August 5, 2014
My Reply to Dr. Caldwell
Ignorance being bliss, I almost wish I'd never seen beautiful St. George, Home of the Grits Festival. But I was curious and witnessed something that's forcing me to anguishingly reevaluate my thoughts on the schism:
Senior Wardens, under oath, testified that they had NEVER considered themselves members of TEC, but ONLY of their parishes and the diocese. I couldn't believe it.
At 58, I considered myself a member of PECUSA/ECUSA/TEC from the moment my "Episcopal" priest grandfather baptized me as an infant in his Columbus, Ga., parish church, through my confirmation in Charleston by Bishop Temple, through four years in high school at "Episcopal" St. Andrew's School adjacent to the "Episcopal" University of the South at Sewanee with "Episcopal" priests and seminarians, "Episcopal" Order of the Holy Cross monks and an "Episcopal" Order of St. Helena nun on our campus, through my reaffirmation 10 years ago in Charleston by Bishop Haynesworth [Central American Missionary Bishop (ret) (dec)] - no one EVER informing me differently - up until the moment my current parish's unanimous disaffiliation vote was announced to no one's surprise. And, although I strongly supported that outcome based on the information available, I wept to have left the Church which had nurtured me for a lifetime, and the more so since as tales of riven parishes and missions, communities and families, have trickled out.
And individuals in parish authority older and wiser than I could testify they'd NEVER considered themselves members of TEC? ESPECIALLY when it didn't make one whit of difference under state "neutral principles" nonprofit corporate law, principles Judge Goodstein emphasized again and again she was bound by in deference to our Supreme Court's All Saints, Waccamaw decision?
I've discovered since the trial and highly recommend for consideration Fr. Chris Huff's thoughtful 10-part "Why I Stayed" essay on his ACTS TWO SIX blog: axtwosix.blogspot.com. Chris doesn't mention it but in "staying" he and wife Kim sacrificed communion with their elderly mothers and many, many others. He and I also attended "Episcopal"-affiliated Porter-Gaud School which employed an "Episcopal" chaplain.
--Mr. Beau Booker