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Episcopal, Anglican Letters
Abstract: Reactions to the decision of the Diocese of San Joaquin to disassociate from the Episcopal Church
Responses to the Diocese of San Joaquin's vote to disassociate from the Episcopal Church have begun to pile up.
In an Advent Letter to the Primates of the Anglican Communion, The Most Reverend Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury commented extensively on the tension between the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church.
If you are have lost patience with the "journey together faithfully" language that ELCA Lutherans use to talk about their disagreements over the participation of LGBT people in the church, read Archbishop Williams' letter in its entirety. Here's an excerpt:
A great deal of the language that is around in the Communion at present seems to presuppose that any change from our current deadlock is impossible, that division is unavoidable and that any such division represents so radical a difference in fundamental faith that no recognition and future co-operation can be imagined. I cannot accept these assumptions, and I do not believe that as Christians we should see them as beyond challenge, least of all as we think and pray our way through Advent.
Episcopal Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has written to San Joaquin BishopJohn-David M. Schofield to ask for clarification of his status:
I assume that this means you understand yourself to have departed the Episcopal Church and are no longer functioning as a member of the clergy in this Church.
I would like to have confirmation from you of this understanding of your status. Many interrelated matters depend on that status – for example, your membership in the House of Bishops and the acceptability of pension contributions on your behalf.
And finally, The Rev. Fred Risard, Vicar of St. Nicholas in Atwater, CA has written to Bishop Schofield inquiring about the bishop's plan to visit the congregation December 23 and asking for clarification about his status as a bishop in the Episcopal Church:
"We would like you to state to us your pastoral and canonical relationship with St. Nicholas Episcopal Church, and myself,
You publicly stated at our diocesan convention that you no longer are the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, and instead you are a Bishop within the Province of the Southern Cone. As such, we understand your visit is simply to worship with us; there will be no liturgical role for you, neither celebrating nor preaching. The Episcopal Church welcomes all, and you are most welcome to worship, with the purpose of seeking transformation and reconciliation."