Brought to my attention today was an Episcopal News Service release that says there will be an online audience venue for the January 26 Remain Episcopal rally in Hanford, CA, and that part of the online agenda is the ability of the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church to speak to that rally.
Big insensitivity issue. Big inclusivity issue. Big diversionary issue for this Church. Howso? At the same time that Fr. Mark Lawrence will be consecrated the bishop of South Carolina in Charleston — where truly this Church’s attention should be focused — the two elected leaders of General Convention will be on display, in what could now be considered the uninvited intrusion of a bishop in another diocese, the business of Authority being unsettled. It may be the Prerogative of the Presiding Bishop to make visits to all the dioceses within her term of office, but not without the permission of the diocesan. I don’t know that she asked, and I don’t know if she got it, but I kinda doubt it.
So here is the most contemporary living symbol of the Episcopal Church being able to include within its life and leadership as a truly inclusive Church — I’m talking about South Carolina’s election, and the consent to the election by a majority of the House of Bishops and Standing Committees, and the scheduled consecration of Mark Lawrence to that office and ministry — being allowed to be oppositely and constrastingly scheduled against by these two other most visible leaders of the Episcopal Church. People in control of the calendars had to know what they were doing. South Carolina was on the schedule first. For months. Then came Remain Episcopal and Bonnie Anderson. Then today the Presiding Bishop. Bad form. Insensitive. Really rude. Other words.