Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the 52 year old Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 150 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A good quote from Bishop Beckwith of Springfield, IL

The following was in the Chicago Tribune....
The priest mentioned in the Article, Fr. Richard Swan, was a student at Nashotah House when I was there.
Pray that all Bishops come to realize it is THE Faith to which we acquiesce, not something to make up and change as we go along to suit our own desires!
JACKSONVILLE, Ill. -- On his annual visits to confirm newcomers to Springfield parishes, Bishop Peter Beckwith spares no words to warn his flock that the Episcopal Church is falling apart--succumbing to secular values in the guise of modern faith.

"There's only one truth, and our challenge is to discover it," he said in a recent homily at Trinity Episcopal Church in Jacksonville, the oldest of the diocese's 40 parishes. "It is revealed to us."

This unwavering view of Scripture divides Beckwith from the majority of the Episcopal Church and its new leader, Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

But Beckwith refuses to sacrifice his integrity to hold together the relationship. He does not compare the possibility of schism to divorce. In fact, he likens it to fidelity."I'm married to the gospel, the Anglican Communion, the authority of Scripture--and I've got this prostitute putting the moves on me," he said, intending a reference not to Jefferts Schori but to her theology.

Throughout this rural Illinois diocese covering 60 counties, many parishioners and priests side with their bishop. Others are accustomed to his hard-line position and do what they want anyway. Some say they will discuss differences only with Beckwith, preferring not to air their disagreements.

"Episcopal means `of the bishop.' How can you be against the bishop and actually say you're Episcopal?" said Rev. Richard Swan, a priest who oversees six parishes in a predominantly Baptist region where many parishioners have struggled to make ends meet after many area coal mines closed.

"We have a bishop who takes his vows very seriously as to the part where a bishop is to guard the historic teachings of the Episcopal Church."

A former military chaplain, Beckwith's experience in the armed forces fuels his ministry."The best lesson in the military is you learn it's not about you," he said. "It's about the mission--mission accomplishment whatever it takes. ... To me, that's so close to Christian vocation. It's about the mission of the church."