Saturday, February 16, 2008
I mean, after all, it is 2008
Remain Episcopal to host baptism, female priest
BY LOUIS MEDINA,
Californian staff writer
The Bakersfield Californian
Friday, Feb 15 2008 9:10 PM
Last Updated: Friday, Feb 15 2008 9:12 PM
Two newsmaking events are scheduled to take place Sunday at the local gathering of Remain Episcopal, the faith community of believers opposed to the San Joaquin Diocese's recent split from the Episcopal Church over doctrinal differences.
During the first part of the worship, the Rev. Tim Vivian, an ordained Episcopal priest and a professor at Cal State Bakersfield, will perform a baptism -- his first since recently having been appointed as temporary missionary priest to the local community by an emissary of the church's presiding bishop, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori.
Later, a visiting female priest from Los Angeles will celebrate Communion toward the end of the Mass.
"In this diocese that IS a big deal," Vivian wrote to The Californian in an e-mail.
The Rev. Elizabeth Davenport, of St. John's Episcopal Church, who has also been the senior associate dean of religious life at USC for the last five years, said the San Joaquin Diocese under seceding bishop the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield did not allow women priests, including visiting priests, to celebrate Communion.
But because Schofield's duties are currently constrained or "inhibited" by Jefferts Schori during a 60-day waiting period before a possible ecclesiastical trial, the Episcopal remnant within the local diocese is at liberty to employ the services of female priests, whom Jefferts Schori supports.
Sunday's Mass will take place at 10 a.m., at the chapel of First Congregational Church on Real Road and Stockdale Highway, which is allowing Remain Episcopal to use its facilities.