Anglican Watch

Anglican Watch applauds election of Sean Rowe, looks for better organizational ethics

PB elect Sean Rowe

Anglican Watch is delighted to learn that the House of Bishops has elected Sean Rowe as presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. While we have had reservations about Sean, including his handling of LGBTQ+ issues, we believe that he is by far the most qualified of the candidates for the position.

We base our endorsement on several factors:

  1. Our perception that Rowe will be an effective administrator. For too long, Church Center, aka 815, has been a cesspool of bad behavior, corruption, and intrigue. These characteristics are not of love and, thus, not of God.
  2. Rowe has proven a reliable advocate for Title IV reform. The days of the church protecting bishops or, like Whayne Hougland, getting rewarded for their bad behavior are over. They are over because church members will no longer unquestioningly allow their time, talent, and treasure to be squandered by the Episco-bros as the latter look out for each other. The church must become accountable.
  3. Rowe is careful to build consensus. We are tired of the childish infighting and turf wars in the church.
  4. Rowe understands the need for reform. Few organizations cling to the past as fervently as the Episcopal Church. Yet few organizations more urgently need to embrace the future than the Episcopal Church.

As for the other candidates, our reaction ranges from underwhelmed to loathing, with the latter reserved for bishops who ignore clergy disciplinary complaints. You know who you are.

The Ayala Harris connection

We also hope that Rowe will be a force for healing in the ugly saga of Julia Ayala Harris.

It is no secret that we are not fans of Ayala Harris. Far from it.

But even as Ayala Harris easily won re-election, we see in her response the underlying problem with her as President of the House of Delegates (PHOD).

Specifically, her approach was to urge church nerds to get about the business of governing the church.

Unfortunately, in taking that approach, Harris “pulls a Piskie,” by slapping a layer of happy-clappy on deep-rooted dissatisfaction with her tenure as PHOD.

By doing so, Harris misses the opportunity to work for healing and renewal while ignoring her own shortcomings, which are legion. Just glossing over things with references to being a church nerd is worse than unhelpful—it’s counterproductive.

We hope that Harris will sit down with others and discuss ways to foster collaborative relationships marked by mutual respect, transparency, and communication. And for the record, attending the same meeting last fall as the VPHOD is not communication.

Let us hope that Rowe will work diligently to bring about integrity in the church. Right now, the denomination sorely needs it.

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