Friday, January 25, 2008

Home at Last

My wife gave birth to our beautiful baby boy on Wednesday, January 23, 2008 at 8:23 PM. He was 8 pounds 6 ounces and 20 inches long! He has a full head of blonde hair. We are very blessed.

You can view pictures from his first day here!

George's First Day Out

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sitting in the Hospital

Well, I am sitting in the hospital with my wife. She's laying in bed. It shouldn't be too much longer now. I can't say that I am freaking out or even that I am anxious. I am tired and a little bored. I've played around on the internet some. Everyone keeps asking if I am freaking out. I keep telling people no. They seem not to believe me, but honestly, I am not freaked out. Maybe I am just different. I don't know. I am not scared, but I am happy.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Threatening Letters

It's rather disappointing to see a church who is supposedly committed to be open-minded and communication only communicate through threats.

The letter, dated January 9 and received by Iker on January 15, was intended to be a pastoral exchange between the Presiding Bishop and Iker, according to Episcopal Church Public Affairs Officer Neva Rae Fox.

In a short statement posted on the Fort Worth website along with a copy of the letter, Iker termed the letter "a second threatening letter."


Pastoral exchange? Pastoral is pertaining to or consisting of shepherds. It's an appropriate word when speaking of the office of Bishop. They are supposed to be a shepherd to their diocese or their followers (in the case of a primate to his or her bishops.) I've never heard of a shepherd knocking a sheep unconscious and dragging him or her back to the fold. These two interpretations are very much not compatible. You cannot be pastoral and threatening at the same time. There are lots of examples of how a good shepherd is supposed to act in the Bible. In fact, Christ is known as the Good Shepherd, and bishops are supposed to represent Christ on Earth. Therefore bishops are supposed to act pastoral not threatening. I suppose this should seem rather obvious to most people, and I shouldn't have to spell it out, but apparently, there are still some confused people out there.

Let's look at why these letters are threatening. I've already posted the second letter here. There is no doubt in anyone's mind, liberal or conservative, after reading the second letter, that the Presiding Bishop will sue the Fort Worth Diocese and Bishop Iker if the diocese leaves. That seems clearly threatening to me. What is a threat? A threat is a declaration of an intention or determination to inflict punishment in retaliation for some action. Do what you are told, or I will sue you. That doesn't seem very pastoral to me.
If your course does not change, I shall regrettably be compelled to see that appropriate canonical steps are promptly taken to consider whether you have abandoned the Communion of this Church -- by actions and substantive statements, however, they may be phrased -- and whether you have committed canonical offences that warrant disciplinary action.


The first letter is clearly threatening as well. Do not leave TEC, or I will devest you. Recent actions show that these threats are not completely empty. The Presiding Bishop has started the process against two other bishops. I am sure you all know about that already, but here is the link anyway.

I suppose there are shades of grey between threatening and pastoral, and there is a need to call back the lost sheep and even go looking for them. However, I feel that the Fort Worth Diocese is not the lost sheep here. The big question is how will all this play out.

Waiting Patiently

So Tuesday, we go to the doctor's office for my wife's regularly schedule pregnancy check ups. The doctor tells us to come in the next day for a sonogram and that he may induce. I get my hopes up, and we go in the following day. Seems the baby has plenty of room after all, and he's not going to induce. I know it's better for my wife and unborn son, but I can't help but be sadden. We'll go see the doctor again Tuesday, and I am trying to wait patiently for our first child.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Web Images

Web Site

Every time I go to TEC's web site, there are pictures of happy people, and I think to myself that doesn't really reflect the church at all. The church is in turmoil. That's just another random thought. I guess they're still trying to convince everyone that's the differences are limited to a few people.

+Schori to +Iker

January 9, 2008
The Rt. Rev Jack L. Iker, D.D.
The Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
2900 Alameda
Fort Worth, TX 76108

Dear Jack,

Thank you for your letter. I believe you have misinterpreted my previous letter. I gave no "acknowledgement that dioceses can and do leave the Episcopal Church." On the contrary, I continue to aver that individuals may leave, but congregations and dioceses do not. I continue to urge you to withdraw from any encouragement of such a belief, or action toward departure, as i believe it to be a violation of the vows we have both repeatedly taken to "conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."

I lament your belief that clergy and laity with your theological position are being systematically eliminated from positions of leadership and influence. If they are disappearing, it is by their own decision and at their own hands. I note how carefully the current and former Presidents of the House of Deputies have been to ensure broad representation in appointment to various church bodies, and know that my predecessors and I have also sought to include all theological positions in appointments within our purview.

You state your concern about those who would stand by their convictions being threatened with depositions and lawsuits. I would also note that depositions and lawsuits have no substance if there has been no violation. Fear of same is probably not rational if there is no basis for same.

I pray that your ministry may be one of abundance in the coming year, and I remain

Your servant in Christ,

Katharine Jefferts Schori


I would say that this is disappointed, but I am not really quite that surprised. I actually rather expected it. There are several things that rather bother me in this letter.

You state your concern about those who would stand by their convictions being threatened with depositions and lawsuits. I would also note that depositions and lawsuits have no substance if there has been no violation. Fear of same is probably not rational if there is no basis for same.

This paragraph, I am choosing to ignore. It makes my head hurt just looking at it. Methinks she isn't saying what she thinks she is saying. Otherwise, I have overestimated the Presiding Bishop.

"conform to the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church."

Yes, yes, I know what it supposed to mean, but I keep reading this and thinking worship of the Episcopal Church. Isn't there something about in the Bible about worshiping false idols? You know somewhere in there. Maybe?

I'll reiterate that I know it means to worship God as defined by the Episcopal Church, but I wonder sometimes.

My prayers and support will continue to be with Bishop Iker and the other dioceses and their bishops.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Bad Vicar

My wife showed me this tonight. I thought it was rather amusing, but I started to wonder. Do liberals really think conservatives act like this? I would hope not.