Listening to the Vergers of San Joaquin

Brother Causticus reluctantly relinquishes his blogging repose in recognition of an overdue obligation to explain to his dear readers – if he still has any – why BC’s pensées have diminished into silence these past few months. When first he blogged on things Anglican, BC committed to a certain elevation of discourse; to wit, should he have nothing edifying to say, BC would say nothing at all. This seemed a trifling afterthought on a magnanimously-conceived charter rooted in BC’s baptismal vow to seek and serve Christ in all persons – including bishops – yet soon proved to be a chafing constraint dooming BC to quietude. After a long season of straining at – and by – virtual gnats within the Anglican blogosphere, what little to be said that uplifted the Body and glorified its Head, BC quickly discovered, had generally been said already by Tobias Haller in a more erudite and timely manner.

BC also found his bounden duties as verger at St. Euphemesius-By-The-Freeway (Still) Episcopal Church suffered as he traversed a maze of twisty little blog passages, all alike in their shrill rectitude. When BC before reading could unfailing predict the by-the-numbers response to any tremor in the Ecclesia Anglicana not only by blogger, but also by comment box denizen, including pseudonymous personalities – “Anonymous” you are most decidedly not so! – it became clear that BC must needs return to the infinitely more seemly pursuit of polishing his verge, even repeatedly if need be. Though the machinations of offense by proxy – "I, Little Stone Bridget, am thoroughly vexed that Dagenham Rector, noted apostate, has promulgated vulgar representations of and about Father Mass Progeny, which under no circumstances should be viewed by any faithful Anglican, but can be found at… & etc." – are endlessly instructive to be certain, BC avers presently the moment arrives where the thurible must be stoked, torches must be trimmed and lit, and – the Cross leading the way! – the procession move ever on. Those not concurring are gently bidden to go in peace to love and serve the Lord, depositing the parish keys on the credence table and taking all due caution the chapel door not impact their hindquarters.

It is in such an admittedly querulous spirit that BC finds himself, en suite with the very-nearly-abstemious and Tablet-perusing Deacon Thorndike Andrewes, availing himself of the complimentary Internet connection in a commodious double queen room at the Comfort Inn overlooking historic downtown Hanford, California. Morning offices complete, BC is preparing to venture forth into the chill drizzle of this Epiphanytide day to another of the “listening sessions” he has been chartered to undertake with the vergers of the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin.

It would be unseemly to divulge confidences; however, BC assures all that the vergers of the Valley remain resolutely skeptical of the recent putative provincial moves bedeviling their diocese and chronicled ad nauseum elsewhere in the Anglican blogosphere. Many are drawn to the vocation of verger under the conviction that bishops are better led than followed, so it is unsurprising that these humble servants of Christ have a powerful immunity to the feverish vapors with which the purple pox afflicts many of the Episcopalian faithful.

In fact, as befits those whose medieval antecedents cleared a path for the procession from rabid beasts, petty thieves, and episcopi vagantes, these erstwhile Valley vergers peered resolutely ahead in anticipation while others were yet fumbling with their cinctures or messing about with their missals. They have the keys, dear readers, and when the proper word goes forth, they will use them, decently and in order. Little more needs to be said, but much is yet to be done. Where they succeed, God reigns; where they fail, God reigns.

It is with that in mind, BC bids your prayers for all in San Joaquin, those sisters and brothers southerly-bound and those remaining. Pray as a faithful remnant gather Saturday to renew their mission to spread the Gospel as this Church has received it, acknowledging with not unseemly grief what has been lost, but rejoicing mightily in what is being restored. Pray that all who have abandoned hope of a place for their heart of hearts hear the whisper of the Spirit calling them home.

Pray the vergers of San Joaquin good and true shun anger and despair, so they may stand clear-eyed at the ready as the procession moves ever on. Pray for Brother Causticus, a sinner of God’s gracious redeeming, that he may faithfully serve with them in whatever small way he has been called.

Pray for the Church. Pray for us all.