Saturday, October 13, 2007

South Dakota Bishop responds to a letter

The Bishop of the Episcopal Church in South Dakota has sent out a statement summarizing our recent convention and also has some reaction to a letter that went out to some Episcopalians in the state. From what I've heard from Episcopal friends, the mailing list was a (apparently) little scatter-shot; some congregations got their whole membership mailed, other congregations had letters sent to just a subset of members. The letter (so I'm told; I didn't get on myself and have not seen one yet) was an invitation to join with other "traditional Anglicans" who need "safe haven" from the "persecution" they feel as conservatives.

Personally I need to pray for patience when members of the white, conservative majority cry that they are "oppressed" or don't feel "welcome" in the Church. Try being female--or gay--or both--in Nigeria for even ten minutes. Try being Native American in Rapid City. Give me a friggin break!

Anyway, +Creighton said on the Diocesan Information Exchange yesterday:
Some of the clergy, some lay folks as well, were upset that a letter had been mailed out from a group of folks at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Sioux Falls, asking folks to leave the Episcopal Church and join their Anglican group. The usual reasons were cited for their leaving, the issue of human sexuality, same sex union blessings, our failure to interpret scripture as narrowly as they do, and they ask all of us to consider leaving the Episcopal Church and join their splinter group. I spoke about some of their concerns in my convention address.
He made it very clear how he feels about the whole thing:
As I said at the convention, this whole splinter conversation is not about being the church, it is about power, authority, biblical interpretation or rather the holding of everyone to one interpretation, and it is about control. It is about dishonesty and it's about holding one group accountable to one standard and another accountable to a different standard.
Bishop +Creighton promised more on his response to the Bishop's New Orleans meeting later, in a letter to be shared, but not read from pulpit... presumably because there are many of us putting our efforts to the work of the church and the work of God in our lives... a silent majority that is committed to the Church and really don't want to spend more time on this "crisis."

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