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Messages - Richard Johnson

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Your Turn / Re: Dobbs Sunday
« on: Yesterday at 03:31:17 PM »
I am filling in for four weeks at the Episcopal congregation where we were members for eight years before moving to New York (rector is on sabbatical and I'm covering his first month and living in the rectory). I did not mention the decision, though I might have, had I been the pastor and not a sub in a situation where the rector is gone for three months. But I thought the lessons today, as well as the prayers of the people (from BCP), did an admirable job of addressing the situation. They who have ears, let them hear.

Your Turn / Re: Other Church Conferences
« on: June 25, 2022, 03:30:56 PM »
I've been idly searching through the conference reports of different denominations and I found a couple of interesting things.  The Presbyterian Church in America has voted to leave the National Association of Evangelicals over its statements about political issues which it says violates the Westminster Standards.  The Christian Reformed Church has stated that its opposition to homosexual activity is a confessional position and therefore a part of their statement of faith.  This is significant because the CRC has been trending left-ward for a while.  We've also seen the fracturing of the Methodists and a number of conservative congregations recently left the Reformed Church in America.  When I mentioned this to my wife she said maybe the pendulum in the Church in America is swinging the other way and maybe the Dobbs decision is part of God's intervention in a Church too concerned about the opinions of the secular culture surrounding us.  So, I'm thinking maybe we should be paying more attention to what's going on in other parts of the Church to see if we can discern what God is doing.

BTW, I also looked at the UCC website and read their statement of faith and found it appalling.  They never refer to Jesus as God or as the only begotten Son of God, but as the "man of Nazareth."  Arianism?  Unitarianism?  Who knows.

Up here in New England, we often say that the initials "UCC" stand for "Unitarians Considering Christ." I've met several UCC pastors who are Unitarian and Deist.

However, I've also met some who are Evangelical. The UCC pastor down the road from my church in Springfield, Mass, was solidly biblical. I once asked him how he handled the UCC. His response: "I leave them alone and they leave me alone." That's one way to do it, I guess.

I don't think the UCC is the only denomination where this is a viable approach.

Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 24, 2022, 09:32:15 PM »
This court is "imposing its right-wing religious ideology on us." - MSNBC

Obviously an hysterically silly quote, but it isn't very useful to ascribe it to "MSNBC." Was it a newscaster who said it? A network executive? A protester being interviewed? A commentator?


It's possible that David and Jonathan had a same-sex relationship.


Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 24, 2022, 01:32:24 PM »
PS, it also occurs to me, this idea coming from Beloved Spouse, that  the ruling comes down now in an attempt to distract attention from what we are learning about Jan. 6 from the hearings.

Ridiculous. Supreme court decisions, especially major ones, frequently come down at the end of the term. That the commission hearings are revealing Trump's perfidy is simply coincidental, and it doesn't help anybody to make clearly inaccurate suppositions.

Given that background, how on earth did this person gain enough votes to be elected  bishop? Were the voting members of the assembly simply ignorant?

I wasn't there, but it is interesting to note that the runner-up was Jeff Johnson, a long time presence in the synod, one of the three openly lesbian and gay Lutherans to be ordained extra ordinem at St. Paulus Lutheran Church, San Francisco in 1990. But Jeff (a) has been around long enough that he has a lot of enemies, and (b) is pretty "traditionalist" in the current LGBTQ+ context.

Your Turn / Re: Colossians 3:15
« on: June 10, 2022, 08:05:46 PM »
You might want to hone your thinking by reading some actual historians rather than Harvey Cox.

Your Turn / Re: Roe v. Wade overturned?
« on: June 10, 2022, 01:08:09 PM »
No. The Republicans told their members they should not be on this committee. The Republicans opposed having the investigation. Where have you been? The committee has already said what some of the conclusions would be, and has offered evidence for why they’re making those conclusions. That’s how it works. Evidence presented, then conclusions made.

Ha!  Ha!  That is rich!  Pelosi, against all precedent, refused to seat two of the members that the minority party put on the committee, so the rest resigned in protest.

Marshall Hahn

I don't think that's quite fair. First, the original proposal was for an independent commission, but the Republicans wouldn't agree to it. Then when the select committee was set up, the list of proposed Republican members included two whom Minority Leader McCarthy knew would not be acceptable to Democrats because of their past behavior in committee hearings. There are 200+ Republicans in the House, and probably any but about a half-dozen of them would have been acceptable to Democrats. I'd lay the real responsibility for any alleged partisan bias in the committee squarely at McCarthy's doorstep.

Interesting that I never read any great theologians in the history of the church using the phrase "diversity, equity, and inclusion" or any equivalent way of lumping those things together. Why not let the secular, neo-Marxist sociological movement have what is obviously their phrase rather than use their phrase while constantly trying to explain that what we mean by it is not what they mean by it?

Well, obviously your understanding of "great theologians" is rife with racist heteronormality.


Here are the theologians in residence of the Sierra Pacific Synod -

Yeah, real theological heavyweights, aren't they?  ::)

What's next in these situations in terms of the local Synod? 

The presiding bishop can appoint an interim bishop to serve until the next assembly--in this case, for a year. Often this is a retired bishop from some other synod.

I think I erred here. Looks like the constitutional provision is actually for the Synod Council to appoint an interim bishop--though in this case, certainly, it would be in consultation with the presiding bishop.

What's next in these situations in terms of the local Synod? 

The presiding bishop can appoint an interim bishop to serve until the next assembly--in this case, for a year. Often this is a retired bishop from some other synod.

There's a lot of chatter on social media about whether the bishop in fact resigned on Saturday--fed, for example, by the fact that the Sierra Pacific Synod website posted the Conference of Bishops statement about Rohrer being suspended on Sunday with no mention of a resignation. The Conference of Bishops has made it clear that they had heard nothing about a resignation when they met virtually on Sunday night; also that Rohrer had been invited to take part but had opted not to do so.

This from a statement by Bp. Kevin Strickland, but I've seen similar verbiage from at least one other bishop so they probably collaborated on what to say:

The Conference of Bishops met Sunday evening; Bishop Megan Rohrer chose not to attend. The Presiding Bishop shared with us that she is initiating the discipline process immediately, including suspension of Megan Rohrer, based on additional information that has come to light. The COB strongly affirmed her decision to do this. “…Strongly affirmed” her decision – every bishop in the meeting affirmed Bp Eaton’s decision. We did not say this is a unanimous affirmation by the COB because not every bishop was at the meeting.
This process will take time, and Bishop Eaton will provide updates as appropriate. While the process is being initiated immediately, there are a number of steps that need to be completed which will take time. The hope is that this will be completed within 3 months, realizing churchwide assembly is in that timeframe. The discipline process being used is part of Chapter 20 of the constitution.

Yes, correct. Though the bishop has also been accused of bullying behavior.

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