Taking on the House of Bishops — Reverend boy style

24 09 2007

Today on teaheepeehee, the Reverend boy and his Personal Atheist will take on the House of Bishops meeting in New Orleans. ….

the Reverend boy: the House of Bishops has closed its doors to their meetings today. It was originally scheduled to be open, I thought. I’ve also learned through the blogs the two liberal archbishops (Wales and Australia) visiting with ++Rowan were more stern than what the House was expecting. I’m checking with my source, who is on the scene New Orleans.

Personal Atheist : interesting.

PA: i think *Beefeater gets back this afternoon.

Rb: oh ok cool

Rb: i want him to see my video with the naked sock puppets

PA: 😀

Rb: Two liberals and two moderates are drafting a mind of the House resolution and are being advised by some of the Communion’s officials, according to the Guardian

PA: “a mind”?

Rb: it says “this is what we think right now”

Rb: it’s a statement of general consensus voted on by the majority of bishops present

PA: and what will it be?

Rb: anyone’s guess

Rb: because of the apparently severe talking to they apparently received on Thursday and Friday from some of their more influential allies, i am sure great concessions will be made

Rb: like i said, i think q-tip lady is going to have to pay a price for the episcopal visitor thing

Rb: there was a small consensus being circled around from not going to the tea party at all that ++Rowan is hosting next year (this is the one where +Gene wasn’t invited). The idea was that entire church, conservative, liberal, etc. refrain from attending

Rb: i said in response on someone’s blog <ahem>

Rb: The House of Bishops absenting itself from Lambeth 2008 seems, in my mind, like a senseless martyrdom, and it would ultimately have the opposite effect of what was intended. If we as a Church really are committed to the larger Communion, then it is our responsibility to engage.

Rb: in other news the House of Bishops choir (with spouses!) are recording a CD for release at Christmas 2008

Rb: this is also the anniversary of the first all-bishop tea party, held in 1867.

PA: 🙂

Rb: the Archbishop of South Africa made his retirement speech over the weekend. One of the first lines was “Thank you for putting up with me.”

PA: LOL

<later that day>

Rb: the House of Bishops meeting has been opeend to the press.

Rb: All of the bishops are wearing prayer shawls that have been knitted by lovely women as gifts for their deliberations

PA: prayer shawls??? i didn’t think christians did that.

PA: and who are the lovely women? why no handsome gay men???

Rb: the bishops are all wrapped in prayer shawls apparently

Rb: According to Stand Firm, it seems some of the more moderate conservatives seem to are now saying that Robinson should attend the tea party by virtue of the fact he is a brother bishop, regardless of disagreement.

PA: nice.

Rb: about 2/3rd of the house have been meeting informally between sessions (and over happy hour) to try and hammer out a deal

Rb: almost 60 of the 100 or so present

PA: NOLA has 24 hour drinking. i’m sure they’ll hammer out a very interesting deal…

Rb: they’ll be dancing around in their prayer shawls on Bourbon Street

PA: maybe they’ll wear their prayer shawls and nothing else.

Rb: uh … yeah … however, the draft statement that came out of the House of Bishops open session is basically a watered down reiteration of what has happened before

PA: boring.

Rb: yeah

Rb: my blog is more exciting

PA: of course!

PA: it has naked sock puppets.

Rb: 😀

Rb: I should post this conversation

Rb: “the Reverend boy and his Personal Athiest take on the Episcopal Church House of Bishops”

PA: and naked sock puppets!

Rb: yes





And now for something completely different …

23 09 2007

Naked sock puppets … my first attempt at a youtube video.

Not only does it speak for itself, but it sings too 😀





House of Bishops Tea-Hee party — New Orleans update

23 09 2007

On Friday, the Archbishop of Canterbury, led a press conference to give a recap of the past day and a half. His opening remarks may be found here, and the accompanying press release from Episcopal News Service may be found here. The last bit of the ++Rowan’s remarks are the meat of his statement, which are below (emphasis mine)

Despite what has been claimed, there is no “ultimatum” involved. The Primates asked for a response by September 30 simply because we were aware that this was the meeting of the House likely to be formulating such a response. The ACC and Primates Joint Standing Committee will be reading and digesting what the bishops have to say, and will let me know their thoughts on it early next week. After this I shall be sharing what they say, along with my own assessments, with the Primates and others, inviting their advice in the next couple of weeks. I hope these days will result in a constructive and fresh way forward for all of us.

Now, i don’t know about everyone else, but I think the common perception about the communique from Dar es Salaam is that it has been spun into an ultimatum from day one by All Parties Involved. If it were not meant to be seen as such, that small point should have been clarified long before now.

I do like ++Rowan’s choice of words, “fresh way forward.” There has been enough compromise, enough weeping and gnashing of teeth. Let’s all recognize the bonds we share by virtue of our baptismal covenant instead of vilifying each other, no matter how much it may be deserved. Hopefully after doing some honest work together, and spending some time in the worshipping communities in New Orleans, our bishops can come together with a bit more perspective to hash out their mind of the house resolution on Monday/Tuesday.

I wonder who divvied up the work assignments, and if ++Katherine were shrewd enough to put those on opposite sides of the aisle together on the same party for the day.

It is common enough knowledge that four of our bishops chose to leave the meeting upon the Archbishop’s departure and head straight to their own “shadow meeting” with other episcopal representatives of their “Common Cause” partnerships. It says a lot about their character and integrity, as well as the degree to which their hearts have been hardened, that they were not willing to postpone their departure for the sake of doing some honest mission work.

Now off to brunch with my Personal Atheist…





Bishops’ tea-hee party, Day 1 Roundup

20 09 2007

ELO (Episcopal Life Online, not to be confused with Electric Light Orchestra) gave a brief synopsis of the press briefing which can be found here. Not surprisingly, there is nothing new to report. I did, however, want to express some of my observations about ++Katherine’s homily, the appropriate text of which is found below …. Quoting from Episcopal Life Online …

——————————-

“We have lived in this Church and in this Communion for a number of years with abundant disdain, violent words, and destructive action toward those who hold positions at variance with our own. None of us is wholly free of blame in this game, for we have all sought to judge those who oppose us.” she said during her homily.

Reflecting upon the ways language can be “violent,” the Presiding Bishop recalled former radio personality Don Imus’s derogatory references to the Rutgers Women’s Basketball team in April.

“What he said about them implied they are not my equal, they are not worthy of dignity and they [the team] responded with an invitation to conversation. When you and I can meet our rhetorical opponents with an invitation rather than judgment, remarkable things can happen … conversation becomes possible.”

She added that: “we must begin by recognizing ourselves as beloved and forgiven, and by extending that recognition to those around us. I can assure you that there are some in our midst who feel quite unwelcome, who have not known what it is to be beloved.”

—————————

I believe she could equally be talking about gay people in the church, as well as the conservative bishops and their supporters when she says “there are some in our midst who feel quite unwelcome.” When any of us are attacked, harm is caused not only to us, but to the oppressor or to the attacker. As a gay man, I find myself attacked by those in the Church who believe that I and other gay people are disordered because of our desires, our attractions, and our ability to love. At the same time, I find myself attacked by those in the secular world who believe that I and other gay Christians are disordered because we still cling to this guy named Jesus as the Son of God. The bigger scandal is, of course, that we still desire to be in communion with his followers, even though they might wish us gone to the grave or back in the closet.

In his discourses on the Last Judgment in Matthew, Jesus tells us that at the End of Days, the only thing that will really matter as far as our actions are concerned are how we treat each other, especially those we consider beneath us, not worth our while, or unclean. Those godforsaken people can take the form of the poor, the homosexual, or the privileged conservative. Well, I have news for you. We are ALL unclean in our self-righteousness…we are ALL lost when we try and make it on our own. The point of me saying that is not to make anyone feel guilty (heaven forbid!) but to show that in Christ, we are not self-righteous, but wholly clean that comes from the Grace of God. We are not lost, but found by the Good Shepherd.

The question that we as a church face is the same question that we’ve always faced for 2,000+ years … How can we honor and respect the way Christ is working in our lives, even when we don’t realize we’re seeing Christ at all? How can we respect each other when we look with our own eyes, and all we see is our dirtiness, our piggish-ness, our arrogance? The answer, of course, lies in the Truth that Christ died for us all … and we did nothing to earn it. The gift of life and of communion through Christ, which in some way ultimately stems from his death and resurrection, belongs to all of us. Jesus said, “If i be lifted up, I will draw all people to myself.” That means you .. that means me … that means ++Katherine … that means the Archbishop of Nigeria… whether we like it or not.





Check! Presiding Bishop makes her move … Tea hee!

20 09 2007

From Episcopal News Service … commentary follows the article

Eight bishops agree to serve as ‘episcopal visitors’
by Bob Williams

[Episcopal News Service, New Orleans] Eight bishops have accepted Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori’s invitation to serve as “episcopal visitors” to dioceses that have requested this provision.

At her request, the Presiding Bishop’s canon, the Rev. Dr. Charles Robertson, advised Episcopal News Service of this measure the evening of September 19. The announcement preceded the opening plenary session of the House of Bishops’ September 20-25 meeting in New Orleans. Robertson said Jefferts Schori expected to announce the names of the eight bishops during that session, which is devoted to the bishops’ private conversation with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, and is closed to the public and media.

Jefferts Schori has conferred with Williams about the invitations, which she extended after a process of consultation with bishops in the Episcopal Church, Robertson said.

“All eight are true bridge-builders who empathize with the concerns and needs of dioceses that are struggling with the issues of the current time,” Robertson said, adding that “while all are sympathetic to to these concerns, each is clear that the Presiding Bishop’s ultimate goal is reconciliation.”

The eight are active diocesan bishops Frank Brookhart of Montana, Dorsey Henderson of Upper South Carolina (based in Columbia, S.C.), John Howe of Central Florida (based in Orlando), Gary Lillibridge of West Texas (based in San Antonio), Michael Smith of North Dakota, James Stanton of Dallas, and Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, together with retired Connecticut Bishop Clarence Coleridge.

Robertson said all have agreed to serve as official “episcopal visitors” (the lowercase adjective referring generally to bishops and their ministries rather than the church’s denomination), or to provide “Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight” (DEPO), an option provided by the House of Bishops’ March 2004 statement “Caring for All the Churches” and a concept affirmed by the General Convention in 2006.

Jefferts Schori’s invitation to the eight bishops seeks to delegate the first of three primary canonical duties of the Presiding Bishop, that of visiting each of the Episcopal Church’s 110 dioceses during each Presiding Bishop’s nine-year term. The Presiding Bishop’s other two principal canonical roles are to “take order” for ordaining and consecrating bishops, and to oversee certain disciplinary actions as needed.

The Presiding Bishop’s invitation to the eight bishops “offers opportunities for dioceses to have an episcopal visitor other than herself,” Robertson said.

“This gives dioceses the pastoral guidance and care they need while remaining faithful and loyal members of the Episcopal Church,” he said. “It is also the Presiding Bishop’s hope that at some point in the future she would be invited to visit these dioceses.”

The action is “a significant effort at building a bridge while still honoring our uniquely American polity,” Robertson said.

He added that Jefferts Schori is “comfortable letting the details be worked out by the bishops involved.”

From among the Episcopal Church’s 110 total dioceses, six stand by requests
initiated in 2006 for pastoral oversight other than that of the current Presiding Bishop. Those dioceses are Central Florida, Fort Worth, Pittsburgh, Quincy (based in Peoria, Illinois), Springfield (Illinois), and San Joaquin (based in Fresno, California). A similar request by the Diocese of Dallas was later modified.

In all of these dioceses there has been expressed opposition to the 2003 election and ordination as diocesan bishop of New Hampshire Gene Robinson, who is openly gay and lives in a long-standing committed relationship with his male partner.

In three of these dioceses — Fort Worth, Quincy and San Joaquin — the bishops have not ordained women despite the General Convention’s 1976 authorization to do so.

— Canon Robert Williams is director of Episcopal Life Media, the new communication group that includes the Episcopal News Service.

—————————–

Well, this is all very interesting indeed … Eight conservative / conservative leaning moderate bishops have accepted ++Katherine’s invitation to be “episcopal visitors” to those dioceses that cannot accept either her gender or whatever has their mitres and robes in a knot. These episcopal visitors can also participate in the DEPO provision. If I’m reading this right, these folks will be able to not only provide pastoral oversight to disaffected/disillusioned parishes, but also to the disaffected dioceses meaning they would, in fact, be “representing” The Episcopal Church instead of ++KJS.

Quite an interesting choice of folks … and they’re all “Windsor Bishops” unless I’m mistaken, and some of them belong to the Anglican Communion Network. This clearly is an official breaking of the ranks in the conservative/evangelical wing of the House. Now, I know nothing about Brookhart, Lillibridge, Smith or Coleridge, but from what I’ve read coming directly from Howe, Wolf, and Henderson are things that I can respect and see their point, even when I would disagree with them. Bishop Howe of Central Florida has clearly shown he was a conservative loyal to the Church in recent months, and I think Bishop Wolf handled the situation surrounding the priest claiming to be both Christian and Muslim very well. Stanton, I can’t make up my mind about.

I know DEPO is seen as a failed attempt, but it’s a concept that never really got off the ground except in isolated instances, so hopefully this will get some new life. What I would also like to see is DEPO in operation where a liberal or loyal conservative parish would prefer to receive pastoral oversight from a similar minded bishop (for instance, a parish in Pittsburgh requesting oversight from +Geralyn Wolf).

Two things about this arrangement stick out in my mind —

  • ++KJS is not delegating her roles either as Chief Consecrator of Bishops (at least for right now) or her role in the disciplinary process (which she shouldn’t at all).
  • ++KJS is allowing the various bishops sort out the details of this plan.

This, in my mind, is very much a good faith effort on the part of All Parties Involved … well, except for the schismatics, who probably would leave anyway unless we turned back the clock to when The Episcopal Church was “the Republican Party at Prayer” and they would probably find that not Anglo-Baptist enough, and leave anyway. I don’t think that there is anything that will keep Pittsburgh or Fort Worth in the fold. I do think that there is a possibility that even San Joaquin might back-pedal, despite being one of three dioceses (along w/ FW and Quincey) that do not ordain women, but that’s coming mostly from the fact that I can respect Fr. Dan Martin (even though i disagree whole-heartedly with a lot of things he says on his blog), who is a member of the House of Deputies and i understand has considerable influence in that Diocese.

I wonder what the “price” will be for this? My overall guess is that in the end, our relationships with most of the Communion will not change, and some will continue at their breakneck speed towards forming their own “anglo-baptist” communion. We will still be THE Episcopal Church and THE Anglican presence in the US. On the flip-side, I am not going to be surprised one bit if the Very Rev. Tracey Lind (a fellow gay person who is happily partnered), should she be elected to be bishop of Chicago, not get confirmed by the requisite number of bishops and Standing Committees.

Which would be very sad for Chicago and for the entire Church, since what i’ve read about her indicates her ministry would be fantastic. And more to the point, a great witness for evidence of the work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in us GLBT folks.

It will be interesting to see what happens as the day unfolds ….

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Note: This is my first crack at a “real” commentary in the sense that I have only read the ENS report prior to writing this, and no other blogs … I personally will be very interested to see how correct I am in my observations.





More pee-hee! How kinky are you? An online test …

14 09 2007

Thanks to my friend Christian at couchstalker for pointing out this test … My results were very interesting and are posted below ….

The actual test can be found here

Do you have an inclination for BDSM? You scored as a Submission It feels good to serve. A lack of control in the bedroom can be fun and relaxing. Being with a dominate person wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Submission

96%

Switch

96%

Bondage

96%

Exhibitionism and Voyeurism

93%

Experimental

86%

Masochism

86%

Sadism

64%

Domination

54%

Degradation

43%

Vanilla Sex

0%

Now, a word or two about the test itself … To me, it was obvious that someone who is “vanilla” or not really into BDSM as a lifestyle per se, created this quiz. I’m speaking specifically to words and phrases such as “abuse” or “hurt.” There’s a BIG BIG BIG difference between pain and hurt, and play-use and abuse. Realizing and forgiving their ignorance, I answered the questions with the intent that I am assuming its creators had in mind.

About my scores … when i showed them to SIR, he was like “Hmmm … Oh really? I see .. well, my point is made.” He was referring to the high score in the “Switch” category as well as the decently high scores in the Dominant side of the BDSM equations. He will joke with me about how I am going to “grow up” to be a SIR myself one of these days, but i disagree wholeheartedly LOL….

…and respectfully, too, i might add!





News, news, and more news …

13 09 2007

If anyone doesn’t keep up with The Living Church, they really should … They have great scoops, and more than once have reported stories on The Current Unpleaseantness quicker than others.  They do tend to have a center-right look on life, in my opinion, but I have found them to be rather balanced in their reporting.  I mean really balanced and not in the Fox News (aka Faux News) sense of the word!

Here’s some links to some interesting stories, some of which have been commented on by Father Jake and The Lead.

Modified Primatial Vicar Plan — (see, i TOLD you q-tip lady would have something up her sleeve!)

Bishop Robinson: I Heard God’s Voice in Scripture — which give some insight into histheology and spiritual life other than being “the gay bishop.”