The Gang of Thirteen, or so. (corrected 7/5)

For those who have an interest in a rogues gallery of the invading army of bishops, here are pictures of the gang of twelve or thirteen, bishops belonging to either Common Cause Partners or the "International Conference," and who are directly connected to other Provinces of the Communion. (corrected 7/5) The International Conference lists 25 congregations in the Uganda circuit, 39 in the Southern Cone (many with Bolivia and the breakaway group claiming to be Recife), 12 in the Kenya circuit, and one registered with Rwanda. (Total: 77 congregations.) Bishops or bishops-elect for this group are Atwood, Murdoch, Guernsey, Fairfield, and Cox. CANA lists 30 and AMiA lists 114 congregations. Bishops for this group include Rodgers, Barnam, Johnson, Minns, Green, Murphy, Bena and Weiss.

Bishop Cox, well retired,
is listed as the "on site" bishop for the Southern Cone. The primary lead however is taken by the Bishop of Bolivia, who seems to have considerable time on his hands, and oversees twenty-two of the parishes listed. The gang: Rodgers, Barnam, Atwood, Johnson, Minns, Green, Murphy, Guernsey, Bena, Fairfield, Murdoch, Weiss, Cox.

All of these people will be on board in time for the meeting of the "Council of Bishops" in September. Hold on to your miters. The effort to blow up The Episcopal Church will be billed as the work of the Holy Spirit. It will be hard to tell with this crowd, none of whom were elected by the constituencies they purport to serve. The claim that this gang is doing the will of the Holy Spirit may turn out to be flat out wrong. Instead of the wind of God it may simply be the blast of egos who confuse the episcopate for community in Christ.


  1. Mark,

    I believe they are doing the work of the Holy Spirit. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree.


  2. Isn't that Tommy Johnston, second row on the left?

    Bill Fulton

  3. Mark

    The Bishop you listed as "Small" is actually TJ Johnston. And you forgot Chuck Murphy of AMiA. I also think you should take Bp Ben Kwashi off. His main ministry is serving as the Bishop of Jos in Nigeria.

  4. bill: Yes...corrected.
    David..yes...got put off by the label on the pic, which was tjsmall. Re Murphy and Kwashi... you are right about Murphy and I suspect right about Kwashi. I missed getting Bishop Murphy's pic in, and Kwashi is here and mucking about but not part of the AMiA in place bishops.

  5. Mark, if you're going to show the AMiA bishops, you should also include their parishes in the total you give for the number of congregations these bishops oversee.

    I just checked the AMiA website, it lists 114 churches

    and also CANA which lists 30 congregations as of May 1 (I think there are more now)

  6. Mark, I think you may be confusing the International Conference with the Common Cause Partners. Icon members are listed here: http://www.acn-us.org/icon/ and the Common Cause Partners are listed here: http://www.acn-us.org/common-cause-partners/


  7. bb. Thanks. I wasn't so much confusing them as conflating them. So I made a correction in the post. What I was trying to do was to list the bishops (current or yet to be) who will attend the meeting in September and who are members of other Provinces of the Anglican Communion.

    Your careful read was helpful. Hope I got it untangled a bit.

  8. The effort to blow up The Episcopal Church will be billed as the work of the Holy Spirit. It will be hard to tell with this crowd, none of whom were elected by the constituencies they purport to serve. The claim that this gang is doing the will of the Holy Spirit may turn out to be flat out wrong.

    The fascinating thing is that these sentences could be taken out of this one particular context and could be written by either side in the great divide.

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  10. Well some claim that decisions of the General Convention are Spirit-led, these people believe they are Spirit-led, the Pope very occasionally claims to be Spirit-led. The Charismatic revival still lives.

    I did hear that the Holy Spirit, sick and tired of being the attributed author of all things, has tended her resignation to the other two Persons of the Trinity

  11. Well there are those who claim that the Holy Spirit is the author of succesful General Convention motions, these people claim to be Spirit-led and the Pope, on rare occasions is infallibly led by the Spirit.

    I am told, by reliable sources, that the Holy Spirit has tended her resignation to the other Persons of the Trinity on the grounds that she is held responsible for everything nowadays.

  12. Mark- and the point of the photos and title of "gang of........." is what?
    S. I. Hayakawa would deem this textbook hyperbole which adds nothing to the discussion or the issues before the church.

  13. "Instead of the wind of God it may simply be the blast of egos who confuse the episcopate for community in Christ."

    While I do not personally know all of those bishops, the ones that I do know do NOT fall into this category. +Cox, for example, is one of the most humble human beings that ever walked the face of the earth!

  14. Kevin refers to a sentence which he maintains "could be written by either side."

    I don't quite know how the "conservatives" could possibly say of Episcopal bishops "none of whom were elected by the constituencies they purport to serve."

    Whatever one may think of +Gene New Hampshire, no honest person can deny that he was elected by Episcopalians in New Hampshire in accordance with the procedures set down in canons.

    But who elected the assortment of "Ugandan," "Nigerian," "Rwandan," or "South American" bishops wandering about purporting to serve Americans. As near as I can tell, they were elected, not by the conservaive faithful in the United States, but by Ugandans, Nigerians, Rwandans and South Americans.

  15. Anonymous...please us a name, any name (same one all the time would be useful). You are right. I like Bishop Cox. I think he is as you say a truly humble human being. FWIW (not much these days) I think he is being used.

  16. Dear Tony: I've heard the same thing...and perhaps she can be convinced that a moratorium on using her name in vain is in order.

  17. Dear Fr. Harris:

    This is way off topic, but I'm not seeing an e-mail address.

    Over on T19 (http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/4187/) someone questioned the etymology you give here for preludium, so I did a bit of nosing around.

    I may have missed something. Would you be willing to bring me up to speed?

  18. Who are you referring to with the pronouns "she" and "her" - it can not be the Holy Spirit of God - perhaps it is the spirit of the world. The Holy Spirit is referred to by our Lord as "He" and "Him"; and it is not a trivial thing to contradict our Lord on matters pertaining to the persons of the Godhead, of which he is an eternal member, and speaks with complete authority.

  19. AS far as the election of bishops, when a congregation applies for rescue to the province of Nigeria or Southern Cone, they take certain risks. One of them is that the rules for electing bishops will change and that, unlike TEC or ACCan, the laity and clergy may not have a vote. I, for one, don't have a problem with the way that Nigeria or Southern Cone elects bishops.

    TEC's model is not the only way to go.

  20. brian f. Fr. Tony Clavier made the reference to "she" and the Holy Spirit. Tony is a person of impeccable theological tastes and good humor, so I suspect his reference was meant to be both. As to the Lord and the male pronoun use in reference to the Holy Spirit, perhaps you are right. I have no desire to explore this in either the Greek or the Aramaic or the Hebrew. The English is irrelevant, except insofar as the translators got it right. But what then? Surely Jesus never said, "The Holy Spirit is male."?

  21. Steve....you wrote over on T19,
    "According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word preludium (in English from 1563) derives from the post-classical Latin word praeludium (in British sources from c1177), which derives from a combination of the verb praeludere plus –ium, the suffix used to transform i- and e-stem Latin verbs into nouns denoting acts. If ludium was a classical term (I find it, among the dictionaries I happen to have here at home, only in Blaise’s Lexicon Latinitatis Medii Aevi, where it means something like play/game/sport, joust/tilt), it would have had something to do with play, I think (ludius, an actor; ludo, to play; ludus, play, game, sport, pastime), not sound.
    This is also the etymology given in Webster’s Third New International, so I, too, am a bit puzzled by Harris’ etymology.
    Are we missing something?"

    You are missing nothing, I suspect. I got the word from Blake's poems, where in the Prophetic Books, particularly in the poem America: a prophecy, Blake begins with a Preludium. My sense is he meant this more or less as one would use the word prelude. That word then meant "before the main event of a play or musical piece." In Blake there was no play, of course, but rather there was the prophecy, so his prelude or preludium consisted of words before the main event.

    I took it to mean "before the sound," supposing prophecy to be a rather big sound, and my scratching about a rather small one. In terms of etymology you are closer to the mark than I...it means before the main event - be it play or music or even sport. I believe I mis-jumped from ludere..having to do with play, to play or music (where prelude means what it means), to introduction to the words the prophetic poet makes.

    Rotten etymology, interesting jumps. Thanks for the info. See new heading.


  22. "The effort to blow up The Episcopal Church will be billed as the work of the Holy Spiri"

    Yes, it seems that those who seek to destroy the Episcopal Church are calling their destructive and schismatic behavior "the Spirit doing a new thing."

    I wish that those who claim that the Spirit is doing a new thing in leading us to bless what Scripture calls sin and wish to operate outside the bounds of the Anglican Communion and against the wishes of the ABC, the Primates, the ACC, and the Lambeth Conferences would stop their destructive and schismatic behavior.

    Phil Snyder

  23. Mark:

    Just found my way to your blog from kendallharmon land.
    As a trustee in an emerging AMiA congregation (My family left TEC in 2004 in the wake of GC2003)I think the language of "gang" is an intended insult not worthy of a clergy member.
    Like others on this blog, I know Bp. Cox, have heard him preach and attended his healing services. Bp. Cox is in now way a "gang" member.
    I will agree that Bp. Cox is being used. Used by Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God to continue is faithful ministry.
    Bp. Barnum (one of my bishops) is a man of incredible kindness and preaches a sermon unlike I have heard from any of my ECUSA bishops during my 58-year tenure (from birth) in that denomination.
    Likewise, Chuck Murphy.
    Many of us left without taking property. We left you to your agenda, to your new religion. Why you obsess so about our new bishops and churches, who do not threaten you (other than as an oasis for your more traditional members) is beyond me.
    Me thinks you protest too much.
    But I like your blog and will stop by from time to time.
    Jim from Michigan

  24. Keep at it, Mark. When this many are this exercised and insulted, it's proof positive that you're speaking the truth: a truth they'd rather you not even acknowledge.

  25. Surely the real culprits are not these thirteen bishops, but the dozens of clergy and thousands of laity who requested alternate episcopal oversight. All the primates and these bishops did was in response to these Americans' desire to maintain connection with the Anglican communion without supporting the Episcopal commitment to homosexuality and abortion. Your hall of rogues really should include thousands -- all those who eagerly asked for and now follow these 13 bishops.

    I may buy that back, however. There is a certain mentality in America that suggests that people can choose their own religious leaders (or allow others they trust to choose them), and choose their own religious affiliation, and support and stand for what they believe in. The conspiracy to plant this evil seed into the hearts of Americans can be traced back to two Virginia Episcopalians, as my meticulous research has shown. These two are James Madison (see especially here) and Thomas Jefferson. I believe these are the true culprits who deserve your wrath and indignation for suggesting these Episcopalians have the freedom to reject our church in favor of other Anglican churches of the Global South. Perhaps you should add them to your gang; they are certainly more responsible for the current situation than the thirteen bishops you mention.

  26. Mark - the point is not whether did or did not actually say "The Holy Spirit is male", but he nevertheless used the masculine pronoun when speaking of Him; and never used either the neuter or the female pronoun; which I'm sure he would have if the Holy Spirit was to be equated with an impersonal power or with the feminine; and the translators faithfully carried this over into our English texts. It is neither good humour nor good theology to confuse the gender descriptions of God. Even if we find gender confusion acceptable in our own eyes, it is blasphemous to impose gender confusion upon our Creator and Redeemer. This is an issue of far greater concern than a few bishops running around in the "sacred" territory of ECUSA.

  27. Regarding the election of the new bishops, it seems to me that many orthodox Episcopalians are voting with their feet. They have been for 40 years, but until recently, there were no parishes ministered to by Anglican bishops apart from ECUSA. So many of those who left before had to give up classical Anglcian belief and practice to be true to their conscience. Thank God and the "Gang of 13" that today, we will only have to give up our building, computers, prayer books, and choir robes.

  28. Sweet, holy heaven! Some of these folks have mighty thin skins. I've been a lurker for months - and am happy to mostly keep lurking, but this afternoon, I've just had it up to here with all the whining. Call 'em a gang, Mark - call 'em a gaggle - I think your analysis of the impending coup d'eglise is accurate, careful and important.

    I agree that you're getting a bucket full of snark today because you are hitting mighty close to the bone. Keep at it - keep us informed - keep sharing your insights, your passion and your deep love for Christ and the Church - it does us good!

    Mr. Arabin

  29. Brian F,

    I've been referring to the Holy Spirit as "She" (as did the Biblical Israelites) for decades and, thus far, She hasn't objected!


    Yes, yes, yes: it's easy to declare "The Holy Spirit's on OUR side" (or, as I prefer, "we're on Her side").

    However, "by their fruits will you know them," as always.

    Lord have mercy on us all, and grant us reconcilition, O God, in Your Time.


OK... Comments, gripes, etc welcomed, but with some cautions and one rule:
Cautions: Calling people fools, idiots, etc, will be reason to bounce your comment. Keeping in mind that in the struggles it is difficult enough to try to respect opponents, we should at least try.