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Bishop Smith Writes Members of St. John's Church, Bristol CT
The Connecticut Six ^ | 7/29/2005 | Bishop Andrew D. Smith

Posted on 07/29/2005 5:38:41 PM PDT by sionnsar

click here to read article

[Consider clicking through to read the comments... --sionnsar]
1 posted on 07/29/2005 5:38:41 PM PDT by sionnsar
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To: ahadams2; Fractal Trader; Zero Sum; anselmcantuar; Agrarian; coffeecup; Paridel; keilimon; ...
Traditional Anglican ping, continued in memory of its founder Arlin Adams.

FReepmail sionnsar if you want on or off this moderately high-volume ping list (typically 3-9 pings/day).
This list is pinged by sionnsar and newheart.

Resource for Traditional Anglicans:

Humor: The Anglican Blue (by Huber)

Speak the truth in love. Eph 4:15

2 posted on 07/29/2005 5:39:45 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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To: All
The Best Defense
(Captain Yips Secret Journal, 7/29/2005)

Is a good offense.  Does the Bish of Connecticut have either?  His response to his fellow bishops is here and here and here.(pdf alert) 

Let’s stipulate that St. John’s Bristol has problems, and that some of them involve money.  Most Episcopal/Anglican congregations have those problems.  Let’s further stipulate that if Rev. Hansen has left the parish under the guise of a sabbatical, it’s not an especially cool idea.  After slicing through all the words, defenses, and exaggerations, is there any way to tell whether Bishop Smith was acting pastorally, according to his own light, at least, or whether he came down upon St. John’s like a wolf on the fold? *

Reaffirmers, traditionalists, orthodox, whatever, in dioceses dominated by reappraising bishes and clergy often feel a tad isolated and alone, and when the time comes for a clerical changing of the guard, nervous.  Bishops have a lot of power and influence during rector searches, if they chose to use it.  Reaffirming parishes tend to feel that they’ll get stiffed during the process, and sometimes that happens.  A Reappraising bish can draw out the process, can appoint priests-in-charge, influence the candidates, and, at the end, refuse a selection.  There’s probably some purely passive editing:  at least some entirely orthodox priests likely won’t even step forward for vacancies they might otherwise find interesting, if they have little appetite for conflict.  There are all sorts of pitfalls.  Bishes, through their clergy deployment officers, can sell candidates hard, even deceptively (hey, it’s been known to happen), or drag the process out so long that the parish finally chooses someone, anyone, or a selected candidate may find that ambition overwhelms judgement, and so bends in the bishop’s direction.  Delegated Episcopal Oversight, DEPO, as configured currently, leaves the Diocesan Bish in charge of the clerical succession, and that is why it doesn’t work.  St. John’s knew it needed a new rector, and it didn’t trust the Bishop of Connecticut to oversee the process.  For the outsider watching the carnage, it doesn’t matter whether the parish’s concerns were reasonable or well founded, or otherwise.  That lack of trust was what Bp. Smith had to deal with.  How did he do?

Whenever I think about leadership, I keep running aground on what Jesus said to his followers when they were elbowing each other out of the way in that sort of “me first, no, me first,” bit in Matthew 20, and then Jesus’ reply

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:
Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Of course, this tells you that I do not belong to that variety of Christian who breaks the Bible into phonemes and reassembles it to suit my purposes.  Old fashioned of me. 

How do you apply this guidance to a situation such as Bishop Smith found himself in regards St. John’s?  Did he come to the parish as a prince, or as a servant?  Did he go prepared to lose, if need be, in order to serve the flock in his care?  Or did he go in to win, to impose his will regardless?  I’ll let the readers decide.

*Lots of us know, or have at least heard, the first lines of Byron’s poem, The Destruction of Sennacherib, but it’s a little scary to bear in mind that at the end of the poem the splendid host arrayed in purple and gold is dead, withered by the breath of the Lord.  Just sayin’

3 posted on 07/29/2005 5:48:14 PM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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To: sionnsar

It is pretty sickening, to say the least. bishop Smith is all about numbers and hold the LAW. Parishoners who left because they can't handle the truth are returning so they can feel good about themselves. I bet they now use the same feel good music that certain other protestant faiths use.

There is no Gospel without the Law, and anyone who joins/attends a church that is only about the Gospel is getting half-baked goods (or cassarole as the case may be).

5 posted on 07/29/2005 6:34:00 PM PDT by Peanut Gallery
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To: Professional Engineer

oh yeah, PING!

6 posted on 07/29/2005 6:35:58 PM PDT by Peanut Gallery
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To: sionnsar

As a past treasurer of church, getting shut off notices from electric company is pretty standard when following the rules. By the time the bill gets to the bookkeeper, its easy for a few weeks to go by. By the time the bookkeeper enters the bills and prepares payments for the treasurer, a few more weeks go by. By the time the treasurer gets two signatures, a few more weeks can go by.

7 posted on 07/29/2005 7:40:24 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: sionnsar; lightman; TonyRo76
In light of the mounting evidence that the spiritual of Saint John's was at risk...I determined, as the Bishop responsible for Saint John's, to make a pastoral intervention in the parish.....the Rev. Susan McCone and I came to the parish office to deliver copies of the Inhibition of Father Mark Hansen and a copy of the letter in which I appoint the Rev. Susan McCone Priest in Charge of the parish.

If Andrew Smith were so concerned about the SPIRITUAL HEALTH of the parish, why did he appoint a mis-leader of a fakey "catholic" feminazi, gaysbian and revisionist "movement" as the priest-in-charge?

I've seen feminazis in action, up close and personal, in the Lutheran church, and I know quite a few feminazi "theologians", "liturgists" and clerics in the Episcopal Chruch as well. The feminazis are A PLAGUE on the Church of Christ!!!! It is feminazis that are chiefly responsible for most of the departures from orthodoxy in the ELCA, the ECUSA, and other "mainline" churches. And it is mainly feminazis who have pushed the gaysbian movement in our churches, although now the gaysbians need no outside help to make lots of trouble on their own!

"Bishop" Smith is asking the parishoners of St. John's to consult "Mother" (?) McCone if they have any concerns. He wants to make them have to rub their noses in the feminazi muck at every turn!!!! But I see that there is now a St. John's in exile, including weekly Eucharist and fellowship. So maybe the feminazi McCone will have a vanishingly small consituency, while the nine good bishops take Smith to ecclesiastical court and the revisionist wing of the ECUSA falls into ruin!!!!

8 posted on 07/29/2005 8:22:05 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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To: sionnsar
Fixed it:

Dear Members of Saint John's Church, Bristol,

I write as your bishop to clarify some matters about recent events in Saint John's and to express my hope for the future.

In light of the fact that I have assembled circumstantial evidence which I am using to portray the financial health of Saint John's in the worst possible light, I am now extending this argument to cover St. John's spiritual health as well, which as any six-year-old could see, was clearly at risk, evidenced by my discovery of the extended absence of your rector from his ministry while employed in another state (yes, I know, Connecticut is the second smallest state, and in Texas this would equate to being employed in the next county), unpaid parish financial obligations (all of the other churches in CT with unpaid parish financial obligations understand the meaning of "if you want to get along, you have to get along", if you get my drift), and the lack of co-operation with the diocese by lay parish leadership, I determined, as the Bishop responsible for Saint John's, to make a "pastoral" intervention in the parish.

I am shocked, shocked, that there have been a number of rumors, allegations and misinformation persistently circulated in the parish concerning the Diocese of Connecticut and the actions that I have taken. In addition, there is a need to tell you some of what has been happening and to take a look to the future.

On Wednesday, July 13, about 9:45 a.m. the Rev. Susan McCone and I came to the parish office to deliver copies of the Inhibition of Father Mark Hansen and a copy of the letter in which I appoint the Rev. Susan McCone Priest in Charge of the parish. Several other persons from my office did accompany us. It is not true that we forced our way in. The locks were a piece of cake to jimmy and no damage was done to the buildings.

No one who came that day or since seeking access to Saint John's on parish matters has been denied access to the building. The secular groups which use the Church for their meetings (AA, Weight Watchers, TOPS) have all continued to meet as regularly scheduled, and in the spirit of Christian personhood we look forward soon to opening the doors of St John's of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) under the sponsorship of the Anglican Peace and Justice Network (APJN) as well as other organizations that will allow us to grow our ministry in the community of Bristol including the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) as well as other organizations working for justice in our community. We had no keys to the building and the locks were changed late in the afternoon to ensure the security of the property. Keys to the new locks have been issued to parishioners who have shown leadership in celebrating diversity of all God's children and assumed responsibilities for certain work already begun as part of the effort to correct Saint John's life, mission and ministry.

Parishioners who we planted some time ago as sleepers in the parish have come to the Rev. Susan McCone with reports about what has been happening in the parish, and also with concerns about what they have been told "the diocese" would do and not do. There was a lot of pure misinformation. Susan has tried to respond to such concerns on a one-to-one basis, and I encourage any member with questions about what you have been told or rumors that you have heard to ask the questions and talk with her. You can rest assured that there is no risk to coming forward and that Mother McCone can be absolutely trusted to keep any confidences you share with her (for as long as you remain a player.)

There are several persistent allegations that I would like to address. One is that the Diocese would halt the regular celebration of the Eucharist on Sundays. Another is that we have mixed paper with plastics in the recycling. A third is that we are not complying with Daylight savings time. These are all patently false, FALSE. The Eucharist is the principal act of worship on Sunday mornings in the Episcopal Church. And no member of the parish has been denied access to the sacrament of Holy Communion. Recycling is a principle outward sign of our love for God our Mother, whom some call Gaeia. Not following daylight savings time would simply mess up everyone's social calendar. How ridiculous is that?

Another rumor is that same-sex marriages would begin to happen at Saint John's altar. Again, false. In this Church Christian marriage is defined as the union between a man and a woman. Further, priests of this diocese do not have permission to have permission to officiate at civil unions when they become legal in Connecticut in October. Accordingly, we'll simply be calling them Commitment Ceremonies for the time being.

There is a report that I dismissed the Rev. Clayton Knapp as Sunday supply priest. In fact I had a private meeting with him right away with know witnesses where I asked Father Knapp to continue to serve on Sundays, but he has declined, as he will corroborate if he ever wishes to work in this diocese again.

On July 13 I told the Senior Warden of Saint John's that it is my hope that we could work together, Bishop, Priest in Charge, Wardens and Vestry, for Saint John's future. However, on July 18 most of the Vestry of Saint John's chose not to meet with Mother McCone. Several parishioners and one Vestry member did come that night, and they began to talk about the future.

As this date Father Hansen is Inhibited in Connecticut (relieved of priestly privileges for up to six months), and there has been no meeting or agreement between me and Father Hansen concerning his future status with the Church or Saint John's.

Now that we have control, we have begun to pump up the parish finances, at least for now, using our diocesan endowment received back in the days before we fully undersood the oneness of all God's people of all orientations and religions. We asked several times for the Treasurer to work with Mr. Ed Seibert, who is assisting Mother McCone, so together they could bring the parish into financial order. Since that cooperation has not happened, we have set up an account with the diocesan funds for Saint John's in order to pay staff and outstanding bills -- more than $20,000. Payments for Father Hansen's pension were in arrears by $8500, and we have brought that up to date. We also paid Connecticut Light and Power, thereby averting the threatened shutoff of electricity to the parish buildings. You may rest assured that everything will look good financially for as long as it takes to fully consolidate control

The work of rebuilding St. John's parish has already begun and the signs of renewed life (including new unisex signs on the restrooms) are promising. On July 16 we combed the singles bars and Unitarian directories, and as a result on July 17, of worshippers in church, at least 38 were identified as regular St. John's parishioners, some returning after a prolonged absence. On July 24, the number of St. John's parishioners had risen to 47 with still others calling to say they would be back in the days ahead. A group of parishioners, eager to revive the family traditions for which St. John's was once known, have already organized a pot luck supper, as you have heard, for July 30. (For planning purposes, we are already well set in the Merlot department, but are still low on Cabs and Chardonnays. Fruity Chenin Blancs are also nice with the warmer weather.)

The devotion of the people to St. John's is inspiring and encouraging and the Diocese is committed to helping the parish rebuild - financially as well as spiritually - and to bring it in line with the larger Episcopal family (by last count there are still at least several thousand of us, of which at least a significant minority are currently in committed relationships with reproductive potential!) If you have questions or thoughts of ways in which I, Mother McCone or my staff can be helpful, please call the Church. I certainly am keeping all of Saint John's in my prayers, asking Christ's peace and blessing.

Yours in Christ BR> +Andrew D. Smith
Bishop of Connecticut

Cc: The Most Rev. Frank T. Griswold, Presiding Bishop and Primate

9 posted on 07/29/2005 9:11:37 PM PDT by Huber (Conservatism - It's not just for breakfast anymore!)
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To: Raycpa
As a past treasurer of church, getting shut off notices from electric company is pretty standard when following the rules.

We're small enough that the treasurer keeps the books. Such notices haven't been a problem for us...

10 posted on 07/30/2005 7:23:46 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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To: Huber

LOL, very good!

11 posted on 07/30/2005 7:27:05 AM PDT by sionnsar (†† || Trad-Ang Ping: I read the dreck so you don't have to || Iran Azadi)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: TonyRo76; lightman
Ultimately it's just another manifestation of mankind's long war against God, or trying to remake God in his (or in this case "her") image.

A feminazi isn't always a "she". For example, the ELCA has the feminazi "liturgist" Gordon Lathrop and the feminazi "Biblical scholar" Victor Roland Gold, both of whom are heterosexual men. In fact, our off-the-wall revisionist seminaries try to turn all their students (male and female) into "good" little feminazis, for example by requiring "inclusive language" in all classes and on all student papers, etc.

No wonder the great majority of the ELCA's best theologians no longer teach at ELCA seminaries, and that quite a few of them have swum the Bosphorus or the Tiber!!!

13 posted on 07/30/2005 3:00:26 PM PDT by Honorary Serb (Kosovo is Serbia! Free Srpska! Abolish ICTY!)
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