Comments

The following comments were made in response to the referenced posts during General Convention. They have been placed on this page for reader accessibility.

Bishop’s Video Report:

  • Gary: liked your video, looks like it was hard to keep a straight face about the same sex thing again. I can remember when you and I had a good 30 min phone call one day about this same subject some 9 years or more ago right after you took over as Bishop. I just want you to know my values and beliefs are the same as they were. I dont believe that same sex marriges should be blessed in our churches anywhere. I just have to wonder how much of this is based on worries and fears about getting into lawsuits, not about following what’s in black and white in the Bible. I hope the best for you and that you can stay the course. Lee Underwood
  • Great job Bishop Gary!!! Peace, Tim Small

Comments:

  • I find it both interesting and disappointing that the word “sin” does not appear to be addressed in the dialogue on the National Convention’s decision to support the blessing of same sex unions by the Episcopal Church. It is clear to me that the Episcopal Church of the USA has voted to follow the path of political correctness and become “of the world” rather than “of the word.” It is with deep sadness that I can no longer remain a part of this denomination. – Thomas Perry
  • Well isn’t it nice that you feel comfortable in censoring the legitimate comments of the people of this church! Why should anyone bother with your half-baked comment system? Don’t you think that readers can discriminate for themselves when reading ALL the comments? – Phillip Woodward
  • I want to thank everyone from the communications team, our representatives, our Bishops and anyone else connected (before, during or after) with this convention. This is the first time during convention that I have been so informed and thus included in the Church’s business. I really appreciated being able to follow along through the internet. It was a grand experience. I hope this will become common use for all future events in our diocese. In fact I would like to receive a weekly audio message from one or both of our bishop’s. What a great idea that would be. We are truly blessed in our diocese with clergy and lay persons as well as our resources. Again Thank You for a job well done. Peace and Blessings. Frances Aboud, Church of the Good Shepherd, Corpus Christi, Texas
  • Thank you for your faithful reporting all through Convention. – Wilma Heberling
  • The Diocese mediator/monitor of comments has my original from earlier this morning, and I trust it will be read by my Bishop. As for this writting, I certainly applaud the removal of any derogatory comments aimed at another commentator; however, to remove all of the positive ones and those expressing constructive criticisms seems like a censorship of free speech. – Dr. Bruce Thomson
  • We sure don’t need no stinking harsh language, now do we in discourse on a very, very controversial subject. – Patrick Adams
  • Thank you, Dept. of Communications, for your blogs during the General Convention. I enjoyed getting timely updates. I, however, was not upset by the various approved resolutions. i wanted to send kudos your way for a job well done. Paz. – Gerald Sharp, St. Andrew’s, San Antonio
  • YOU PEOPLE REALLY ARE HOPELESS!!!!! If we don’t agree with your narrow view we don’t get heard. SHAME ON YOU!!! – Phillip Woodward

 

Letter from the Deputation:

  • Thank you all for your kind letter re. the high profile resolution of this current General Convention. However, I would have really been impressed with you and your important journey IF you could/would have closed your letter with how each of you voted. We know how our Bishops voted, why are your votes not included in your lovely epistle? – Forrest Anderson
  • Since more than 70% of the bishops, clergy, and lay delegates (previously reported) voted FOR the motion to allow the blessing of same gender relationships, it is clear that West Texas is in the small minority (assuming most of our delegates voted against). I am reminded that West Texas and Northwest Texas were the last two dioceses (in the 1960′s) to vote to allow women to serve on vestries and be delegates to diocesan council. May we change our minds and hearts on this one, too. – The Rev. Alan Conley {ordained 1959}
  • I too would like to know how our delegates voted on this issue. I am profoundly disappointed in how our bishops voted. Having served in the military in the south during the fight for civil rights in the 60’s it is amazing to me that the the arguments presented to preserve the discriminatory practices against gays and lesbians are the same as those used against African Americans. – Layman Hendrex
  • By what authority is General Convention allowed to take these actions changing the plain teaching of the WORD? – JS
  • It is with the greatest respect that I also would add my voice to Mr. Anderson’s request to poll the delegates. It also seems to me that using words like :”the blessing of same gender relationships” is soft pedaling the issue of the Church marrying lesbians and gays. And, whatever we remember about the issuing of rights to women, permitting openly gay people to lead our church, is not acceptable to me. Because 70% or 50% vote for, does not make it the correct thing to do. I will follow closely the committee of 50 as they consider how the diocese implements this resolution. Then I will search my heart and decide what community of faith is home. – Lola Roseberry, St. Barnabas, Fredericksburg
  • The LGBT community is a very small minority of the population yet have led a charge in the church that will have repercussions throughout the Anglican community and potentially endanger christians living in Muslim areas of the world. The Episcopal Church has turned its back on centuries of tradition and biblical theology. I am wrestling with the current change in the theology of The Episcopal Church and will continue to study the issue and pray that I can come to understand what the impact will be on the intrepretation of the bible and our Church. I sat at General Convention and attended an open hearing on the issue. During the open hearing, those who were for the change alternated speaking with those who were opposed. Those for the change discussed the discrimination they had received as LGBT and how they felt included in various Episcopal churches. Several had been in monogamous relationships for many years. Most spoke of the love that they shared. None had any biblical or theological support for their relationship except that the sharing of Christ’s love. Those speaking against spoke of their understanding of theology, church tradition, impact on the Anglican Communion and the potential danger that Christians in Muslim countries could face. Similar discussions were held in the House of Bishops prior to the vote. I was a visitor to the Convention and was there to learn. I left confused and somewhat disheartened. Our Bishops were outstanding in their comments and understanding. May God continue to Bless our Church. – Steve Denney
  • I echo Brother Anderson’s sentiments regarding the individual votes cast by the DWTX Deputation! You are empowered to represent us at the General Convention and it would be essentially nice to know exactly how we were represented by disclosing your votes.
    I fear most that the overall direction our Church is taking, as reflected in the 70%+ Bishops, clergy and lay delegates voted to adopt this radical (my views) departure from our basic tenets, will alienate the USA Church even further in our relationship with the World Church. I personally am friends with a lesbian, and have professional associations with other lesbians and gays, all of whom are good people. Nonetheless, I cannot condone their sexual lifestyle and personally feel betrayed and saddened by the Convention’s position to bless such unions and allow for the ordination of transgenders. Our Church should not be swayed by the “political correctness” of the day, but should, in my humble opinion, stay focused on the Biblical teachings found in the Good Book.
    Should the committee that meets in August recommend to our Bishop that DWTX adopt liturgies for such blessings, and he so implements the recommendation, I for one, would regretfully have to abandon the Episcopal Church – Dr. Bruce Thomson

HOD Concur Same-Gender Blessing:

  • The Episcopal Church is slowly learning to love the way Jesus does!! – The Rev. Alan Conley

Same-Sex Blessing Passes in House of Bishops:

  • Bishop Nathan Baxter, bishop of the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania, said we have struggled around this conversation for almost 40 years. “Unless we take a certain movement, the conversation will stop… this provisional liturgy allows us to continue the conversation and our journey, to learn from each other and make mistakes.”
    Sorry, I hear this alot, and it makes no sense. Move forward with this, so that we can continue the conversation, learn and make mistakes….really? Moving forward all but stops the conversations, except to convince the dissenters. And as for making mistakes, that’s the whole point of continuing in prayer and conversation to try to clearly discern the mind of the Christ on this issue. If there’s even a concern that it might be a mistake, then wait on it…or it could cost us dearly.
    I’m not writing this as a partisan, altho admittedly I’m opposed. I’d really like to believe that my views would be the same even if I believed otherwise. Rather I’m writing about due process for clarity in spiritual discernment for the life of the Church. I’m not getting a sense from some of the comments that this is foremost in the minds of some bishops. Seems their minds are already made up….further conversation is pointless. So be it. It’s done now. But that’s just my 2 cents worth. – Father Randy Melton
  • It is very discouraging to see that over 70% of our bishops voted in favor of this resolution. – Michael Burroughs
  • Generally and Conventionally Speaking There are a number of perspectives through which to view our church today that may shed some light on our situation. The one that comes most readily to my mind is the dialectic of “Law” and “grace (or gospel)” that entered the tradition most forcefully in the Reformation.
    Simplistically put, the Law demands righteousness; grace gives righteousness. Since everyone is something of a sinner, we cannot meet the Law’s demands for total righteousness. Further, since righteousness is necessary for salvation, there is no salvation for us through the Law. We are saved by grace, by grace alone. This grace of saving righteousness given in Christ is received by faith alone, meaning that this salvation is never anything other than God’s gift to us. There is no point in Christian living when this is not the case. No matter how much better/righteous we become in response to this grace in Christ, we never become so good that we don’t need it. We never outgrow the need for grace to frame and permeate our lives.
    Paul Tillich famously termed grace as “unconditional acceptance.” In the therapeutic culture of the church of his day, Tillich’s description of grace was eagerly embraced, while the necessary “condition” for unconditional acceptance—namely, Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf—was left hanging to die the slow death of numerous qualifications. Emphasizing that there were no preconditions to the salvation given in Christ, that it is given by grace and received by faith, had the unintended historical consequence of minimizing anything resembling a “normative response” to grace. Indeed, any normalizing of response came to be seen as a denial of our unconditional acceptance, a denial of the gospel.
    This seems to be where the church is today in many respects. The boundaries that constitute a life affirming response to the gospel of grace have been stretched to the snapping point. Normative parameters are frequently framed these days as denials of grace. But normative parameters do not deny grace; rather, they affirm our humanity.
    Radical existentialists notwithstanding, and gladly conceding freedom to be an integral element of human being, we are not infinitely pliable creatures. We have a nature. There are behaviors that do not enhance, but distort, our humanity. Law in the broad sense is about these life-affirming, creature-fulfilling behaviors, these boundaries. Law in the broad sense gives direction to the effects and life of grace. Law is the portrait of grace in action within the constraints of being human. The particulars of a response to grace may change from culture to culture and time to time, but the fundamental pattern does not. While grace saves us from the impossible demand to be a sinless human being, it doesn’t save us from being human after the pattern of Christ, a “human being fully alive.”
    To paraphrase Calvin, “Grace alone saves, but grace doesn’t save alone.” Grace puts us in God’s favor and back on the path of authentic humanity. Life is walking that path. It is not a walk that can be adequately made by the mere satisfaction of personal preference, however.
    And yet that is what grace is more and more seen to be about: grace is given so that we can fulfill our personal preferences, no matter what their nature or origin. This is far cry from the New Testament and Reformation perspective of saving grace. – Fr. Patrick Barker, Trinity Church, Searcy, Arkansas
  • Thank you Bishops Lillibridge, Reed, Doyle and Harrison. I appreciate your standing up and speaking so reasonably about this subject. – Lauren Smith

Bishops Pass Denominational Health Plan/Health Plan to Move Forward:

  • Seems only fair for all full time employees to have the same benifits. Otherwise you get into the crap like our Washington govt. of different rules for different folks. – Phillip Woodward
  • Momma said “If you do not have something nice to say, do not say it!” however, come 2015 the Affordable Health Care Act etc will dedermine physician reimbursment for each encounter based on QUALITY of CARE metrics established for each diagnosis code with a Medical Value modifier ( #life-years added) by the treatment etc. The volatility of cash flow will be such that groups smaller than three will not survive. How would the INCUMBENCY like to have their revenue based on an arbitrary production scheme–so much for a baptism, so much for a pledging unit, etc As my brother, a retired priest, said “Us old ones got to get off this mortal stage ASAP!” /s/ James M Duncan, MD DWTX, St Andrew’s, SATX

Deputies Say PB May Retain Diocesan Seat:

  • As my old friend Bishop Scottfield Bailey said: ” Ninety percent of the Bishop’s job was just showining up! The other ten percent was to say ‘NO”. The diocesean bishops need a leader they can physically go to that is not encumbered with secular concerns of budget and scismatics, etc of any one diocese. The duty of the laity is capital formation for the preservation of scared places from whence our ordained clergy send us forth into the world. It is the duty of the ordained to define our gifts given unto us by grace and faith in the risen Lord.
    What is needed is for the ordained to coordinate the seminaries by the question of WHY(Theology-a venture into infinity for which there is but one answer: BECAUSE,,via the language of discernment and prayer) and their work product so that the laity’s FAITH may be bouyed up sufficient knowing to defend the Church in this world of finitie limitations goverened by the questions of HOW (Scientific-the methodology of measurement and testing via the language of mathematics.) and of WHEREFOREOF (Phylosophy-Morals/Ethics/Epistomology/Logic/ and Politics via the language of debate.)
    Any structure that does not recognized FREEDOM and the coordination of gifts will fail. A Presiding Bishop cannot also be a Diocesean Bishop ! – James M. Duncan, St. Andrew’s, San Antonio
  • If a presiding Bishop is truely and fully doing their job they shouldn’t have time to also do the job of a diocesean Bishop. – Phillip Woodward

Marriage Study Recommended:

  • Ask wrong question, get wrong answer! Morals are phylosophy in the finite world we live. Theology is religion in the infinite world, The methodology of inquiry forms the question in different language. Morals (the finite uses Debate.) whereas Theology (the infinite uses Discernment.) Seminaries teaching MORAL THEOLOGY instill confusion in the priesthood from the get go. The two areas must be carefully disceted so that a meaningful PROBLEM can be postulated in order to gather the DATA for consideration in order to have a concise DISCUSSION of the vetted data bearing on the problem so that a carefully circumscribed RECOMMENDATION be put forth. Reading a seminary catalogue here past, I saw an elective course on the Gospel of the New York Times. Good Lord deliver us! Faithfully yours in Christ, James M Duncan, MD DWTX, St Andrew’s, SATX.

Convention Wrap-Up:

  • Grateful thanks to Laura and all the others who made this up to date information available to us. – Jo Bourke
  • We are particularly grateful to Bishops Lillibridge and Reed for their audio reports which succinctly described the “doings” at Convention. We are sorely disappointed with some of the Conventions actions, however. – Wilma Heberling

Opening Remarks:

  • It seems to me that Ms. Anderson’s history of the Episcopal Church begins at the bottom of the 8th inning. – Robert Hibbs

Convention at a Site Near You:

  • Austin would be a great city. The Texas dioceses would make wonderful hosts. We also wouldn’t have to drive very far. – Kelly Harris

Triennial Recognizes DWTX:

  • Great job DWTX ladies! – Kelly Harris
  • Yea! for the women of the Diocese of West Texas!!!! – Patty Brooke

5K Turns Loss into Tribute:

  • Not only do we, in the Diocese of West Texas, have an outstanding Bishop, we also have been blessed with an outstanding wife of a Bishop! – Wilma Heberling

Vasquez Sees GC Through Art:

  • How blessed we are to claim Enedina as one of our own in DWTX. Her artistic gifts are equalled only by the faith she shares through each piece she creates. – Barbara Duffield

Photos:

  • This picture may need to re-appear in The Church News. Great photo. – Kelly Harris
  • I thoroughly enjoyed the slide show of all the pictures. A wonderful way to share the convention experience with those of us at home. – Phillip Woodward
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