Thursday, July 16, 2009

Continuing dioceses: The church is alive and well

From Episcopal Life Online-

Bishops and deputies from what are known collectively as the four continuing dioceses of the Episcopal Church -- individually the dioceses of Fort Worth (Texas), Pittsburgh, Quincy (Illinois) and San Joaquin (California) -- have had a chance to settle into General Convention and focus on the work at hand: committee assignments, legislative sessions, amendments, votes, elections, worship and fellowship.
As the close of General Convention nears, attendees who have remained loyal to the Episcopal Church after leaders of their dioceses departed over theological differences shared their experiences and what they hoped to bring back to their dioceses and parishes.

Across the board, each person interviewed reported a warm welcome from bishops, deputies and visitors. Others often have sought out members of these dioceses to talk about the work they are doing and sometimes simply to ask how things are.

"Many deputies have come by our table to extend a personal welcome and express their support," said Deputy Jan Dunlap (San Joaquin). "Identifying my diocese as San Joaquin is usually met with a big smile and 'glad you're here.'"

Compared to past conventions, this one is not only welcoming but also "less contentious," said Stephen Stagnitta, Pittsburgh alternate lay deputy. "The people I run into are happy to see us here. I had the opportunity to work on the Evangelism legislative committee here and was well-received. The reception is like you would have hoped."

The most recent diocese to experience a split was Quincy. For Deputy Tobyn Miracle, General Convention has been a catharsis of sorts. She described the conflict as a heavy weight that is physically and emotionally exhausting.

More here-

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