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Ask the nominees

From the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop:

The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop invites you to submit a question for the nominees. You may submit multiple questions by returning to this same link for each question. We will choose questions from the submissions we receive to be asked during the presentation at General Convention on June 24. Click Here to add your question.

What will you ask? Add your question in the comments or on our Facebook page as well as at Survey Monkey.



posted by Ann Fontaine


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Chuck Messer

I could care less at about the sexuality issue at this point, the Holy Spirit has already spoken and the advent God’s will for health and salvation of all is upon us. It must be about Jesus Christ. I want these candidates to tell us of their love for our Lord and why other should answer the call to follow him. I want a PB whose inner life propels authentic passionate proclamation of the gospel. I would give my all to support such a person so called.

Jeremy Bates

What’s your view of the so-called Anglican Covenant?

And if there’s no Lambeth Conference before 2020, should we care? Why or why not?

David Murray

How might you work to include everyone within TEC with the full blessings of membership? Some find themselves in areas where the conscience of the few limit this full meaning of membership.

John Bennett

At 45 I am one of the youngest active members of my congregation. I believe this is the norm across the church. How does this affect your decision making process in choosing the new Presiding Bishop?

Walter Combs

The youngest member of our congregation is 50. The parish has lost two-thirds of it’s membership in the last fifteen or so years. Three baptisms in four years. Not one of the families that had their child baptized has continued to attend since the rite was performed. You ask a VERY valid question!

Philip Snyder

Given that the Book of Common Prayer defines Holy Matrimony as the union “in which the woman and main enter into a life-long union….” (Catechism, p. 861 p. 422) how can we now call two men or two women “holy matrimony?” Is the Book of Common Prayer Wrong?

David Allen

It’s time to update the BCP. It no longer expresses what the Holy Spirit has lead the Church to teach/believe.

Bro David

Cynthia Katsarelis

Philip, no, I’m not using David or any other Biblical figure as a model for sexual relationships, that would be slim pickings for any woman. There is a blessing of Jonathan and David, and it’s a real eyebrow raiser, that’s all I’m saying. You asked for examples of God blessing a gay relationship, and that’s the only example I know of any relationship being blessed.

What Ann said about the fruits of the Spirit is prophetic. In fact, Jesus said that we could tell the real prophets from the false ones by their fruits.

Acceptance of equal marriage in mainline Protestant churches, as well as Jewish and Buddhist groups ranges from 65 to 85 percent. Even the Evangelicals are 50-50. Clearly, the Spirit is on the move in the direction of inclusion.

Finally, I’m sick of being told how “sinful” I supposedly am. God created me and blessed me with a loving spouse. I’ve suffered work discrimination, hurtful exclusion, hateful rhetoric, and have had several bouts with depression because of all the hate. Philip, your words are not benign, your words hurt me. Why is it so important to you to inflict pain on me and other LGBT sisters and brothers? Really? Why? The Biblical scholarship is strong enough to give anyone pause on judging others, the churches long traditions of racism, anti-Semitism, burning witches, and justifying slavery should also give pause before condemning others.

I have direct experience of God’s Love. And you’ve got what? Poor translations and a tradition of various sorts of bigotry?

Philip Snyder

“The Debate has Ended” = “Shut up,” he explained.
Here is the thing. The debate is NOT ended. It may be ended for you, but TEC is only a very small (and getting smaller) part of the universal Church. TEC is dying out. The progressive dioceses and parishes are, by and large, losing membership. The average age is increasing; the number of infant baptisms is decreasing; marriages are decreasing and the entire denomination is seeing its wealth being transferred to Trial Lawyers. The debate is largely over because you have driven out almost all the conservatives – who have left to minister where they are not laughed at or called names for teaching what the Church has always taught.

But remember, there is always the remnant – the 7000 who have not kissed Baal. It is odd. As an adult in TEC, I started out somewhat liberal because I endorsed the ordination of women. Now I am considered among the most conservative because I do not endorse the ordination of anyone sexually active outside of marriage. My positions on these matter have not changed significantly, yet I have moved from moderately liberal to arch-conservative within TEC.

I will stay in TEC until kicked out. My task is the task of the prophets of old – to call God’s people back to the Covenant they made with Him – to continue the the Apostles teaching, to repent and return to the Lord when we sin – to proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ – to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to strive for justice and peace – but not at the expense of not keeping the Apostles teaching.

Ezekiel 2:5

That’s number four and the final comment for this story today. – ed

David Allen

The debate has ended. The conservatives in TEC who resist the Spirit’s lead are welcome, we have many other areas of ministry in which we can all participate together, but there is no more debate regarding the GLBT baptized in TEC. And fortunately, the conservative minority who believe as you do Philip, are old and dying away.

Bro David

Philip Snyder

Ann – Our own Book of Common Prayer cites them specifically at reasons for blessing the marriage. Do you not accept the BCP’s teaching as authoritative?

I was not talking about simply within gay couples, but within the entire Church when I spoke of the preponderance of the works of the flesh over the fruit of the Spirit. Church wide, we see animosity, anger, impatience, lawsuits, name calling, etc. How one can look at the wreckage that has been done to TEC and the Anglican Communion as a whole by this one issue and say that the issue comes from the Holy Spirit is beyond me.

A man and his mistress may have a wonderful, loving, giving relationship and the man may also have one with his wife. The niceness of those two sets of relationships have absolutely zero bearing as to the sinfulness or righteousness of the adulterous relationship. The adulterous relationship is sinful from the very beginning.

I know and work with several gay couples. They are good employees and nice people. When travelling (as we live in different cities and only meet at client sites) we enjoy each other’s company and have friendly discussions. I do not believe that experience trumps Biblical revelation. My “experience” is that human beings are fallen creatures that cannot know the right from the wrong and have no choice but to sin. That sinfulness darkens our reasoning ability and our ability to see the good. So, my experience does not trump what has been handed to the Church from God through His holy word.

Philip Snyder

Ann – Matthew 19:1-9 – Jesus gives us the reasoning that God created Marriage. If God created an institution, then I believe that He has the right to set the composition and purpose of that institution. Look at Ephesians 5 where Paul talks about Marriage (husband and wife) as representing the union of Christ and his Church. As for the Fruits of the Spirit, I see precious little love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self control. I see a lot of fornication, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, envy, and party spirit (the works of the flesh).

Cynthia – are you saying that David is our example of Biblical Sexual Morality? David? The man who got another man’s wife pregnant and then had that man killed to hide it? That’s what biblical sexual morality is like? Are you serious?

[This is your fourth & final comment in this thread today. – ed]

Also, calling opposition to blessing sinful actions a “phobia” is simply a way to try and stop the debate. I cannot help that you are so judgmental so as to call anyone who disagrees with you “afraid” of you. This is not about fear, but about agape love – where the well being of the beloved is the primary concern. If people are being encouraged to sin via blessing sinful actions, then the loving thing to do is to explain why those actions are wrong and to proclaim what God’s moral law says.

Ann Fontaine

If those qualities are all you see you need to get to know some married Christian gay and lesbian couples – I see much more of the fruits of the Spirit among those couples than in many non-gay married couples. As to your citations – I don’t find them convincing that God is blessing or even setting up the union of one man and one woman as a standard. Just because one metaphor is used that does not exclude other metaphors.

Cynthia Katsarelis

“Can you show where Holy Scripture calls any homosexual relationship to be “blessed?””

Philip, have a look at David and Jonathan.

Maybe you shouldn’t worry too much about other people’s “sinful” behaviour. Leading scholars and the mind of the church have arrived at a different conclusion. Guess what? We’re not stupid, we’re not dismissive of the Bible and Jesus’s call not to judge and his example towards inclusion, we are not uneducated. Some of us are not so readily prepared to tell say that God make an enormous error when s/he created me and my LGBT sisters and brothers. Many have been willing to listen to stories and hear the Spirit, the Holy Spirit of love for all people.

Perhaps it is past time to consider if homophobia is actually not sanctioned by Jesus?

The church has moved on from this phobia. The problem now is learning to live with difference.

Philip Snyder

I would say that a spirit has lead TEC to teach/believe that sinful behavior is not blessed, but I doubt very much if it is the Holy Spirit.

Q. “How do we recognize the truths taught by the Holy Spirit?”
A. “We recognize truths to be taught by the Holy Spirit when they are in accord with the Scriptures.” (BCP p. 853)

I have asked for this several times, but have never received a satisfactory answer. Can you show where Holy Scripture calls any homosexual relationship to be “blessed?”

Ann Fontaine

Can you cite the Bible passages of blessings of heterosexual marriage? (Just couples – no men with multiple wives, concubines, etc). I go by the fruits of the Spirit- love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Are they in evidence in any marriage? And the lesson from Acts 10 last week reveals all we need to know about who is blessed.

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