The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, Katharine Jefferts Schori told a Columbus Dispatch newspaper reporter that she thinks the worst of the crisis in the denomination is over. She also predicted that openly gay bishops will be elected in the future, despite an agreement among bishops not to consent to such elections for the time being.
Ironically, this is the first time Mrs. Jefferts Schori has ever admitted that there is a crisis in the church, having told the church and press on numerous occasions that only a handful of people have left the church, and that the vast majority of people will stay.
In Virginia Beach in 2007, she said in an interview that congregations had “gotten a lot of attention and been very noisy,” but accounted for less than 1 percent of the country’s total number of parishes, which she put at 7,500.
“The Episcopal Church is alive and well,” she later told a group of Episcopal Communicators.
David Virtue probably won’t agree with what I have to say, but she’s right, at least by her own definitions.
It boils down to how you define the problem.
Virtue, along with the GAFCON Provinces, define the problem as the departure of TEC from the Christian faith. That’s the way I look at it, but…
KJS, on the other hand, defines the problem as those with the bad taste to disgree with her and other revisionists about where they think that “faith” (I hate to append the adjective Christian to this) needs to be going in this world of ours. Following this concept, the way you get rid of the problem is to either silence the dissent or boot the dissenters, and that’s the object of the legal “scorched earth” policy that she and Chancellor David Booth Beers have been following since she became PB.
Since most of the noisier dissenters have left and/or been booted (deposed, inhibited, etc.) and the rest are heading that way, I can see how she thinks she has solved the problems of TEC.
But in this life, solving one problem always leads to having solve another, in this case convincing people that TEC is worth getting out of bed for on Sunday mornings. That’s the problem I posed to that legendary lesbian Susan Russell last year:
Three years ago, my wife and I visited Palm Springs. Our flight left from Ontario on Sunday. As we drove out of town, we could see the gay men at their favourite hangouts, taking in the morning.
The GLBT’s community in TEC—of which you are a prominent leader—does not face its greatest challenge from the reasserters. You people have a knack for dealing with reasserters, although if you don’t use some wisdom it could cost you more than you anticipated. Your greatest challenge is going to be to convince secular members of the GLBT community—and others—to give up their passing joy in taking in the morning and come to (and support) your church. I’m glad it’s your job and not mine. If you fail, the issue of inclusivity will be moot, because there won’t be anyone left to include.
As Gilda Radner used to say, it’s always something…
And don’t forget, political leftists have the same idea about their problem and how to solve it as their ecclesiastical counterparts.