Apparently, the Senior Warden fell on his sword last Friday, asking the Bishop's Canon why he couldn't hold even a general or committee meeting in my absence. He was given the response that the Rector is in charge of the church and no meetings can be held without my consent. Apparently, he told the Canon's secretary that the Bishop's position on this was just "wrong". The Canon's secretary then told him that the Canon will have a chat with him today (Tue). Trust me that will not be a pleasant, affable "chat".
The Bishop won't allow any meetings to be held in my absence, period. To allow the Senior Warden to do this would be to recognize his presumed authority in the church. The Diocesan response has been to treat him like a "lame duck" by ignoring him - which is what I have done as well.
Meanwhile, the emails are flying from other Vestry members who, despite their criticism of me and Catherine, are nonetheless concerned as to the exact meaning of the Bishop's letter. If I haven't read this to you, I need to - it was a good letter.
I believe there are a lot of folks at St John’s who believe I am not returning. The surprise will be on them come September 5th. Hang on - all of this is about to hit the fan. Keep the ministry at St John’s in your prayers. It's about time for me to run off the wolves and rescue the sheep and restore God's fold! I'm getting stronger every day, thanks be to God!
By the way, please keep this email address in your book as my private address and write to me at this address rather than my Yahoo (SBC Global) addresses. Feel privileged - only a few people have this address. It's just more private and secure for me. Blessings!
A few parishioners were surprised that I didn't return to resign. I told the congregation in my sermon that there would be healing - and justice. At the announcements, I told the congregation that I remained faithful to my discernment process and that when it was completed, I would let them know. Then I said I was glad to be their Rector, which raised a few shocked eyebrows! It feels good to put others on the defensive for a change.
Overall, it was a good day. Hopefully, I will talk to the Senior Warden this week and let him know that the Diocese has given me two options: stay or leave. I will tell him that if I choose to stay, he will be terminated as Senior Warden and the Vestry will have to undergo classes on what it means to be a Vestry. If I choose to leave, I will let the vestry know. But it will be at a time of my choosing. Meanwhile, he will conform to my decisions as the Rector and strive to mend the fences he has broken. I'm certain he will comply, aren't you?
At any rate, whether I choose to stay or go, I communicated the fact to the Church today in a very low-key manner that I am still the rector and still in charge of St John’s.
Saw Alexis today - she will chat with me before returning home this Friday. That's the news - hope you are well.
That's a shame about Alexis. I really thought she was ready to move on after she encountered her father and was less than satisfied with the outcome. The less she has to do with him, the better. She really doesn't need to be calling him if the effects on her are negative. You and Brian probably need to talk to him about the impact his words have on his daughter. If he wants to keep in touch with her (does he even care?), he will have to change the nature of his discourse with her to avoid making statements about you.
Sounds like you have a lot going on! As to church, go to the Anglican Church. You may not like the orientation, but it's as close to the Catholic faith as you can get. The Methodists are mired in the same problems as we are. Besides, sooner or later, many of us Episcopalians will be Anglican anyway.
Blessings to all of you. Thanks for your email.
Sent: Monday, December 04, 2006 5:07 PM
Glad you arrived home safely!
I read your letter. It is how you feel and feelings are non-negotiable. It appears as though the former Senior Warden will once again assume control of the church. It is my understanding that the present Senior Warden and Junior Warden will resign after January 28. That would be a good time for you to submit your resignation as well. I know
The problems you mention in your letter are inherent at St. John's - they are built right into the fabric of the parish. The church had an opportunity to move forward to greater possibilities by becoming a parish. They have chosen to reject this opportunity. As a result, God has placed me elsewhere. Whenever a church rejects the prophet's mission, that is an indication that God will move that priest along to someone who may accept his mission and vision for the church. That's how I see things right now.
Thanks so much for your support and friendship. As always, let's continue to keep in touch!