As noted earlier on The Lead, Douglas LeBlanc describes the encounter between Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the clergy of the Diocese of South Carolina and thinks it is a good model for how conservatives can maintain their place in Episcopal Church and be sure that the church takes seriously our commitment to value and keep the conservative voice at the table.
He writes in Episcopal Church Online:
I think these two hours of audio are a good model for how conservative dioceses may stand for what they believe in. For that matter, these sessions are a model for how some conservative parishes might receive their bishop -- in addition to celebrating the Holy Eucharist together -- during a regular visitation. (I realize the diocese did not schedule the Holy Eucharist during the Presiding Bishop's visit. I'll leave the moral outrage about that to others.)
I think such open exchanges make a few important points:
* Some conservatives have made it clear that they feel driven, whether by conscience or theology or the promptings of the Holy Spirit, to leave the Episcopal Church. With our continuing presence, we make clear that we are neither leaving nor threatening to leave.
* We care about doctrine. In South Carolina, that doctrine sounds like a lively mixture of stout Reformation evangelicalism (which has a clear Anglican precedent in the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion) and Anglo- Catholicism (which has an equally clear precedent in Anglican history). When it feels as though our beliefs clash with something we hear from leaders of the broader church, we will not be afraid to identify the conflict.
* Conservatives hear frequently that our voices are an important part of the Episcopal Church. One great way to test that assertion is to speak up about what we believe. In short, we will respect our church's declarations of inclusion by being ourselves. We will trust God, in the fullness of time, to resolve those matters that divide us.
Read the rest here.