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By Brad Drell 10/23/2005

NOTE: Via Media, a pansexual organization in The Episcopal Church that claims "the middle way" was found to have prepared a strategy for the final extirpation of orthodox bishops in the Episcopal Church following the next General Convention. Mr. Brad Drell takes a hard look at what those "notes" mean.

VIA MEDIA: Present for the meeting were Dixie Hutchinson, Lynn Minor, Steve Westen, Rick Matters, Greg Fry, Joan Gundersen, Meg Ingalls, Andrew Grimmke

DRELL: Joan and Andrew have sent me kibitizer emails on the HOBD listserv from time to time, and Andrew has shown up on my blog a time to two. They have been anything less than conciliatory. I wonder where Chris Jones of Albany Via Media who refused to publish my piece on the role of consents in Episcopal Elections was? He didn't publish my final form; he wanted the version posted to the HOBD listserv, which was part of an ongoing discussion, and I wanted to flesh the discussion out before he posted it. Yeah, I worked on it a while, and I'm still ticked.

VIA MEDIA: People began by introducing themselves. Meg's parish just gave van bought with UTO money to Diocese of Mississippi.

DRELL: Thank you, Meg's parish.

VIA MEDIA After a prayer by Rick Matters, we began reports from the field.

DRELL: Each Via Media group whines about the oppression they are experiencing in their respective dioceses at the hands of the orthodox.

VIA MEDIA: VMFW Bishop Iker has been fairly quiet, but has gotten very vocal about women's ordination.

DRELL: What, just now? Puhleezze

VIA MEDIA: He has sent a formal request to Panel of Reference to shelter them from women's ordination. He is claiming that the church is forcing him to accept women's ordination.

DRELL: Yes, they will, by witholding consent to whoever is elected that won't support women's ordination. Process of reception over, fans.

VIA MEDIA: FWVM always responds with a letter.

DRELL: Yes, we take a crack at Iker every chance we get.

VIA MEDIA: Sent one to the Panel of Reference. Now have a newsletter with a circulation of 950.

DRELL And the snail mail SPAM increases...

VIA MEDIA Sent to all clergy, including the bishop.

DRELL: As if they wanted to read this trash. Got er, stole, directories from every parish with membership in their group. Or former membership, according to Fr. Cantrell, but whatever.

VIA MEDIA: The group is having to pay for mailing.

DRELL: Aw, shucks, not one parish willing to foot the mailing cost. They are now 501 c3. Donations to Via Media of Ft. Worth are now tax deductible. Hooray!

VIA MEDIA: Fort Worth budget short $70,000 (i.e. one parish which is even MORE conservative).

DRELL:Yet no sympathy for Bishop Iker trying to hold things together in Ft. Worth. Well, that's Via Media.

VIA MEDIA: Discussion of Hurricane relief and the way the Dallas, Fort Worth and Pittsburgh dioceses have ignored the ERD.

DRELL: Because the ACN and the AAC set up their own funds for relief, which are far more cost effective than ERD.

VIA MEDIA: Remain Episcopal

DRELL: A group in the Diocese of San Joaquin.

VIA MEDIA: At clergy convocation Bishop Schofield announced that the Episcopal Church's refusal to repent at GC will trigger the diocese announcing that the Episcopal Church has left the A.C. This was part of an announcement about "Where he stands." There is supposed to be a DVD of this talk. He expects the network to be recognized immediately after convention. After convention, all bets are off for those priests who don't follow his lead. They need to "watch out." In the past he had offered to let liberal parishes leave, but not now.

DRELL: Choose this day who you will serve...

VIA MEDIA: Dallas The group believes there will be a power battle between Stanton and Duncan for control of new church.

DRELL: Yeah right.

VIA MEDIA: Special convention voted to approve Windsor Report (3 no votes). DVM had a great turnout when Michael Battle spoke. Raised $2,000 and travel for him from a call for donations and plus had a surplus. Have an mail list of 200. Stanton says there is no Via Media, and Jekko is now assistant bishop. Have stripped all outreach funds from budget to place in evangelism.

DRELL: Ah...Jack Taylor's accusation regarding the Diocese of Dallas' idea to return ministry to the parish, rather than Diocesan levels and have the Diocese support that. DVM is getting ready to challenge this. Via Jack Taylor's continual SPAM to every bishop in the United States?

VIA MEDIA: New interim Dean of Cathedral is Network's church planting guru, Kevin Martin. Expects to be named real dean. SW FL Diocese in disarray, bishop coadjutor search on hold. Bishop swings depending who he talked to last. Bishop Lipscomb and Bishop Chane trying to work out DEPO swap. Bishop has said he will let each parish make its own decision as to where to go. They are working quietly, meeting with bishop. Hard to have a formal structure, did have an event for diocese looking at the positive things the church is doing. The chair of the standing committee is a member of S.W. FL.

DRELL: I assume this means SWFL Via Media. Yes, Bishop Lipscomb is trying to hold it together, despite the fact that he experiences liberal agitation at every turn. Give him a break, will ya'? What was that again about church unity?

VIA MEDIA: Episcopal Voices of the Diocese of Central Florida have web site that is beginning to really do good work, a yahoo group, meetings 2-3 times a year with speakers. Quiet group, doesn't know where to go from here. Lay led. Meg got together a group of clergy, most of whom are VM trying quietly to get as many people as possible on diocesan committees. I don't know about quietly now... They are looking for a way at diocesan convention to create "up/down" roll call vote to make clear who is going to leave and who wants to remain part of TEC. The Episcopal Church. They had been looking for an outreach project that would build bridges with people from other parishes, Katrina and Rita have given them that. Major committees of diocese are all "owned" by network.

DRELL: Or, maybe their members actually believe the Bible is God's Word...but whatever. PEP ,Progressive Episcopalians of Pittsburgh, one of the few Via Media groups with an honest title, although not as honest as liberal shock troops who like to sue their bishop,

VIA MEDIA:...has newsletter, chat list, monthly meetings, convention presence, has been effective opposition at conventions, has done consulting with parishes in other parts of the country, has broken national stories about schism, does briefings for convention.

DRELL: Indeed, they are the paragon of liberal shock troops. I bet they were parachuted into Connecticut...CESLD (Concerned Episcopalians of the St. Lawrence Deanery, in the Diocese of Albany)

VIA MEDIA: two founding members died. Herzog is retiring, wants co-adjutor. By getting a coadjutor and not retiring until after Lambeth, they can increase the number of conservative bishops at Lambeth.

DRELL: Or, Herzog could just be retiring after having to constantly fight liberals at General Convention and now Communist Episcopalians of the St. Lawrence Deanry, but whatever.

--Bradley L. Drell is an attorney and a deputy to General Convention 2006 of the Episcopal Church from the Diocese of Western Louisiana. You can visit his blog at http://descant.classicalanglican.net/

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