San Joaquin pushes back convention; in ‘wait-and-see’ mode

The Living Church reports Bishop Schofield of San Joaquin has pushed back the date of the diocese’s convention from October to December:

The Rev. Van McCalister, public relations officer for the diocese, said the change in date was primarily made to give the voting members of convention time for prayer and careful consideration of the unusually large number of important events scheduled this fall. These include the fall meeting of the House of Bishops, at which the bishops are expected to consider requests made of The Episcopal Church by the primates of the Anglican Communion.

“We are very aware of the fact that this is a very important transitional moment, no matter how the vote goes,” Fr. McCalister said. “We’re just in a ‘wait-and-see’ mode right now, however.”

Last year diocesan clergy and lay delegates approved the first reading of controversial changes to remove language acknowledging the diocese as a constituent part of The Episcopal Church from its constitution and canons. In order to be approved, the changes must pass at two consecutive conventions. If approved it is possible that the diocese would face a legal challenge.

In June, the national Executive Council approved a resolution declaring “null and void” changes by several dioceses, including San Joaquin, to qualify their accession to national church bylaws. David Booth Beers, the Presiding Bishop’s chancellor, and the House of Bishop’s Task Force on Property Disputes are also on record in opposition to such changes.

Fr. Snell said he was not certain that clergy and lay delegates would spend much time considering how national church leaders would react after the final vote on the proposed canonical changes. Civil litigation could have far-reaching implications.

Read it all here.

The Right Rev. John-David Schofield is a member of the Anglican Communion Network.

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