From Sarah Hey at Stand Firm:
Saturday, December 12, 2009 • 2:29 pm
Clergy and lay leaders [delegates] elected Andrew Waldo as bishop of the diocese.
Waldo counts Bishop Robinson as his "mentor," seeks to institute same sex blessings after General Convention approves a rite, counts Jesus as "my way" and "my truth," and practices Communion of the Unbaptized, in violation of the national church canons, at his parish.
I am very sad for my diocese. It is a tragic loss for those of us who love the diocese and had hoped to see its revitalization and growth. Except in small occasional pockets, that is not to be over the coming two decades or so.
What does this mean, practically speaking?
It means immediate losses of membership and money, as some informed conservatives determine to leave the diocese based on this election. In those instances, I hope very much that the people leaving will do their duty:
-- write a thoughtful, loving letter explaining your action and reasons for leaving
-- send it to your rector and other parish clergy, the vestry [don't copy them -- it won't be passed on to them -- you'll need to mail it], and any other laity in your parish whom you know
-- send it to all those in the diocese with whom you've been connected
-- and send me a copy to consider posting here at StandFirm [you can use the Private Message function here at StandFirm]
And then, as has occurred in the past 7 years, it means further slow decline and losses of attendance from parishes, as other conservative parishioners come to "the end" of their acceptance of the innovations of The Episcopal Church on a national level, as well as, in the coming years, on a diocesan level.
Rough estimates are a further decline in average Sunday attendance of between 1000 and 1500 over the next 7 years. And 20 or more parishes ultimately closing as a result of those losses [and the losses of more than 10% in attendance in the past 7 years].
When God judged Israel -- time and time again -- it usually involved allowing them to take the consequences of their continued sins of commission and omission. Certainly we'll have consequences in this diocese. Consequences come from choices.
Our clergy and lay leaders made choices today that will have consequences long into our diocese's future.