28 January 2007

Bishop Bauerschmidt.

From today's Nashville Tennessean:
The Rev. John Bauerschmidt will be ordained today as bishop for the Episcopal Diocese of Tennessee, stepping into the job of leading 51 Midstate congregations through a period of global conflict and turmoil within the denomination.
Divisions over same-sex marriage and biblical authority — in particular, what the Bible says about homosexuality — have been a source of increasingly bitter debate within the denomination since the 2003 consecration of an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.
Locally, the diocese has already directed one Smyrna congregation and its priest to vacate their church building after a majority of the small church voted to seek oversight by an Anglican bishop not affiliated with the U.S. Episcopal Church.
Two weeks ago, Madison Episcopal priest Pete Minton, 68, said that after four decades in the priesthood the diocese had informed him he was "deposed," or defrocked, after similarly leading a small congregation that elected to bypass the Episcopal Church and seek oversight by a bishop recognized overseas.
It's a painful, anxious and tense time for the church, Bauerschmidt, 47, conceded this week.
"The challenge for the diocese of Tennessee is how we are going to be a community during a period of change," Bauerschmidt said. "It's painful, painful as it can be, but sometimes change is the way that a church defines itself and moves forward."
"What's absolutely essential is that people have the willingness and confidence of their own beliefs and that participation in the community is not held hostage by the presence of other views of people who are also in the community," he said.
Here's the whole thing.


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