Bright, brisk and buzzing

It is alliteration day here at Daily Episcopalian, a bright, brisk morning on the buzzing close of Washington National Cathedral. I got here just after 8:15 and found a knot of about thirty people already queued up at the west entrance of the Cathedral for the opening of the big front doors, which is scheduled for 10. Taxi cabs streamed down south road, and here and there, I spotted bishops with their rochets and chemires (spell check wants to make that rockets and chemises) slung over their shoulders in dry cleaning bags walking toward the Way of Peace entrance on the south side of their church.

I attended some of the Episcopal Majority gathering yesterday and the Episcopal Divinity School reception (they were gracious enough to serve as an unofficial gathering place from members of Episcopal Communicators) at a hotel on Woodley Road. I missed the presentation by David Booth Beers, chancellor of the Episcopal Church, on property issues, but I caught up with Nan Cobbey of Episcopal Life and Steve Waring of the Living Church when I caught up with him at the reception he gave me the distinct impression that Beers had committed news, so I will be watching the Living Church site for further developments.

My initial impression, based mostly on scuttlebutt and some brief conversations with friends who work and Church Center and in the secular press, is that Bishop Jefferts Schori’s administration, for lack of a better word, will be marked by more directness and openness that was Bishop Griswold’s, and that this will reduce anxiety levels in the church.

Here’s a round up of recent news:

Pat McCaughan of ENS covered the Episcopal Majority meeting. EM’s own coverage of its events is here. Mark Harris, who has been elected to the EM steering committee says

Rachel Zoll of the AP and Jane Lampman of the Christian Science Monitor have written profiles of Bishop Jefferts Schori.

Meanwhile, as Steve Levin reports in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: The Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh voted yesterday at its annual diocesan convention to withdraw from a national church province and seek alternative oversight.

I don’t so much mind that they voted to do this. I take it as an expression of conscience. But that they held their convention on this particular weekend will be interpreted in most quarters, as petty.

“Today’s actions are clearly illegal under the canon law of our church,” observed Dr. Joan R. Gundersen, president of Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh (PEP), the group that led opposition to the resolution.” The constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church allow for only one Presiding Bishop, one House of Bishops, and require the General Convention to approve any change in provincial assignments. This diocese is asking individuals outside The Episcopal Church to intervene where they have no authority,” said Dr. Gundersen.

PEP’s release is here.

Now I am going to go look for Stephen Bates of the Guardian. Have you ever been to a reunion at which they give a prize to the person who traveled the greatest distance to be there? Steve flew in last night from Islamabad where he was covering Prince Charles’ trip to Pakistan. I am sure he will need some coffee.

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