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"If you are a dreamer, come in. If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar, a Hope-er, a Pray-er, a Magic Bean buyer; if you're a pretender, come sit by my fire. For we have some flax-golden tales to spin. Come in! Come in!" -- Shel Silverstein

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I knew it, I knew it, I knew it!

Sometimes, even when I'm in a really good mood, the 'uber-Christians' on the Right pull my poor, last, tired nerve.

Especially the ones who love to harp about the "hemorrhage" of membership from The Episcopal Church because of our "apostate" beliefs which are "contrary to the faith first delivered to the saints".

Never mind that the hemorrhage is due to the knife they are sticking into the back of the Body of Christ, all in the name of Jesus, of course, and all to "save the soul of The Episcopal Church"

Funny how no one is stopping to take the knife out of her back before they leave the building. Oh, right. They don't have time. They are rushing to the attorney's office to see how they can retain the building once they've "hemorrhaged" the membership.

Of course, there's no hard data from the 'break away' churches about how many Christians are flocking to their new churches.

Oh, I think the numbers we'll get from the churches in The South will be impressive. Then again, everybody goes to church on Sunday in The South - even Episcopalians.

I remember the first time I went to church in cities like Atlanta, Memphis, or Dallas. I was blown away worshiping with THOUSANDS of other Episcopalians - and it wasn't even a holiday or there wasn't a bishop or famous person in the place.

There wasn't a screen up with the words to hymns I had never heard, everyone held a prayer book with both hands, there was no one playing a guitar or a percussion instrument, and no one started a prayer with, "Fathergod, I just wanna say . . .," said the name of 'Jeeeessssuuuuusss' or made one reference to 'Satan and his Evil Powers'.

What I'd like to know is what's happening in 'break away churches' in the North or Northeast - like Pennsylvania, or those six churches in Connecticut (Remember the AAC's pathetic attempt to create 'the CT six' as a counterpoint to 'the PA eleven'? Yeah, right!).

I'm also very curious about the two churches in Central New York (one has already left the building, the other will be in court in early December) where the three former Episcopal Clergy there have quite a visible, if not flat-out hostile, presence in cyberspace. I wonder if they will use the same formula as TEC parochial report so we can more accurately compare statistics and demographics.

It would actually be to their advantage, so they can prove their predictions and triumph their victories.

Goodness knows, the numbers for these two churches were not impressive before their clergy "turned" - even after the folks from the Billy Graham campaign came through their town a few years back. Then again, why would you stay as a member of a church when you know the heart and soul of your clergy is not completely with the people but, rather, with carrying on a messy divorce with the institution?

My hunch is that we'll never get accurate numbers, but the rhetoric will be thick with high expectations for churches that are chock full of new Christians, just waiting to be newly formed in the "orthodox / Calvinist / High Catholic" understanding of what it means to be "Anglican."

Bullhockey! (There's a new term for Maddy and the newly sanitized OCICBW). Neo-puritanism tinged with heterosexism and misogyny has never exactly been a booming market share - with or without incense.

Well, here's some data from Katie Sherrod's blog, "Wilderness Garden":

"The (Diocese of Fort Worth) Bishop's Report of Official Acts 11/11/07 - 11/1/08, distributed in the delegate packets and reported officially by the bishop at the diocesan convention, notes 25 baptisms, 254 confirmations, 43 receptions, and 12 reaffirmations.

"Even using these official diocesan numbers, the 5 parishes with established rectors that are remaining in the Episcopal Church (not including all the parishes in exile from their property and those others which will remain Episcopal parishes but do not yet have rectors and other parishes who will soon declare their allegiance) account for 98 of the 334 official acts, or 29.3% of the entire diocese of 56 parishes and missions in the past year.

"Note: This report does not include the 11 confirmands and two receptions that Bishop Iker confirmed at Trinity Fort Worth [my parish] on 11/1 (though the report says through 11/1), which if added in shows that the five parishes actually account for a whopping 32% of the entire diocese during the past year.

"Former diocesan leaders claim that giving and attendance is down because people have left because of the heretical Episcopal Church. Well, not in the parishes that are strongly and publicly Episcopalian. In fact, folks are by comparison flocking to the Episcopal parishes in this diocese, even though they have had to work very hard to avoid the parishes which actively and constantly denigrate and undermine the Episcopal Church and have had to overcome the steady diocesan-sponsored drumbeat of diatribe railing against the presiding bishop specifically and TEC in general.

"And if we add in only 1/2 of the confirmations, etc. reported from the additional parishes that remain, the continuing diocese as of today accounts for a whopping 40% of the official acts.

Read the whole thing at

I don't know about you, but I can't wait until this schism is finally over, until the last, unhappy Episcopalian has left and found her/his heart's delight in a place where everybody thinks (and looks) like them, the worship is "pure," the LGBT people are all 'healed and celibate' and the preaching is "biblical," lasts more than 15 minutes and everyone follows along in their own bible.

Oye! Don't make me clutch my pearls!


Seeing Eye Chick said...

I learned so many New Words! Neo Puritanism--That made pieces part of me shrivel I swear! Calvinism! I am typing this from beneath my desk.

In our house we call people who posit their brand of Christianity is best, while practicing various isms, like Sexism, [mysogyny and Heterosexism}--who perceive themselves to be First Class Citizens at the expense of other *Apostates {one of my favorite Words} Christian Supremacists. Usually we [in my household] are using that to refer to the people who want to bring about a American Theocracy based on their particular Biblical Exegesis. I dont know if that fits here or not.

Your description of the South cracked me up.

One of the biggest issues I see against Homosexuals and Christians is that they think that Homosexuality is all about sex. Whenever you say the words, people are visualizing how one gets their rocks off, rather than imagining issues like identity, love, family, or any of the other things that go into a full and happy life. Same Gender Couples is better than Same Sex Couples. It removes the word Sex. Sex is what these people are indeed obsessed with. Hence their Mysogyny {Feminists are Sex Fiends who cannot be controlled and so are Gay People}.

It is like a messy divorce. Its most difficult to take the high ground in fights like this. Because its so personal and so petty and complicated.

Good luck to you all in finding your way through this difficult time.

Dont Hide your Light Behind an Ism.

Kirkepiscatoid said...

Oy, gevalt.

What tears me is they are totally bagging on one of the most important concepts of the English Reformation that led to the Anglican church in the first place--that the people were perfectly capable of developing their own understanding of the Bible.

Whatever happened to “In all things essential, unity; in all things non-essential, diversity; in all things, charity,” and “Tradition is the living faith of the dead, traditionalism is the dead faith of the living?"

These folks have certainly abandoned that part of their "orthodox" beliefs...

suzanne said...

Wow!! You're rockin' this morning, Elizabeth. Methinks it might be a bit to late to be pearl clutchin'.

Thanks for the post.

BTW "horsehockey" is another phrase for Maddy. It's from Col. Potter in *MASH*.

Jim said...

Recently here in Illinois we have had the spectacle of the holier-than-god-dares-be in Quincy stalking off to claim they are in Southern Cone. The numbers are interesting. During his ultra-lace-holy time as ordinary, Bp. Akerman saw attendance and membership drop by about 60%. Of course, that is because some gay guy was ordained half a continent away. Yeah, sure.

I am so tired. If you are dead set of going of to be holy, do it! Take your gay self-hating bishops (we know who they are closet or not) and go. If you take the keys, we will litigate, if you just walk we will wave.

As Cromwell once said, "Go! In the name of God! Go and leave us in peace!"

I do not want to loose a single conservative to the non-global holy. But if they insist, so be it. If they stay, let's honor their guts and have a fight or two.


Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Well, I've just put on my asbestos pumps and kevlar vest and checked out with The Bullies on Viagra might have been thankful for. I see they are arguing "inside" and "outside" strategy.

The hits just keep coming with those guys - and when they don't have a liberal or a progressive to hit on, they swing at themselves.

You know, I'm happy to keep the porch light on for anyone who has left or is thinking about leaving, but I just want these barking dogs to do SOMETHING besides annoy the rest of us who don't want to bark anymore - and are very, very weary of all their barking.

Frair John said...

I've got two of the gutter snipes calling me "illiterate" over on my blog. This in response to a 5 page essay on the Tracterians. (BTW- The visit Ms Conroy paid to my little corner of the Internets was noted by me when I looked this AM.)

As I said, it's not Calvinism, it's Arminianism with a healthy dose of Donatism and plain old cussedness. To this add a heap of mendacity, hypocrisy and cowardliness and you have our Gang That Can't Shoot Strait.

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Cussedness. Great word. So is mendacity. Oh yeah, and I also like hypocracy and cowardliness.

I think that just about covers it.

Oh, no, wait. 'Gutter snipes.' Gutter snipes is perfect. Even better than 'Bottom feeders' which describes them perfectly, but it's filled with an image that already freaks them out.

The Gang that Couldn't Shoot Strait is still doing a whole mess of damage to our beloved church and I just wish they would do whatever it is they are going to do and put themselves out of the misery they keep insisting we share with them.

You and Ms. Conroy will have to start 'talking' to one another. You are kindred spirits.

Frair John said...

On a side note:

My Grandfather passed into Larger Life on Monday. My family is going to go through the weird ritual of visitation tomorrow after Church and I know we will need your prayers, and those of your gentle readers.

His name was Robert, but every one (including I'm sure his creator) calls him "Bob."

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

Oh, Friar John, I'm sorry for your loss. May Bob's soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace and rise in glory.

I will remember him tomorrow in prayer and dedicate the 8 AM Eucharist to his soul.

May you and your family receive the consolation of your faith.