Sunday, March 30, 2008

Good News From San Joaquin!

From Episcopal Life:

A jubilant celebration of Holy Eucharist concluded the March 29 special convention in the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin and made official Bishop Jerry Lamb's role as provisional bishop.

"What you have been about and what I have been about these last months, weeks, days, even hours is not really about building a new diocesan structure," Lamb said during his sermon. "As I understand it, what we are about is the proclamation of the Good News that Jesus is the Christ and that we do this from within the base of our Episcopal and Anglican tradition because that's who we are: members of the Episcopal Church and members of the Anglican church."

Half of the offertory was assigned to Lamb's discretionary fund and the other half, Lamb told the congregation to loud and sustained applause, would be given to the Diocese of Louisiana, which continues to rebuild after hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori led Lamb and the congregation through his formal seating as provisional bishop. That part of the service included recognition that Lamb had been duly chosen and accepted by the members of the diocese.

I had tears of joy in my eyes as I read about the glorious weekend of the convention and the installation of Provisional Bishop Lamb and tears of gratitude in my eyes as I read of the sacrificial giving by the Diocese of San Joaquin to the Diocese of Louisiana, my diocese, at the time that the people of San Joaquin have such great needs of their own in rebuilding their diocese.

"It is about how you and I will rebuild this Episcopal diocese so that at its core it will proclaim and live the Gospel or Jesus Christ," he said. "The diocese must have its roots firmly in Christ Jesus and live out the baptismal promises we all have renewed in one way or another this past week."

Lamb acknowledged that "there is no getting around the point that this is a very, very unique situation in the life of the Episcopal Church and in the life of this diocese."

"These past years and months have left hurt and confusion. We came together both last night and today to heal and seek God's will for our next steps in the journey to wholeness in the body of Christ and to answer our call to proclaim the Good News."

Everyone involved heeds "God's presence and grace," Lamb said.

"We also need each other and we also need those who are not here for one reason or another," he added. "Whether they are hurt or confused or fearful, I believe our first obligation is to reach out to others in this diocese and to invite them to come home. And when they do come home, brothers and sisters, they must be welcomed with the love of Christ and into the open arms of the community. And it will not be easy. There is much re-structuring -- re-building -- to be done. We will begin in an attitude of reconciliation."

From another article in Episcopal Life:

[Presiding Bishop] Jefferts Schori had told the participants earlier that the convention had been called because Bishop John-David Schofield had been deposed or removed from his diocesan seat after having abandoned the communion of the Episcopal Church, and because the Standing Committee removed because it took actions "which violated their ability to hold office in this church."


  1. This is so wonderful. May God bring healing and new life.

  2. Rev SS, I rejoice with them. It sounds like a joyful and healing weekend.

  3. Signs of growth, renewal and grace. Halelujah.

  4. God bless Bishop Lamb and all the members of his new flock!

    (But would someone PLEASE tell that wonderful man that it is impossible for something to be "very, very unique"?!?! Things are either unique or they aren't....grrr. Pet editing peeve, can you tell? ;-)

  5. Doxy, I latch on to stuff like that, too, and the misuse of unique really irks.

    Kirstin, alleluia, indeed!

  6. My mom the English teacher and editor used to harp on the "unique thing." She wanted to make sure I never forgot!
    This is wonderful news with real signs of hope coming out of San Joaquin. The real Episcopalians in that area must be truly relieved. May God be praised.


Anonymous commenters, please sign a name, any name, to distinguish one anonymous commenter from another. Thank you.