Skip to comments.Bishop says fleeing priests are "Chicken Little" [another church leaves San Diego]
Posted on 09/09/2006 4:57:51 PM PDT by sionnsar
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We all know the children's story about Chicken Little, who created havoc by his misreading of the times and crying that the sky was falling.
Within our church, prophets of despair have been crying their reports of the failings and flaws of the church. By their words and actions, they have created havoc and done damage.
As with Chicken Little, all is not as it seems. Chicken Little's parade to tell the king that the sky was falling included Poosey, Cocky Locky, and Henny Penny. In fear of a falling sky, they almost walked into the darkness of the sly old Foxy Woxy.
In our diocese the parade, which began at Christ the King, now includes some from St. Anne's, Oceanside, St. John's, Fallbrook, All Saints', Vista, Grace, and now Holy Trinity in Ocean Beach.
A couple of others may join the parade, but the sky will not fall for the Episcopal Church. The primary danger is for those in the parade. The challenge is to discern how to respond when those we love are so convinced of disaster, to the point that their cries become partially a self-fulfilling prophesy.
What guides me, and I offer to you, is simply being clear about who we are as a people of the cross of Jesus Christ. As people of the cross, we proclaim the radical reality of the resurrection.
I believe that despite appearances to the contrary, God is creating a new and holy thing in our midst. I confess to struggling under the weight of the cross we bear at this time. I know that many of you feel this weight as well.
I feel sadness and grieve those who walk away from the church that affirmed their ministry and entrusted to them the care of people and congregations. I do not approve of their actions and must confront them.
But I do not cease loving them and trusting in Jesus' work of reconciliation. Be that as it may, we must not be distracted from our basic work of being a community of Good News, where in we share and show forth hope, meaning and purpose.
In each of our congregations, hope, meaning and purpose are the gift of Jesus through our servant ministry, our pastoral care, our teaching and our Eucharistic fellowship. In our diocesan life together, we live that out through mutual care and support.
In the story of Chicken Little, the umbrella was Chicken Little's gift from the king, given for protection. The umbrella as a metaphor for the Episcopal Church is an appropriate one. That is the gift that we have been given by our King.
The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes
Bishop of the Diocese of San Diego
The sky isn't falling on the Episcopal Church. It doesn't need to. The American EC is destroying itself quite nicely all on its own.
Then said Evangelist, If this be thy condition, why standest thou still? He answered, Because I know not whither to go. Then he gave him a parchment roll, and there was written within, Fly from the wrath to come.
- John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
Not new, and definitely not holy.
I always thought he would be a little more ascetic-looking, didn't you?
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