Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Holy Crap on a Cracker! Or, Here We Go Again.

Let me begin by saying that James at the Three-Legged Stool wrote about some of this earlier which got me to searching around.  I found the Diocese of West Texas.  Come to find out they are on a direct collision course with The Episcopal Church at large.   This diocese appears to have passed a series of resolutions that look bad and smell worse.

WHEREAS the consideration of an Anglican covenant by both Provinces and dioceses represents the next step in the Windsor Process and as part of a covenant, the opportunity for individual Windsor compliant dioceses to seek recognition as Covenant partners, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that the Diocese of West Texas fully reaffirms its commitment to the Windsor principles, including, in principle, the formation of an Anglican Covenant within the Anglican Communion to strengthen our common life and witness as the Body of Christ in order to preserve and safeguard our relationship with the Anglican Communion and the historic See of Canterbury.

The emphasis is mine and yes, it appears they are prepping to seek recognition by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a diocese directly.  Now, at first blush one might say that the bishop of this august diocese is a member of the WCG BUT, read on.

WHEREAS, the General Convention Budget has historically been funded by dioceses based on their financial capability and voluntary choice;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the 105th Council of the Diocese of West Texas affirms that the Diocese of West Texas is in union with the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ directly through the Anglican Communion, its Instruments of Unity, and our Diocesan Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Gary Lillibridge; and 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council accepts no actions by General Convention that would reverse the authority roles between Dioceses and the General Convention, or would grant the Office of the Presiding Bishop executive powers over Dioceses and their Bishops; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council accepts no specific actions by General Convention that would

  • mandate financial assessments from Dioceses to the General Convention budget;
  • unilaterally impose trust interests on diocesan and congregational assets.
This diocese has decided to go it alone AND will truck no interference from the Presiding Bishop, General Convention, Larry, Moe or Curly Joe!  

Then slaps those of us from San Joaquin, Fort Worth, Virginia,  Pittsburgh, New York and anywhere else that has elected to protect their own property.


Be it RESOLVED, the Diocese of West Texas requests that The Episcopal Church and all Dioceses, parishes and bishops adopt a policy of negotiation and/or mediation with regard to disputes over property and do everything in their power to cease and desist from engaging in secular lawsuits with fellow Christians.
RESOLVED, that the Secretary of Council of the Diocese communicate this request to the office of the Presiding Bishop and Executive Council of The Episcopal Church.
RESOLVED, that the Secretary of the Diocese report the Presiding Bishop’s  and Executive Council’s response be reported to the clergy and people of the Diocese prior to the commencement of General Convention 2009.

They want to take all their marbles and go home and in the meantime make those of us in the throes of litigation to just give in, you know, its the Christian thing to do.  Well, negotiate/mediate.  Might as well give up -- do you think for one moment that given this approach Mr. Schofield or Mr. Duncan would willingly give back the property they absconded with?  Matt Kennedy wanted to buy his building and pay the diocese from funds he took with him at the time they left.  Let's see, let me think about this, hummm, a nope!

Finally, this "clever" diocese decides that the Communion Partners is the greatest thing since sliced toast.

WHEREAS the Bishop of West Texas, Gary Lillibridge, has helped forge the Communion Partners as a relational fellowship to further the continuing Windsor process of preserving communion with the historic See of Canterbury, and 
WHEREAS the express purpose of the Communion Partners is specified in the Statement of Organizing Bishops dated May 31, 2008 attached hereto, therefore:
BE IT RESOLVED that the Diocese of West Texas affirms its full support for the Communion Partners initiative. 

The Communion Partners is a group of bishops and rectors/clergy that have decided to circumvent all the "stuff" they do not like and go directly past go, collect $200.00 and leave TEC.  Check it out it is at www.communionpartners.com.  Oh, gosh, we are just so clever none of you nincompoops will ever figure this one out.

And oh, by the way, there is a tie to San Joaquin.  Should you choose to go to that website you will find a rector that has a direct tie to the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin. 

Executive Council, you may not be looking but here comes the next great wave of sc**w the Episcopal Church and Archbishop Williams here we come!