Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Long Day....

I know you are probably looking for comments on D025. I was not surprised it passed the House of Deputies, but I was profoundly shocked that it passed in the House of Bishops, especially by a huge margin.
The resolution, which really is very well written (please read the whole thing HERE before making judgments), is being interpreted by some as repealing the moratorium on consecration of gay Bishops, but by many others as not doing so. It basically affirms our commitment to the Anglican Communion and recognizes we have canonical processes in place that we must follow in approving candidates for holy orders, including bishops.
In our own deputation, some who voted in favor were adamant that they didn't see it as overturning B033, one of the committee members who worked on it told me explicitly that was not the intent.
However, the early "play" on this outside of GC is that it did just that. But several bishops I talked to said the moratorium was in place, and would be until a gay bishop is consecrated - whatever that means. Here I quote deputy Stephen Horst of Connecticut -

"Ultimately, it does not matter what anyone thinks apart from Canon Theologians.
The opinions of the authors don't matter.
The opinions of those who want the legislation to mean this or that don't matter.
Of course, in another sense, there are opinions that matter....
On the one hand, the LBGT community, who now feels affirmed by this Church, matters enormously. Indeed, they matter infinitely, both as individuals and collectively. (This is one part of why I voted FOR this resolution!!)
But by the same token, the opinion of the wider Anglican Communion matters. And I would strongly urge them to take the view that this legislation CHANGES NOTHING in our Canons or Discipline, as was urged by both the authors and the Presiding Bishop, in addition to speakers in both Houses
I certainly admit that there are parties in both Houses who wish to claim that this legislation renounces B033. Yet I submit that this is not so, as D025 makes no normative claims, but merely cliaims FACT.
Legislatively, we are left with the implications of existing canons, and of course with the deeper responsibilities to Scripture, Reason and Tradition. (And additionally to Experience for those of us within the Wesleyan tradition, to which I would solemnly commend the reader, with the admonition that s/he be careful to distinguish that Rev. Wesley meant by "experience" from what the reader might mean by the same expression)".

Needless to say, it was a long day at GC. It started with something that really irritated me, a recommendation by the Evangelism committee to reject a resolution asking the Bishops Theology Committee to report back on ways we can talk about the uniqueness of Christ in our multi-faith world. This committee amazes me at times, as a similar resolution in 2006 was rejected by the committee. It's like we are afraid to say we believe in Jesus, that it would be rude to say what we believe, and to whom we belong. Folks, we have a lot to learn about evangelism, but meanwhile, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. Some deputy "called the question" on this before more than one speaker could even protest the recommendation to reject, and debate ended then, before I could get to a microphone myself.
However, evangelism rallied with several other resolutions that passed, including some focus on church planting. I was pleased with those resolutions.
I am off the floor today, and I may wander up to the Bishops meeting to see what they are up to this morning. More later - I do hope you are praying for us all.


Dot Gibson said...

Thanks for your posts from General Convention. I appreciated your link to 025. It makes things a lot clearer to read the actual resolution.

Bryan Owen said...

We're definitely keeping all of you in our prayers, David, and we're proud to have each of you there for us.

I very much like what you have to say here about what irked you re: the Bishops Theology Committee. We do have a lot to learn about evangelism, and we should never be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! I suspect that the learning about evangelism and the lack of shame and/or fear of admitting that we really do believe in Jesus go hand in hand.

Scott said...

The NY Times article: check it out


I don't think I posted a link, but it is the address. Thanks for your blog.