"With its December 20 letter to the congregation at St. Paul's K Street the vestry carefully tries to give the appearance of having gone through a process of thinking carefully through the issues of women priests and same-sex marriage. But, the process of "discernment" they talk about is no such thing. The use of the word 'discernment' is canard. What is really going on is an exercise in disinformation and propaganda. There was no anguished consideration of anything but the outcome the vestry wanted in the first place. It was never under consideration that, based on Biblical texts, traditions and theology, that the parish should continue to hold the view that only male priests can administer Holy Communion -- or that the parish could hire a rector who blessed same-sex unions or conducted sex-sex marriages. Any decisions were never going to be based on what was right in the eyes of God.
"The only discernment going on is political discernment of just how far the vestry can go in moving the parish in the direction of supporting women clergy and same-sex marriage in who is hired as the next rector and to allow for female priests and same-sex marriages at the parish. The vestry retreat and the cautiously worded letter to the congregation are par for the course in how political activists have steamrolled their way through institutions like the Episcopal Church. While they bring a wrecking ball to Christianity, tradition and the parish, they want to pretend they are thoughtful and benign and have everyone's interests at heart and want the best for the congregation. They clearly do not.
"An assumption underlies this letter that it is the vestry that can make the 'discernment' or conclusion on just how much of the congregation supports their views. I don't see any evidence of a poll. Of course, there is another assumption that if sufficient support can be found for the vestry's view, then that is a green light for them to move forward with their wrecking ball. There's no evidence that asked those oppose the innovations would react to having them imposed on the congregation. Their mission is to fool enough of the people in the middle about their good intentions to make their radical moves seem innocent and harmless so that they do not lose too many parishioners and undermine the financial condition of the parish precipitously."