Can somebody out there please explain exactly what Bishop Mark Lawrence means by announcing that he and his Diocese of South Carolina will “begin withdrawing” from the Episcopal Church into which he was ordained, and by whom he was consecrated Bishop and given the pointy hat of which he’s clearly very proud?
I’ve read and re-read his convention address, but still can’t find much more in it than a collection of rather meandering anecdotes. While there’s no denying these prove he’s reasonably entertaining for a Bishop (it’s not as if the standard's very high), and the story he attributes to an anonymous Nun involving an angel kissing newborn infants on different parts of their anatomy certainly helps explain my childhood nickname of “Tripod”, none of these shed any light upon what +Lawrence intends to do other than to keep whining about God's love for people irrespective of their sexuality.
Nor does anyone here at St. Onuphrius’ have any idea. Consuella thinks the whole thing is just a ploy to stop little Rev. Steve “My dirty pants don’t stink” Wood (ever thought that maybe the only reason people didn’t complain about your stench was that good-old southern courtesy kept them from saying anything, hey Fr. Steve?) and his congregation from running off, although it does seem an awful lot of effort to go to in order to hang on to just one parish. After all, it’s not as if the hotel chambermaids are going to miss changing Rev. Wood’s sheets if he’s no longer a delegate to General Convention.
Evangelical Eric, on the other hand, thinks “this will be sending a tremendous message”, although like the conservative sites from which he’s stolen this cliché, he’s got no idea what that message is. Then again he’s still just miffed because I sold the pain-relievers he was prescribed after surgeons reattached his foot. While filling the parish Hummer I’d got talking to a couple of long-haul truckers who were having trouble sleeping at the end of a run, and dealing a little pastoral assistance was the least I could do; my foolish Curate still can’t get it into his head that being in ministry means not always putting oneself first: I'm beginning to fear he may be in some way related to the Ould family.
Meanwhile Bishop Quinine thinks the whole address was allegorical, and has found more hidden meanings than Dan Brown at a Shriner’s meeting. Personally I’ve got no problems accepting his theory when it comes to +Lawrence’s bit about squirrels running through hollow branches (read the address if you don’t know what I’m talking about) being a covert reference to something distinctly unhealthy involving gerbils, although what Bishop Quinine reads into the paragraph about some woman moving into a bedroom down the hall is too much for even Kendall Harmon to contemplate. Although I dare say David Virtue would be more than interested in buying the film rights.
Personally I think the most likely explanation is that +Lawrence is just trying to follow my example of sitting on the fence and playing everyone off against each other. It’s highly probable that he and Mrs. Lawrence like nothing more at the end of the day than to snuggle up to each other in bed and in the quiet of the evening meditate together upon my Sound Bible Teaching; and doubtless this is where His Grace discovered his new strategy of pretending to not really be part of the apostate liberal church hierarchy while still continuing to enjoy the perks and kudos associated with being a real Prelate, as opposed to just being one of countless pretend ones in a pretentious new sect operating out of Pittsburgh.
How long he’ll be able to keep fooling the ECUSA hierarchy in this way is another question. Playing off the ACNA crowd will be easy, since not only are none of them the brightest lanterns on the boardwalk (or else they wouldn’t have let little Bobby Duncan talk them into throwing away their vocations), but like any desperate huckster they’ll keep smiling and pretending to be friendly for as long as there’s even the faintest hope of making a sale. However the Presiding Bishop is made of smarter stuff, and if +Lawrence thinks he can keep her at bay for long by sticking his fingers in his ears and hiding with Teddy in the toy box he’s in for a very big surprise.
I’m Father Christian and I teach the Bible.