04 October 2008

Pittsburgh votes to leave

I was writing this post as the convention was taking place, live, following it on Anglican TV. Then, just as the vote was being announced by server went down, so by now you all know what happened. So much for the pride of trying to be first with the convention report. Any road, here is my report on what happened.

The debate started with The Rev'd Dr. Gundersen making a motion that the amendment was out of order because of Robert's Rules of Orders stating that "no rule may conflict with a higher rule" and Article V of TEC Constitution is a higher order. The chancellor said article V does not apply. (Are we surprised?) Ruled the amendments are in order. (Are we surprised?)

Highlights of the debate:
One female deacon said she is leaving because TEC is anti women.

One male priest, a graduate of Trinity School of the Ministry, emotionally urged the convention to stay in TEC. He said he refuses to believe that the Holy Spirit is behind the fracture and wants the diocese to leave.

One lay woman said she had left TEC and wanted the convention to vote to leave. Why was a delegate who "left the Episcopal Church" still a delegate?

Another lay woman delegate said that they had been told the priests would not be able to preach from the pulpits unless realignment happened and that TEC was changing the books of the bible.

Another woman delegate said that she was voting for realignment because she wanted to be part of the catholic church and TEC is no longer catholic. She said that the vote was not to "leave TEC, but to take the AC seriously."

A male delegate said "there is no doubt that over the last 30 years our leaders have been demonized by TEC leadership" but he urged the convention to stay in TEC.

One male priest (speaking against the realignment) with a wonderful British accent said, "If any of you are feeling uneasy about how to vote, it's because Christ is calling you to stay."
And guess who was mentioned in the debate -- Yes, it was Pike and Spong! Are we surprised? A former male lay missionary to Mongolia brought them up. He also said, that in the mission field when the other missioners learned he was Episcopalian they "were shocked because they knew the Episcopal Church was not Christian."

I was surprised that so many clergy spoke for rejecting realignment. They were definitely in the conservative camp, but they recognized that realignment is wrong, dead wrong.

When a motions was made to extend the debate for ten minutes, it was soundly rejected by the delegates.

Ruled blank ballots are, in effect, no votes because they will be counted to show the number present to determine the majority.

And wouldn't you know it, my Internet service went out at the end of Midday prayers -

The Vote on Articles I, XII, and XIII (all dealing with succession)
121 aye out of 160 clergy deputies present (39 no)
122 aye out of 191 lay deputies present (69 no)
We knew this was coming but notice the vote to steal TEC property was not nearly as successful as they expected. And remember who the delegates are -- hand picked and promoted by the secessionist leaders.

In other matters, the convention voted to pass a budget they acknowledged would be useless the moment the result of the vote to schism or not was made known. The treasurer said that regardless of the outcome of the vote to schism, parishes and members were going to leave.


Three Rivers has posted a press relase on today's vote. You'll find it here.

Across the Aisle has posted a letter to the Faithful Episcopalians in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. You'll find it here.

Mark Harris now has a good commentary at Preludium. Make sure to read it by clicking here.