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SouthernCross The

A Publication of the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida

The Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida is a community of 34,000 Christians in 11 counties serving 77 congregations, 13 schools and the DaySpring Conference Center. Established in 1969.

Highlights IN this issue

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Bishop The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith Mailing address: 7313 Merchant Court Sarasota, FL 34240 Phone: (941) 556-0315 Fax: (941) 556-0321

Archbishop of Canterbury The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Rowan Williams Lambeth Palace London WE1 7JU UNITED KINGDOM The Southern Cross is a member of Episcopal News Service and Episcopal Communicators. The Southern Cross is published six times a year: January, March, May, July, September and November. Copies are shipped free to all congregations for free distribution. Articles, letters, calendar information and photos are welcome. They will be used on a space-available basis and are subject to editing. Send all material (preferably in electronic form by e-mail) to:

Scenes from General Convention

to help parishes in arrears

In the United States, the Episcopal Church is a community of 2.3 million members in 110 dioceses in the Americas and abroad.

The Episcopal Church is part of the Anglican Communion, a global community of 70 million Anglicans in 38 member churches/provinces in more than 160 countries.


out debt: 5 Wiping Diocesan Council OK’s idea


Presiding Bishop The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori 815 Second Avenue New York, NY 10017 (212) 867-8400

Episcopal Charities Fund update


6Back toConvention: Punta Gorda after five-year absence

On the cover: The Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center will play host to the 41st Convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida Oct. 9–10 Coverage begins on page 6. Photo by Jim DeLa


Parish expands:


First Person:

St. john the Divine opens second campus in Sun City Center Diocese’s largest parish marks rector’s 15th year


Charting the Church’s course: Budget angst tempers vision at General Convention

23 Events Calendar

Jim DeLa, editor E-mail: The Southern Cross 7313 Merchant Court Sarasota, FL 34240 Phone: (941) 556-0315, ext. 268


Submission deadlines for upcoming issues: November/December: September 1 January/February 2010: December 1, 2009 March/April 2010: February 1, 2010

The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Donors’ list to the Episcopal Charities Fund is growing At last year’s diocesan convention, Bishop Dabney Smith set as a goal that 2,009 Episcopalians in the diocese would each contribute $1,000 to begin an endowment fund called the Episcopal Charities Fund. The goal of 2,009 people was simply to observe the year of the diocese’s 40th anniversary — Certainly more Episcopalians are welcome to participate. The purpose of the Episcopal Charities Fund is to generate revenue for outreach purposes both within and beyond our diocese. As the bishop said in his convention address, these funds could be used for work in the Dominican Republic, Haitian ministry, refugee resettlement or immediate needs for crisis care through Episcopal Relief and Development. “In addition, this diocese remains committed to the Millennium Development Goals. There also are creative and necessary congregational outreach ministries that seek funding, along with deanery-level outreach needs,” he later wrote. “We will not run out of needs to address.” The diocese wishes to publicly thank the individuals and parishes who have opened their hearts and their purses to date. To contribute, simply send a check to: The Diocese of Southwest Florida 7313 Merchant Court Sarasota, FL 34240 Please write “Episcopal Charities Fund” on the memo line.

From Bishop


The Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith

Bishop Dabney Smith was on vacation through most of August. His regular column will return in future issues. The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Episcopal Charities 2008–2009 Individual Donors Mrs. Maureen Belote The Rev. & Mrs. Charles Bennett The. Rev. & Mrs. Raynald Bonoan The Rev. & Mrs. Michael Branscombe Mr. & Mrs. Fred Bush Mr. & Mrs. Robert Churuti The Rev. Charles Connelly Mr. & Mrs. William Dopp and Family, (in honor of The Rev. William Dopp) Mr. Joseph & The Rev. Kathy Gilpin Mr. & Mrs. Robert Guise Mr. & Mrs. Greg Gutowski The Rt. Rev. and Mrs. Rogers Harris The Rev. & Mrs. Edward Henley Ms. Dorothy Hirvela Mr. & Mrs. Donald Jenkins Ms. Janet Kipp The Rev. & Mrs. Ray Kress The Ven. Canon & Mrs. Dennis McManis Ms. Janice Nothum The Rev. & Mrs. Fredrick Robinson The Rev. & Mrs. Larry Smellie The Rt. Rev. & Mrs. Dabney Smith Ms. Judith Stark Mr. & Mrs. Theodore Tripp Ms. Phyllis Truitt Ms. Evelyn Turner The Rev. Martha Vaguener

Congregational Donors St. George’s Episcopal Church, Bradenton St. John’s Episcopal Church, Pine Island


Lasting impressions: Scenes from General Convention tell the story Editor’s note: More reflections about General Convention from the deputies can be viewed on their blog at www. generalconventionjournal.


wo tourists were pulling their suitcases behind them as they approached the elevator in the Anaheim Hilton must have thought they had entered the Twilight Zone. All of a sudden they were surrounded by tons of people, all kinds of

— The Rev. Canon Gigi Conner recently retired as canon evangelist at St. Peter’s Cathedral in St. Petersburg. She was the first alternate clergy deputy to General Convention.


Letters to the editor and Reflections essays to The Southern Cross are appreciated and encouraged. We ask that letters be as concise as possible — with a 300-word suggested limit — and stay on one topic. Authors should include their full name, parish affiliation or city of residence. Anonymous letters will not be published. All submissions are subject to editing to improve clarity and to fit in the available space for each issue. Please send correspondence to: Letters to the Editor The Southern Cross Diocese of Southwest Florida 7313 Merchant Court Sarasota, FL 34240 Or send letters by fax to (941) 556-0321; or by e-mail to




By the Rev. Canon Gigi Conner

people, of varying ages, shapes and colors, wearing red pouches around their necks which were decorated with pins advertising various ministries in the Episcopal Church. The tourists were there to visit Disneyland, a place where fantasies might be lived out and fulfilled. Unbeknownst to them, they were mixing with the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, where deputies and bishops look at the realities of a broken and fragile world and figure out ways that together, they can bring about the promise of Christ’s healing reconciliation. It was two weeks of contrasting experiences and images. Outside the convention center: Around noon the ‘usual’ hate group showed up to protest the Episcopal Church. Three protestors – dressed rather inappropriately for a church function (one shirtless with some kind of huge necklace hanging around his neck) stood outside the convention center. The three outside yelled, “The Episcopal Church is dead. There should be thousands of people out here. You are all sinners.” In the midst of the yelling, one man put his cell phone to his ear. “You’re in the wrong place,” he said to someone, “You should be over here at the convention center. Any minute now a thousand people will be streaming outside.” Then he turned back to yelling his hateful words … as indeed, a thousand-plus people spilled out of the convention center doors, heading for a quick lunch, hopefully not ruined by the rotten barrage of words hurled at them. At hearings on resolutions: The courage and wisdom of the Episcopal Church were represented through women and men who have, for years, tirelessly witnessed through prophetic voices, to the reality of situations in the world today, and who have called us to

be aware, to pay attention, to those who live on the margins of society, including the youth of the church. And also speaking — the young adults and youth of the church, (one of whom has been attending conventions since he was 14 years old) who stand up to say to us, “We are not the future of the Church ... we are the Church … today, now.” They share their young wisdom, passion, and vision of a world that cares for all of creation and humanity. At the daily community Eucharist: Traditional worship from The Book of Common Prayer, including Rite I, were enhanced through prayers for the world and church, written to match the theme of the day. The music sung by a volunteer choir and led by, what can only be described as ‘rockin’ musicians, got us to our feet, singing with great joy and gusto. And sometimes Eucharistic Prayers from Enriching our Worship were enhanced through traditional music from the 82 Hymnal. There were visiting children’s choirs, church choirs, drums, cello and guitar … all helping us to participate in worship that is multicultural, life-giving, and celebratory. The lessons and sometimes the Eucharistic Prayers were read in different languages — including American Sign Language. A favorite image was that of people streaming from the middle of the hall to the different communion stations and back again, a glorious ebb and flow of Episcopalians who love to be fed by the Word and Sacraments of the church. There is not just “one way” of worshipping together in the Episcopal Church. Inside the House of Deputies: The decorum, the daily routine of the House of Deputies is very ordered. People stepped up to the microphone and identified themselves — name and diocese — before speaking. No one spoke unless called upon. No clapping without permission. No leaving the floor as a body without being first being dismissed by the president of the House (Continued on page 23) The Southern Cross September/October 2009

In Brief Convention Eucharist to include ordinations

Photo by Jim DeLa

Sheree Graves, senior warden at St. Peter’s Cathedral, gives Diocesan Council members a tour Aug. 22 of the cathedral’s new three-story building still under construction. The building will hold the parish hall, meeting rooms and offices.

Council OKs plan to help congregations with debt Diocesan Council spent most of a five-hour meeting Aug. 22 dealing with money, giving its blessing to a proposed $3.15 million budget for 2010 and discussing a plan to help churches that are behind in apportionment payments to the diocese. The budget was approved with very little discussion. It must also be approved by diocesan convention on Oct. 10. A detailed presentation of the budget will be given at each deanery’s fall convocation meeting (see page 10 to see when your deanery convocation will be held). A copy of the budget is available to download from the diocesan web site at

Apportionment payments

In Southwest Florida, there are 14 congregations out of 77 that are currently behind in their payments to the diocese, with some in arrears since 2004 and owing as much as $80,000. The Committee for Congregational Development has come up with a proposal to get some of this debt off the books. The congregations currently behind on payments will soon be getting a letter with a proposal that would wipe the apportionment slate clean. The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Two vocational deacons will be ordained at the opening Eucharist of diocesan convention, Oct. 9 at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Convention Center in Punta Gorda. Sandra Johnson, of All Saints Episcopal Church in Tarpon Springs, and Aubrey Cort of Epiphany Church in Cape Coral will be ordained into the Sacred Order of Deacons at the 5:30 p.m. Eucharist. Johnson will be assigned to St. Hilary’s Church in Fort Myers. Cort will be assigned to the team ministry serving churches in Lee County.

Youth ministers workshop Sept. 19

In it’s place, the plan would take the congregation’s average Sunday attendance averaged over the last 10 years and multiply that number by $100. That amount would become the principle of an interest-free loan amortized over five years. The church would be required to sign a promissory note for the loan. For most of the congregations in question, this plan would reduce the amount owed to the diocese. Keith Fitzgerald, a member of the committee, told Council the plan would accomplish several things. Congregations would take ownership of the debt by signing a note, and would send a signal that the diocese is taking in interest in those congregations. “It’s a step forward in a positive way,” he said. “It would say ‘we know times are tough. This is the money you owe. Let us help you.’ ” The congregation will have the choice of paying the current apportionment or accepting the new plan. Those that do neither could be declared a Supervised Congregation by Council and the bishop. If difficulties persist, the congregations’ status could eventually be changed from a parish to a mission. —Jim DeLa

Taylor Consulting Group, along with St. Margaret of Scotland Episcopal Church in Sarasota, present a workshop for youth ministers titled “Intentional Games for a Meaningful Youth Group” on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Participants will learn activities to deepen the bonds of your youth, strategies to transfer youth group to everyday life, new trends and exciting initiatives, skills and strategies for building a youth group safe for returning and new youth. The cost is $25 per person. To register, call (727) 415-1036 or email

Parish gives grant to Youth Haven

Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church’s Community Grant Commission recently gave Naples’ Youth Haven $6,000 to help refurbish the kitchen in the organization’s emergency shelter, the Fort Myers NewsPress reported. Brownie’s Emergency Shelter is Collier’s only residential home for abused, abandoned or neglected children. They have more than 100 (Continued on page 9)


Photos by Jim DeLa

The Friday opening Eucharist and Saturday’s business session of the 41st diocesan convention will be held in the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center’s Hibiscus Hall

Diocese readies for convention


ive years after Hurricane Charley, the diocese returns to Punta Gorda on Oct. 9-10 for its 2009 convention at the new 43,000-square-foot Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center. Clergy and delegates to convention will be asked to approve a $3.15 million budget for 2010, elect 11 people to various leadership positions and vote on a handful of resolutions on a variety of issues. Convention program chair Judy Stark Register, pay for convention on line says the new venue is wonderful and plans are Everything you need to prepare for convention can be found on the diocese’s taking shape. “Our return marks the recovery convention web page: of the convention center and hotels, of our Register for Friday and Saturday events, look at the ballot, workshop host church, Good Shepherd, and of the wider schedules, resolutions, hotel information, view an interactive map of Punta community of that part of our diocese,” she Gorda and more. said in a welcome letter posed on the diocese’s convention web page. ficking, young adult ministry, an anti-racism discussion and The building is handicapped-accessible, on one floor, more (see page 8). with views of the Peace River. The Internet is accessible Friday will also see the return of the traditional evening barthroughout the entire facility via wi-fi connections. becue and social event hosted by Church of the Good Shepherd in Punta Gorda. Back by popular demand, Dean’s South of the Educational opportunities Border Catering will put on a grilled-on-site spread. Friday’s events include an expanded workshop schedule (Continued on page 7) on topics including stewardship, communications, human traf-


The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Diocesan Convention (Continued from page 6)

Special collections

Convention will be taking up two special collections during the weekend. Clergy, delegates and guests will be invited to bring contributions of canned goods/nonperishable foods to the convention center, to be distributed to food pantries in the Punta Gorda area. “This is a way for every congregation to be

involved in the work of convention; to fulfill the Millenium Development Goals; and to live into the words of our Savior: What we do to the least, we do to him,” Stark said. The diocese will also be collected used cell phones that will be refurbished and sold, to raise money for the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking. Nearly everything clergy, delegates and visitors need to prepare themselves for convention is available on the diocesan web site,

Convention schedule Thursday, Oct. 8 Noon to 5 p.m. — Ministry Fair set-up time at the convention center. 1–2:30 p.m. — Standing Committee meeting at Church of the Good Shepherd, Punta Gorda 3–4:30 p.m. — Diocesan Council meeting at Church of the Good Shepherd, Punta Gorda

Friday, Oct. 9, at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center

8:30 a.m. — Registration opens, continental breakfast. 9 a.m. — Morning Prayer, at convention center 9:45 a.m. to noon — Workshop session I 12:15–1 p.m. — Box lunch 1–5 p.m. — Workshop Session II 5:30 p.m. — Opening Eucharist and ordinations at tthe convention center 7:30–9:30 p.m. — Gather at Good Shepherd, Punta Gorda, for food, fun and fellowship.

Saturday, Oct. 10, at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center 8–8:50 a.m. — Registration, continental breakfast, 8:50–9 a.m. — Quiet period before Morning Prayer 9–9:15 a.m. — Morning Prayer 9:15–9:30 a.m. — Break (no refreshments) The concourse at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center will be the site of the Ministry Fair. The Southern Cross September/October 2009

9:30 a.m. — Business session begins


Convention workshop schedule Friday, Oct. 9 (9:30 a.m. to noon) Safeguarding: Not Just for Children Any More: The training known as Safeguarding All God’s Children has been very successful, but it was never seen as the last word in church risk management. Accordingly, the Church Insurance Group has developed some new tools known as Safeguarding All God’s People. This new training program covers: l Preventing Sexual Harassment: for workers and for managers and supervisors; l Preventing Sexual Exploitation in Communities of Faith: for congregations and for ministries; l Safeguarding Online. This workshop seeks to make church leaders aware of the work of the Safe Church Committee and how the new resources may be helpful to your parish. Please note that this is an informational session and not the current certification course. The actual training for Safeguarding All God’s People will be available in 2010. Presented by the Safe Church Committee. Healing Ministry for Hard Times: The Amazing Love Healing Ministry offers an introduction to healing and reconciliation ministries, ways to offer pastoral help in these hard times. This ministry, led by the Rev. Sharon Lewis of Holy Spirit, Osprey, has been active in our diocese for 15 years. Disaster Preparedness: Five years ago, Hurricane Charley wiped out the convention center and hotels in Punta Gorda where we had long held our annual convention, and damaged many of our churches. Now the hotels, the convention center and our churches have been rebuilt and our convention has returned. But it’s been three years without a significant storm, and that makes it too easy to develop hurricane amnesia. Learn what we can do to be ready for the next one – and there will be a “next one” – from two speakers: the Rev. David H. Johnson, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Mississippi, who will share the stories of the brutal damage inflicted upon that diocese by Hurricane Katrina,


Breakout rooms for workshops are across the hall from the main convention area.

and the Rev. Ted Edwards of St. George’s, Bradenton, who created the Province IV emergency-preparedness plan. A Closer Look at Human Trafficking– What Can We Do to Support the Victims? Last year’s workshop on this important topic documented the widespread existence of human trafficking in our diocese. Florida has more victims of this crime than any other state in the nation. This year we look at the victims: who they are, what happens after they have been rescued, and the services they need as they work toward rehabilitation and selfsufficiency. We’ll discuss how the church can become involved in the process and assist victims of human trafficking. Presented by members of the Florida Coalition Against Human Trafficking.

Friday, Oct. 9 (1–5 p.m.) Safeguarding All God’s Children: This is the standard four-hour risk management training required for all clergy, volunteers who work with children/youth, parish employees, people in the ordination process, etc. Note: People seeking to be recertified should not attend, but wait for instructions to take the online class. Presented by the Safe Church Committee.

Session I (1-2:50 p.m.) Leaner and Greener: Financial and Creation Stewardship:

In an age where our planet as well as our economy face serious issues, our role as a community of faith has great responsibility to make wise choices and live sustainably in our homes and churches. This workshop, presented by the diocesan Green Team, will provide insight and resources: l The planet and spirituality: how we are called to care for the good earth, God’s perfect creation and gift to humankind l The Millennium Development Goals and creation stewardship l Eco-mindfulness for big gatherings: how to be green when you’re hosting a crowd l Parish energy audits This session will conclude with questions and answers and time to share what’s working in your own parish. Anti-Racism Training: The canons of the Episcopal Church require that all people receive training on the church’s teaching on racism before ordination. The General Convention requires that “the lay and ordained leadership of the Episcopal Church, including all ordained persons, professional staff, and those elected or appointed to positions of leadership on committees, commissions, agencies, and boards be required to take anti-racism training and receive certification of such training.” One response of the diocese to these standards has been to make an annual (Continued on page 9) The Southern Cross September/October 2009


2009 election nominees

offering on the topic of racism during convention. This session will include an update on the recent actions of the General Convention and how our own history plays a role in our ability to engage racism.

The following persons have been nominated to appear on the ballot at diocesan convention Oct. 10 in Punta Gorda. Photos and biographical information about each candidate are available on the diocesan web site,

(Continued from page 8)

Stewardship 101 with Chris Gray: This presentation will be similar to last year’s, one of the best-attended workshops at Convention 2008. Some congregations managed to weather the effects of the poor economy a year ago ... but now, the recession is coming home with major negative impact on pledge and plate. As we prepare for fall stewardship drives, we’ll continue the dialogue we started a year ago.

Session II (3 to 5 p.m.) Surviving the Great Recession: Two experts from the Episcopal Church Foundation will be here to guide you through the current economic storm and help you plan for the future. Kenneth H. Quigley is program director for endowment management services. James W.N. Murphy, associate program director, specializes in planned giving. Hear their advice on how not to undermine your future by spending down your endowment ... and how to invest in your future through a program of planned giving. 20-Somethings, Somewhere: Ministry with Young Adults: They’re the most highly sought-after demographic: young adults. How can we attract them, get them in the doors, keep them here, and raise them up as new leaders? The Rev. Ryan Whitley and a team from St. Mark’s, Tampa, offer their suggestions. Communicating in the 21st Century: The Internet is evolving, causing everyone to redefine identity and community. Diocesan Communications Director Jim DeLa shares some thoughts on how Web 2.0 is changing the way the church communicates. Also, the diocesan Communications Task Force will share the results of its recent online survey: how well we communicate, what needs work, where you, our parishioners, are and aren’t getting your information, and tool and techniques such as teleconferencing that might be useful. The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Standing Committee: (Elect two presbyters and one lay person for three-year terms; elect one layperson to fill a one-year unexpired term): Clergy nominees: The Rev. Ann R. McLemore, priest-in-charge, St. Giles Church, Pinellas Park. The Rev. Doug Scharf, rector, Holy Innocents’ Church, Valrico The Rev. Kathy Schillreff, rector, St. Monica’s Church, Naples The Rev. Doug Zimmerman, rector, St. Wilfred’s Church, Sarasota Lay nominees: Joseph W. “Jay” Fleece III, St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church, St. Petersburg. Sheree Graves, St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg. Charles H. Scruggs III, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Tampa

Diocesan Council: (Elect two laypersons for at-large seats for two-year terms): William L. Moore, MD, St. Peter’s Cathedral, St. Petersburg David N. Pfaff, St John’s Church, Naples Steven R. “Rusty” Whitley, St. Hilary’s Church, Fort Myers

Diocesan Review Committee: (Elect one presbyter for a three-year term): The Rev. Barbara L. Muller, priest-in-charge, St. Cecilia’s Church, Tampa

Ecclesiastical Trial Court: (Elect two clergy and one layperson for three-year terms): Lay nominees: James A Marcrum, St. Rafael’s Church, Fort Myers Beach Jonathan D. Smith, St. Mary’s Church, Dade City Clergy nominees: The Rev. Benjamin L. Creelman, deacon, St. James’ Church, Port Charlotte The Rev. Margaret Koor, deacon, St. Nathaniel’s Church, North Port

University of the South Trustees: (Elect one layperson for a three-year term): David McCallister, Grace Church, Tampa David Dunn-Rankin, St. Mark’s, Venice Roger S. Schwenke, Church of the Ascension, Clearwater

Other elections:

Each deanery elects representatives to Diocesan Council, usually at fall convocations. Positions to be filled are: Clearwater: one presbyter Fort Myers: one presbyter Manasota: one layperson St. Petersburg: one presbyter Tampa: one layperson Venice: one layperson Naples: The Rev. Alice Sadler was re-elected to a second term as clergy representative at the deanery’s spring convocation earlier this year.


Convention to consider several resolutions Seven resolutions have been submitted to the diocesan office for consideration at the 41st diocesan convention on Oct. 10. At press time, not every resolution has been vetted by the Committee on Constitution and Canons, or a Resolutions Committee, which has yet to be formed. They are being made available for informational purposes in The Southern Cross at the diocesan web site at According to diocesan canons, the Resolutions Committee’s job will be to ensure all proposed resolutions comply with the diocesan Constitution and Canons, are not redundant and are stated in clear, concise language. Therefore, the actual text of the resolutions eventually put forth at the Oct. 10 business meeting may differ than what is posted below. According to canons, the final version of any resolution must be made available no later than Sept. 11, which is 30 days before convention. The final text of these resolutions will be posted here on or before Sept. 11. The resolutions in brief:

Deacons’ voting rights

The Clearwater, St. Petersburg and Venice deaneries have submitted a joint resolution aimed at restoring convention voting rights of deacons actively serving congregations in the diocese. The 2008 diocesan convention directed a study of the matter and ordered the Commission on Ministry to issue findings before deanery convocations.

Voice, vote privileges at convention

This resolution would restore the requirement that congregations in arrears in their apportionment payments will be denied voice and vote at diocesan convention unless the convention votes to make an exception. This rule was deleted from


the canons when they were overhauled last year. It is proposed by the Revs. Joel Morsch, Michael Basden, Stuart Swann and John Adler.

Exempting capital projects from assessments

This resolution offered by the Rev. Joel Morsch would remove diocesan assessments as it applies to congregations’ capital projects.

Adding apportionment policy to the canons

The resolution, offered by the Rev. John Adler, would add the current diocesan apportionment policy to diocesan canons. This would ensure any raises in apportionments would have to be approved by covnention; it would also exempt capital funds from apportionment for congregations in unique circumstances.

Technical corrections to diocesan canons

This resolution, submitted by the Committee on Constitution and Canons, corrects several technical errors in the canons, such as incorrect references to other canons, and other copy-editing changes.

Committee name change

The Rev. John Adler has submitted a resolution to change the name of the Committee for Congregational Development to the Congregational Development Committee.

Convocations offer look at proposed 2010 budget Each deanery is planning a fall convocation, where clergy, delegates and the public can hear from Bishop Dabney Smith, view a presentation on the proposed budget and to discuss any other matters before the Oct. 10 convention. Most deaneries will also elect a representative to serve a two-year term on Diocesan Council (see page 9). The convocation schedule: Sept. 8: Manasota/Venice deaneries, 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 513 Nassau St. South, in Venice. Sept. 10: Clearwater/St. Petersburg deaneries, 7 p.m. at St. Vincent’s Episcopal Church, 5441 9th Ave. North, in St. Petersburg. Sept. 17: Naples Deanery, 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., in Naples. Sept. 18: Fort Myers Deanery, 7 p.m. at a location to be determined. Sept. 22: Tampa Deanery, 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 509 E. Twiggs St., in Tampa.

Membership requirements for committees

This resolution, submitted by the Committee on Constitution and Canons, changes wording in two areas of the canons to clarify that persons cannot serve on the Standing Committee and Ecclesiastical Trial Court at the same time.

The Southern Cross September/October 2009

VBS with a Latin accent in Bradenton From July 21 through July24, St. George’s Episcopal Church in Bradenton hosted a Vacation Bible School July 21–24 with Latin flavor — la escuela biblica. During the four evenings of the program, some 15 children — Anglo and Hispanic shared in play, worship, crafts, music and storytelling. Support staff, teachers, musicians and clergy came from the diocesan office, St. George, All Angels by the Sea, Redeemer and St. Boniface. The Rev. Maggie Gat of St. George’s and the Rev. Ben Santana of Redeemer lead a team of more than 20 people. The VBS ended with a Spanish and English communion service conducted at St. George’s. Hymns from both traditions together with the interplay of Spanish and English liturgy brought a special spirit to the celebration. A diocesan initiative for Hispanic ministry brought focus to the needs that were being encountered by St George’s rapidly expanding food pantry. This pantry that served 40 families in January, now serves 131 families, many of them Hispanic. These changes are a direct result of decisions made to intentionally stocking food pantry items suitable for young mothers and children. Within a few months, St. George’s was seeing the development of a bilingual community that met on the second

In Brief

(Continued from page 5) children who call Youth Haven their home on an annual basis. “We prepare more than 14,000 meals in the kitchen on an annual basis,” said Ron McSwiney, Youth Haven’s chief executive officer. “This gift will allow us to move forward with our remodeling project, enabling us to create a more ideal and efficient kitchen area which can withstand usage at this level, while still maintaining a homelike feel for the children.” Funds from Trinity-by-the-Cove are being earmarked toward the purchase and installation of new commercial grade countertops, appliances, sinks, cupboards, and related hardware, as well as toward construction of more prep room and space for family-style dining.

Evensong series returns to Sarasota

The Church of the Redeemer’s monthly Evensong series begins after a summer hiatus on Sunday, Sept. 20h The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Vacation Bible School at St. George’s, Bradenton, was just a part of the parish’s Hispanic outreach efforts.

Thursday of every month. The diocese has also offered the support of a developing mobile medical ministry, a project of Episcopal Charities, to this community. St. George’s looks forward to this support in the near future. — The Rev. Dr. Charles P. Foley, a UCC minister and minister for outreach at St George’s, submitted this article.

at 5:15 p.m., when the anthem will be “Te Lucis Ante Terminum (Evening Hymn),” by Balfour Gardiner; service in G Major by Herbert Howells. A wine and cheese reception will follow in Gillespie Hall. The service and reception are free and the public is invited. Evensong, performed monthly from September through May by the Choirs of the Church of the Redeemer, is a time-honored Anglican tradition originating in the 16th century. This service closes the day with the choir and congregation singing much of the liturgy and the organ accompanying. The Church of the Redeemer is located at 222 South Palm Ave. For more information call (941) 955-4263.

Calvary Church offers computer courses

Calvary Episcopal Church’s popular Tuesday evening computer classes will resume this fall beginning Oct. 13 and will run for four weeks. The parish in Indian Rocks Beach has been offering the classes for more than 10 years. The Learning Center at Calvary is the church’s gift to the community. The

Basic Computer and Internet courses are designed to be affordable at $15 per course while providing hands on learning that will enable people to gain the confidence and skills they need to enjoy their computers and the internet. For details and registration, call the parish office at (727) 595-2374.

Romanian nun to speak about icons

A well-renowned iconographer and Romanian Orthodox nun, Sister Eliseea Papaciòc, will be at the Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota on Sunday, Sept. 27, to share and discuss the work of her lifetime: religious icons. Papaciòc will discuss and exhibit her work at 3 p.m. An abbreviated presentation will take place the same day during Redeemer’s morning Adult Forum, which starts at approximately 10:15 a.m. Both presentations will be held in Redeemer’s Gillespie Hall located at 222 South Palm Ave., in downtown Sarasota. Some of Papaciòc’s icons will available for purchase before and after both presentations.


Bishop Dabney Smith blesses the altar with oil at the July 26 consecration service.

St. John the Divine opens second campus at Sun City Center Wilder said the St. John the Diproperty in Sun City vine in Ruskin celCenter was purchased ebrated the opening of its Sun City Center a decade ago with the facility on July 26, intention to move the becoming the first church from Ruskin. But as the population parish in the diocese to maintain two distinct continued to grow in campuses. both areas during the Bishop Dabney housing boom on the late ’90s, Wilder said Smith was on hand to consecrate the new he and the church’s former interim rector, worship space as St. John’s rector, the the Rev. Jim Bingham, Rev. Tracy Wilder III, realized the potential of having two campusthanks a long list of people who had a hand es. “I think we could The Rev. Tracy Wilder in planning and buildfill them both,” Wilder ing the new facility said he recalls telling on Del Webb Boulevard. “It is a dream Bingham. While Sun City Center is primarily come true, a wish fulfilled and a prayer answered,” he said to the hundreds of a retirement community, Wilder said parishioners and guests who packed into he hopes the new campus will attract the worship space. parishioners from all age groups. The


property will eventually have direct access from U.S. 301 as well as from Del Webb Boulevard, he said. Currently, the parish’s clergy “go back and forth every Sunday morning” to cover services at both locations, Wilder said, with an 8 a.m. service in Sun City Center, a 9 a.m. service in Ruskin and an 11 a.m. service back at Sun City Center. “That’s the hardest part,” he said. The parish is planning a public event Sept. 20 at its new facility, a celebration for the community and neighboring churches. For more information on St. John the Divine, go to www. —JIm DeLa The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Photos by Jim DeLa

Photo above: Bishop Dabney Smith delivers his homily at St. John the Divine’s new campus in Sun City Center July 26. Photo left: Members of the Altar Guild prepare the newly blessed altar for Eucharist.

More photos of this event can be found at / sets/ The Southern Cross September/October 2009


First Person

Personal stories of ministry

Dominican work trip a blessing for participants By Vickie Hall

The Goofy God Lovers perform a skit at Good Samaritan, Clearwater.

Joyful noise: Clown ministry blossoms in Clearwater By Jerry Rita Brunton, “LOV-E” “ After months of preparation, the Church of the Good Samaritan in Clearwater launched a clown ministry, making its first nursing home visit July 22. We began in January when eight enthusiastic parishioners — four adults and four children — entered the world of training to be a certified clown. We met weekly after church to learn the fundamentals of clowning; such as the types of clown characters, ethics when in costume, how to put on makeup and choose a clown character. We chose the name Goofy God Lovers We were already God-lovers. We now had to learn how to be goofy. It is an art you know! With the total support of our interim priest, the Rev. Don Nickleson, and $300 from the vestry to create a Clown Ministry, we held a graduation ceremony at the Sunday service on March 29. Father Nickleson didn’t know much about clowning but he learned fast! Fr. Nickleson lead the group in the procession, wearing an oversized hat, polka-dotted tie and red nose. Each clown carried balloons and participated


in the service including the Peace, when each clown had a basket with the letter “P” and the parishioners were asked to pass the P’s to each other. Many thanks to Gene and Maureen Belote from Church of the Good Shepherd for their support and expertise; and to Narda for teaching us balloon art. The Goofy God Lovers are committed to putting smiles on faces as we visit shut-ins at home, nursing homes and in church. The group is committed to exemplifying The Clown’s Prayer: As I stumble through this life, help me to create more laughter than tears, dispense more happiness than gloom, spread more cheer than despair! Never let me become so indifferent that I will fail to see the wonder in the eyes of a child or the twinkle in the eyes of the aged. Never let me forget that my total effort is to cheer people, make them happy and forget at least momentarily all the unpleasantness in their lives, and, in my final moment, may I hear you whisper: When you made My people smile, you made Me smile.”

Seven team members from the Clearwater Deanery took part in an annual construction trip to in Barahona, Dominican Republic, July 27–31, helping to fulfill Bishop Julio Holguin’s vision of a new school opening in September at La Redención. Two empty rooms were transformed into four classrooms, with 24 table/desks, room partitions and some cubbyhole bookcases for student storage. Fortunately, our team included four experienced members, one of whom, Alex, is a construction supervisor for Habitat for Humanity. As a newbie to construction, I found myself a little intimidated when all the other team members began flashing their personal tools they’d brought with them. “What had I gotten myself into?” I asked. Alex, whom we called “El General,” immediately assigned me to observe before trying to do anything on my own. My other assignment, a much easier task for me, was translating to our Dominican brothers and sisters helping us. We were blessed with two French speakers, Cecily and Trevor, who could communicate with not only Padre Nephtaly, but also our Haitian assistants; however, everyone, learned the Spanish phrase, “Chuck es mi amigo.” One of the first day’s priorities was to build sawhorses so our work would be easier. To design a desk the steps are: First and foremost, all plywood must be coated with “carbosota,” a termite repellent. All wood was sawed into specific measurements and coated with primer. While some team members worked on this, the more experienced measured, sawed, drilled and bolted legs. Frames were glued, puttied (requiring several tubes), nailed and drilled to the tops, with the legs being drilled and bolted to the frames. By this time, picking up one of these was nowhere near as easy as it (Continued on page 15) The Southern Cross September/October 2009

School for Ministry Development’s course schedule for 2009–2010 The diocese’s School for Ministry is open to anyone interested and required for all who are considering ordination to the vocational diaconate. Students may sign up for individual courses rather than committing to an entire semester’s study, allowing people to build classes into their busy schedules. The courses are organized into three separate tracks or “schools,” the School of General Christian Studies, the School for Pastoral Care/Congregational Resources, and the School of Diaconal Formation and Continuing Education for Clergy. Each class will be a full-day course. Costs are $45 for credit and $35 to audit, not including class materials. Anyone interested in the School for Ministry can contact Archdeacon Denis McManis at the diocesan office at (941) 556-0315 or Religious Studies Curriculum Year One Calendar – 2009/2010

Scriptural Studies Curriculum Year Two Calendar – 2009/2010

Sept.12 — “Ministry: Call, Discernment and Gifts” Redeemer, Sarasota

Sept.12 — “Introduction to Bible Study” Redeemer, Sarasota

Sept. 26 — “An Introduction to the Life of Prayer” St. Peter’s Cathedral

Sep.26 — “The Historical Books of the Old Testament” St. Peter’s Cathedral

Oct.17 — “Listening to Silence: Contemplative Prayer” Redeemer, Sarasota Oct. 31 — “Introduction: Prayer Book Worship & Theology” St. Peter’s Cathedral Nov. 14 — “The Ministry of Pastoral Care” Redeemer, Sarasota Dec. 12 — “Liturgy and Worship” Redeemer, Sarasota Jan. 9, 2010 — “Early Church History” Redeemer, Sarasota Jan. 23 — “Medieval Church History” St. Peter’s Cathedral Feb.13 — “Reformation Church History” Redeemer, Sarasota Feb. 27 — “Anglicanism” St. Peter’s Cathedral Mar.13 — “The Episcopal Church in the United States” Redeemer, Sarasota Apr. 10 — “The Beliefs of the Church Part I” St. Peter’s Cathedral Apr. 24— “The Beliefs of the Church Part II” Redeemer, Sarasota May 8 — “Evangelism: sharing Jesus without Fear” St. Peter’s Cathedral May 22 — “An Introduction into Christian Ethics” Redeemer, Sarasota

The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Oct.17 — “The Prophets I” Redeemer, Sarasota Oct.31 — “The Prophets II” St. Peter’s Cathedral Nov.14 — “Wisdom Literature” Redeemer, Sarasota Dec.12 — “The Torah: The Books of Moses” Redeemer, Sarasota Jan. 9, 2010 — “Isaiah” Redeemer, Sarasota Jan. 23 — “Matthew, Mark & Luke I” St. Peter’s Cathedral Feb. 13 — “Matthew, Mark & Luke II” Redeemer, Sarasota Feb.27 — “The Acts of the Apostles” St. Peter’s Cathedral Mar.13 — “John, Apostle and Writer” Redeemer, Sarasota Apr.10 — “General Letters to the Early Churches” St. Peter’s Cathedral Apr.24 — “Paul, His Life and Letters I” Redeemer, Sarasota May 8 — “Paul, His Life and Letters II” St. Peter’s Cathedral May 22 — “The Book of Revelation” Redeemer, Sarasota

Dominican trip

(Continued from page 14) started out. The final touch was sanding as smooth as a baby’s bottom, although we joked, “maybe with a severe case of diaper rash” and then routing (new word for me) by Trevor, known as “Router Man.” Although we worked as much as we could, we were hindered by the lack of electricity which seemed to be scheduled to go off at 9 a.m. each morning. This left us with using a gas-powered generator, limiting us to two extension cords to plug into it and burning up several tools and chargers. On Friday morning, we left the hotel at 7:30 in an effort to make the most use out of the electricity before “they pulled the plug” again. Except for painting, we did finish all the desks, room dividers, and 2 of the cubbies. Praise God! I suppose there’s no way to measure the blessings that may result from these new Episcopal classrooms, nor can I, myself measure the amount of blessings I received by being able to participate in the sharing of our faith, but I am persuaded much as St. Paul the apostle, “…that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:3839); and if I may paraphrase, not heat, nor language differences, nor cultural differences, nor skin color, nor lack of conveniences nor any other creature comforts of home, shall be able to separate us from the love and mighty power of God when working together to serve others. Thank you for your prayers and support! M:embers of the team included Cecily H. of St. Alfred’s, Chuck G. of Good Samaritan, Dennis Hite of Calvary Indian Rocks beach, Alex Q. of St. Martin’s Hudson, Vickie H. of Good Shepherd, Trevor K., our Anglican from Toronto, and the DDG executive director, Dr. Bob Stevens.


Charting the church’s path A shrinking budget tempers vision at the 76th General Convention By Solange De Santis Episcopal News Service


he Episcopal Church, proud of its history and determined in its methods, gathered for the 76th time in General Convention, on this occasion in Anaheim, Calif. from July 8 to 17, and spoke with a clear voice. Leading from opening addresses from Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, the 1500 clergy and lay deputies and 200 bishops focused on mission. They considered mission in a time of economic scarcity, mission to all the baptized, mission to the “least” among us. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams visited for two days and engaged with a wide range of Episcopalians, from leaders to kids in a local church program. As in recent conventions, this gathering addressed questions of human sexuality. While the interpretation and effects of its decisions are varied, convention unambiguously stated that gay and lesbian people may be called to ordination at all levels. It also said that God’s call to ordination is a mystery that the church discerns through the process outlined in the Constitution and Canons of the church. The resolution also reaffirmed the Episcopal Church’s participation in the Anglican Communion, while noting that the communion and the Episcopal Church are not of one mind on this matter. It acknowledged that times are changing, with same-gender marriage, civil unions and domestic partnerships legal or about to become legal in some states, and authorized the church to collect (Continued on page 19)


The Southern Cross September/October 2009

A view down the center aisle of the House of Deputies during the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Anaheim, Calif. Photos by Jim DeLa

The Southern Cross September/October 2009


General Convention (Continued from page 16)

and develop resources for blessing same-gender couples. It acknowledged economic reality by passing a budget that reflected lower givings by dioceses, hit with financial woes of their own. The decision resulted in the layoff of about 30 people out of a staff of 180 in New York and regional offices. The budget did, however, recommit the church to the UN’s Millennium Development Goals for social progress by reinstating a budget line for that work that supports Episcopal Relief and Development’s program called NetsforLife. It supplies insecticidetreated bed nets to prevent malaria. It also endorsed and provided some money — though about 10 percent of what was requested — for a strategic vision that is aimed at evangelizing in fast-growing Hispanic/ Latino communities. Convention encouraged the art of story-telling, scheduling three “mission conversation” sessions during which people learned to tell their personal stories of faith in ways that call others to action. General Convention approved the expansion or affirmation of relationships with Moravians, Presbyterians, United Methodists, African Methodists and others. As always, convention encomIn vestments made especially for General Convention, Presiding Bishop passed much more than legislation. Katharine Jefferts Schori presided at the UTO Ingathering Eucharist July 12 The host diocese, Los Angeles, started in Anaheim, Calif. building a Habitat for Humanity house at the convention site. It hosted a multimedia “emergent church” service and a U2charist featuring the music of rock group U2. The exhibit hall, with its varied and colorful booths featuring books, vestments, jewelry, carvings and a wide range of ministries, became a bazaar, a meeting place and a crossroads. By Mary Frances Schjonberg Perhaps the most vibrant parts of convention involved young people. Los Angeles hosted a lively children’s program Episcopal News Service for parents working long hours. Older counterparts, from teenhe 76th General Convention adopted a $141 agers to young adults, were seen on the floor of convention million budget for 2010-2012 that asks for less speaking to the issues, advocating for peace and justice and money from dioceses and cuts church-wide getting comfortable with leadership roles. spending by $23 million, but still emphasizes the Episcopal Church’s mission in the world. The budget predicts total triennial income of More coverage $141,271,984, with $79,161,193 coming from dioceses Diocesan Director of Communications Jim DeLa served as the principal and $27.6 million from investment income. A predicted photographer for Episcopal News Service’s Convention Daily publication. More $22.8 million will come from government money grantof his images from convention can be found at ed to the church for its refugee resettlement work. Eight A video wrap-up of the highlights of convention can be found at www.

Budget cut severely but still focused on mission


(Continued on page 19)



The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Resources for same-gender blessings to be collected By Mary Frances Schjonberg Episcopal News Service

its relationships in the Anglican Communion; recognizes the contributions of both its lay and ordained gay and he 76th General Convenlesbian members; that many of those tion reaffirmed the inclumembers live in committed relationsive nature of the Episcopal ships; that access to the church’s disChurch’s ordination procernment and ordination process is open cess and agreed to spend the next to all baptized members according to three years developing resources that the Constitution and Canons; and that could be used for blessing samemembers of the church disagree faithgender relationships. fully and conscientiously about issues The moves came in the form of of human sexuality. resolutions D025 on the ordination D025 was chosen from among 13 process and C056 on same-gender resolutions that proposed some action blessings. addressing Resolution B033, adopted by the 75th General Convention (2006), Resolution D025 Resolution D025 says that the (Continued on page 20) Episcopal Church is committed to


Bishop Gene Robinson of New Hampshire presided at the Integrity Eucharist at General Convention


(Continued from page 16) percent ($11.6 million) will come from other income. Expenses are budgeted at $140,856,531. Those figures compare with the projected bottom line of the current 2007–2009 triennial budget of $164,863,529 in revenue and $163,934,334 in expenses. The formula for asking the 110 dioceses to contribute to the cost of funding the wider church will change. The current 21 percent of income asking is preserved for 2010, but it will drop annually by 1 percent in 2011 and 2012. The $100,000 income exemption will rise to $120,000, thus leaving more money in dioceses. The convention said the budget’s mission priorities for 2010-2012 would be “networking the members of the body of Christ, alleviating poverty and injustice, claiming our identity, growing congregations and the next generations of faith, and strengthening governance and foundations for ministry.” Some churchwide programs will (Continued on page 20) At right: Morning light casts shadows on the floor of the main entryway of the Anaheim Convention Center. The Southern Cross September/October 2009


The diocese was represented at convention by from left, the Rev. Bob Hennegin, Joan Kline, Dr. Navita Cummings-James, Bishop Dabney Smith, the Rev. Canon Gigi Conner, Karen Patterson, the Rev. Sharon Lewis, Roger Schwenke, Judy Stark and the Rev. John Hiers.


(Continued from page 19) be eliminated, and at least 30 of the 180 people employed by the Episcopal Church in its New York and regional offices are losing their jobs. Some positions currently unfilled and others due to become vacant because of retirements will not be filled. “The church is having to experience what our local congregations are having to experience,” said Pan Adams-McCaslin, chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance (PB&F). The committee was “trying to be realistic in looking at the economy” for the coming three years, she said. Adams-McCaslin and others noted in Anaheim that one implication of that reality check is an understanding that the wider church should not duplicate mission and ministry that is better originated in dioceses and congregations. Rather, it should serve as a resource to that work. While some church center programs and offices had their overall budgets reduced, others were “zeroedout.” The latter group includes those that support anti-racism work, diocesan services, evangelism, women’s ministry, lay and ordained ministry, and worship and spirituality.

Effects on evangelism

Resolutions to host evangelism events with ecumenical partners, create an innovative evangelism “toolkit”


and develop training programs for evangelists become unfunded mandates: resolutions agreed to by convention, but which received little or no money in the budget. For instance, Resolution D038, calling for $3.5 million to implement a new plan for reaching Latinos and Hispanics, received $379,470.

Helping others

When PB&F presented the budget to convention, it said in its presentation letter that the plan was aimed at “giving to others first and then to ourselves last.” The budget dedicates 0.7 percent of income to U.N. Millennium Development Goals work that had been cut from a draft version of the budget. The line item amounts to $803,694, which will go towards Episcopal Relief and Development’s anti-malaria NetsforLife partnership program.

Fewer, shorter meetings

Among other impacts of the philosophy of giving to others first are the facts that the next General Convention (scheduled for 2012 in Indianapolis) could be two days shorter and the church’s committee, commissions, agencies and boards (CCABs) will meet face-to-face only in 2011 and 2012. CCABs are charged to study, review and discuss matters within their mandates and to recommend policies and resolutions for the next convention. Also, the Episcopal Church’s contribution to the budget of the Anglican Communion Office will decrease by a third.

Courtesy of Florida Archives

Harriet Bedell

Everglades deaconess added to calendar Harriet Mary Bedell, often called the “Deaconness of the Everglades,” is now a permanent fixture in the Episcopal Church calendar after a vote of the 76th General Convention. Bedell, along with English composer Henry Purcell and Frances Perkins, first female U.S. Cabinet member, are among some new 100 names included in Holy Women, Holy Men, a revision of Lesser Feasts and Fasts. Bedell’s life and ministry will be commemorated each year on Jan. 8. The Southern Cross September/October 2009


(Continued from page 19) which called for restraint in consenting to the consecration of bishops whose “manner of life” — widely understood to mean homosexuality — would cause concern for other members of the Anglican Communion. Both bishops and deputies approved Resolution D025 by two-to-one margins.

Resolution C056

Resolution C056 calls for the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in conjunction with the House of Bishops, to invite church-wide participation in collecting and developing theological resources and liturgies for blessing same-gender relationships. The commission is to report on its efforts to General Convention 2012. The resolution also says that bishops, “particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where samegender marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.” The bishops approved (by a threeto-one margin) a version of Resolution C056 that was developed by a group of more than 25 bishops who Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori later described as “representing diverse and divergent views” who “gathered informally” and “had thoughtful, loving and candid conversation.” Later the House of Deputies gave its required concurrence in a vote by orders, also by a wide margin.

Differing views

While groups that advocate for the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the church praised the convention’s actions, other groups were critical. On July 16, Bishop Gary W. Lillibridge of West Texas read a statement to a closed session of the House of Bishops opposing the decision and asserting loyalty to the Anglican Communion. The “Anaheim Statement” was later signed by some 30 diocesan, suffragan and retired bishops. On July 27, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, who attended convention for the first two days, wrote, The Southern Cross September/October 2009

Most Honored Woman Joan Kline, the immediate past president of the diocese’s Episcopal Church Women, is escorted by Bishop Dabney Smith after receiving “Most Honored Woman” status at the ECW Triennial meeting in Anaheim. Each diocese recognizes one of their members for recognition at the Triennial, held at the same time as General Convention.

“No one could be in any doubt about the eagerness of the bishops and deputies of the Episcopal Church at the General Convention to affirm their concern about the wider Anglican Communion.” However, Williams noted “that a realistic assessment of what convention has resolved does not suggest that it will repair the broken bridges into the life of other Anglican provinces; very serious anxieties have already been expressed.” While Williams underscored that “no Anglican has any business reinforcing prejudice against LGBT people,” he concluded that blessings for samegender unions cannot, at present, have “the authority of the Church Catholic, or even of the communion as a whole,” because such a change in policy would require “the most painstaking biblical exegesis” as well as consensus in the Anglican Communion and with ecu-

menical partners. House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson said during the convention’s final media briefing that she hoped the convention’s actions could be interpreted “without any sort of ulterior motive with regards to how our actions are designed to affect or not affect the Anglican Communion.” Jefferts Schori added, “We are simply trying to express the state of discernment in this church at this time, recognizing that there is not unanimity within our own church and certainly not expecting that there will be unanimity around the communion, but we must be faithful to the call of God as we hear it.”


Other actions of convention The 76th General Convention, meeting in Anaheim, California, July 8-17, acted on or referred every one of the 419 resolutions it considered. The following is an unofficial abbreviated summary of some of the other resolutions passed by both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies. Anglican Communion/Covenant Commend communication from the February 2009 Mutual Responsibility in Mission Consultation and urge the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates Meeting to encourage ongoing gatherings of Anglican churches in the Americas and charge Executive Council to pursue the possibilities (A189*). Commend the proposed Anglican covenant to dioceses for study and comment with dioceses reporting to Executive Council; call for the council to report to the next convention with draft legislation concerning the church’s response to a covenant (D020). Budget Request standing commissions on structure and constitution and canons to conduct a professional comprehensive analysis of the church’s budgeting process and budget (A005*). Reaffirm commitment to the U.N. Millennium Development Goals as a primary mission priority through 2015 (D019). Adopt the Five Marks of Mission (proclaim the “good news” of the kingdom; teach, baptize and nurture new believers; respond to human need by loving service; seek to transform unjust structures of society; and strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth); recommend them as 2012–2015 mission priorities (D027). Adopt unified 2010–2012 budget of $141,271,984 (D067). Canons/Constitution Direct the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons to review provisions of the constitution, canons and rules of order of the House of Bishops in which voting by bishops or in the House of Bishops is set forth for clarity and consistency (D081). Amend Canon III.4.1(a) and add Canon III.4.9 to add “evangelist” to licensed lay ministers; direct the collection of resources for identifying, calling and training (A064, A065). Amend Canon I.20 to state that the Episcopal Church has a relationship of full communion with the Northern and Southern provinces of the Moravian Church in America (A073). Establish a mandatory lay employee pension plan and amend Canon I.8 as such (A138). Establish a denominational health insurance


plan and amend Canon I.8 as such (A177). Revised Title IV on ecclesiastical discipline; amend titles III and V to conform (A181, A187). Amend Article II, Section 2, of the Constitution to remove provision for the House of Deputies to consent to the ordination and consecration of bishops elected within 120 days of General Convention (B029). Christian Formation Adopt the Charter for Lifelong Christian Formation and encourage dioceses to formulate a strategy for lifelong Christian formation (A082, A083). Discrimination/Civil Rights Call for a study of diocesan processes to recruit people of color to pursue ordination and analyze how people of color are deployed (A145). Support extension of federal anti-discrimination employment laws to include sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; commit the church not to discriminate in employment of lay employees based on race, color, sex, national origin, age, familial status, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression; treat physical violence inflicted on the basis of gender identity or expression as a hate crime (C048, D012, D032). Ecumenism Adopt the Agreement Between the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) (A075). Direct the Standing Commission on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations (SCEIR) to begin full-communion dialogue with the Church of Sweden (A076). Environment Ask the church to restrict use of bottled water where safe and encourage every baptized Christian to practice energy and water conservation (A045). Urge the U.S. government to enact equitable subsidies for renewable energy; adopt a federal renewable energy standard; support federal programs worldwide that practice sound environmental stewardship (C011). Evangelism/Church Planting/Mission Direct the Center for Evangelism and Congregational Life to create a toolkit to equip congregations and dioceses to engage in culturally appropriate evangelism and mission (A066). Direct church center staff to work with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and others to develop resources for starting congregations (A067). Affirm Executive Council’s and the House of Bishop’s commitment to implement “The Episcopal Church’s Strategic Vision for Reaching Latinos/ Hispanics in the United States” (D038).

Health Care Urge passage of federal legislation establishing a “single payer” universal health-care program; call for a federal law by the end of 2009 guaranteeing adequate health care and insurance for every citizen (D048, D088). Immigration Advocate for, among other immigration issues, a return of congressional consideration and implementation of comprehensive reform (B006). Assure fairness in immigration and specifically provide immigration equality for same-gender couples (D076). Liturgy Authorize use of Rachel’s Tears, Hannah’s Hopes with changes (A088). Authorize new commons for inclusion in Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints (Lesser Feasts and Fasts 2009) (A099). Authorize continuing use of Enriching Our Worship 1-4 and direct that the texts be freely available on the Internet (A102). Authorize studying the possible revision of The Hymnal 1982 (B004). Direct SCLM to develop liturgical resources to observe the loss of a companion animal and report to the next convention (C078). Reconciliation Urge continued participation in formal reconciliation training (A068). Repudiate and renounce the Doctrine of Discovery (the concept that Christian sovereigns and their representative explorers could assert dominion over non-Christian lands) and request that Queen Elizabeth II disavow and publicly repudiate the doctrine (D035). Theological education Call for ordained-ministry education to include training on addiction, its identification, practices of intervention and treatment; and cross-cultural and international experience for postulants and candidates (A079, A135*). Direct the Standing Commission on Ministry Development to convene a task force on the formation, education and evaluation of ordained ministers (A191). Youth Call for 30 young adults (ages 18-30) from predominantly under-resourced areas across the church to make a pilgrimage to Europe for leadership training and service (D064*). Encourage congregations to include on vestries or bishop’s committees a seat for people ages 16-18 with voice and vote except as prohibited by civil law (D065). *Funding was not included for this resolution. The Southern Cross September/October 2009


Special Events

Diocesan Convention. Oct. 9–10 at the Charlotte Harbor Convention Center in Punta Gorda. The 41st annual convention of the Diocese of Southwest Florida. Contact the diocesan office at (941) 556-0315.

Meetings Fall Deanery Convocations. The fall meeting of clergy and lay representatives to diocesan convention. All convocations begin at 7 p.m. at various locations. Contact the diocesan office at (941) 556-0315 for information: Sept. 8: Manasota/Venice deaneries, 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 513 Nassau St. South, in Venice. Sept. 10: Clearwater/St. Petersburg deaneries, 7 p.m. at St. Vincent’s Episcopal Church, 5441 9th Ave. North, in St. Petersburg. Sept. 17: Naples Deanery, 7 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 3901 Davis Blvd., in Naples. Sept. 18: Fort Myers Deanery, 7 p.m. at a location to be determined. Sept. 22: Tampa Deanery, 7 p.m. at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 509 E. Twiggs St., in Tampa.

Training/Workshops/Retreats Annual Clergy Retreat. Sept. 14-16 at DaySpring Conference Center in Parrish. The 2009 clergy retreat with Bishop Dabney Smith. led by Brother Curtis Almquist, SSJE, speaking on “The Tender Loving Mercy of God,” reflecting on receiving and conceiving God’s merciful presence and power revealed in Jesus Christ, looking for a renewal of God’s vision and provision in vocations as ordained ministers. Cost is $80 per person. Accommodations at DaySpring available on a first-come, first-served basis. Register by e-mail at csalyers@ For housing requests, contact DaySpring at (941) 776-1018. Cursillo # 117. Sept. 24-27 at DaySpring Conference Center in Parrish. A weekend retreat to renew and deepen Christian commitment. Applications and information available at www. Contact Anna Haeffner by e-mail at Anna@ The Southern Cross September/October 2009


(Continued from page 4) of Deputies. Yet into this orderly structure came words of dissent from the Diocese of Central Ecuador. This dissent had to do with the approval to the election of a bishop for that diocese. The person at the microphone is speaking in Spanish so we needed (some of us, anyway) an interpreter. This took time. Others stepped up to speak. So we put the discussion aside until the following day in order to give more time to the speaking and listening. The next day we do just that. We are Episcopalians and we are polite and patient and we listened. The consent for the bishop was finally given. It got a little messy for a while. It was a challenge for those of us who do not speak a second language but we were the church as it should be; diverse in nature, caring in the world. Sometimes that’s the way it is in our own congregations when we deal with diversity: A little messy, challenging, but ultimately, pulling together to be “The Church,” the Body of Christ in the world. We prayed for that diocese and their new bishop — they will need prayers for a while. Around the exhibition hall: We greeted people not seen for years. Thinking so and so looks old and then remembering we’ve aged along this journey together — they’re probably thought the same about me. Putting names and faces together, names seen on the House of Deputies e-mail list and the faces to whom they belong. Amazing, people hardly ever look like we have imagined them. Lingering impressions: The chaplain, Frank Wade, said to us, “That which goes without saying … goes … without saying.” We all need each other. We all need to stay in the conversation and at the table, no matter what. That is the spirit of Ubuntu: I in you and you in me. The reality is this: I need you and you need me, annoying as I might be, as irritating as you might be. We need each other so as to be the Church. Let us rejoice that we are a part of God’s creation and therefore a part of each other.

If your group or congregation is planning an upcoming event of interest to the rest of the diocese, please send the information to: The Southern Cross Calendar 7313 Merchant Court Sarasota, FL 34240 or e-mail it to The 2008 diocesan events calendar is also available on our web site:


September/October 2009 issue  
September/October 2009 issue  

The Southern Corss, a newsmagazine for the Episcopal Diocese of Southwest Florida