Friday, January 04, 2008

Can't Even Swim

This is a joke:

The Archbishop of Canterbury urged the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Fort Worth to try to get to know Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori better. After MUCH discussion, the Standing Committee decided to invite the Presiding Bishop on a fishing trip. They just knew she'd refuse to come, and if she did come, she'd have no gear and be all girly about baiting her hook.

But to their surprise and dismay, she agreed to come.

So very early on the morning of the fishing trip, Katharine arrived at the lake in her pickup truck along with her well-used fishing gear.

They all greeted each other and loaded the gear into the boat. They set off into the middle of the lake and found a likely looking spot. Everyone began baiting their hooks. Ryan Reed asked Katharine if she wanted him to bait her hook. She graciously declined, expertly baiting her own hook.

Ryan and Chris Cantrell exchanged looks.

Everyone cast their lines into the water and settled in to wait. After about a half hour, a brisk breeze sprang up and it got decidedly colder.

Katharine said, "Oh, I left my jacket in my truck."

Reed muttered to Cantrell, "Oh great. Now we have to go all the way back to shore to get her jacket."

But Katharine just said, "No. I'll be right back."

Then she got out of the boat and walked across the water to shore, got her jacket, and started walking back across the water to the boat.

Reed and Cantrell watched this for a moment, then looked at each other and said simultaneously, "See? Can't even swim."

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This is not a joke:

-----Original Message-----


From: Suzanne Gill [mailto:sgill@fwepiscopal.org]Sent: Friday, January 04, 2008 5:49 PM


Cc: Bishop Iker; Canon Hough; Tom Hightower; Ryan Reed; Christopher T. Cantrell


Subject: Ad Clerum: A Comment from the Standing Committee

To the Clergy and 2007 Convention Delegates,

The members of your Standing Committee thought you should be aware of this.

The Presiding Bishop has done something which defies explanation. This is the Christmas card she sent to Bishop Iker and presumably other TEC bishops. Given the increasing polarization in TEC (and the Anglican Communion) today, the only reason we can see for her to make this choice is that she is only interested in pushing the polarization just that much further.

The Presiding Bishop is an intelligent woman, so this re-interpretation of Scripture to exclude masculine images must be intentional. This card illustrates in many ways the core problem of the General Convention Church. Scripture cannot be made to conform to us, we must conform our lives and our faith to Scripture. We will continue to stand for the traditional expression of the Faith.

The Standing Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
------------------------------------------------------------------
Here's the card.





The text says,

"Epiphany"

Wise women throughout time and in every culture know themselves to be seekers and seers of the Divine. In Janet McKenzie's interpretation of the Magi, women around the world find an image of the Epiphany that includes and validates their encounters with the One Who Saves, celebrated here in the powerful, protective, and tender manifestation of a mother and her child, embraced and nurtured by a loving community. Here is global inclusiveness and a vision of mutuality and interdependence -- the giving and receiving of the three gifts essential to life itself: presence, love, and daily bread. Epiphany proclaims again and anew: Christ for all people. God's favor extends to all!

-------------------------------------------

The only decent comment in this statement from our Standing Committee is "The presiding bishop is an intelligent woman." It goes rapidly downhill from there.

Here's how these men and the women who follow them see the world:

First of all, there's the phrase "wise women." This is an oxymoron as far as our leadership is concerned.

Then there's the statement that women know themselves to be seers of the Divine. Who are we kidding. Only men get to see the Divine. Women can only have authentic encounters with the One Who Saves through the male priests who lead them.

And then there are the heretical statements -- "Epiphany proclaims again and anew: Christ for all people. God's favor extends to all!"

Not in the Gospel according to the FW Standing Committee. Christ is for straight white males and the males of color who agree with them. God's favor extends only to those these males deem worthy.

I'd laugh if I didn't feel like weeping.

15 comments:

Thomas B. Woodward said...

As comedian Mark Russell was fond of saying several decades ago: "Have you heard that the Episcopal Church is ordaining women as priests? Can you imagine anything so ridiculous as women baptizing babies, teaching the young, feeding the family, healing the sick, reconciling those who are apart, offering forgiveness, comforting the grieving and soothing the dying? Let's get them back in the military and back on the front lines where they belong."

In terms of priestly tasks, oddly enough it is men who are the anomaly.
Tom Woodward

Anonymous said...

From the Gospel of Thomas:

Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."

Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."

And they say it's the liberals who are Gnostics...

Caminante said...

I don't know what else to say to the FW response to the great card other than, 'Pathetic.' [Behind that is: Of what are they so frightened? You said it: the loss of white hetero male privilege.] And I don't laugh, I weep for you. Lee

Muthah+ said...

Sigh. Are we surprised? Are we even amazed? Not after 30 years of this kind of stuff from FT.W. Wish we could blame it on Iker--but no. It is from 25 years of stiff armed isolationism. The Dio of FtW loves being backward. What else can we say? They want to keep up with the Southern Baptists rather than be Anglicans.

SUSAN RUSSELL said...

As I said in another forum: it's about choosing Gonads over Grace.

As for +Katharine's card "defying explanation" what it REALLY defies is the patriarchy ... and THAT'S what the outcry is about!

Keep it up, Katie! And God grant you Her blessings in the struggle!

David said...

Methinks the FW Standing Comm. has way too much time on their hands.

Don't these people have day jobs ?!

Harold said...

Dear Katie,
I've sent the following response to +Iker

Re: Letter from the Standing Committee, Re:++KJS Epiphany Card

Dear Standing Committee,
I think the Standing Committee may also want to be aware of something. I believe it is reactionary statements such as the letter you sent to the Clergy and 2007 Convention Delegates concerning the Presiding Bishop's Epiphany card that are truly polarizing to the Church. I believe in reacting in this manner you are choosing the language of alienation rather than reconciliation.
I feel her actions are easily explained. It was a card sent to celebrate the season. I do not see the card as any type of re-interpretation of scripture. I see the card as an artists rendition of some of those who may have come to celebrate the wonder of the birth of our Lord. The gender of those who came to worship Him is unimportant.
I have no problem including women in the gathering of those who would come to pay homage to the Christ-child. I do not find it hard to envision both men and women bringing their gifts of love, protection, nurturing and safekeeping to our newborn Lord.
I do not feel this card illustrates any problem within the Episcopal Church. In my opinion your response may indicate a lack of acceptance of the gifts all humanity has to share amongst the body of Christ.
I feel the Epiphany card is absolutely lovely and appropriate. I hope you choose to enjoy it and let it enrich the season.

In Christ's Love,
Harold Parkey
Christ the King Episcopal Church
(neither Clergy or a Delegate but a concerned parishioner)

Anonymous said...

This little episode is a wonderful example of the ignorance that is now running the Diocese of Ft. Worth. The sheer stupidity of the response from the Standing Committee is beyond words or reason. What kind of morons could get this bent out of shape over a simple Christmas card? Unbelievable.

10661949 said...

Once again Katie has offered up 'an in your face' statement with absolutely no concern for the current tensions in TEC - may God forgive her words and acts that further our divisions.

Bill Channon said...

I thought it was a pretty dumb joke expecting her to be all 'girlie' and offering to bait her hook. For heavens sake, +Schori is an oceanographer and has probably handled more fish and squid than all of you put together.

As for the card, it's bizarre and says little about the wonderful nature of Jesus' birth.

As for walking on water --- well that's a good joke.

Helen Delano said...

Our preacher this morning (Epiphany) pointed out the the Gospel lesson says very little about the wise men- not how many, or that they were kings, or their names, or most of the beautiful myths that have grown up through the centuries of faithful people retelling the story and adding details that are meaningful to them and now to us. He also noted that the original word for the Magi(by it's endings and grammatical structure) indicated only that at least one of the group was male- nothing about the gender composition of the whole group. I asked later if he had been aware of this message from Ft. Worth, or KJS's greeting card. He had not, it was a coincidence, but a happy one for me, who finds the card beautiful and wishes that the Ft. Worth standing committee could stop escalating the dispute.

Fr. Christopher Cantrell SSC said...

Dear Helen,

My sermon yesterday said much the same as your priest's.

My objection to the PB's card is contextual. I believe it was meant to be provocative.

I get your final point - you poke me in the eye and if I take offense, then I'm guilty of escalating the dispute. Right.

Mary Sue said...

Dear Fr. Christopher Cantrell:
With all due respect, this is not all about you. I'm pretty sure if you asked the Presiding Bishop if she did it to provoke you or in your terms, 'poke you in the eye', she'd say, "Father who?"
Don't take things so personally, it'll do your blood pressure some good.

This is an oxymoron as far as our leadership is concerned.Then there's the statement that women know themselves to be seers of the Divine. Who are we kidding. Only men get to see the Divine.

See, now there's your problem right there, I done saw Divine a couple of times this weekend. There was a John Waters movie marathon at my house in between w1rk and w2rk this weekend.

Fr. Christopher Cantrell SSC said...

Dear Mary Sue,

My blood pressure is fine. I wish the PB had chosen a more traditional card and I said as much. The current atmosphere is charged enough as it is without polarizing Christmas. And I don't take it personally, she didn't send it to me.

The quote you are responding to is Katie's not mine. And the position expressed in it is certainly not mine either. "Would that all God's children were prophets." Peace.

Fort Worth Episcopalian in Exile said...

I am so glad I decided to get out of the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth altogether and find a wonderful church home in the Mid Cities, in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America -- we have women pastors, and Bishop Iker has NO jurisdiction over us.