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Friday, June 05, 2009

The Rev. Kevin Thew Forrester cannot receive enough votes from standing committees in the Episcopal Church to be consecrated as bishop of Northern Michigan according to a tally kept by an Arkansas reporter who has been in contact with all of the Church's 110 dioceses as well as the Convocation in Europe.
The Diocese of Bethlehem's standing committee voted not to consent to Thew Forrester's election tonight, becoming the 56th diocese to withhold consent according to the reporting of Frank Lockwood of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who also reports online at Bible Belt Blogger. If his count is correct, Thew Forrester can only be confirmed if some standing committee's change their votes.
Fifty-six standing committees have withheld consent. Twenty-nine have given consent. Twenty-six have either not voted or not reported on their vote, according to Lockwood.
The Church does not announce the outcome of confirmation balloting until after the 120-day period in which consents may be received. Thew Forrester's consent period ends in late July.


Hoosierpalian said...

I spoke with the rector of "the chapel of ease" recently, because he and his wife, also a priest, have built their retirement home in the UP and are intimately familiar with the ecclesiastical structures in Northern Michigan. It's a sparsely populated place, so people of many denominations find themselves working together in admirable ways. The rector said that he regretted the lack of consents for Forrester, as in his opinion only Forrester can be the kind of administrator such a geographically large diocese. We were at post-Evensong dinner at a particularly fine Taiwanese restaurant, so I did not get to press him further on the issue, but as to Forrester's theology, he said that many Christians use Buddhist meditation techniques. This is all fine, and Northern Michigan deserves an excellent administrator (sounds like with their mutual ministry team they may already have excellent administration in place), but the Prayer Book Grump in me does not want to revisit the baptismal covenant with the Rev. Forrester just yet. It's only been 30 years and plenty of people (not me!) still seem to think that what we have in the '79 BCP is too radical.

ruauper2 said...

Apparently having built a retirement home in the U.P. qualifies one to become an expert on the administrative qualities desired of a bishop in this vast wasteland of trees, lakes, miles and miles of empty roads and an a lifestyle the retired priest and his wife will soon find is far different than that experienced while dining in a Taiwanese restaurant up here.

Distance between places is an accepted fact of life, in fact one that they rather like. Travel in the winter is something else. I doubt the priest or his wife have ever attempted travel across the "Seney Stretch" in the dead of winter and, believe me, administrative abilities would be of no help there.

There are some 1900 former Episcopalians who live up here. Two former bishops plus Thew Forrester have pushed the Mutual Ministry concept. That has not set well with many of us. Add to that the fact Thew Forrester engineered his own election as bishop by allowing no others to be nominated and added insult to injury by also having an advisory group approved, again with no others allowed to be nominated. The advisory group is clearly in conflict with the Constitution and Canons of the diocese but that doesn't seem to bother him one whit.