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Resolutions to Punish TEC



Some diocesan conventions are facing resolutions to punish TEC for
C045 (Consents) and C051 (Blessings).  The most common of these are

1)  Motions of "disassociation" and/or "impaired communion" and
2)  Motions to cutback on diocesan payments to TEC

	Motions of "disassociation" and/or "impaired communion"

The strongest argument against "disassociation" and "impaired
communion" is that no one knows what either means.  The only thing
clear about these declarations is that they intend to shame GC, NH,
and all who gave consent.

Does "impaired communion" mean that a visitor from NH cannot receive
communion in a parish in a diocese that has disassociated?  Does
"disassociation" mean that the disassociating diocese will return to
TEC a proportion of the moneys that pay for DFMS services received in
the diocese related to proportion paid to TEC by the dioceses of
bishops and/or deputies who consented to +Gene's consecration?

I suspect that the proposers of such resolutions would not likely want
to say "Yes" or "No" publicly; their real desire in the resolution is
to express emotions, not to establish policy.  They could do that much
more clearly without using the nebulous terms "disassociate" and
"impaired communion."  That language calls clearer attention to the
accusers as shamers than to the ones at whom they are pointing
fingers.

	Motions to cutback on diocesan payments to TEC

When the Diocese of Texas did this a few years ago, it found that very
soon parishes started applying the same principle to punish the
diocese when they disagreed with the diocese. What is good for the
goose is good for the gander.  This action against TEC will have
unwanted consequences at home, and it will poison the well of our
common life.

Every parish or diocese has projects that it would like to fund with
additional moneys.  But we are an episcopal church, not a
congregational church.  Cutbacks of this kind violate that
distinction.

Cutbacks of this kind suggest tithes and offerings belong to us to use
for control so that we get our way.  Better theology suggests that the
tithes and offerings are God's money.

Voices of protest and dissent within TEC are weakened when those
protesting are not paying their fair share of the budget of TEC.  You
can't have it both ways: you cannot with integrity participate in
deciding how to spend others' money (as GC does) when you are not
yourself contributing your fair share.  The book of Acts expresses
this far more stridently than I do in the narrative regarding Ananias
and Sapphira. (See Acts 5:1-11)

The cutbacks of diocesan payments to the budget of TEC do not cut into
the funds for the bureaucracy whom the proposers of the resolution
want to hurt.  The constitution and canons of TEC require that all
canonical expenses (the PB's office, the GC office, the expenses of
Commissions, Committees and Boards) be paid first before any program
expenses are paid.  Hence, the real victims of any cutbacks in money
are those in greatest need of the programs and grants funded by GC.

I raised these same concerns when a liberal friend was threatening the
same kind of action several years ago. See my "On voting with your
church pledges" at
http://rci.rutgers.edu/~lcrew/natter_old/msg00097.html


L., Newark, Member of Executive Council
Louie Crew, 377 S. Harrison St., 12D, E. Orange, NJ 07018 973-395-1068







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