you don’t want to share a ongoing fellowship with puritan bigots and hate-mongers (no matter how righteous)who devalue you…well, whatever you decide and eventually “do” is yours to do freely and with every wish for your well being…but, please remember you are loved at the Episcopal Church and it may be a very good time to be welcomed back by our new Presiding Bishop Katharine who holds nothing but love and welcome in her heart for EVERYONE (something I aspire to)…reconciliation is a “mission” that applies directly to YOU!You are valued, honored and respected and you know all the rest.The Peace of the Lord be with you

  • Clayton A Gould

    I’m so sick of the righteous as treating us as lesser children of God. We ARE lesser children of God. We don’t need any Church and are certainly able to live great and fascinating lives without the help of the “faithful.” It’s time for homosexuals to mend their ways and give up notions of being “equal.” Being scapegoats for the failings of bad religions is nothing new. After all, it takes a certain pyschological constitution to belong to such religions. From another angle, one could deduce that religion, Christianity in particular, is a malady that could be treated with therapy.

  • bored of religions

    Actually, until recently, the easiest way to be a scapegoat for all religions was to be female.

  • Robert Henkel

    One other thought–Will the African Episcopals pay to build these new African Episcopals new churches in Virginia?When you leave a church, you LEAVE a church.

  • getagrip

    What has cause more “justified hate”, more “justified killing”, than religion? Anything, ever. In the future mankinds will look on this time as primitive.

  • Y T Karashinski

    Strip our egos, our judgement and our condemnation and what do you have– the basics — we are SOULS — made in the image and likeness of GOD — having a HUMAN experience. However we present ourselves, whether gay, straight, transgendered, female, male, whole or handicapped, we should be saluting the Divinity in each one of us and not judging one another, but rather helping one another to maintain and extend the Kingdom of God on Earth.Anything other than that is destructive, and blinds us to our true pupose on earth.

  • Stan

    Religion IS divisive. It gives people license to act on their fears and prejudices because they can find a line somewhere in a book that seems to indicate that God is on their side. There is nothing more dangerous than a bigot who believes that God wants him to do something.Religion to me is a human-created byproduct of humanity’s need to create comforting stories that protect it psychologically from a scary, uncertain world. But it went too far – people started to take it too literally and gradually religious belief began to overlay and reinforce other kinds of tribalism and identity and provide a divine green light for whatever the abomination of the moment was – mass murder of nonbelievers, subjugation of women, slavery, etc – and now denying the full humanity of the homosexuals that god, presumably, created.Religious faith so often seems to fly in the face of what reason and observation tell us. We know the universe is vast, we know the earth is billions of years old, we know that species once existed that no longer exist, that humans have evolved form earlier species and have existed for only a tiny fraction of the age of the earth, that humans are biologically imperfect (wisdom teeth, weak spines, useless appendixes etc.) – all of which shake the core assertion of Christianity – that humans and the universe were created for the purpose of having we humans populate this one little planet. It seems a monumental arrogance of our species. The non-existence of god, or rather the existence of god as a creation of humanity (a powerful, central one, to be sure) is to me blingingly, searingly obvious. The fact that so many millions of people express faith in something that seem so clearly mythical, is to me the greatest mystery of the world. I would really like for one reasonable person of faith – a believer but not a you’re-going-to-hell looney tunes – to try and express for me why they believe in something that seems so manifestly unbelieveable.I do understand that the nature of faith is that it can’t be proven. But it can be talked about. Can someone take a stab at articulating why they beleive?

  • Simon

    The bishop is totally clueless of what Christianity is about. She used the Episcopal church as the arena to promote un-Christian theologies. No wonder her constituents are leaving. Pretty soon US Episcopal church will be shrinking to a point that they will be irrelevant. People go to church not because they want to be liberal, but want to be morally conservative.

  • Mike

    I cannot imagine a spiritual leader of any faith issuing a statement that does not have direct reference or even a mention of the Bible. Gives me a bit of insight into the unrest in the Episcopal Church.

  • 7th generation

    Who gave the money that was used to construct the buildings? Most likely the money came from the congregation and their ancestors. Why should members of a congregation pay ECUSA for a building that ECUSA did not build?TEC is spinning out of control.

  • CLEMENS

    “Kendall, the opposition many millions of Anglican Christians around the world to the actions of The Episcopal Church is based less on a literal reading of Scripture than on 2000 years of unbroken tradition.”So was the Anglican Church’s teaching, up until the 19th century, that slavery was an institution divinely sanctioned, the way God intended his people to live.The Anglican stool, as it is called, stands on three legs. Bible. Tradition. Reason. If any one is leg cut short, the stool falls over. Balance and compromise are the Anglican way. Bigotry has no place in the Episcopal Church.

  • NJ Hilton III

    In the past one has observed that the comments about parishes and congregants have more to do with property ownership and not theological correctness. The dry and well -formed words of our bishop-ette clearly indicate a clear understanding of asset values rather than moralSoon to be former Episcopalian, Vestryman and Senior Warden ..

  • Ready to Throw Up

    Stan:(I’m keeping the same name to be easily identified.)Well, I don’t know, you may think I’m loony and not worthy of answering, but in response to your request:(1) I don’t think that the universe being created for humans is a central tenant of Christianity. Maybe in the eyes of some. I think that the universe was created for God’s own pleasure, as was humankind.That is why I believe what I believe. Thanks for asking (not me directly, just someone, and I hope you receive other answers) and also explaining why you believe what you believe.

  • BELIEVER

    “I would really like for one reasonable person of faith – a believer but not a you’re-going-to-hell looney tunes – to try and express for me why they believe in something that seems so manifestly unbelieveable.”Not that I believed in something. It was the discovery gradually made manifest through my fellow parishioners over a lifetime (through worship, study, prayer, and fellowship) that Something manifestly unbelievable believed in me, and the realization that that Something was none other than Risen Christ still alive in the world today.

  • Had Enough

    It’s obvious to me that we have entered the dark ages once again, and that intellectualism is gasping for air in a world polluted by ignorance and fear. We rail against Muslim countries for their beliefs and practices, and yet read through these posts and understand who we are as Americans. It’s frightening.

  • the pilgrim

    ROBERT HENKEL asked . . . .”That said, the Nigerian Episcopals endorse polygamy. So will someone explain to me why these folks are aligning with polygamists??”Robert, the Nigerians do not endorse polygamy, but it is tolerated for the time being; hoping it will die out in the next generation. Men with multiple wives are accepted into the church and allowed to keep their extra wives because the alternative would be to see the women cast out with no means of survival. The men sign a pledge that they will only have sex with the first wife, and they are not alowed to hold any church office, even vestry member. The church does not perform polygamous marriages. It is not the perfect answer, but it is better than having women with no means of livelihood out on the street.

  • Mark

    In response to Sam, first and foremost, Bishop Jefferts-Schori is actually a Bishop who was elected by a governing body. This same governing body has a most rich and established history in faith since 1789 where it was established in Philadelphia. I belong to this faith and I find it appalling that you do not know the background of the Episcopal Church, and furthermore you should read the preface from the Book of Common Prayer and its indebtedness to the Church of England for the, and I quote “…her first foundation and a long continuance of nursing care and protection, hath, in the Preface of her Book of Common Prayer, laid it down as a rule……” When one reads the book of Leviticus and the Levitical Laws, it also goes on to say that one is not to eat shell fish, and lay with a women during her menstural cycle. As for those laws, I am sure that those are also broken on a daily basis, but, somehow the world has forgotten that they too were written. Christ healed the lepers, he recognized the widows, he forgave the sins of the world by his suffering on the cross, but, it is people like you that stand in judgement, when we are instructed to “Judge not others, unless we be judged”. I find this saddening before the Christmas holiday that again, the focus is on one particular subject, and not the important ones, like the high poverty rate, homeless rate, the genocide that is happening in locations such as Sudan or Darfur. No matter what your faith, the one factor that is always going to be at the center of any church is Jesus Christ, and He is the one that has forgiven all those who believe, not any church or minister or lay person. I would suggest to those who believe that they are the end all and the know all should do a little history lesson. The Bible has been interpreted over 450 times and can be traced back to some of its first interpretations to the 7th Century. (just a side bar for those who just know everything!)

  • Anonymous

    “Men with multiple wives are accepted into the church and allowed to keep their extra wives because the alternative would be to see the women cast out with no means of survival.”Just like here. We allow men who practice serial polygamy to remain in the church. They only (one hopes) have sex with the trophy wife. Money is given to the extra wives so they are not cast out with no means of survival. These are the men who are protecting the dignity and sanctity of marriage, btw.

  • St. Patrick

    What a fascinating debate; everyone participating is wrong, but for different reasons. The Episcopalians (like all protestants) are doomed because they broke from the One True Church. The latest outrage from their newest pretend bishop is of course incorrect, but what would one expect from an apostate? Likewise incorrect are those who put the Bible as the sole source of authority, forgetting that it was the Church that first recognized the Holy Scripture as God’s Word. Thus it is that both the Church and the Bible are jointly the final authority on matters of faith and morals.Both those that left the Episcopal church and those that stayed should repent and rejoin the One True Church.

  • Anonymous

    “What a fascinating debate; everyone participating is wrong.”Everyone except you, right? How utterly amazing!

  • St. Patrick

    I agree with you, Anonymous! It is amazing that everyone could miss the obvious point that all who broke from the One True Church are living a lie. Thanks for reinforcing the point!

  • J S Oliver

    I refer you to Howard Meyerson’s marvelous op-ed piece in today’s Washington Post (Dec. 20). He says it all.If you’re looking for a place where God is still speaking, try the United Churches of Christ. We’re still listening, here, and we don’t think the last word was spoken 2000 years ago. We think God speaks through lives today, and that God encourages us to attend to the witness of so many marvelous people who happen to have been created gay or lesbian or female or nonwhite by that same God.On the other hand, if you’re looking for the alternative, why, the Bishop of Nigeria welcomes you. But of course if you go there you’ll have to deal with race. Tedious to be bigoted, isn’t it?Blessings to all at this season and all year long.Sidney Oliver

  • john huerta

    I don’t like seeing a Gay Man serving as a Bishop of the Episcopal Church,It a terrible thing for what the Episcopal Church did back in 2003 when it appointed Eugene Robinson as Bishop of a New Hampshire dioscese.I do seem to think of the split between hard-line Conservatives such as CANA & The Church as nothing but a rift that was caused by the churc over it’s admission of women as Priests & Gays as Bishop,Is this the kind of Role-model That Real Episcopalians like?John Huerta

  • edward

    SATAN’S PLANSatan’s plan is to get Christians to hate Christians so that Jesus’ plan for all flesh to see it (His light) together. That’s all this controversy is. The Virginia churches have prayed over this, and their secession is not something they took up lightly. Nor was the Bishop’s or the rest of the church’s decision to allow practicing homosexuals in the church.

  • fcsanders

    How silly can we be.Number one a liberal theology is no religion at all;only a human invention and delution.Number two if you believe in a pie in the sky you are living your life in vain….when you die you cease to exist …….period.

  • Ouch!

    Sorry, St. Patrick, but I cannot join the Catholics–I don’t want my son to have to wear a chastity belt to church!

  • Sean

    The funny part I see to all of these posters listing all the chapters and verses of the bible that make homosexuality a sin is that not a single one of them comes from the New Testament.Any serious biblical scholar can tell you precisely what tribe of Jewish people wrote Leviticus and what their meaning behind it was. Even the Jewish people are not foolish enough to believe that such scripture was quoted straight from the mouth of God.Anybody who views the Bible anything other than man’s attempt to capture the essence of a monotheistic religion is just plain foolish. The Old Testament has little to nothing to do with Christianity. If you really want to know what Christ thinks, look at his words and deeds as written in the various Gospels. Then rationalize your need to spout hatred toward others in light of his words.

  • ep

    Since Bp. Schori is clearly more interested in being a Social Worker than Chief Pastor and Evangelist of the nation’s 15th largest denomination, she should at least employ the skills of her former profession as a scientist rather than that of the politician she nows seems to be.In other words, don’t ignore the evidence. This past weekend, the Episcopal Church lost more members than Bp. Schori had show up for worship in the churches of her former diocese (Nevada) this past Sunday. With whole dioceses on the verge of succession, it is evident that these defections are only the beginning. This is a disaster, and Bp. Schori’s minimalization of it smacks of the rhetoric of George Bush and Dick Cheney re: Iraq six months ago. This November, the Whitehouse paid a price for being so out of touch with both the voters and the reality of the situation. I can’t help but think that unless Bp. Schori quickly comes to grips with the seriousness of the situation and deals with it pastorally, come February when the Primates of the Anglican Communion meet, she will be as much a lame duck as our president.

  • James

    All of my ancestors in America were slaves. Every single one of them as far as I can tell came here as slaves. For generations, ‘good’ white Christians debated whether or not the Bible says that was ok. All because of a verse or two that seems to endorse slavery. Today, ‘good’ Christians of many races are debating whether hating homosexuals is a sin. I think the Episocopal Church should say good riddance to the ones who left–they put a verse or two above whether or not God loves a whole group of people. God loves everyone and so should His Church.

  • NYP

    EP, it takes the votes of 2/3 of all primates to expel anyone from the Anglican Consultative Council.Despite Bob Duncan’s fevered dreams of being Archbishop of the New World (with an even bigger, pointier hat), there simply isn’t the support for booting TEC or the Canadians or anyone else from the ACC. So far not even Akinola himself has been able to persuade even a simple majority of primates to take action against TEC.Despite all the earnest fantasizing that the primates are going to hand over TEC to Bob Duncan and drive the other 90% of us out into the streets, it’s just not going to happen that way.What is more likely is a division into two communions, one fundamentalist and based in the third world and the other traditionally Anglican and taking in much of the CoE, TEC, the Scottish Episcopal Church, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and the non-Jensenized portions of Australia.

  • Dennis

    Years from now these bigots will be remembered with the bigots who insisted that segregationism in the south was compatible with their fundamentalist religion. In each generation as the bigots die out the next generation shakes its head and wonders.

  • runforyourlife

    This church sucks. A bunch of crazies IMHO.

  • Frozen1

    Judge not.

  • FINN

    Remember when little Huck Finn decided in his heart of hearts that he could not pray a lie and so could not bring himself at last to inform the authorities about the whereabouts of his friend the runaway slave, Jim. He resolved that though it meant he would go to hell, he would help Jim and would just go to hell regardless.Where do you think Huck Finn got such an idea? Who said that you would go to hell for aiding and abetting a runaway slave? Who was praying that lie every Sunday? Who was teaching that lesson to the children in the Sunday Schools? Who was preaching homilies on that text from every pulpit? After the Civil War, Mark Twain wrote about that in order to point out what was probably unspeakable at the time, that the Southern churches had prostituted their pulpits. We can be proud that Anglicans, laymen, bishops, and clergy, were among the leaders of the abolitionist movement, both here and in England. There are Feast Days in the Book of Common Prayer dedicated to the honor of those saints.Now the bigots are telling us that we are going to hell for ordaining gay men and women. If that’s the case, then so be it.

  • Phillip Ramsey

    The Church hierarchy frames this issue in terms of conservative members out of touch with the mission of the Church. Anyone knowing anything about the Virginia congregations voting to part ways with the current leadership knows these churches are some of the most active, concerned, and accountable congregations to be found when it comes to the mission of the Church. They are truly ‘doing the truth’, their mission records are second to none in this regard, and any bishop that dares to suggest otherwise lacks integrity.The issue is far more fundamental and the confirmation of practicing homosexual bishops is but the flashpoint. The issue is about authority within the Church. Church hierarchy has relegated scripture and the creeds to a theology sufficiently vague to allow any practicing and unrepentant sinner to hold the office of bishop. If it were not a crime, even pedophilia would not be a disqualification for the office. Bishops want to rest upon a medieval tradition of unquestioned authority while dismantling the basis upon which it rests. The policy and practices of the Church hierarchy are incongruent with the historical basis of it own authority. Embracing a watered down theology fundamentally undermines the authority vested in the Church hierarchy and it leaves those sitting in the pew no recourse but to challenge it.It comes as no surprise that our Bishops look to church property as the means to rein in those challenging their authority claiming the property belongs to them because it was purchased by the faithful long since departed and they are holding it in trust for the good of all. The bishops have a long history of encouraging the creation of property. It is the secular source of their authority in due course. However, apart from the emotional issue of departed friends and loved ones resting in the walls and grounds of the properties, the bishops have lost sight of one fundamental fact, the Christ Life is one lived in tents. The faithful have been encouraged to settle down in these halfway houses, much to the detriment of the mission of the Church. In these matters of property, I am reminded of the words of Isaiah; ‘Enlarge the place of your tent and let the curtains of your habitations be stretched out; hold not back, lengthen your cords and strengthen your stakes.’ We are witnessing a revival within the Anglican tradition that goes far beyond the sentiments and entrapments of property. It reminds one of a meeting in October 1917 just off Red Square. There was a revolution unfolding outside and the assembled Church hierarchy was locked in a debate over the color of Church vestments.In the modern workplace, I work along side and accept arrogance, selfishness, fornicators, situational integrity and ethics, and sexual orientation different from my own. I do the same when kneeling and taking the sacraments knowing those beside me at struggling with sin, as do all. However, when it comes to my pastoral leadership, I expect more from my rector, and especially so from my bishop.

  • James

    The vote by the congregations in VA to leave their church was the triumph of hatred, bigotry and denial over all that is decent, tolerant, compassionate and loving in this life. Those people are indeed in need of help and solace. They have just surrendered their humanity and placed themselves on the margins of what is tolerable in this society. Compassion for them? Yes, of course. Acknowledgment of their pain, and sadness at their ignorance? Of course. Acceptance of their deeply repellant, un-Christian, hate-filled marginalizing of fellow human beings whom their loving God in His wisdom created differently from them: No!

  • Slappy

    Glad I decided to follow the teachings of Buddhism.

  • RadicallyAnglican

    Dear 7th generation: Why should members of a congregation pay ECUSA for a building that ECUSA did not build?”Perhaps: I can accept that a clergy or lay person’s integrity might require that they leave their denomonation. But the only honorable way for a clergy person to do that is to resign his or her ordination vows and leave. And the only honorable way for lay people to do that is to change denominations and find a new church, either by joining one, or by planting a new one (if they feel called away as a group). To do otherwise is make your promises into a lie or to put to lie promises of your predecessors.If it every came to that point for me, that’s the only way that I could see doing it with any integrity. I would view it much as I would an act of principled civil disobediance. Part of choosing to disobey a law or an authority that one considers evil, is to be willing to face the consequences of one’s actions.

  • NYP

    Yes, Radicallyanglican, that is how honorable people would behave.But we are not dealing with honorable people here, as their constant habit of bearing false witness against their brothers and sisters clearly indicates.

  • Chris

    Can anyone seriously believe that all religious leaders everywhere are repentant of all their sins? I would accept that they have repented all of the sins that they have acknowledged but given that NONE of us fully understand God’s will for our lives we are all guilty of sins we are not aware of and hence cannot repent of.All christian churches, including their leadership, are support groups for sinners, not havens for the sinless. Anyone who claims otherwise is guilty of the sin of pride.

  • StaceyC

    A convert’s perspective:All over the USA, there all signs that say “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You.” The signs do not say “The Episcopal Church Welcomes You EXCEPT if you are gay and want to be a priest or bishop, or are gay and want your union blessed.”I guess the VA parishes have not read the signs lately.I joined the Episcopal Church in February 2006. I’m not gay, but my parish wouldn’t care if I was. Part of my attraction to the Church was its tolerance of others and repect for everyone regardless of sexual preference and gender. I was elated was Bishop Schori was elected Presiding Bishop. It reaffirmed for me that joining the Episcopal Church was the right thing to do.I will say what no one else seems to be saying: the problem is deeper than the “gay issue”. The fact is that some people out there just don’t like to see a woman in a powerful position. Would these parishes have this much disdain if Schori was a man? I highly doubt it. The Church started ordaining women in the 1970’s and there’s still people who are not over it!Let the parishes leave. I think they will regret it in the long run, and that they will self distruct because people this rigid aren’t even nice to each other. I predict a lot of in-fighting in these refugee parishes.In the meantime, I love my small, liberal, tolerant parish. I am proud to be an Episcopalian and will be no matter what happens!

  • Dave

    I am Senior Warden in a church in the Diocese of Texas. I support Bishop Don Wimberly and The Windsor Report which stipulates no more homosexuals should be consecrated as bishops nor should the Church perform marriages of homosexuals. Bishop Wimberly brought together a large and diverse group of Episcopal bishops this summer and won a measure of tolerance in the signing of a letter recognizing differences but agreeing to work for unity in the Church.The Lambeth Conference of the Anglican Communion has stipulated homosexuality is incompatable with scripture. Yes, I believe the Episcopal Church erred in consecrating Gene Robinson. But I don’t believe that act, in and of itself, affects me in my diocese to the point that I should alter in any phase of my worship.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    Dave, Bishop Wimberly did a ggod thing there! However, the orthodox concern about The Episcopal Church goes well beyond the matter of homosexuality, as I’m sure you are aware. There are other even greater concerns, such as:proclamation of a counterfeit gospeland the list goes on!

  • May

    My conservative brothers and sisters refer often to the authority of scripture. I opened my Book of Common Prayer to the Catechism, and found no reference to the “authority of scripture” rather, that we believe that the Bible is the inspired by God, speaks to us today, and interpreted with the help of the Holy Spirit. As such, Episcopalians, and most other denominations, can disregard scriptural prohibitions against charging interest (as an example), because we now understand that money is not inert. Assuming homosexuality to be the ‘real’ issue, homosexuality as it is known today is not the same thing as Biblical times; most references regard temple prostitution. I have no doubt that the Holy Spirit will work with us in finding out God’s will in all this, and is working through all sides of the issue. I don’t believe that the Spirit is present however, when we excoriate one another.

  • new confirmand

    i have to say that i have loved the Lord since i was “saved” as we call it in the baptist church at the age of 12. however as i continued to grow i never was attracted to females. i just ignored it all and devoted myself to church and school. then the internet came along and i was shocked at what i came across and was attracted to. i ended up going thru a spiritual struggle of cancelling the net, reinstating it, cancelling it, etc.. to keep away from temptation. i started reading therapy books on homosexuality since i heard many sermons on God created “adam and eve, not adam and steve” and that homosexuality was wrong because the “plumbing wasn’t right.” i went to james dobson’s love won out conference, starting attending a monthly support group which i drove over two hours to. i had to honestly admit that my desires didn’t change. i was so confused. i knew i loved God but i also knew what i was taught. i had no desire to talk to church leadership about my issues as i didn’t want to be thought of as a pervert. so i decided just to do my best to be single. then lo and behold God brought someone into my life. it was great, being able to give to someone, have a companion. i would be married if i could to make it right but i can’t. i just couldn’t stay where i was attending church at because i knew i didn’t have integrity between my life and their views although they are such great people. i wanted to have integrity. i started researching books on the other side of the issue of homosexuality. i prayed i could find an established church that understood me. i had heard of the MCC but didn’t want to go that route. i didn’t want to trumpet my sexuality i just wanted to worship where i could with integrity with myself, God, and the place i worshiped at. alas i found the episcopal church. i definitely have learned alot. i know they are Christian as i am and it is so hurtful for people to say they are not. they may not condemn all other faith groups to hell as other groups do, they just think the seeking of God counts for something in Gods eyes and its up to Him to judge. however the Church proclaims Christ and accepts Him as our Saviour, its up to God how He deals with others. at any rate, i am glad that the Lord has led me where i am now and i just pray his Peace will reign somehow thru this mess.the Lord be with you all.

  • Leonardo Ricardo

    “….don’t like seeing a Gay Man serving as a Bishop of the Episcopal Church,It a terrible thing for what the Episcopal Church did back in 2003 when it appointed Eugene Robinson as Bishop of a New Hampshire dioscese.” HuertasDear Mr. Huertas,The Episcopal Church and it’s Dioceses don’t “appoint” Bishops. Bishops are elected from the specific Diocese that needs a Shepard…quite often old Shepards retire or die in office…the PEOPLE of each PARISH have vote representatives to elect a NEW BISHOP from a roster of “searched” candidades by the Diocesean “Bishop Search” Committee and ALSO nominations can come directly from the Parishes (following agreed guidelines)…after the Bishop Elect has been “elected” he must be confirmed by a majority of the Standing Committees and Bishops of every other Diocese in The Episcopal Church (over one hundred)…if the Bishop Elect is chosen before a National Episcopal Convention (every 3 years) the Bishop must be confirmed at the Convention by the House of Bishops and The House of Deputies (representing the clergy and laity of each Diocese)…so, there you have it:Bishop V. Gene Robinson was first elected in the Diocese of New Hampshire to be there Bishop…a Diocese made up of folks who loved and respected him as he served them for 30 years. He was enthusiastically endorsed by his heterosexual Bishop whom he served as Canon to…he was endorsed by the full HOUSE OF BISHOPS of the Episcopal Church and fully validated by the HOUSE OF DEPUTIES OF THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH. When he was concecrated (or enthroned as Bishop) there was over 30 Bishops who “layed hands” on him and the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church was CHIEF!Nope, noboby/nohow is “appointed” to Bishop in the Episcopal Church…it takes lots of enthusiastic support of human beings and the Holy Spirits guidance to.Conservative hate mongers (mostly from Texas, South Carolina and smatterings in Florida) forget/ignore this part of the process and think the DEVIL did it!Complete ignorance and hate.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    May, You are reading the 1979 Prayer Book which is not a true Book of Common Prayer. The title was pirated by ECUSA liturgical revisionists, but the contents only remotely resemble the Book of Common Prayer (editions of 1549, 1555, 1662, 1789 and 1928). If you want to know more about this, compare the liturgies, collects, catechisms and ordination services. You’ll be amazed!

  • Dave

    Quote from Leonardo Ricardo: Conservative hate mongers (mostly from Texas, South Carolina and smatterings in Florida) forget/ignore this part of the process and think the DEVIL did it!I don’t believe hate drives anyone in this matter. Of course, I’m wrong. But I don’t support Gene Robinson’s consecration not because of sexual orientation but because he is divorced from his wife and living in an unsanctified relationship. He, therefore, should not be consecrated.Alice C. Linsley represents, I believe, the more conservative argument. I don’t believe as Bishop Iker of Fort Worth or (outgoing) Bishop Salmon of South Carolina that the Episcopal Church should break apart and I don’t believe that parishes (in Virginia, Texas or elsewhere) should attempt to separate from their dioceses. Uphold Windsor, approach Lambeth with an open heart and open mind and let’s resolve without revolution.

  • David

    Wow! So much anger and judgement coming from people who claim to be Christians is very troubling. I ask this of everyone who reads this posting — Who judges, us or God? Perhaps we can all focus on loving our neighbor and leave it at that. For some reason there are millions of people in our country and in the world that think they have the authority to judge other people. What would Jesus do? He would love his neighbor.

  • Hank

    Schori does not represent anyone but herself when she speaks, and if all Episcopalian that disagree with her and all liberal bishops would cut off their financial gift, negative cash flow within the church would force them to go away. Schori’s actions regarding property ownership is the only anwser she has to the real problems. She was elected by one vote by like-minded bishop’s that manipulated the election, and her leadership has greatly deminished any possible reconciliation. The Episcopal church is on it’s way in spliting, and and we have her to thank.Hank

  • Jay

    Hank,As someone who was at Convention this year let me tell you that NO ONE thought she had a chance. She and the bishop from South America were both regarded as not even under consideration. My understanding is that a variety of conservative bishops cast votes for her as well. I see no evidence of a “fix”.If we’re headed to a split it started long before her election. Heck we’ve got people on this comment list still fighting over the BCP, an action taken in the 1970s!

  • Dennis

    How is it that in so many Episcopal parishes I see faithful gays and lesbians active and contributing, participating in vestry, leading EFM groups, singing in the choir, playing the organ, serving as stewrdship chairs, etc etc etc, and yet the conservatives are determined, DETERMINED, to chase these faithful people out of the church. On the other hand, the religious conservatives who lurk around most Episcopal parishes are mean and bitter people who love to stir up fights at congregational meetings and to start whisper campaigns. I served on a parish search committee and watched the religious conservatives at work. Enough. The term fruits of the spirit mean something. The self-styled orthodox are angry that society accepts and the church welcomes those who are different. I hoped for years that the exposure to active gays and lesbians in their home parishes would change something but it didn’t. These religious conservatives are still frightened and angry people. They are determined to destroy what they can’t control. There is even a website now for conservatives who want to learn how to use Roberts Rules to get their way in church meetings. Enough! I hope that they find peace eventually. Until then these divisions that they stir up, and the good and faithful people they chase away because of their hate, is frightening. It is time for these things to stop. The rest of us won’t let them burn gays and lesbians at the stake. nor can they continue to hinder the great work of the Episcopal Church. Enough is enough.

  • Episcochick

    I think Bishop Schori is right on. It’s about time all churches embrace the Gospel values of reconcillation and care for the poor. So what if the rotary club does? That is what Christianity is all about and that is what we will all be judged on and that my friends is in the Gospels. Perhaps you should read Matt 25:30-40. Some of you might want to check out the last line. It says nothing about judging others based on sexual oreintation or anything else. It only talks about how we will be judged by the Lord and that my friends is the mission of the Episcopal Church. Also, for those of you who belong to sacramental churches, the Episcopal church being just one of those, reconcilliation is a sacrament. And by the way, in my town, the President of the Rotary club is Episcopalian and does more to bring all denominations together for the service of the hungry and homeless. They travel every year to the poorest country in Africa and have helped people there by helping them irrigate crops and develop ways to increase the water supply. They have been very successful. This woman has represented many people in the peace and justice movemen, including legally representing Martin Luther King Junior and the Berrigan Brothers. I am proud to them and worship with them. Those in the religious right think that pointint their finger at others is Christian. It is not. It has done nothing but polarized denominatations and divide the country. Division is not a gift of the spririt, reconciliation is. I am delighted that my husband found a congregation where conservatives and liberal can worship together while holding very different opinions on some issues. One issue that we are all united in is service to the poor and unfortunate. My husband, who is the rector of this church, believes that all are welcome here and all are reconciled in Christ. Merry Christmas to all of you. Bishop Schori, is totally on the mark!!!

  • Cathy B

    Here’s what I believe:• God created each one of us just as He imagined us to be.“Let him who is without guilt cast the first stone.”

  • Merlin19

    So; after the acceptance of the differences in a historical American denomination, it appears the debate of the Episcople Church of North America centers around “women and gays”?Or; Is this an issue of ego? Power?I think it is an issue of “Power and Control!”Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is right!

  • NYC Episcopalian

    All I can say is, Katharine Jefferts Schori is the right person at the right time to lead the Episcopal Church.How self-centered are those at Falls Church and Truro Church and other parishes who have voted to leave the Episcopal Church over homosexuality. Are you kidding?! First, the Bible does not condemn same-sex loved-filled monogamous partnerships, but rather exploitative interactions between men. This is because the compilers of the Bible HAD NO CONCEPT that two men or two women could actually love each other, and living in NYC where there is a large homosexual population, I can assure you that this is indeed possible.Second, if we are going to read the Bible as literally as some might want, then let’s stop eating pork and bacon, let’s bring back slavery, and let’s duct tape the mouths of church-going women shut.I guess Jesus wasn’t kidding when he said that he had more to reveal but “you cannot bear it now.” Ain’t that the truth–the Holy Spirit has been moving the Episcopal Church forward in the right direction for decades, and there are those so utterly afraid of change and new beginnings that they are grasping to an image of their ideal of “the perfect church”–which is merely a desperate expression of nostalgia that is not connected to reality.The Episcopal Church leadership today, and Bishop Jefferts Schori in particular, realizes that the church is a living and breathing organism filled with the breath of the Holy Spirit, not the hot air of people who are scared of gay people for crying out loud.

  • NYC Episcopalian

    And, to clarify a lot of people’s MISUNDERSTANDINGS regarding Henry VIII, I think it would be important to remember that Aragon, home to his first wife Catherine, was alighted with the Pope, who was doing everythign in his power to gain control of England.The Pope saw the marriage of Henry and Catherine as his “in.” Henry, I bet, saw divorce as his was to ensure that the Pope could assert absolutely no power over England.I find it quaint that so often Roman Catholics and others neglect the fact that the Popes of yore were rulers wrapped up in issues of land, money and power.

  • Anonymous

    Your mission of reconciliation of the world sounds noble, but how do you propose to unite us with people who want nothing more than to kill us. Also, reconciliation also is a good idea for a social club, a school, perhaps even a country when possible…when the country is not being threatened by foreign powers…but it is not what many of us look for in a church. In a church we want to stand on certain basic principles, we want a yes or no, a right or wrong, and unfortunately when you open up your principles to stand for everything, to accept everything, unfortunately you wind up standing for nothing. I think this has happened to the Episcopal church in an effort to not offend anyone and get more paying members.

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    Let’s all make a call for the Separation of Church and Hate.

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  • Fr. Al

    When I returned to the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Church of Canada in 1987 I found the door shut and the light out. The church is extremely polarized, there is no middle ground or any respect whatever for diversity. Anyone hoping to hold to the via media is hit by traffic from all directions.. Bishop Spong openly teaches frank denial of the Incarnation, resurrection, the power of prayer, divinity of Jesus, and any and all else central to Christian dogma and faith. At the other extreme are those looking to African oversight claiming to hold a faith based in scriptures literally interpreted and narrowly, if marginally understood. As well here are countless ever splintering splinters and factions claiming to be “the continuing Church”. On top of this is the insult to the larger Church, meaning most provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Syrian Antiochine, Coptic, as well as the bulk of Evangelical Churches in the rigged election of a woman primate. How can you possibly hold to the charade of acceptance and openness in the face of dwindling numbers in Episcopal pews?

  • Fr. Al

    When I returned to the Episcopal Church from the Anglican Church of Canada in 1987 I found the door shut and the light out. The church is extremely polarized, there is no middle ground or any respect whatever for diversity. Anyone hoping to hold to the via media is hit by traffic from all directions.. Bishop Spong openly teaches frank denial of the Incarnation, resurrection, the power of prayer, divinity of Jesus, and any and all else central to Christian dogma and faith. At the other extreme are those looking to African oversight claiming to hold a faith based in scriptures literally interpreted and narrowly, if marginally understood. As well here are countless ever splintering splinters and factions claiming to be “the continuing Church”. On top of this is the insult to the larger Church, meaning most provinces of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches, Syrian Antiochine, Coptic, as well as the bulk of Evangelical Churches in the rigged election of a woman primate. How can you possibly hold to the charade of acceptance and openness in the face of dwindling numbers in Episcopal pews?

  • Fr,Al+

    The homosexual issue is nothing but a red herring, it never has been anything more nor less than that. Throughout history there have been, are, and are yet to be many homosexual bishops. This is not a model of life to be held up for the majority of believing Christians, but no individual’s life deserves to be singled out or ostracised for any deviance from the norm. The witness of a bishop lies in faithfulness to the Gospel rather than adherence to the Law. It is easy to fall into the trap of special pleading, reading those scriptures only that support one’s own position, and any and all others only in the light of those. The ministry of Christ is a ministry of reconciliation by His death, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of God, not by our worthiness or self-justification. Sin and its price is one of the facts of life. The Gospel does not leave it at that. God is about life, renewal, and relationship, the precious gift of faith. The bishop as overseer of the household of faith is called above all to stewardship of that priceless gift, a gift he as well as we hold in earthen vessels.

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  • Alice C. Linsley

    “Alice+ you got dumped by your Bishop and forced to resign. Sorry, but let’s not get all holy and beaky simultaneously…I’m certain you meant well but one must consider the “bigger picture” which includes everyone being accepted at the Episcopal Church…may God Bless you and Bishop Katharine…don’t forget the “light is burning” so get your butt home.”In Leonardo Ricardo’s beguilement to return to the Episcopal Church I hear the sibilant sound of the Serpent. Why would I return to a religious organization that poses as a conveyor of Truth while seeking to crush those who proclaim the Truth? The new Episcopal Church is based on lies and denial. I’ve gone. I joined the Orthodox Church in February 2007 and have no regrets. There is but one Truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. If one cares about one’s eternal soul, one will flee The Episcopal Church.

  • Alice C. Linsley

    “Alice+ you got dumped by your Bishop and forced to resign. Sorry, but let’s not get all holy and beaky simultaneously…I’m certain you meant well but one must consider the “bigger picture” which includes everyone being accepted at the Episcopal Church…may God Bless you and Bishop Katharine…don’t forget the “light is burning” so get your butt home.”In Leonardo Ricardo’s beguilement to return to the Episcopal Church I hear the sibilant sound of the Serpent. Why would I return to a religious organization that poses as a conveyor of Truth while seeking to crush those who proclaim the Truth? The new Episcopal Church is based on lies and denial. I’ve gone. I joined the Orthodox Church in February 2007 and have no regrets. There is but one Truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. If one cares about one’s eternal soul, one will flee The Episcopal Church.

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