The “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry” quote of the Day: “Now we have to make a plan.”

I have been trying to get in touch with friends who happen to work in the Episcopal diocese of South Carolina for days. When I finally tracked them down today it turns out they have been in non-stop meetings. I ask, “What’s with all the meetings?”

Answer: “Planning.”

“Wait, you are having planning meetings?”

“Yeah, we have to figure out what to do.”

“Because…”

“Dude, we had no idea we weren’t going to be Episcopalians two weeks ago. Things were tense, but they always are between us and the rest of the church. We really thought we had things ironed out. Now we have to make a plan.”

If that doesn’t make you sad, what will? A group of people the other 95% of us thought were itching to leave were so far down the road on their planned departure that they…did not have a plan.

Actually they did have a plan: A plan to remain in the church. What they did not have was a “plan b.” And that is what is so sad – that we cannot find a way to keep a group in our fold who has no plan to leave.

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8 thoughts on “The “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry” quote of the Day: “Now we have to make a plan.”

  1. I have been praying for The Episcopal Church and for SC and all my dear friends who think they are un-Episcopalians now. What we Episcopalians are is a dysfunctional family and God says that’s ok and He loves us all. But we say Our Way or the Highway. My heart is breaking.

    • Hi Ceci.
      It is tragic, isn’t it. We must find a way to stop retreating into corners and assuming the worst about one another. I will wage my own personal campaign to consider them still Episcopalians…that was what we did during the Civil War with the southern churches. 🙂

      Perhaps we can all pray everyone back to the table.

      • I keep thinking of Peter and Paul and their first meeting. They could have easily split the church. I’m praying for both. Dear Both: Please read the Bible for some examples of what to do. TIA.

  2. 🙂 I had to look up what “TIA” meant. I wondered if you were having a mini-stroke over this…because I might have a week ago. “Thanks in advance” is far more hopeful.

  3. Given the action against Bp. Lawrence, having contingency plans for if the diocese leaves is proof positive that you are leaving, and therefore the national church gets to take you over.

    • Hmmn. If the dominant narrative is correct, then that is exactly what they should have been doing…if they were planning their grand escape by trying to provoke conflict. I just never heard any rumor, wink-nod, or hint of that. And I was there a lot. And their folks were with me at conferences. I roomed with their folks and was a fly on the wall when their was lots of tension. If this was a grand plan they sure kept their own office in the dark.

      As someone who was a kid during watergate, I have a hard time believing conspiracy theories. There are too many people willing to talk.

      Looking forward to reading your longer response after dropping kids off at school. 🙂

      • My observation is sardonic and definitely not based on any inside knowledge; it’s a comment on the grounds for Lawrence’s inhibition.

        One can see, out in the open, that there are two conflicts going on. There’s one internal to the diocese which is the proximate source of the complaints, but which has a history I don’t understand well enough to comment on other than as to the persistence of the parties. The other conflict is much more overt: there’s a party spread across the national church which doesn’t like Lawrence’s theology and doesn’t want him as bishop, and who wouldn’t at all mind on one level that he were gone (though on another level they enjoy ranting about his disloyalty). I have to suspect that those involved in the local conflict with him are also to some large degree engaged in the larger conflict, though of course I have no proof of that. None of this is a “conspiracy” other than the opacity of the local organizations to the outside; the larger conflict is sprayed across the blogosphere.

  4. My friends in SC (and a priest who has recently left) say that they think the breakdown of leavers to stayers will probably be the most lopsided of the “former” diocese’ – like maybe 90-10. That “insider” group seems to very determined, but fairly small.

    The accusation on the blogosphere (and among TEC insiders) has been that the Diocese of SC was engineering a departure conspiracy. That is what I just have seen nothing at all of from the people I know there-although I do think the diocese was in the unenviable position of trying to keep the loudest voices for departure at the table while not departing. I think your comment on another post, “Defiance is not departure” is spot on. The current leadership cannot tolerate differentiation (for reasons I have been reflecting on and wrote a pop-psychology blog post on I may put up this weekend). They see it as disloyalty.

    I do not know what is next for us. Are we to purge everyone who is a marriage traditionalist? When that is done, what next?

    South Carolina had come to GC accepting that the church would go forward on ssb liturgies. They had released a letter to the effect of, “The national church will go ahead and we will not agree.” We freaked them out with CWOB, Confirmation and Transgendered stuff so they walked out. They are asking, “What is the end-game? After all, we have said for 30 years, “There is no slippery slope,” But if you live in SC (or anywhere else for that matter) how could you not feel as if you are on one?

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