The Gospel of Inclusion VIII

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from the Diocese of New Westminster (Canada)

Praise to you, Power-Bestower on Purse-String-Holders.

An Anglican church defying its bishop by refusing to support same-sex unions has been “terminated” only days before Christmas. . . .

Ronald Harrison, executive archdeacon of the Diocese of New Westminster, said Holy Cross brought the closure upon itself by seeking episcopal oversight from another bishop. He said that a result of the church declaring itself “independent” was that its funds had been stopped and eventually the bishop was forced to close it. . . .

Holy Cross, a mission church that relies on its funding from the diocese, is part of a group of breakaway churches in New Westminster that was seeking episcopal oversight by Bishop Terry Buckle of the Yukon [Ed.: The same Anglican Church of Canada in which Bishop Ingham is a bishop].

In October, the Diocesan Council of New Westminster voted to close Holy Cross but needed Bishop Ingham’s approval. However, funding was withdrawn from the church.

In a letter dated Dec. 18, Bishop Ingham informed Mr. Wagner that he had decided to close the church. . . .

After the task force was set up, Bishop Ingham wrote to Holy Cross offering to restore their funding if they accepted his authority.

Mr. Harrison said the bishop had never had a satisfactory reply except from Mr. Wagner to say that he was consulting his lawyer.

“We support and fund all kinds of things, including mission initiatives, but if they have openly declared their hostility to the diocese and the diocesan bishop and will not rescind that even when the bishop has stepped back from the plate, the question is: ‘Why would we fund that?’

“The decision was made months ago and the bishop withheld his decision while he waited for the parish to respond favourably. They didn’t correspond with him. It has nothing to do with Christmas. We have been waiting for their response for some time.”

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, He-She-It Who Giveth and Taketh Away.

[More examples of the Episcopal (and Anglican) Gospel of Inclusion can be found here.]


The Gospel of Inclusion VII

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from Bishop Clark Grew of the Diocese of Ohio.

Praise to you, guarantor of our judgment.

I think the tension I feel is, and I don’t want to devalue the authenticity of scripture claim that people make that this is a matter of scriptural authority, but I think, deep within that posture is a deep-seeded homophobia and an inability for people to see gay and lesbian people as children of God. But I think it’s an issue that comes down to how we feel about our own sexuality and how we feel about our relationship with other people and there’s a level of acceptance and comfort that people just can’t get to yet.

You who are considering leaving the Episcopal Church, you need to know what the repercussions are. You may be putting yourself in jeopardy, and for people who say, I don’t want to be a part of the Episcopal Church anymore, if you’re a clergy person, you know you have to renounce your orders and you’re deposed as a member of the clergy. It’s not punitive, you just can’t have it both ways. You’re either in the church or out of the church. If you leave the church then you’ve left the church and then there are canonical consequences to that.

People who want to leave the diocese can leave the diocese but they don’t leave with their building and they don’t leave with their assets soÖthe endowments and the church building itself stays within the diocese.

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, who makes us not like that Pharisee over there.

[More examples of the Episcopal Gospel of Inclusion can be found here.]

The Gospel of Inclusion VI

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from the diocese of Los Angeles.

Praise to thee, semi-inclusive one.

In a ringing defense of an openly gay bishop and same-sex unions, Los Angeles Episcopal Bishop J. Jon Bruno declared here Saturday that the Episcopal Church is “a roomy house” for all, and warned that those who leave would be leaving “the presence of God.” . . .

“If we withdraw our participation in the community, then we withdraw from the presence of God,” Bruno told a thousand clergy and lay delegates. “It is the community that joins us together in common worship.”

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, purveyor of political power.

[More examples of the Episcopal Gospel of Inclusion can be found here.]

The Gospel of Inclusion V

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from fundamentalist John Shelby Spong.

Praise to you, wellspring of ourselves.

Let me say this carefully, but clearly. Anyone who elevates their prejudices to the position where they are defended as the will of God is evil.

Anybody who justifies their denigration of another person’s being based upon a quotation from an ancient sacred text called the Word of God is simply out of touch with contemporary scholarship.

Anybody who will not open themselves to the new knowledge readily available in medical and scientific circles because it calls into question their uninformed attitudes is profoundly ignorant.

There is no dialogue that is possible in those circumstances, and any attempt to engage in some form of dialogue is doomed to failure. In the process of seeking to do so, truth is not well served, integrity is compromised and one’s deepest convictions are violated.

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, conformer to our scientific knowledge.

The Gospel of Inclusion IV

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from Anglicans Online (4 November “After the Robinson Consecration”).

Praise to you, metaphor without metaphysic.

Those who consider the consecration of Bishop V Gene Robinson to have been a matter of global importance have been issuing statements and press releases this week. Everyone has remained in character: the conservatives and Anglobaptists have in general condemned it, and the progressives and Anglocatholics have applauded it. Thinking Anglicans has gathered the various official statements. Christianity Today has assembled a list of responses, if any, from all of the provinces of the Anglican Communion. We note that not all of them consider this sexuality issue to be of paramount importance. We’re really quite weary of reading everyone’s opinions, and urge those who are going to leave to just pipe down and leave, and those who are going to stay to get on with the business of being Christian. Advent will be here before you know it. We’d like to issue the News Centre Challenge: pick any one of the four gospels, read it through twice from beginning to end, and then ask yourself who that gospel, read in its entirety, urges us to exclude. If reading a gospel all the way through is too much for you, then here are some news stories for you to read.

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, bane of the literal-minded fundamentalists.

[Editor’s Note: AO might want to read this: Matthew 18:15-20.]

The Gospel of Inclusion III

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from the diocese of New Hampshire.

Praise to you, heavenly mother-father.

Opponents to the elevation of Gene Robinson as New Hampshire’s Episcopal bishop walked out this morning during a service at their Rochester church. Conservatives at the Church of the Redeemer disapprove of Robinson, who is openly gay. They also aren’t happy that their interim pastor, the Reverend Donald Wilson, was dismissed last week.

Though about 30 people remained inside the church, those who came out said the diocese should reinstate Wilson or send them an orthodox priest. Wilson was replaced by the Reverend Canon Marthe Dyner, who two attendees said pushed them this morning when they tried to read a statement during the service.

They also said she crumpled a paper held by one of them, and told them they were not welcome to voice their opinions. After the service, Dyner said she had not touched the two, but acknowledged trying to take the statement from them, saying they were disrupting the service. David Tyler, a church official, said the church is not divided. there is only a disagreement they are trying to work out.

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glorty to thee, impersonal life force.

The Gospel of Inclusion II

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from the diocese of San Francisco.

Praise to you, non-personal ground of all being.

Just last month, Swing accused Schofield and other church conservatives of making plans to separate from the U.S. Episcopal Church. “They will be a gated community of exclusivists,” Swing said in a letter to his Bay Area priests. . . .

“The one thing they have in common is self-loathing for the Episcopal Church. … They want a divorce from the Episcopal Church, and their method of separation will be domestic violence.” . . .

Swing argues that a majority of the Episcopal bishops of the United States — by a 62-43 vote — supported the consecration of an openly gay bishop.

“A person like Bishop Schofield has lived long enough to see what happens to people who create their own little cul-de-sac of Anglicanism,” Swing said. “There are all kinds of offshoots that claim to be the true Anglicans, but they are like little meteors that shine in the night and then disappear.” . . .

Swing warns that lengthy court battles may be in the offing — Episcopal vs. Episcopal — for control of church property in California.

“Years of court cases,” he says, “will replace (debate over) sex as our primary preoccupation.”

This is the Gospel of Litigation–er, Inclusion.

Glory to thee, androgynous archetype.

The Gospel of Inclusion I

Today’s Gospel of Inclusion comes from the diocese of New Hampshire.

Praise to you, projection of our higher selves.

Tactics of fear, intimidation and harassment have escalated in the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire. With scarcely 48 hours notice, the Rt. Rev. Douglas Theuner, Bishop of New Hampshire, has removed Fr. Don Wilson as interim rector at Church of the Redeemer, Rochester, summarily revoked his license to function as a priest in the diocese and appointed Canon Martha Dyner to conduct Sunday services at Redeemer. Bishop Theuner cites Fr. Wilsonís opposition to Gene Robinsonís consecration as Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire as justification for his actions. Although the vast majority of parishioners at Redeemer share Fr. Wilsonís convictions, the parish was not given the opportunity to discuss Bishop Theunerís decision.

This is the Gospel of Inclusion.

Glory to thee, non-hierarchical semi-divine deity-like person.