Sunday, January 28, 2007

Bishop Lee and New Coadjutor Agree on Vision of Big Tent Church :: The Living Church

After electing the Very Rev. Shannon Johnston as Bishop Coadjutor of Virginia the day before, the annual council meeting mostly followed a path of genteel centrism in the resolutions it approved in the business portion. During a Jan. 27 press conference at the end of the two-day council meeting, Virginia Bishop Peter James Lee and Fr. Johnston shared a "big tent" vision of the diocese and The Episcopal Church.

Earlier in the day, delegates and visitors to the business portion heard Colonel Jean Reed, president of the standing committee report that it has declined to consent to the election of the Rev. Mark Lawrence as Bishop of South Carolina.

In a news conference afterward, Bishop Lee said that he, unlike the standing committee, had given consent to Fr. Lawrence’s election.

“My hope is that he will be confirmed as a sign that The Episcopal Church is a big tent, and that we have room for people of his theological convictions,” Bishop Lee said.

Fr. Johnston agreed with Bishop Lee regarding consent to Fr. Lawrence’s election, saying he was pleased to be part of the Mississippi standing committee’s decision to grant its consent.

After electing Fr. Johnston, who describes himself as a vocal centrist, the resolutions most likely to divide the council were softened into substitutes by committee, and the council approved most of them in nearly unanimous numbers.

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