"Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Paul to the persecuted at Philippi (2:5-11)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Be aware.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that one of the stipulations TEC is hoping to make on us is access to ACNA laity to try to lure them back into TEC... (wording more nicey, like to provide for any disaffected TECies who somehow meandered over to the "wrong" side... translation: pilpher sheep.) Cute.

Um, personally I am of the belief that the people are aware of whether they're in the ACNA or TEC and will tend to seek pastoral care accordingly. ACNA clergy owe to the people the dignity and privacy not to publish their names and contact information without their consent.

9 comments:

  1. I would LOVE to be contacted by someone trying to lure me back into TEC. I would have such fun and they would regret the encounter for quite a while.

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  2. Tara, Paragraph Two of the Stipulation *requires* the diocese to inform all members of a pending settlement and to give them opportunity to register objections, etc. I would hope that this notification could be done in a collaborative way. Perhaps the agreement could be that the diocese would use the parish's mailing labels to send the letter, but that the letter would be co-authored (or at least reviewed and approved) by the rector . . . .

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  3. One must wonder, in this current context, why is it not far more appropriate for the current pastoral leadership to pass along such information IF a settlement were to be made.

    I'm a big advocate of personal privacy... just can't go there. So how about just nailing it on the church door and getting it over with?

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  4. I just don't know, Tara. The question would probably be if having the parish leadership do this would satisfy the legal requirement of the situation that the diocese notify the membership. There are as I understand it a couple of reasons for the communication. The first is that the Stipulation gives a period of 45 days between the "reaching of the agreement" and the point at which the judge can certify the agreement. In that interval any member of the parish or, as I understand it, the vestry of any other parish of the diocese, can file an objection to the agreement, which then must be presented to the judge--who may or may not find it relevant. The second point has to do with the fact that there may exist on the official rolls of parishes negotiating their now mutually agreed departure from the Episcopal Diocese individuals who wish to remain Episcopalians. While the requirement to make this "contact" with every household on the parish roll seems absolute, given the Stipulation, I see no reason why the logistics of "how" it is done, assuming all parties are acting in good faith, should be a problem.

    BruceR

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  5. It's just that your comment "assuming all parties are acting in good faith" is surrounded with the likelihood of not being true. And you know that. So why did you say it and force someone to call attention to it? Is it just to start (another) acrimonious dialog?

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  6. Dave -- Well, I guess I said it because I think it's an issue that folks on both sides need to put on the front burner. Because I think and know that there have been places on the way where folks on both sides have not been acting in good faith. I absolutely don't want to start anything like an acrimonious dialogue. There's been enough of that already. More than enough. I post here, in response to my and our friend Tara's very thoughtful commentaries, because I think it's important for there to be something other than "acrimonious dialogue." My hope and prayer is that we're going to be able to get through all this, even with our brokenness, in a way that honors Christ. I apologize if there is something in the way I said that that seemed to tip in another direction. I understand why something that sounds like a demand for unfettered access to parish membership information might be offensive. But I think the concerns in the Stipulation for communication with parish membership are reasonable, and I would hope that those who would be negotiating for a parish and for the Episcopal Diocese would be able to find a graceful and mutually acceptable way to make that communication happen. If we want to move foward with the work God is calling us to do we need to see these kinds of issues as challenges to be solved between Christian people and not simply as opportunities to score points "against" the other side. In my opinion.

    BruceR

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  7. BR ~ I recognize that your motives and heart are pure. I just disagree. I think the concerns in the Stipulation for communication with parish membership are not reasonable because I believe there are those who would not act in good faith and that mischief is afoot. And that gives me a sinking feeling in my middle.

    On the other hand, the need or requirement that all are to be notified probably opens the way for mischief from all directions. Just more of the not acting in good faith. Oh, but this is just a small problem along side the problem that "acting in good faith" should/could even be questioned among a group of Christian people.

    I was hoping to not get involved in this type of difficulties with the ACNA. I think I shall just bow out of these political and legalistic discussions.

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  8. Yes, I understand. But whether the terms of the Stipulation are reasonable or not, it does appear that Judge James will consider them enforceable. As I understand it, even if the negotiating parties themselves were entirely willing to set them aside, all it would take would be for one individual from the parish or from the Episcopal Diocese to object, saying that he or she hadn't been properly notified, and the Judge would have to rule the settlement invalid. So one of the questions that negotiators of the parish and of the Episcopal Diocese will need to settle--to their own and to Judge James's satisfaction, is how the diocese will fulfill its legal duty of notification.

    BruceR

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