Daily Archives: July 11, 2009

Matt Kennedy Live Blog: Prayerbook, Liturgy, and Music Committee Public Hearing 7:30am Saturday

The subcommittee looking at the 7 resolutions for SSB and committee tried to choose one that might be a good moot resolution and tried to hear voices from across the spectrum–you will see a rudimentary proposal that collects various resolves and uses the title for C056 and liturgies for blessings.

Jack: What we did was starting with C056 is take the second and third resolves of C056 and make the amendment the 1st and second resolve of the amended resolve. And taking from C031 the language about the legal contexts and making that the last clause of the first resolve. And then taking the first of C056 and making it the third but removing the language about inclusion in EOW–that was left open ended. We also in that 3rd resolve and 4th include the HOB theology committee to work with the SCLM and the 4th resolve is largely from C031 about the process that resolution recommended for that work to be done in

Candler: obviously we are not going to perfect anything, but let’s have some conversation’….

Lee: C031 has a lot better way starting off the gate as far as language gives

Henry: Perhaps it would get a better hearing if paragraph 3 was first, calling for the dev of liturgies rather than authorizing liturgies not yet prepared.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Another Resolution to Keep an Eye on at General Convention 2009

Resolution: A091
Title: Dismantle Christian Anti-Judaism
Topic: Discrimination
Committee: 13 – Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music
House of Initial Action: Bishops
Proposer: Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 76th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to continue to collect, develop and disseminate materials that assist members of the Church to address Christian anti-Judaism expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian scriptures and liturgical texts, including the preparation of a pamphlet explaining Christian anti-Judaism and ways to address it in teaching, evangelism, and congregational life; the development of age-appropriate educational materials for children; the identification and evaluation of available resources pertaining to liturgy and music, giving special attention to Holy Week and Easter liturgies and to the diverse traditions of song in The Episcopal Church; and to report the results of its efforts to the 77th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention request that the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops develop, in consultation with the Standing Commissions on Liturgy and Music and on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, a statement defining Christian anti-Judaism and why it demands our attention, and to report to the 77th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention direct the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $10,000.00 for implementation of this Resolution.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Living Church: Bishops Join Central Ecuador Consent Controversy

A tissue of lies was all that supported claims made by three of the four deputies from the Diocese of Central Ecuador that the episcopal election process in their diocese was corrupt, the Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos-Orench told the House of Bishops at the close of their afternoon session on July 10.

The Rev. Luis Fernando Ruiz was elected Bishop of Central Ecuador by the House of Bishops March 17 after the diocesan convention deadlocked 18-18. Bishop Ramos, the Provisional Bishop of Central Ecuador, broke the tie by sending it to the House of Bishops for resolution.

However, during the July 10 afternoon session of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Lourdes Inapanta, clergy deputy from Central Ecuador asked the deputies to reject Resolution B023 affirming his election. A clerical error prevented Fr. Ruiz’s elections materials from being distributed to the deputies, and the vote was postponed.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

Mark Goodman (Rio Grande) on Recent General Convention Happenings

One of the most helpful things the past several days have been the lunches that the deputation from Rio Grande have been sharing together. After the daily Eucharist, around 12:30 or so, we gather in our hospitality room on the 12th floor for lunch and conversation about what has been happening at the Convention. It is very useful to hear from the deputies that have been following legislation from certain committees. For example, Fr. Scott Ruthven has been following the Prayer Book and Liturgy Committee. There are many resolutions arising there that deal with trial liturgies for everything from the loss of a pet, a possible revision of the Hymnal, to a re-write of Eucharistic Prayer C in the Book of Common Prayer. There is also a resolution to add the Rev. Ted Howden, from our diocese, to the commemorations in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, the Episcopal Church’s book of saints and noteworthy individuals. However, there are also some pretty controversial resolutions dealing with blessings of same-gender unions and revision of marriage liturgies to remove gender-specific language. It was to these sorts of resolutions that the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the prelude to his sermon on Thursday, referred, saying that he had “some anxiety” that the General Convention would pass legislation that would cause further division in the Communion. Many of us here from Rio Grande share that anxiety.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Brian Baker (Northern California) on Yesterday at General Convention

At yesterday’s committee meeting, it was clear that the hurdle for any resolution will be the House of Bishops. All resolutions from our committee go to their house first, and in this instance, they are the more conservative body. I think it would be hard to have a resolution asking for rites of “marriage” at this time. The House of Bishops is supposed to discuss a resolution that allows the “widest latitude” (or some such language) for pastoral response in states that have legalized same sex marriage. That’s sort of how things work. We can’t have a resolution that says they can bless same-sex marriages. Authorizing marriages flat out is too shocking to too many. We must have resolutions that allow for bishops to respond to their contexts as they see fit as we move toward a more just policy. That is resolution B012. I am very curious how their deliberation will go.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Church Times: Dr Jefferts Schori stresses essentials and recession at Convention

CHRISTIANS are meant to engage crisis as opportunity, the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, Dr Katharine Jefferts Schori, told its triennial General Convention in California on Tuesday.

In a strong opening address, which emphasised putting essential things first, she warned that underlying all the debates on the needs of the poorest and the inclusion of those who did not have full access to the Church, was “the reality that we do not have the same financial resources to address them that we had three years ago ”” that is another kind of crisis, both local and global.”

The overarching connection in the crises facing the Church had to do with “the great Western heresy ”” that we can be saved as individuals, that any of us alone can be in right relationship with God”, she warned. “It is caricatured in some quarters by insisting that salvation depends on reciting a specific verbal formula about Jesus. That individualist focus is a form of idolatry, for it puts me and my words in a place that only God can occupy, at the centre of existence, as the ground of all being.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Presiding Bishop

Post Gazette: Pittsburgh's Episcopal bishop collects on sports wagers

Pittsburgh sports and religion intersected yesterday at the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in Anaheim, Calif., when Bishop Robert Johnson of the Episcopal Diocese of Pittsburgh collected on friendly Super Bowl and Stanley Cup wagers.

Bishop Kirk Smith of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona donned Steelers gear and Bishop Wendell Gibbs of the Episcopal Diocese of Michigan put on Penguins attire, fulfilling a wager made with Bishop Johnson earlier this year. The two bishops also received team towels, either a Steelers “Terrible Towel” marking the team’s sixth Super Bowl win, or the white rally towel waved by Penguins fans during their run to a third Stanley Cup championship.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

Christopher Seitz: The Unique Polity of the Episcopal Church?

But what does it mean to argue that the polity of TEC is unique? If the emphasis is on significant discontinuity with the character of that polity otherwise seen to be representative of Anglicanism, is the danger not in cutting TEC off from the Communion at large? Surely the continuity of the Anglican Communion””whatever the special features of this or that polity””is to be grasped in the Episcopal Office. No specialness can alter that feature without at the same time creating a truly national denomination. If this is what the President of the House of Deputies is calling for, let her indicate that she realizes that and wishes it to be so and means to make it so.

At the founding of the Episcopal Church in this country efforts were made to create a polity that constrained the office of Bishop, and held it accountable to a second House. Does the President of the House of Deputies mean that uniqueness lies in this sort of understanding? If so, it bears recalling that at precisely this point the new church had to defer to the spirit of recommendations of the Church of England, and the pleadings of Seabury, if she was to remain a branch of the catholic expression of Anglicanism. So the General Convention that then emerged did not in the least preempt or constrain the special responsibility of Bishops, and it is exactly that reality that serves to give proportion to any idea of special features.

It is important as well to keep comments like this in perspective given other recent trends. In the legal submissions made by the national church, we have seen a different argument for the ”˜special polity’ of this church. The fact that there are similarities but also differences suggests that these arguments serve the purpose chiefly of aiding in a cause, and less in the accuracy of their historical claims, or the consistency of their logic and presentation.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, Church History, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President, TEC Polity & Canons

Obama Says Economic Stimulus Plan Worked as Intended

President Barack Obama said his $787 billion stimulus bill “has worked as intended” as he pushed back against Republican criticism that his recovery program has failed to rescue the economy.

“It has already extended unemployment insurance and health insurance to those who have lost their jobs in this recession,” Obama, who is traveling today in Ghana, said in his weekly Saturday radio and Web address. “It has delivered $43 billion in tax relief to American working families and business.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Economy, Office of the President, Politics in General, President Barack Obama, The Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--, The Fiscal Stimulus Package of 2009

Elizabeth Keaton is Shadow Boxing Me Even Though I am not There

Along with a caricature of my new responsibilities–oh well. The Lord bless her.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

South Carolina Deputy Steve Wood on General Convention Day 5

We operate in an atmosphere of disbelief that seems Hegelian in its pursuit of truth. I’ve learned that nothing in the resolution is as it seems: “who is the author(s), what are they after, why did they choose that word, what’s the unstated ”“ and unanticipated ”“ consequence?”

For instance, a number of resolutions directly challenge B033 (the moratorium on ordinations [to the Episcopate] of non-celibate homosexual persons). Fine. Challenge it. However, there are even more resolutions which seek to effectively overturn, or supersede, B033 while technically leaving it as the official practice of the church. Here’s how it’s done: Several resolutions seek to ensure that “all the sacraments are available for all the baptized.” Sounds great. Who wouldn’t be for that? Until one realizes that this definition would allow me to ordain, or marry, a dog if I baptized it. Similarly, another resolution seeks to ensure that the ordination process is open to every baptized person. Again, to the eye this looks great, until you realize that the application would in practice contradict B033.

You know what I wish for? Honesty. A simple statement from the House of Deputies and House of Bishops outlining their beliefs and a willingness to address the implications of their honest convictions. No hiding behind clever resolutions. No shell games. No Three-card Monte. Simply say what you believe and let the chips fall where they may. I’m surrounded by men and women afraid to state without qualification what they believe, why they believe, and then stand on that belief.

Read it all.

Honesty has been a theme of mine for years. Here is just one of many, many examples:

Bearing false witness is not a minor matter, and I do not think the New Orleans statement–and this is in keeping with a widespread pattern over the last number of years–tells the truth. A church that does not tell the truth will not prosper–KSH.

And here is another example:

The Rev. Canon Kendall Harmon, a deputy from the Diocese of South Carolina, raised concerns about what he called the clarity and honesty in A161.

“The Windsor Report uses clear language. This resolution doesn’t take the specific language of Windsor seriously enough,” he said. “We have been asked to place a moratorium; the timeframe is clear … yet the language we get is to exercise considerable caution — a fudge. Let’s be honest, let’s be clear.”

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion)

Lydia Evans of South Carolina on Resolution D090: Are you kidding?

I’m not making this up.

While I understand the distinction between our Christian and/or legal names and our personal preferences regarding nicknames, etc., I can’t imagine why the Episcopal Church would need to conform to the ENDA at this point. Furthermore, the Employment Non-Discrimination Act addresses those individuals legally employed in our churches, dioceses, and institutions. But truly extending this ethos into the life of the Church would require these changes to be applied to all facets of parish life, including membership.

Check it out here.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

South Carolina Deputy John Burwell's report on Yesterday at GC 2009

I love all the pictures. And a speciall hello from me to Billy Kingery of Roanoke.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Richard Helmer is Disturbed by the Deputies Discussion on B033 Yesterday

I found disturbing in this morning’s conversation the suggestion that B033 somehow bought our continuing relationship with the Anglican Communion ”“ a relationship that, just the same, remains tenuous at best ”“ or at least so it was claimed. But the suggestion to me implied that B033 was a ticket to grace, a punch-card to get in the door (and we might get kicked out at any moment, if we misbehave, of course).

This witnesses only to the absurdity of the way the Windsor Report has been used and abused to try to force us to toe a particular line ”“ and almost utterly without honoring our God-given freedom to consent through prayerful due process. It has the hallmarks of attempting to make our relationship with the greater Communion a coerced marriage of sorts, and continues to poison even the best motivations behind efforts towards forging an Anglican Covenant.

The frankly bizarre assertion that B033 somehow “worked” as it ought ”“ that it enabled us as a Church to retain a seat at the tables of influence in the greater Communion, and that it somehow brings us towards a healthier state of affairs ”“ was soundly and succinctly contradicted by other members of House. They replied quite simply that relationship in the Communion cannot be bought or codified by resolution. It is rather forged in the incarnational work of person-to-person and community-to-community mission, and in the creation of common, tangible ministry from rebuilding broken lives to feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and healing the sick.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), Windsor Report / Process

Gene Robinson: Is General Convention Moving Toward a Train Wreck?

I fear (and I hope I’m not being overly dramatic here) that we are moving toward a train wreck between the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops. I sense an unwillingness among the bishops to listen to these voices of the laity and clergy. I hope I’m terribly wrong, but it seems that bishops feel they have some special access to God’s will and nothing will persuade them otherwise. I shutter to think of a church where the Bishops are so disconnected from the will of the people they serve. Please God, let me be terribly wrong about this perception, and may the scales fall from my pessimistic eyes and reveal an episcopate who has listened to the Spirit’s movement in the people of this Church. Nothing would make me happier than to be wrong about this. Only time will tell.

Read it all. As I said at the outset of General Convention, watch the distances between the two Houses.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention