Daily Archives: July 5, 2012

Notable and Quotable

We typically seek first to be understood. Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply. They’re either speaking or preparing to speak. They’re filtering everything through their own paradigms, reading their autobiography into other people’s lives.”

–Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (New York: Free Press [Simon & Schuster], 2004 revised ed.), p. 239

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * General Interest, Books, Notable & Quotable, Psychology

The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America speaks Against resolution A036

The Text of resolution A036 follows–

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention give thanks for the full communion agreement between The Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), which celebrated its tenth anniversary in 2011; and be it further Resolved, That the Church acknowledge that there exist areas of theological divergence that hinder the fullest degree of communion possible; and be it further Resolved, That the Church commit itself to address those areas that hinder this
relationship, including but not limited to the diaconate and lay presidency of the Eucharist; and be it further Resolved, That the Church invite the ELCA to a new season of bilateral dialogue to discuss and address these matters; and be it further Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $60,000 for the implementation of this resolution.

You can read more there and you can see a picture there (thanks to David Simmons).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Religion News & Commentary, --Gen. Con. 2012, Ecumenical Relations, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Lutheran, Other Churches

The Episcopal Bishop of Maine (Stephen Lane)–Sweltering or Enjoying things in Indianapolis?

Watch it all (video report).

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

Upper South Carolina Episcopal bishop not ready to endorse same-sex blessings

The Rt. Rev. W. Andrew Waldo said he has traveled the diocese over the past two years to discern the thinking of his 28,000 parishioners on the volatile issue, which has divided the national church and the larger worldwide Anglican Communion since the 2003 ordination of an openly [non-celibate] U.S. gay bishop.

Waldo, who calls himself a “radical centrist,” said he has addressed the issue of same gender blessings at a theological council and at congregational forums. He said he has told congregants, “I support the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in the life of the church but as bishop, I’m everybody’s bishop, and that I’m in no hurry.”

“It’s critically important, critically important for me, that a space is created for those diverse views,” Waldo said last week as he prepared for the eight-day convention that opens today. “And when I say create a space, part of my journey these past two years is to discern what that space looks like.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops

(Phil. Inquirer) Episcopal Church leaders set to consider blessing rite for same-sex couples

Sixteen fractious years after it allowed the ordination of homosexuals, the Episcopal Church appears poised to adopt a blessing rite for same-sex couples wishing to wed….A longtime supporter of a same-sex blessing, [Bishop Charles] Bennison said in a recent interview that he was not entirely certain the measure would win the necessary approval in the House of Bishops.

“Some bishops I’ve talked to say it’s going to be much easier for the deputies” – the laity and clergy who make up the convention’s “lower” chamber – “because they don’t have to face the fallout,” he said. “It’s the bishops’ desks where the mail is going to land” in dioceses where gay marriage is largely perceived as an assault on Christianity.

However, Bishop Sean Rowe of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, based in Erie, said passage appeared assured “and unlikely to prove destructive.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The Episcopal Bishop of Texas–First Day On The Ground In Indy

I arrived on Tuesday afternoon and checked into my room at the Convention Center Hotel. The Texas deputation gathered with friends to visit and enjoyed pre-dinner fellowship together. The deputation then broke up for different dinners.

There was a great buzz about structure, elections, and resolutions.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, TEC Bishops

The Bishop of Milwaukee's Thinkpiece on Same-Gender Unions on the Eve of GC 2012

The Episcopal Church has been wrestling with issues surrounding human sexuality for many years, a wrestling made more urgent because of the approval of an openly gay partnered person to be Bishop of New Hampshire, the authorization of same sex blessings in the Diocese of New Westminster in Canada, and the Windsor Report published in October of 2004””a report written in response to these actions. All throughout this time the General Convention passed nuanced resolutions open to broad interpretations on the matter, many of which are reviewed in the Report of the SCLM and depending on where emphasis is placed can be understood to say very different things.

This issue has been one which I have wrestled with a great deal. Like many in this Church I have known the faithful witness and wise counsel of openly gay clergy. I have had the privilege of working with life-long partnered persons as the rector of a parish. And like many of my generation I have wept for people I loved who died from AIDS. On the other hand, as a bishop I have promised to guard the faith and unity of the Church, a unity which has been challenged by the actions of this Church and the responses to it both within The Episcopal Church and around the world. I have taken seriously the concerns of our mission partners in Africa. And I cannot think about this issue without recalling the memory of a young Egyptian boy, the grandson of a former bishop of that diocese, telling me the effect our actions had on him as a member of the Christian minority in a predominantly Islamic country.

I am also aware that, in our context and that of much of Western Europe, this issue will cease to be one in a very short period of time. This is already true for many people under 30….

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Anthropology, Episcopal Church (TEC), Ethics / Moral Theology, General Convention, Same-sex blessings, Sexuality Debate (in Anglican Communion), TEC Bishops, Theology, Theology: Scripture

The TransEpiscopal Blog on General Convention 2012

From here:

TransEpiscopal is a group of transgender Episcopalians and our significant others, families, friends and allies dedicated to enriching our spiritual lives and to making the Episcopal Church a welcoming and empowering place that all of us truly can call our spiritual home. We are an informal group meeting mostly through the Internet and though many of us are affiliated with the Episcopal Church we have no official relationship to the Episcopal Church.

Most of our ongoing contact takes place through an Internet Group on Yahoo Groups. Membership in this group is by permission only and is intended for the use of Transgender Episcopalians, their Family and Significant Others, Allied Friends, and others who share our concerns.

TransEpiscopal had it’s beginnings in 2004 with informal contacts between a few of us. In 2005 we began our Yahoo Group and since then have sent representatives to Lambeth Conference in England, a very small representation at the 2006 General Convention and a eight member delegation to the 2009 General Convention. At the 2009 General Convention we were invited to share some booth space with Integrity and lobbied for Trans-friendly legislation with great success.

You can also find a post on General Convention resolutions they are following here and a post on the importance of the “T” in the LTBG agenda there.

I will take comments on this submitted by email only to at KSHarmon[at]mindspring[dot]com.

Posted in Uncategorized

Alan Haley Analyzes the Opening Addresses of the PB and the HOD Pres. at Gen. Con. 2012

Right at the outset, we are given two completely disparate views on what we are there for: first, to take advantage of a nearby baseball game (to which, like the prodigal son’s banquet, we may always “arrive late”), and to undergo a “tune-up”, to “synchronize our heartbeat with God’s.” One doesn’t know whether one has wandered into a sports bar, or the doctor’s office.

From there on, the two ships which are passing in the night continue their respective courses, each oblivious to, and unaware of, the other as something to be reckoned with.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, - Anglican: Analysis, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President, Presiding Bishop

Tara McCabe resigns as vice moderator of the 220th Presbyterian Church USA General Assembly

Surrounded by controversy since it was learned she had recently signed a same-gender wedding license in Washington, D.C., 220th General Assembly vice moderator Tara Spuhler McCabe stood down from that office today (July 4). The news was greeted with a chorus of “no!” and a standing ovation from most of the commissioners as she concluded her statement.

McCabe told the Assembly that “the amount of conversation in person and comments online indicate that my confirmation (Sunday) touched a nerve”. During the question-and-answer session during the moderatorial election Saturday night, the Rev. Neal D. Presa, 220th GA moderator, acknowledged that he and McCabe disagreed on the issue of same-gender marriage but their friendship outweighed their disagreement.

Read it all.

Posted in * Religion News & Commentary, Other Churches, Presbyterian

A Guide to the Work of General Convention

Read it all–courtesy of the episcopal diocese of Texas.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention

South Carolina Deputy John Burwell's Initial Reports on General Convention 2012

As of now, I count a total of five. You may find them here–read them all (and enjoy the pictures).

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

Nick Knisely–Some Thoughts on the Eve of the 77th General Convention

(Although this was offered one week ago it remains useful for beginning to set the scene and get a feel for General Convention 2012–KSH).

The issues confronting this Convention are different in my experience than the ones we’ve been facing. For the last two decades, the primary energy of General Convention has been focused on issues of marriage equality and inclusion. Those questions have been settled for a significant majority of the Episcopal Church, and I don’t think they will occupy much of our time next month, though there will be some important votes taken regarding them. What I think will occupy our time is our response to a broad recognition in mainline churches that our existing governance structures no longer serve the needs of the 21st century church. The Diocese of Arizona joined more than 30 other dioceses in calling for a special General Convention to deal with the issue. I know we will deal with the question somehow, but I couldn’t predict at the moment what we will end up doing. There are many different voices and ideas right now, but there’s no sense of consensus. Given that most of our work as Convention for the past decades has been centered on balancing the desire to speak prophetically and minimize the attendant conflict, arriving at consensus on matters of financial and structural reform is unfamiliar territory for most of the deputies. We know something needs to be done. But we’re not sure, as a body, what that ought to be yet.

Finally, there’s an ongoing broad change in the leadership of the Episcopal Church….

Read it all.

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

NW Penna. Bishop Will Bless Same Sex Unions if General Convention 2012 gives the Go Ahead

“We anticipate that the church will approve a rite for blessing same-gender relationships,” the Right Rev. Sean Rowe, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania, said.

If, as Rowe expects, the Episcopal Church’s General Convention approves a trial use of the liturgical rite, the Erie-based bishop said he’ll set up a process for it in his 13-county diocese.

“I do plan to authorize same-gender blessings in this diocese,” Rowe said in a letter to members before the convention.

Read it all.

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

House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson’s opening remarks for General Convention 2012

Independence from England meant a break with the authority of the Bishop of London. What’s more, many existing priests were loyal to England and new priests had to travel to England to be ordained. Ordained authority was hard to come by in the Episcopal Church in the United States, and the laity exercised significant leadership. Our first Presiding Bishop, William White, who like Thomas Jefferson was a student of John Locke, became a champion of shared governance by all orders ”” laypeople, clergy and bishops. His feast day happens to be July 17, after we’ve finished our business and gone home again, so be sure to remember him then.

So it seems auspicious to me that we are beginning this 77th General Convention ”” in which the structure of the Episcopal Church promises to be one of our principal concerns ”” that we are beginning on July 4. Just as we celebrate the distinctive democracy of the United States on Independence Day, we should celebrate the distinctive polity of the Episcopal Church that became part of our DNA because of the circumstances of the American Revolution in which our church was born.

But, as many of you may be thinking right now, celebrating July 4 isn’t that straightforward. You don’t have to scratch the surface of July 4 very hard to expose the horrors of colonialism that the United States inherited from Great Britain and continues to impose on so much of the world.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, House of Deputies President

A Prayer for Thursday 5th July 2012

Grant us, O Lord
in thought, faith;
in word, wisdom;
in deed, courage;
in life, service:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, Spirituality/Prayer

A Reading for Thursday 5th July 2012

Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of innocent Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. Truly, I say to you, all this will come upon this generation.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, killing the prophets and stoning those who are sent to you! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not! Behold, your house is forsaken and desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Matthew 23:34-39

Posted in Theology, Theology: Scripture

Post on Complaints filed against 9 bishops of the Episcopal Church and Philip Turner under Title IV

Latest updates:
* BREAKING* Title IV Complaint Filed Against Philip Turner [4th July 2012]
* BREAKING* South Carolina Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]
What is it that the Bishops are saying about the Polity of The Episcopal Church? [3rd July 2012]
[Allan Haley] Bishopsgate Plot Thickens: Complaint Timed to Intimidate Witness [3rd July 2012]
Central Florida: Statement by Bishop Brewer and the Standing Committee [3rd July 2012]
Bishop Howe responds to “Presentment” [3rd July 2012]
Dr Ephraim Radner: How To Kill a Christian Church in Four Easy Steps [3rd July 2012]
Dallas: Standing Committee Statement [3rd July 2012]
Albany: Bishop Love’s Letter to the People of the Diocese of Albany [3rd July 2012]

You may find the full post with all the links there.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Aggressive Title IV Action Against Multiple Bishops on Eve of Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), TEC Polity & Canons

Deep Peace – Libera

The Elves wish readers a happy July 4th and thank them for putting up with us for the last few days – we prepare to slip back into the shadows as Canon Harmon picks up the reins after a good restful holiday we pray.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, Music

The Presiding Bishop's Opening Remarks to General Convention

I would invite everyone here to take a deep breath. Breathe in Holy Spirit, the source of life. Remember that we depend on that divine gift for all that we are and all that we have. Breathe deep, for the spirit is blowing a fresh wind, and bringing new creation out of the chaos of the deep. Contemplating that chaos frightens some, for we never know what is coming, but there is no creation without it ”“ like the death that must precede resurrected life.
Let that breath get the heart beating and the blood moving, for we will never be God’s mission partners otherwise. Let that circulating blood connect us with the other parts of this body, here and far beyond this place. Go look for connections with your sparring partners ”“ for the left hook and the right jab both come from the same body. Link up with somebody from another part of the theological spectrum ”“ this big tent is the dwelling place of the holy, and we will never be who we were created to be if we only work with the fingers of the right hand or the left. Search out those you have wounded or who have wounded you ”“ seek them out and let the grudges go ”“ there isn’t much life in hanging on to them. It’s like that old tale about swallowing rat poison and expecting somebody else to die. Go find the supposed source of wounds and build a bridge together ”“ notice the blood that’s been shed, and let it form a good scab to draw flesh together. Continue to pick at the wound and it will never heal. Let it go and keep breathing.

If this convention is The Episcopal Church’s family reunion, then go find somebody who represents the outlaw side of the family for you and spend a few minutes learning your relative’s story. You might promise to pray for each other through the coming days. Perhaps you can find time for a cup of coffee or a meal together. That kind of reconciling work will have a greater effect on our readiness for mission than any legislation we may pass here.

Um, read it all

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, --Gen. Con. 2012, Episcopal Church (TEC), General Convention, Presiding Bishop

Robert Samuelson–Love of Country, 2012

If you asked my true religion, I would not answer anything practiced in a church, synagogue or mosque. My real religion is America, and I feel privileged that, among the world’s 7 billion people, I am one of the roughly 300 million lucky enough to be an American. This transcends mere patriotism. I believe in what this country stands for, even though I acknowledge its limits and failures. As individuals, we are no better than most (selfishness and prejudice having survived). As a society, we have often violated our loftiest ideals (starting with the acceptance of slavery in 1787). Our loud insistence of “exceptionalism” offends millions of non-Americans, who find us exceptional only in our relentless boasting.

But these caveats do not dim my love of country. I am still stirred by “The Star-Spangled Banner.” I think our messy mixture of democratic traditions, respect for the individual, and economic dynamism commands a unique place in human history. In most societies, people are marked by where they were born, their ethnic heritage or religious conviction. In the United States, these are secondary. Americans’ self-identity springs from the beliefs on which this country was founded, including the belief that no one is automatically better than anyone else simply by virtue of birth.

Our reverence for these ideals remains a touchstone….

Read it all.

Posted in * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A.