Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The PB is Coming/The PB is Coming
The Most Reverend Katharine Jefferts-Schori the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church is coming to Central NY for Diocesan Convention. I am anxious to hear her speak of the Church in person. I have, of course, heard snippets of her speeches on line and read her thoughts over the past three years. I am somewhat in awe of her because of how she has handled herself in the face of a badly broken and split church. The past three years have been some of the most difficult in the history of The Protestant Episcopal Church/TEC. At the same time I have not appreciated the moratorium on LGBT ordinations and consecrations from 2006-2009.
From various bishops I have heard the story of her election in 2006 that seemed to be a real movement of the Holy Spirit in the HOB. I look forward to hearing her express her hopes for the Church and most of all how she envision the evolving new Christianity that seems to be emerging at present. Certainly in this diocese we need to hear something other than the survivor mentality that seems occupy the thinking of the diocese or the exclusivity of some of the clergy of the diocese.
This welcoming of the PB is a chance for her to share with us in CNY what is going on not only in the whole of TEC, but also with what is facing us as a part of the Anglican Communion. I am hopeful to hear her reaction to the Anglican Covenant.
I am not sure that her purpose is to listen to us; diocesan convention is not the venue for that in this diocese. I am afraid her presence among us is going to be one of visiting dignitary rather than a fellow Christian on the same journey. Visiting dignitaries often serve to enthuse to a new vision. But in this diocese there is no vision, no goal, and no direction to enthuse to. What her presence may show is how vital the Church is in other places and heightens the paucity of that vitality here. Her presence may show how deeply lost we are in this diocese and how isolated we are becoming because the witness to Christ is so insipid here. I believe I will see clearly how poorly our diocese shapes up in comparison with other areas of the Church.
I am horrified by the lack of sensible expectations for the service that ++Katharine will be preaching. It seems that little thought was given to the logistics. I fear it will be a nightmare of who can access the PB and who may not. Once again the reality of the PB’s presence was not thought through. I do believe that many people will expect to be able to discuss the status of the Church with her since there is so little opportunity to do so in the diocese. That expectation will not be satisfied given the lack of room and lack of thought put into her visit.