More San Joaquin congregations opt to remain


Episcopal Life reports:

A growing number of Episcopalians in the Diocese of San Joaquin are opting to remain within the Episcopal Church (TEC), as the Fresno-based diocese prepares for an anticipated March 29 special convention that would elect a provisional bishop.

The Presiding Bishop appointed [the Rev. Canon Bob] Moore, and later the Rev. Canon Brian Cox, as an interim pastoral presence to continuing Episcopalians after 42 of 47 diocesan congregations voted in December to leave TEC and to realign with the Argentina-based Anglican Province of the Southern Cone.

In the absence of ecclesiastical authority, the Rev. Mark Hall, rector of St. Anne’s Church in Stockton and the senior active priest in San Joaquin, is also serving as temporary diocesan administrator.

Membership in the continuing diocese is growing with 17 congregations remaining with TEC and the possibility of more coming on board. “Some are start-up and some are continuing congregations,” Hall said. About five others are also considering continuing with TEC, added Hall, who is a steering committee member.

Delegates to the anticipated March 29 convention will, in addition to electing a provisional bishop, also elect the standing committee, deputies to General Convention, provincial representatives and diocesan officers.

Michael Glass, a San Rafael attorney who represents many of the continuing Episcopalians, said Title III. Canon 13, Section 1 provides for the election of the provisional bishop “in consultation with the Presiding Bishop.”

Glass predicted additional congregations will also “come out of the woodwork” and decide to remain with TEC after the election.

Getting the word out has been a significant challenge, said St. Anne’s Hall. “Because of the nature of how things have been … people were kept from talking to each other and … we’ve been marginalized.” He said that Episcopal Life’s monthly newspaper and other church-wide publications were unavailable within most of the diocese for at least a decade.

See also this earlier post today on the Southern Cone.

Thursday morning update

Remain Episcopal page on the March 29 convention here.

The Living Church has a story here.

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