Thursday, July 31, 2008


IV. The Hellins Lecture: And Now For Something Completely Different

As you may recall we left off the discussion at the point of words – liberal, orthodox, conservative, high churchman, low churchman, Anglo-Catholic, and Evangelical to name a few. The Reverend Greg Cameron has been discussing the Compass Rose including where it came from and how we Anglicans have come to use it and how the purpose has changed over the years. We have applied some of this to the situation in the United States and specifically here in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. In this installment we continue to look at the changing globe as the discussion focuses on the global south. Specifically, we will examine the perceived need for the global south to move the Anglican Communion to a new and better interpretation of the Holy Scripture.

We begin with the words to a song written and performed by Emerson Lake and Palmer (for those who may not know think Peter Gunn with a driving base guitar)

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
We're so glad you could attend, come inside, come inside
There behind a glass stands a real blade of grass
Be careful as you pass, move along, move along

Come inside, the show's about to start
Guaranteed to blow your head apart
Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth
You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo
You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll, oh

Right before your eyes see the laughter from the skies
And he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies


Cameron says, “Increasingly the Churches of the South have asserted their identity in the Anglican Communion, and this is an identity which is uncompromising in its commitment to the supreme authority of the scriptures as God’s Word written; which is content to see the Thirty-Nine Articles as the benchmark of Contemporary Anglican life; and which sees itself contending for the salvation of souls in the face of a lively Pentecost and a militant Islam.”


We here in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin heard this mantra for years. A priest that ultimately went to the Southern Cone would talk about the three legged stool and how the scripture leg was longer than any other leg. Can we picture a stool of that nature? But I digress. This is another issue upon which Mr. Schofield built his current Southern Cone domain. The Bible tells me so – or so the song goes. But wait, this is not new and it is not insurmountable. Let’s go back to our History of the American Episcopal Church by William Wilson Manross. Within the liberalism movement there was a belief that “the scientific investigation of the original sources of the Biblical narratives with a view to ascertaining their relationship to the actual events described and their consequent reliability.” (pg. 307). This was, as it seems to be today, regarded by many as likely to undermine the Christian Faith. Due to this up and coming process for studying the Bible there were a series of Essays and Reviews written by a group of English Churchmen. While this collection of essays was not always cohesive it was recognized by all as individuals expressing their own viewpoints. Nonetheless the theme of these tended to accept a general tendency to “take a scientific attitude towards Christianity and try and fit it into the general scheme of historical development.” (pg 307,308). This whole approach took on the form of the American Church Congress, The object of this new fangled organization was “to obtain a free discussion of issues which were before the Church, in an assembly which was not, like General Convention, compelled to take definite action. For this reason, it naturally sought the participation of men from all parties, but its original sponsors were most of them Liberals.” (pg 309). The resolution of this issue for us in America came in two ways. In a series of essays by Canon Charles Gore (an Anglo-Catholic) called Lux Mundi determined that much as the English Church had determined “the literal inerrancy of Scripture was not an official teaching of the Church and that its ministers were at liberty to undertake a critical study of the Bible, provided their doing so did not lead them to deny doctrines that were supposed to be officially approved.” (pg 312). The second issue was in actuality the passage of time. Liberals were ordained and as time passed the controversy dropped to a simmer. At least until now.

We could both here and abroad resurrect this age old discussion but we (world wide) have already hashed this out. Whether we use the three legged stool metaphor or some other dialectical methodology to arrive at a more complete relationship with our God we have agreed to allow that to happen – at least within the confines of our Creeds and our other documents. Perhaps we need to refresh everyone’s memories but I am hopeful that this is an issue that neither side needs to “fall on their sword over”.

For Love of It All
Noel Paul Stookey

And so we are marching to 'to give peace a chance'
Brother and sister as one in this mystery dance.
Long ago on a hilltop where now the curious crawl
A man on a cross paid the ultimate cost
For the Love of it all
For the Love of it all
We are gathered by grace
We have followed our hearts
To take up our parts
In this time and place.
Hands for the harvest,
Hear the centuries call:
It is still not too late to come celebrate
The Love of it all
"Eli, eli, lemana shabakthani"
The Love of it all

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Illuminations and Elucidations on: The Hellins Lecture

III. The Continuing Saga of The Hellins Lecture

This is the third in a series of discussions of the Reverend Gregory Cameron’s The Hellins Lecture. In the first two installments we began a discussion of this lecture in general, with an eye toward the Episcopal Church in America and with a clear focus on the diocese of San Joaquin. We now continue that discussion.

Cameron continues with this paragraph:

“But the real strength of the ties between the Churches of Britain and Ireland and the Episcopal Church and all those churches which derive from them lie in the very real personal and continuing bonds of study, friendship, identity, and mutual discipleship which still sustain the life of the Communion. “

Lest we continue to think that life has been “one big bowl of cherries” until now here in America we turn back to our continuing saga written about by the Reverend Manross in A History of the American Episcopal Church. We weathered the storm of the Oxford Movement and of course we weathered the storm of the Civil War (or The War Between The States). We found the term liberal came into being during the Oxford Movement. Now it comes back to us again, this time with a rush. The liberal movement also is known as the Broad Church Movement (big tent?) Manross states, “Those who were under its influence often differed widely in their positive beliefs but they agreed with one another in their desire to make the Church as comprehensive as possible and their tendency to minimize the importance of definite dogma, though to varying degrees.” (page 307). This brings us to the very first Lambeth Conference and all the “who shot John stuff” that went on there (not unlike now) but I am not prepared to go “there” just yet. I would like to share some personal thoughts about the term liberal. In our diocese, ex-bishop John David Schofield used the term liberal much as Cameron describers the word shibboleth (we will come back to this term later in the series). Mr. Schofield also began using the term orthodox instead of conservative. So, he espoused an orthodox position and the others were liberals. Now, we used to have liberal, evangelical, high churchman, low churchman, and Anglo-Catholic. In spite of all that, here in the diocese of San Joaquin it became us and them, orthodox and liberal. John David divided the diocese into those who are in and those who are out. As Cameron intimates in his work we need to lay these words down, at least for a while. My old management/leadership training says you cannot fix a problem unless you can first name the problem. In this instance it does no one any good except those who wish to divide. When names are given or people are called names it serves to say, you are there and I am here and we need to focus on what you are as opposed to what we are. Peter Senge, in his educational work, The Fifth Discipline talks of solving problems. One way he suggests is that everyone who can bring something to the table to solve the problem gets to come in and help. But before one enters the problem solving space one “checks your title and your pre-dispositions at the door”. I have used this technique before and it works! We, all of us, need to check our titles, our assumptions, our pre-dispositions and our inherent prejudices at the door.

Noel Stookey
©1976 Pepamar Music Corp

If you ask me what I want
I'd say yes I want it too
And if you ask me what I think
I'd say yes I think I dooo
But some will say here
Some will say there
Some will sell you tickets to a show
Some will say now
Some will say then
Some will say stay when you know you have to go
Listen to the Love in your heart
Don't you realize you're a special part
You can sing along from the start
If you listen to the Love in your heart
You can bring your horse to water
But he may not drink
You can give a man a book
But you cannot make him think
Some will say do
Some will say don't
Some will put their name up on a door
Some will say how
Some will say why
Some will never get their feet up off the floor
Listen to the Love in your heart
Don't you realize you're a special part
You can sing along from the start
If you listen to the Love in your heart

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Illuminations and Elucidations on: The Hellins Lecture

II.“The more things change the more they stay the same.”

The title of this segment is taken from a song that is sung by Peter, Paul and Mary. The name of the tune is 75 Septembers. It could just as easily have been "been there done that."

The Reverend Gregory Cameron, in his Hellins Lecture, (July 15, 2008) talks about the beginnings of the adoption of the Compass Rose and how it has come to symbolize the Anglican Communion. Some now say that the Compass Rose is spinning out of control at this very moment.

“Today, most commentators have come to the conclusion that the needle of the Compass Rose, shaken from its former stability, is spinning out of control, restless and unsure of where it will find its rest. As the front page of the London Times was recently able to proclaim confidently:

‘Anglican Church in meltdown over gays and women.’”

We need to dwell on this point since this point is one of the key reasons why Mr. John David Schofield, former bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin attempted to move, lock stock and diocese to the Southern Cone. This move pits Evangelical against every other group within the Episcopal Church. Even now, our parish in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin is being raided by a former Episcopal priest for parishioners to attend his NEW and up and coming Southern Cone mission by telling parishioners that we are blessing same sex unions and/or performing same sex marriage ceremonies. None of this is true, yet this issue seems to rip at the very fabric of our ability to come together and pass the peace and share the Eucharistic feast.

In the Episcopal Church of the United States of America during the mid-1800’s there were several significant issues that the Episcopal Church was threatened by. The one we will dwell on for today is the Oxford Movement. The Oxford Movement threatened to split the Episcopal Church into Anglo-Catholic and Evangelical lines. It began in 1843 (at least in earnest) . The movement’s primary author was none other than John Henry Newman. According to Reverend Manross in A History of the American Episcopal Church, “Newman was evidently moving towards the theory of development in religious belief which was to become the theme of one of his best-known works, and this led him into a gradual increasing emphasis upon the tradition of the Catholic Church until he finally reached the conclusion that the Bible could properly be interpreted only in light of this tradition.” This was tract ninety and this was the tract that sent the Evangelical group in the Church “over the edge.” Newman stated that the Catholic position developed over the last 89 tracts was sanctioned by the 39 Articles of Faith. When the Oxford Movement spread to America the General Theological Seminary became the hot bed of this movement. (Should we say duh?).

But one of the new ideas of all this “who shot John business” in the 1850s was the creation and use of a canon that allows for the suspension and ultimately the deposition of a bishop. While that is interesting it is not the real point. Perhaps the most pertinent point of interest that came out of all this was the Muhlenberg Memorial of 1853. A middle of the road bishop drafted a statement that evolved a system called “Evangelical Catholicism”. There were supporters and detractors of this position and in the end time took it toll. Yes, Newman left, yes there were some deposed bishops, yes the term Liberal came into use to describe the Oxford Movement, but while nothing was definitively settled many of the good things of the movement were adopted and the Episcopal Church in the United States grew stronger and better and moved on to the next controversy.

Back to the words of Greg Cameron, “We must remember that the Anglican Church itself is something of an accidental creation. … We can have little doubt that Archbishop Cranmer, if he had ever contemplated the future of the Church whose reform he undertook, would undoubtedly have been shocked, if not totally incredulous, of the reality of its inheritance.”

“Oh what will you give me?
Say the sad bells of Rhymney.
Is there hope for the future?
Cry the brown bells of Merthyr.”

Bells of Rhymney
Pete Seeger

Monday, July 28, 2008


Illuminations and Elucidations on: The Hellins Lecture

Update Note: The Windsor Continuation Group has just published a preliminary report. I was tempted to do away with this series but I think not. There are two very good reasons. First, the Windsor Continuation Group report ignores the long and illustrious albeit rancorous history of the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church. The second reason is even better, "if we do what we have always done we will get what we always got." I thought Bishops understood this, I guess not. Let's pray that this series takes us someplace else.

I. Introduction
On Tuesday July 15, 2008 Gregory Cameron delivered The Hellins Lecture. It was semi-subtitled: Here there and everywhere: where does the Compass Rose point? Gregory Cameron is the Deputy Secretary General of the Anglican Communion. Now, in all fairness, I really do not know Gregory Cameron nor do I understand, at least not fully, what the Deputy Secretary of the Anglican Communion is or does. But knowing who he is is not nearly as important as understanding what he has said.

I am a mere lay person in the Diocese of San Joaquin in the Episcopal Church of the United States of America. I am member of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and I have been so since 1994. In my past I have served as a member of vestries in Virginia and in California. I have served on several search committees both successful ones and not so successful ones. I have known, in my past, Father Doug Edwards, now a Bishop (I think consecrated Suffragan Bishop of the Diocese of Sunyani) by one of the African groups working in the United States and Father John Guernsey also consecrated a bishop by one of the African groups working in the United States. As if that was not enough I ended up in the diocese that was the first to decide to attempt to leave the Episcopal Church and become a diocese in the Southern Cone. My experience on a vestry in one parish in this diocese brought me reasonably close to now deposed bishop John David Mercer Schofield. ON more than one occasion I have had perfectly pleasant and quite lengthy conversations with Mr. Schofield. I have also been privy to the machinations that went into the slow unwinding of the Episcopal Diocese. Many of us watched while Mr. Schofield slowly built a constituency of clergy he could trust. He slowly devolved all conversation in the diocese into discussions of leaving the diocese, yet, when asked point blank, “Bishop, are you leaving the diocese?”, he frequently would publish a pastoral letter stating emphatically he was not. At one point, his letter stated that the Episcopal Church was leaving him but that was only for a short while and then he never said that again. Then, when all the clergy were in place and the vestries and diocesan delegates were also handpicked and a proper home was found John David Schofield left the Episcopal Church for the Southern Cone.

Anyway, while I do not feel like an educated competent lay person I do feel like an experienced competent lay person. The primary difference being that I did my limited study after I have experienced most of this trauma and at least from that small space believe I can comment and critique The Hellins Lecture as well as move this discussion in a positive direction..

What I have done is read this work, and I believe it is a truly significant work, and then gone back and read a work by the Reverend William Wilson Manross entitled A History of the American Episcopal Church. My first edition copy was copyrighted in 1935 and is believed by most to be the most complete and significant work on the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, at least till now. You are of course free to disagree. Please share your thoughts on this, as well as anything else as we go along. I will generate several posts from this lecture in hopes that somewhere along the lines we will discover that our roots are firmly planted inside a very large, all inclusive tent that fits Americans and Australians and Africans and Asians and all of us. And the best reason I can offer is as follows.

Towards the end of the lecture the Reverend Cameron states:

“Here is the true pole to which the Compass Rose of the Communion points – not to any North or South or East or West, but to the reality in each heart of the living experience of Christ; a Christ who calls us to be transformed, who calls us to holiness, but who calls us to be profoundly committed to one another, precisely because he is committed to us.”

This is both the alpha and the omega. We will begin here and we will end here because as Greg ( I hope he doesn’t mind too much) puts it “…the Compass Rose points to here (my heart), and there (to your heart) and everywhere (to all Anglicans) calling us back to the centre – to the cross wherein God’s love is revealed to the world.”

Released: The Windsor Continuation Group report

Sashay on over to the Anglican Communion News Service site and read the Windsor Continuation Group - Preliminary Observations to the Lambeth Conference (Parts 1, 2 and 3). Then pray that our Bishops don't let us down.

The most interesting part, IMHO, is a bullet point on the "moratoria" on ordaining LGBT priests/bishops and border crossings: There have been different interpretations of the sense in which 'moratorium' was used in the Windsor Report. Our understanding is that moratorium refers to both future actions and is also retrospective: that is that it requires the cessation of activity. This necessarily applies to practices that may have already been authorised as well as proposed for authorisation in the future."

Ahem. Having been wrong on the meaning of a word on occasion, I checked the definition of moratorium - yes, boys and girls, it really is "an authorized period of delay or waiting." Retrospective cessation of activity? Methinks a few folks were dipping into the communion wine.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In the arms of the angel

You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort there
You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here...

May your Sunday be filled with blessings.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Recipe collection redux

If anyone else has an idea for naming the Jake-ites recipe collection, post 'er on up on this thread or the original one below. Don't miss your chance for fame, fortune and a free chicken cookbook - the opportunity ends Friday night. Meanwhile, I will be revising the secret panel of experts to judge your entries; I have "disinvited" Bishop Deng Bul, as he is no longer considered a neutral judge.

Have a blessed day, and take a break with Disney's Kitchen Kabaret and the Kitchen Krackpots...

(Having trouble watching the video? Want a bigger video screen? Here's the link to YouTube).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Blessings on Fr. Terry Martin!

Who is this unmasked man?

Please head on over to read the good news about Fr. Terry Martin...spreading the Good News.
Father T. Listens to the World: Seeking God Around the Globe
. And it's actually his day job, too - Fr. Terry is the new Program Officer for Evangelism at the Episcopal Church Center.

There are postings by almost everyone on the blog roll, so go visit the usual suspects - and details at James' blog.

Contest: name the recipe collection & blog!

Yes, the recipes from Fr. Jake's will live on...

We're going to set up a blog to collect the recipes everyone saved from the days of stopping the trolls and breaking virtual bread. So start looking in those files, think of vignettes and otherwise get ready to start the coffee hour. My fellow zookeeper, Fred, offered to help get everything into a PDF file when we are finished with the first collection.

Now - the contest...and there is a *prize for the winner! The blog and the collection will need a name, so give me ideas. We'll do a little voting thingy on the top three names unless there is a clear favorite. (I do have a possible name, but it's more fun if I'm not a dictator on all this).

Let's go...ready, start, POST those names!

*The winner will receive their very own copy of The Chicken Cookbook from the 47th National Chicken Cooking Contest. Yes, it's a tiny, cheap little thing without pictures; but 1) it's a pretty good little book, and 2) I have an extra copy.

Monday, July 21, 2008

He works in mysterious ways...

This may end up being the best photo from Lambeth. Many thanks to Däˈvēd for posting about this gem at Preludium.

Smile, Bishop Bob, you're on candid camera!

To read the Episcopal Life story about the service, and see a larger view of Bishop Duncan's happy-happy face, head on over to Episcopal Life Line. And here's the ENS official caption for the photo - including a quote from Jon Bruno about "walking with Bob."
Diocese of Pittsburgh Bishop Robert Duncan, left, and Diocese of Los Angeles Bishop Jon Bruno process July 20 into Canterbury Cathedral for the Lambeth Conference's opening Eucharist. Bishops were not formally paired for the process and Bruno said later that his walk with Duncan "was the arrangement of God." He added that he thought it was "wonderful that he and I can walk together. The last thing that I said to him is that I pray for us to at unity for years to come. He said, 'Find a way' and he might, you never can tell." (ENS photo/Mary Frances Schjonberg; © 2008 Episcopal Life Online).

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dear Cantuar, RE: inclusiveness, understanding

Hidden in the lemon ice cream post is a great comment from Leonardo:"let us see if the 'challenge" to address one's fears in fellow bishops is simply empty words...let us see if the Archbishop of Canterbury seeks Bishop V.G. Robinson out!" Leonardo expanded on these thoughts at his blog, Eruptions at the Foot of the Volcano.

Rowan Williams' Sunday address is *here, courtesy of ENS; do read the advice he is giving his fellow bishops. What say we give him a bit of advice back? Leonardo shared his thoughts, please do add yours.

*Just a little teaser from the full address: ...If you have not had the chance to hear directly of the experience of gay and lesbian people in the Communion, the opportunity is there. If you do not grasp why many traditionalist believers in various provinces feel harassed and marginalised, go and listen.... No-one's interests are best served by avoiding the hard encounters and the fresh insights. Bear in mind that in this Conference we are committed to common prayer and mutual care so that the hard encounters can be endured and made fruitful.

(A word of caution - I will review comments as if I were sending them on to my mother! You can be annoyed, angry, sarcastic, and human - but please, not vulgar. Unless it is darn funny.)

p.s. the comment is hidden in the lemon ice cream, not Leonardo...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Another cooler for hot stuff 'Piskies

Ah, ice cream in July. Does anyone remember taking turns cranking an old-fashioned churn during picnics? Maybe you still have one in the basement - but these two recipes are a little easier on the arm if you don't have a team of kids to help you out. If you make the second traditional recipe, try making little ice cream sandwiches with ginger snaps. Trader Joe's and Anna's are good choices, as they are spicy enough to stand up to the tart lemon.

Yep, two recipes in a row is a little lame, but Lynn's feeling mellow and Fred is taking a wee vacation. It's Sunday. It's hot outside. And it seemed better than making up Lambeth rumors.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper's Stirred Lemon Ice Cream

No special equipment equipment needed!

6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
4 teaspoons grated lemon zest (use only the colored part of the rind)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups sugar
4 cups heavy cream (if possible organic and not ultra pasteurized)

In a shallow plastic container with a lid, stir together the lemon juice, zest, salt, and sugar. Gradually stir in the cream until mixture is smooth. Taste for sweet-tart contrast; it should be on the sharp side since freezing mutes flavors, so adjust the balance of lemon juice or sugar balance as needed.

Cover and freeze about an hour. When rim of the ice cream freezes, stir it into the center of the cream. Repeat two to three times, waiting about an hour between checks. The final result should be a frozen, yet creamy consistency. (To do ahead: let the ice cream freeze solid, break it up and refreeze, stirring every 30 minutes for an hour or so.

"Classic" Lemon Ice Cream

A little more time-consuming, but worth it if you have an ice cream maker.

1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 cups half-and-half (or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In a saucepan whisk together the zest, the lemon juice, sugar, and the eggs. Whisk in 1 cup of the half-and-half and the vanilla; cook the mixture over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, until it just comes to a simmer. Strain the custard through a fine sieve into a bowl, pressing hard on the zest. Cover with plastic wrap or waxed paper - pressed directly onto the custard - and chill in refrigerator. Whisk in the remaining 1 cup half-and-half and freeze the mixture in an ice-cream freezer according to the manufacturer's instructions. Makes about 1 quart.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Baby, it's hot outside

It's a balmy 90 degrees F. at 10:00 pm here in Washington, DC. Our bishops are in spiritual retreat, driving the press corps to distraction because they aren't acting like delegates at a political convention. Somehow something cool and caffeine-free seems in order, so yep - a recipe. I posted this a while back at Fr. Jakes, and it is courtesy of the cool and elegant Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten.

Ina Garten's Iced Tea Refresher
4 Celestial Seasonings Lemon Zinger tea bags
4 Celestial Seasonings Red Zinger tea bags
4 cups pure apple juice (such as Martinelli's Gold Label)
4 cups boiling water

Steep the 8 tea bags in the boiling water for about 10-12 minutes.
Discard the tea bags, stir in the apple juice and refrigerate until ice cold. Serve over ice.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

John David Schofield and THE LETTER

With the red finger marks still on his face, with the feel of the sting still fresh and the ringing in his ears still going on let’s take the opportunity to evaluate the letter from Archbishop Gregory Venables to John David Mercer Schofield.

I greet you in the name of the Lord from the UK where the Lambeth Conference is only just about to begin.
[ I want you, John David Schofield, to know that I am here in Lambeth and you are not.]

Though I will be in touch about the Lambeth Conference at a later date, at this critical time in the Anglican Communion, I have several things to share with you to address some of the aspects of the current crisis.
[Though you were there I am not sure you got what I want you to get out of the conference, but never mind, I will tell you what you should get out of GAFCON.]

The Anglican Communion has been in chaos for a number of years. As a whole,the structures of the Communion seem to have been unwilling to speak clearly and definitively about theological foundations and limits.
[ John-David, you and your fellow bishops really screwed up the section of the Anglican Communion known as The Episcopal Church.]

It also recognized the cooperation and mutual accountability of a group of small (but growing) group of Primates who are willing to be clear in affirming the authority of the Bible and other Anglican tenets.
[Clearly, you are not one of those primates, but I am and we, unlike you Americans, know what we are doing.]

We have agreed that we will seek consensus before implementing changes that impact other Provinces in the circle. That is the way the whole Communion should be operating.
[John David, your way to break away without any consensus was wrong. Our way is to seek consensus, clearly we are better, smarter and more intelligent.]

We also agreed with the historical perspective that the structural authority of the bishop of a diocese is not absolute. The church has always taught that bishops are accountable for their teaching and their actions. The difficulty in our day has come when there are Provinces that are unwilling to hold bishops accountable to any discipline in the face of unbiblical actions and pronouncements.
[John David, do you suppose ++Venables means you!]

As you know, by the concerted and agreed action of both the House of Bishops and the Provincial Synod, we are glad to give you full membership and a safe haven in the Southern Cone while a long term solution is found.
[John David, if you are a good boy, you can continue to play but remember I can call it quits any time I want!]

In addition, I have been in conversation with Archbishop Rowan. Over the weekend I received the following message from him: "I understand that Bishop John-David Schofield has been accepted as a full member of the episcopal fellowship of the Province of the Southern Cone within the Anglican Communion and as such cannot be regarded as having withdrawn from the Anglican Communion.
[ Not John David, Greg Venables has been in touch with the Archbishop. He tells ME you will probably be okay – unless I say differently.]

Bishop Schofield has elected to decline the invitation to the Lambeth Conference issued to him last year although that decision does not signal any withdrawal from the Communion. … I am in agreement with Bishop John-David's decision not to attend the Lambeth Conference.
[John David it is good of you to do so and I am happy to be the one to tell you so. You do, don’t you?]

I do not know if John David Mercer Schofield has EVER been treated in public as badly as this letter seems to treat him. He is left being the “water boy” for the football team. John David spent quite literally years figuring out exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it as well as which province to seek asylum. He has hand picked all his clergy and all his staff. John David has promised to deliver the Anglican communion in all its glory to the people in his see. Now he finds out “it ain’t his show no more!” I cannot for one second think JDS enjoyed this letter or the contents or the person who wrote it. He gets this letter from someone he trusted and it says YOU are NOT in charge! I, Archbishop Gregory Venables, Primate of the Southern Cone, am in charge and I will tell you when you can go, when you can stay, what you should think, what you should do.

I am going to make a radical suggestion. The Episcopal Church is a big tent, correct? We are also a loving and forgiving entity that I hope embodies mercy at our core. Soooo, John David Mercer Schofield, wanna come home? Pick up your phone and dial 1-209-952-0006 and come on back. Please do not think that it cannot be done, all things are possible with God! Hey, we are waiting with a fatted calf!

Fr. Scott joins us in blog-land

Pop on over and see Scott Hankin's new blog, Father Scott and Co. - Ask Some New Questions. He has included a thread for general conversation about Lambeth, and an initial "food for thought" post.

Fr. Scott is now on the blog roll here if you don't have time to visit right now - but do go say hello!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Put down your coffee cup...

My top-secret agents have transmitted this exclusive video footage of a very special, pre-Lambeth pilgrimage. Recognize anyone?

Somehow the Ross Perot connection works for me in all this. Enjoy.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What's my line?

Where does our friend Fred come up with such scandalous ideas?

As Fred notes: "What's My Line? was one of network television's longest running and most beloved prime time game shows with a broadcast run of seventeen and one-half years. The game consisted of four panelists trying to guess the occupation of a guest contestant. As the questioning rotated, a panel member asked questions and the guest would answer either "yes" or "no." A contestant received $5 for each "no" answer. Ten "no" answers ended the game in favor of the contestant. A mystery guest segment was also included in which the panelists were blindfolded. The mystery guests were paid $500 as an appearance fee whether they won or lost the game. This was in addition to the maximum $50 game winnings. Guest panelists were paid $750 as an appearance fee.

Well, hello - and welcome to What’s My Line? I’m Fred Swartz and I will be your guest moderator for tonight’s show. First a brief history for those not familiar with our game show.

Today, we have a very special game. First, our usual panelists have taken the night off , so we have three guest panelists. First, please welcome a legend in his own mind, the one and only Greg Venables! Greg likes to be called Archbishop since he is the primate of the Southern Cone. The second guest panelist is a world renowned blogger from the other side: please welcome...Ms. Sarah Hey. And, our final guest panelist, none other than the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams - welcome, Cantuar!

Now, will our mystery guest sign in please?

First guest: Hi, my name is John David Mercer Schofield and I am the Bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin.
Second guest: Hi, my name is David Virtue and I am the Bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin.
Third guest: Hi, my name is Jerry Lamb and I am the Bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin.

Moderator: Well panelists, looks like we have our work cut out for us tonight. We have at least two pretenders to the Episcopal see in San Joaquin. So, let’s get right into it. Greg, you are always looking for something new and different, why don’t you start us off.

Greg: Well, John-David, did you search for just the most special archbishop to help you fly south for the winter?

JDS: Yes.

Greg: Okay, great. Jerry, did you go to GAFCON?

JL: Ah, no Greg, sorry.

Sarah: Well, David, do bishops wear purple shirts?

DV: Ah, Sarah, no.

Rowan: Jerry Lamb, have you used the terms reconciliation and love in the same sentence?

JL: Why yes I have.

Rowan: John-David, how about you.?

JDS: Huh? Ah, I don’t think so.

Moderator: We will take that as a no. Okay panelists, we are running out of time, please mark your ballots. You have 30 seconds to do so.

(Tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-tic-…tic 30...) Time's up!

Moderator: Let’s now start with Sarah Hey. Sarah who do you think is the real Bishop of the diocese of San Joaquin?

Sarah Hey: Well, Fred, I need to disqualify myself ‘cause I already know one of the panelists to be a longtime reasserter from away back and fellow blogger for the pure and holy, David Virtue.

Moderator: Darn Sarah, it’s okay to disqualify yourself but just like your blog you’ve prematurely outed our mystery guest. Criminy, will you Standfirm folks ever stop doing that stuff? Our next panelist please, -Archbishop Venables.

Greg Venables: Well after not much thought I have come to the only conclusion the Bible allows me to. I believe that the true bishop the diocese of San Joaquin is none other than John-David Schofield. (stage whisper, did I do that right Rowan?)

Moderator: Ah Greg, you cannot secretly communicate with the Archbishop of Canterbury. Please don’t be whispering while the show is in progress. Now, Rowan, how about you?

Rowan Williams: Well, Fred, I have given this much thought and prayer and I know exactly who the Bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin. In fact, I will issue him an invitation to the Lambeth Conference right now! Jerry Lamb, you are the bishop of the Diocese of San Joaquin and I want you and your lovely wife to come to Canterbury and participate with all of us this summer.

Moderator: That is correct Rowan – you have correctly identified the one and only bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin!

And look at that, the old clock on the wall says its time to go! See you next week when another set of guest panelists try to guess, “Who is the good Samaritan?" Good night!

(Okay, "blame" Fred for writing for putting it up, he gave me a chance to nix it. Heh heh, of course I had to share.)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

ABC - 123

Reportedly our spiritual leader - and host of the 2008 Lambeth Conference - has come out in defense of plurality in the Anglican Communion...and against central authority. Read the brief note at the Church Times : Central control not Anglican, says Williams. You need to be a subscriber to read the full interview.

American Pie

When in doubt - post a recipe, and think chocolate. I believe credit goes to Southern Living magazine for this version. You can't go wrong a pie recipe from the steel magnolias - this one has a traditional pudding-style filling.

Old-Fashioned Chocolate Cream Pie

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa (Dutch-process preferred)
1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 egg yolks, beaten
3 cups milk
1-1/2 tablespoons butter (real butter, please)
1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 baked 9-inch pastry shell

3/4 cup whipping cream
1-2 tablespoons sugar (to taste)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Combine sugar, cornstarch, cocoa and salt in a heavy saucepan; stir well. Combine egg yolks and milk and gradually stir into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and boils. Boil one minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in butter and vanilla. Immediately pour custard into pie shell. Cover custard with waxed paper (press directly onto mixture). Cool 30 minutes at room temperature then chill overnight.

Beat whipping cream, sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form - spread over chilled pie filling.

(Corrected to omit bananas in original post - don't ask!)

I recall a couple of friends who live south of the U.S. and north of the "Cone" wanted some decent instructions on making a pie crust. I think I have found a decent series of videos about the process: Secrets of Great Pie Crusts. Your host is a Southern woman , so she includes hints on how to deal with your local humidity and heat. You will need some simple tools and equipment, but the process is shown without using a food processor (unlike many of the "gourmet" food site video selections).

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Separation of Church and State: Or, Look What I Found

(Note: please welcome our friend Fred Schwartz to the "team" here at OTA. Here's his first official post - thanks Fred! )
With the advent of the Southern Cone now taking titular oversight of John David Schofield and with many of our former Episcopalians now safely in the arms of foreign dictators it behooves us to take a look at what one long term scenario may hold for the United States. Please keep in mind that as far as I can find, there is no other province set up quite like the province known as The Episcopal Church in the United States. Our constitution and canons, our organizational structure and our underlying philosophy are all based on the revolutionary war and our break from the Church of England.

In today's U.S., revolution, should there be one, will come from within. This is nothing new, many scholars, far more adept than I, have posited this. In fact, each four year cycle, as we are fond of saying, a mini-revolution happens. Yes, our election system is geared towards just that event. Let me hasten to add, revolution does not necessarily require violence of the type we see in other areas of the world. In fact Thomas Jefferson said, a little revolution every once in a while is a good thing.

Given all of that I now call your attention to the following statement:
“The United States has a long tradition of separating church from state, yet a powerful inclination to mix religion and politics. Throughout our nation's history, great political and social movements – from abolition to women's suffrage to civil rights to today's struggles over abortion and gay marriage – have drawn upon religious institutions for moral authority, inspirational leadership and organizational muscle. In recent years, religion has been woven more deeply into the fabric of partisan politics than ever before.” PEW Research Center

We have seen a rise of the religious right in politics most notably culminating with the election of President George W. Bush. His use of the religious right to gain “traction” for certain issues is not only not secret he publicly courts the most famous of those including Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell types in order to muster support in all its forms for all sorts of issues.

Now, before we get carried away, the first amendment allows for the free expression of religion and we all take advantage of that freedom. Some more than others. A notorious case of the "others" is when the Bush Administration went after All Saints Pasadena, CA for anti-Iraq war statements. The Los Angeles Times wrote an article in 2006 about the IRS investigation that was eventually dropped.

“Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Burbank), who unsuccessfully tried to launch a Government Accountability Office investigation into the IRS' probes of churches nationwide last year, called the summons "a very disturbing escalation" of the agency's scrutiny of All Saints.

"I don't want religious organizations to become arms of campaigns," he said. "But they should be able to talk about issues of war and peace without fear of losing tax-exempt status. If they can't, they'll have little to say from the pulpit." “

So, clearly, we protect our right for political dissent through our churches. The PEW Research Group does go on to say:

“The model of social engagement of the religious right is largely exhausted and discredited. But it is not the crackup of religious conservatism; it’s the maturation of religious conservatism. It’s not something new; it’s something old and noble – as old as abolition, as old as the Scriptures. And this change has the potential to raise new issues and build new alliances that will change the American political landscape.”

New alliances they say? New alliances like:

“We thank God for the courageous actions of those Primates and provinces who have offered orthodox oversight to churches under false leadership, especially in North and South America. The actions of these Primates have been a positive response to pastoral necessities and mission opportunities. We believe that such actions will continue to be necessary and we support them in offering help around the world. “ GAFCON Final Statement

We now have in our midst the Global South. The Church of Uganda controls several parishes in Virginia. The Church of Nigeria controls several more and our own inimitable Archbishop Gregory Venables controls parishes in California. We also know that the likes of Americans have fully endorsed this statement. John David Schofield, Bishop Iker, Bishop Duncan, “Bishop” Minns and many, many more. Some GAFCON attendees were disappointed that the statement did not include a comment/decree on pro-life or actually, anti-abortion statements (Apparently divorce and polygamy are still okay). While not to get mired in the specific political issues, clearly many attendees at GAFCON wanted a much more political statement but those ideas were held in check --- for the moment.

Sooooo, we now have bishops and Archbishops with no knowledge or background of the socio-political environment of the United States. Having had several discussions with a retired bishop from Uganda I am further alarmed at the lack of knowledge these folks possess of the way in which we do our ordinary business in the Uniteid States. (BTW, I can hardly wait for our folks who have crossed the line to get to their first convention only to discover that when these guys said they spoke for the 35 million people they represent they meant ONLY these guys speak for the 35 million).

In fact the GAFCON statement goes on to talk about the 1662 prayer book!

“We rejoice in our Anglican sacramental and liturgical heritage as an expression of the gospel, and we uphold the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as a true and authoritative standard of worship and prayer, to be translated and locally adapted for each culture.” GAFCON Statement

I know everyone can count but that prayer book pre-dates our own prayer book by a couple of years. So, what is the big deal? Well, should this continue and with the money and power they gain everyday my question is how long before we elect another George W. Bush (type), hold a constitutional convention and decide to re-write the first ten amendments? Think I am kidding; California is now facing a Constitutional amendment on LGBT marriage.

If you think this can’t happen in your hometown, think again!
ello guys - I'm taking a day off, or at least the morning. If there's something you would like to discuss, and aren't seeing anything out there, maybe this is a good place to toss it out. This place doesn't have a set format.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What would Elizabeth think?

Elizabeth I, of course. Do women have a role in the leadership of the Church of England? Methinks she certainly did, and managed to get the Protestants and Catholics to stop killing each other in the process. It's time for "traditionalists" in the CofE to do a little reality check.

This isn't about women's rights, it's about selecting the best person for any given task. The Lord made us in all types of packages - with different strengths and weaknesses - for a good reason. It is a rare gift to have a strong combination of faith, innate Christian spirituality and leadership skills. Some might even consider it a gift from God...I certainly do.

Here's a great tune from a powerhouse of a woman - it's time to end all the fear of change.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

So many heresies, so little time

I have an opportunity to test an interesting opinion/testing software program. Just to make life interesting, I thought I might give the topic of "What kind of a heretic are you?" a try.

So, help me out...and come on down. What is your favorite heretical concept? Not necessarily that you agree with it, of course. And do say why you find it interesting, just to help me with my homework. Anything from the first century to Jesus-as-Rambo is up for consideration.

(It was either this, or a listing of my favorite brands of fair-trade certified coffees. You can comment on that if you aren't in the mood for heresy).

Monday, July 7, 2008

He's Alive!

My best friend's husband is a well-known radio personality in the Washington, DC area. This is always the last song, of the last set he plays before Easter Sunday. I know, it's not Easter, but it will make you feel good on a Monday morning. Do listen to through to the end - there's a little surprise in this arrangement for those who love a good choir. (It really isn't "country.")

Dolly Parton...He's Alive!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Prayer requests are never OT

It is officially Sunday here in Virginia, somehow the Lord's day has begun even though my mind is still in Saturday mode. So often we are posting "O.T. - prayers requested," but nothing is really off topic here. Particularly prayer.

So, right now, right here...prayer requests are on topic.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

A little amusement, courtesy of Fred

Some of you think that Fred Schwartz is a German shepherd from the DioSJ (yes, the real one). Well, either Fred or his dog sent me this little note and link to youTube:

"...was this some form of premonition for the upcoming council? Is it possible that Warren [Zevon]is from TEC, and he saw this in a dream?"

For the full effect, play the tune as you read the lyrics.

Werewolves of London
Warren Zevon

I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand
Walking through the streets of Soho in the rain
He was looking for a place called Lee Ho Fook's
Going to get himself a big dish of beef chow mein
Werewolves of London

If you hear him howling around your kitchen door
Better not let him in
Little old lady got mutilated late last night
Werewolves of London again
Werewolves of London

He's the hairy-handed gent who ran amuck in Kent
Lately he's been overheard in Mayfair
Better stay away from him
He'll rip your lungs out, Jim
I'd like to meet his tailor
Werewolves of London

Well, I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen
Doing the
I saw Lon Chaney, Jr. walking with the Queen
Doing the
I saw a werewolf drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic's
His hair was perfect
Werewolves of London
Draw blood


Start your morning with a smile. A little food, a little music, and a little heat.

Start the music...

...and check out this interesting recipe from the good folks at America's Test Kitchen (nope, haven't tried it).

Pineapple and Cucumber Salsa with Mint

1/2 large pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 2 cups)
1/2 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
1 small shallot, minced (about 2 tablespoons)
1 medium Serrano chile, seeds and ribs removed, then minced (about 2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 - 2 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
Table salt

In medium bowl, toss together pineapple, cucumber, shallot, chile, mint, ginger, 1 tablespoon lime juice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand at room temperature to blend flavors, 15 to 30 minutes. Adjust seasoning with additional lime juice and salt, and add sugar as needed if pineapple is tart; serve. Makes about 3 cups salsa. Reportedly good with grilled fish, chicken and lamb.
Friendly reminder: wear disposable gloves when you work with that Serrano chile, toss those gloves and wash your hands well before you touch anything (face, clothing, utensils, people, pets, Focas...)

It certainly looks more interesting than cucumber tea sandwiches. The recipe, not the video. Okay, the video as well.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Archbishop Fred Hiltz on the GAFCON Statement

I always like to read what Fred Hiltz has to say about any big issue in the Anglican Communion. Somehow Canadians can tell it like it is without starting a war, a rather useful talent. Many of us have been a little distracted about the closing of a certain blog, and I know I missed this the other day. Do read the full statement here, but here's a teaser:

"The Gospel of God in Christ is faithfully proclaimed by Canadian Anglicans today just as it has been by generations who have gone before us. I believe it is important to state this truth in response to the recent statement from the GAFCON gathering in Jerusalem, which suggests otherwise.

The GAFCON statement is based on a premise that there is 'acceptance and promotion within the provinces of the Anglican Communion of a different gospel which is contrary to the apostolic gospel.' The statement specifically accuses Anglican churches in the Canada and the United States of proclaiming this 'false gospel that has paralysed the Communion.' I challenge and repudiate this charge."

Sorry, no pithy commentary - but go ahead and have a good chat about it if this interests you.

Independence Day 2008

I woke up today thinking how blessed we are here in the U.S. to have separation of church and state. As I read about how our brothers and sisters in the Church of England are reacting to the FOCA declarations and fall-out, I appreciate how complicated it must be to have an official state religion when big changes are brewing and threatening. If I get my act together, I'll post up some links that I have found interesting. Or maybe I'll just post a couple of recipes that are suitable for a pot-luck offering at a picnic; some of you must be procrastinators, or have just been invited to an impromptu gathering of friends and neighbors.

Sure, this is a bit lame, but but I'm not a real blogger and need a little prep time to keep everyone amused and thinking. Or at least a little more coffee.

But it doesn't take much to get any of us into conversation, so I'm counting on all of you for the morning. Feel free to just say hello, post a story about a memorable July 4th, or thank any veterans or active duty folks for all they have done to allow us to be cranky Episcopalians. If you aren't in the U.S. or the U.K., feel free to go off topic. Hint, hint - we like recipes...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I'm setting this up on the fly - with no knowledge of blogger and not a great deal on my mind. Post an opinion, a prayer request, a (clean) joke, a recipe, or even a shameless pitch for a great topic on your own blog. For the first few days I will probably delete any post that seems to denigrate anyone I care about, so just be forewarned; don't pout or yell "unfair!" Friends may disagree with each other but do try to keep it civil. "You're stupid" is not a a convincing argument if you disagree with

I'm looking for good contributions on all things liberal and Anglican, and perhaps an extra moderator or two. I don't pretend to know all the friends of my friends who have been out the blog-land for much longer. I'm not feeling much of a need to use this as my personal sounding board, but you'll see my opinionated nature shine through now and again.

Let's just let this become what it will, for as long or short a time as needed.