Friday, July 17, 2009

Winding down

GC 2009 is almost done. This morning the debate will center on Same Sex Blessings. The Bishops passed a greatly modified resolution from what the committee sent them, that does not authorize official blessing liturgies, but asks for study and collection of those for future consideration. The resolution also recognizes that in some states civil same-sex marriages are legal, and that a pastoral response to those is needed by the church.
The full text can be found HERE.
By the way, the evangelism resolution that was defeated, C069, is HERE. I have spoken to some committee members to pass on my great disappointment. They felt the reason for recommending rejection had to do with the resolution using a report done by the Church of England, but no one had access to the report. I told them I thought that was pretty lame excuse, because all the resolution does is ask our House of Bishops theology committee to study the how we can evangelize and recognize the uniqueness of Christ in a multi-faith society, and mentions the C of E report as a way the C of E addressed this issue.
I am happy to report, though, that a signficant document and resolution on inter-religious work was passed by both houses. In that document, found HERE, we very clearly state our belief in Jesus as Lord, reaffirm the Creeds and quadrilateral. The document and resolution are addressing how to live in this world of multi-faith, multi-religions and I think is an excellent resource. Now mind you, I haven't read the entire thing (it's big) but skimming the surface this is something I can support.
We trimmed the budget by 23 million dollars yesterday, and even reduced the asking of dioceses, recognizing the tough economic times (and shrinking of our church). I thought the budget committee did phenomonal work. A lot of "sacred cows" had huge reductions in funding, and it calls us to really look hard at what should take place at a "national church" (I know, I am not supposed to use that term, but whatever) level vs. at diocesan and parish levels. Makes sense to me. We need a mean and lean 815 (HA - that rhymed) and this is a good start.
Off to the debate. I will probably have another post or two. I owe you one on my observation and belief about how things are manipulated here by the President of the HoD and others, who are supposed to be "agenda free". Just one man's opinion!
I do thank the Diocese of Mississippi for the privilege to serve you all as a member of our deputation. And I must say that Eucharist every day has been amazing - incredible music and wonderful preaching.

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