Pennsylvania’s Standing Committee looks forward

Governance news posted Friday, August 06, 2010

An Invitation from the Standing Committee

August 6, 2010

Dear Diocesan Sisters and Brothers in Christ,


The Standing Committee invites you to gather at our Cathedral at 4:30 p.m. this Sunday afternoon, August 8, for Evening Prayer, a time of open conversation and an opportunity to share our thoughts and feelings. We will conclude with Compline at 6:00 p.m., followed by light refreshment. Our Dean, Judith Sullivan will lead our worship and Assisting Bishop Rodney Michel will guide our conversation. The Cathedral is located at 38th and Chestnut.

Bishop Bennison will be returning on Monday, August 16. He has asked Bishop Michel to continue for a time. Initially Bishop Bennison will meet with diocesan leaders as we enter a new stage in our relationship together.

Last night, as we have been doing in recent times, clergy and lay representatives of our diocesan leadership met together in prayer, to share both our concerns and hopes for this Diocese in the new light of the decision of the Court of Review.

During the past three years, the bodies charged with responsibility and leadership have grown in strength and transparency, in mutual accountability, support and relationship; perchance in wisdom and grace. We recognize our differing perspectives and experiences as a source of blessing and opportunity, not of weakness. As we enter a new chapter in our common life with Bishop Bennison’s return, we are committed to continuing our good work and relationships together, to clarifying our vision and mission, supporting the weak and vulnerable among us, and seeking new ways to proclaim the love of God and the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Surely our responses to the decision of the Court vary broadly; from fear, anger, hurt, and profound disappointment, to relief and joy, to bewilderment and curiosity. If we have learned anything in recent years, it is that we must not allow these differing feelings and reactions divide us. Each of us is a member of the body of Christ, each of us striving to be faithful in the best way we know how. Let us be careful to honor one another. This is not the time to withdraw and go our separate ways; this is the time to come together, to recommit ourselves to our baptismal vows and to our common life, to offer our unique gifts and resources, to provide a beacon of hope, and together be agents of God’s justice and mercy in this Diocese of Pennsylvania.

With our profound gratitude for your participation and witness, and with faith in Christ Jesus,

The Standing Committee

Samuel Adu-Andoh, Christopher Hart, Jo Ann Jones, Ledlie Laughlin, Glenn Matis, Norman MacCausland, Arlene McGurk, Isaac Miller, Joy Segal, and D-L Wormley

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5 Comments
  1. Forgive my stating the obvious, but what a tragic situation, owing to the statute of limitations! How awful for Pennsylvania Episcopalians, and what a train wreck for the Episcopal Church!

  2. I agree with Mr. Abernethy, I decry that the statute of limitations has become the determining principle in this case and I call upon Bishop Bennison to resign at once. But I am also struck by the faith, wisdom, maturity and graciousness of the Standing Committee of the Diocese in scheduling and structuring this event on August 8. Doubtless it will only be the first in a series of conversations which must be held. Christ himself is in pain over this. The victim was a 14-year-old member of the parish youth group, and she has a right to justice. Now an entire diocese has been victimized as well.

    But as I read this letter I thought, “They are doing everything they can think of. They are rising to the occasion.” And “This was written by an Episcopalian.”

    DioPenn, my prayers are with you this Sunday for Evensong.

  3. Peter Pearson

    Things in the Diocese of PA are not as black and white as they seem. The good guys and the bad guys are not easily determined and the situation is a mess. All we can do is wait and see what unfolds. I can say with any confidence is that our assisting bishop, Rodney Michel has been a blessing to us all. He’s brought a sense of calm and stability to the situation and we had begun to get back to our mission. Now, well who knows what will happen now?

  4. Dä'ved Äyan | David Allen

    Josh, do some research, I fear you are misunderstanding the events for which +Charles was brought to trial.

    They did not occur in the diocese of which he is the bishop. Nor did it occur while he was a bishop. It was many years ago, when he was a priest, in California. The victim is an adult today and there is more than enough blame to go around for how these events ultimately transpired.

    There are some who contend that his diocese was already unhappy with him and that this trial played into their hands in their attempts to be rid of him.

    I do not agree with what he did do. I do not support the statute of limitations. But all is not as cut & dried as some would wish us to believe.

  5. Dä'ved Äyan | David Allen

    Josh, do some research, I fear you are misunderstanding the events for which +Charles was brought to trial.

    They did not occur in the diocese of which he is the bishop. Nor did it occur while he was a bishop. It was many years ago, when he was a priest, in California. The victim is an adult today and there is more than enough blame to go around for how these events ultimately transpired.

    There are some who contend that his diocese was already unhappy with him and that this trial played into their hands in their attempts to be rid of him.

    I do not agree with what he did do. I do not support the statute of limitations. But all is not as cut & dried as some would wish us to believe.

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