Andee Zetterbaum, Ejae Brown, Richard Cress and Jim “Corky” Kuykendall were scheduled to represent St. John’s as delegates in the diocese’s vote on whether to leave Episcopal Church USA, but they were forbidden from voting because St. John’s vestry decided last week to not pay its dues to the diocese [of San Joaquin], Zetterbaum said. St. John’s owed about $22,000, she added.
The vestry voted to not pay its dues to the diocese, Zetterbaum said, because “we didn’t want the money going to some group other than the Episcopal Church.”
Not only were St. John’s delegates ineligible to vote on Saturday, they weren’t allowed to sit with the delegates or speak from the floor, Zetterbaum said.
Meanwhile, although the Union-Democrat headline reads “Episcopal church members mixed on split” the article is mostly about the seccessionists. It does say “Many have decided, especially those opposed to the realignment, to stay quiet until the situation unfolds over the next few weeks.”
The Bakersfield Californian manages to get viewpoints from both sides:
Amanda Gaona, 62, a social worker and an All Saints parishioner for the past six years, said Jefferts Schori is “biblically sound.” She said San Joaquin diocesan bishop the Rt. Rev. John-David Schofield and Riebe “misquote her, they mislead people, they give half-truths.”
But she knows she is in the minority at All Saints.
“We’ve had bishops within the Episcopal Church who have said Jesus was not the son of God and he did not rise from the dead,” said John Cavanagh, 50, an air traffic controller and an All Saints parishioner since 1987.
Gaona called Schofield judgmental and divisive. His obesity, she said, opens him up to charges of hypocrisy.
“He role models gluttony and points his finger at someone who’s a homosexual,” she said. “I have said that before to the bishop himself and to my priest.”
Gaona is a member of Remain Episcopal.
Update. Via Media press release follows (read more):
VIA MEDIA USA
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Christopher I. Wilkins, Ph.D., VMUSA Facilitator
Via Media USA Web site: http://viamediausa.org
December 12, 2007
Via Media Decries Destructive Actions of Diocesan Leadership in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin
Via Media USA views with regret the recent decision of Bishop John-David Schofield of San Joaquin to leave The Episcopal Church and join a separate Anglican province. It clearly is an act of abandonment of the communion of the church by the bishop and by those of the clergy who accept certificates declaring them clergy of the Province of the Southern Cone. As individuals, clergy and laity are free to make such decisions, however, and Via Media USA hopes that they will find the spiritual home they now seek.
Our immediate concern is for the continuing Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, whose members have now been abandoned by their leadership and must reconstitute the leadership structure of the diocese. The Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin continues to exist. At least five parishes are part of that continuing diocese, and faithful remnants exist in many other parishes. We hope that others will join them, and we were heartened by the number who attended the post-convention meeting organized by Remain Episcopal (a member of the Via Media USA alliance).
Bishop Schofield’s attempt to use convention votes to transfer the diocese to the Province of the Southern Cone is destructive. As the Presiding Bishop, the House of Bishops, the Executive Council, the president of the House of Deputies, and even the Archbishop of Canterbury have repeatedly made clear, such an action does not lie within the power of either an Episcopal bishop or an Episcopal diocese to enact. It also denies resolutions about the nature of the Anglican Communion affirmed by the bishops of the Communion at multiple meetings of the Lambeth Conference. The attempt to secede is a violation of the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church, of the ordination vows of clergy who voted for the measure, and of obligations that every deputy to the convention assumed upon election as a deputy. Much as a state cannot secede from the federal union, or a city secede from its state, or a neighborhood from a city, an Episcopal diocese cannot secede from The Episcopal Church. Dioceses are legally created by the General Convention of the church. They share in its councils, join in its common mission, and abide by its judgments. Those who lead dioceses hold a sacred trust to guard the unity and faith of the church.
This attempt to “realign” the diocese now requires that the faithful remnant reconstitute the diocese. Bishop Schofield’s continued occupation of the offices of the diocese and his claim to all financial and property resources of the diocese deprives the continuing diocese of resources built up over the history of the diocese—first as a part of the Diocese of California, and then, for a half century, as a missionary district supported directly by The Episcopal Church, and finally as a diocese OF the church. This unnecessary and willful occupation not only will lead to costly litigation, but shows disdain for others with similar views who honorably departed as individuals from The Episcopal Church because they understood this route to be their obligation under the constitution and canons of the church they were leaving.
Our prayers and support go out to those who will continue the ministries in the ongoing, and, eventually, reconstituted and newly led, Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and to those throughout the church and communion who will support them in these efforts. We hope that those who have now left The Episcopal Church will, if they persist on this road, walk it graciously under the terms that the law allows, and not force the church to do all that it could to protect the resources dedicated to its ministries, and to the world that a loving God has called it to serve.