Day Seven: Live From the House of Bishops

10:31 a.m. The air conditioning is not working. It is hot and humid in here since there is virtually no difference from the air in here and the air out on the streets of New Orleans. The only difference might be is that it’s also stuffy. The good news is that they opened the drapes and it completely changes the look of the room.

57 bishops participated in the consultation in Madrid. We’re hearing a report on this “consultation” – it was a wonderfully productive time, we are learning. Now he’s making an appeal. The invitations were extended with partnerships or relationships or those who wanted to “explore new relationships” – with Africa we presume (so it’s an attempt to oppose the Global South partnerships, but of course, this bishop doesn’t say that). When he says “relationships” he means “money.” Remember, when KJS returned from Dar Es Salaam she wanted to take the long view and convert the rest of the Communion to the Episcopal Church point of view. That mission has not changed, apparently.

Now we are hearing from Clay Matthews on DEPO.

They’ve received a list of all the priests who have been deposed – these include priests who have gone to places like AMiA. The bishops are now clarifying what congregations are doing what. They are reporting what their attorneys have told them about where the residency of the priests are. The are talking about the “deposed bishop of Brazil” and making a real deal about calling him the “deposed bishop of Brazil.” But I understand that all the parishes and clergy who have aligned with Brazil have gone to CANA. I wonder if the bishops know that.

Now they are talking about how the Primate of Rwanda and one bishop of Kenya have established congregations in his diocese. Now we are hearing more and more bishops talk about all the congregations and clergy who have left. I think what point they are trying to make is that there are all these “border crossings” that have been going on in TEC. We heard earlier that this is one issue that the bishops were particularly exercised about what they view as “border crossings” (as though the votes of the people do not matter to them, as though they are lords of the manner and how dare these churches seek refuge elsewhere, but never mind). Now we are hearing about congregations who have left – there’s a long line –

It’s clear that they’ve brought the media all back in here to listen to this recitation by bishops of all the clergy and churches who have departed TEC. But they want to make the point that foreign bishops have invaded their territory. This is such a propaganda moment. They are just going on and on about individual churches and clergy who have left and naming the overseas providences where these parishes have gone. And sometimes they even chuckle about it, there’s no pain, no sorrow over this. Nothing.

Bishop Lee hasn’t said anything.

10:58 Now KJS is speaking to the House. What is the most surprising part of this ministry? She says the media interest. She wants to talk about the mission work of TEC and not about the conflict (the conflict in the headlines is not reality in 95% of this church, she says).

There will be a new videocast coming up, she says. She said she’s reserving a time for a potential meeting next fall after Lambeth for an HOB meeting.

She’s says that Rayford High and Duncan Grey have also volunteered to work as “Episcopal Visitors” and would take others if they want to do it to.

It’s starting to cool down in here, looks like they got the air conditioning working.

The Diocese of South Carolina has invited PB to the diocese in February, invited by Mark Lawrence and Bishop Salmon to the Diocese. That’s interesting news. Not sure when the consecration is scheduled – that would be worth finding out.

Now she’s talking about the reorganization of 815 and the anxiety over the reorganization. The reason is not like in the past over financial issues, but over “mission strategy,” she says. Now they are passing out the reorganization information.

They are talking about the reasons they are reorganizing 815. Even Matt has stopped typing.

I was just whispering with one of the national reporters here and she thought that the bishops standing up and talking about all the parishes leaving backfired on them. The way they talked (for example, the PB talked about the “Secret Church of Jesus Christ”) was jocular, not sorrowful. But I think it’s significant that Bishop Lee did not participate in that “event.”

Now they are taking a break and will go into Executive Session.

Wait, I just saw John Howe – so John Howe is still here. He just walked by in a red shirt. So he’s still here. I’ve edited the post to reflect that.