Daily Archives: July 8, 2012

(Western NC) Bishop Porter Taylor offers some Thoughts on General Con. 2012

The word here is change. The Deputies voted to allow the next Presiding Bishop to remain a Diocesan Bishop. The Bishops voted to fund a significant Development Office. We also are exploring moving the diocesan contribution to The Episcopal Church to 15%. And of course, we are waiting to hear about the Budget and reforming General Convention and a new structure for our Church.

As I have worked on the Education Committee, I once again remember that our Church has many perspectives. The Education Standing Commission presented resolutions to replace Confirmation with Baptism as rite for full initiation into Church leadership. However, most of the Deputies and Bishops did not agree. I am disappointed but not surprised. Change is long and when I think I know where the Holy Spirit is headed, I am most often wrong.

Read it all.

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

Roger Federer wins 7th Wimbledon Title

Andy Murray fought valiantly, but Roger was just too good.

Love the twins blowing Daddy kisses from the gallery.

Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, England / UK, Men, Sports

Twitter faithful include tweeters of faith

Twitter gives the impression of being obsessed with mindless trivia, from Justin Bieber’s latest heartfelt tweet to LeBron James’ reflections on winning the NBA championship.

But Atlanta-based Twitter executive Claire Diaz-Ortiz learned something surprising from an examination of the most popular tweets: Spiritual tweets were whooping up on the mundane.

“We came upon data that religious leaders were completely punching above their weight on Twitter,” she said.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, --Social Networking, Blogging & the Internet, Religion & Culture

(Diocese of Texas) William Treadwell on Communion w/o Baptism: Pastoral Theology vs. Doctrine

I am reminded of what I was taught by the Rev. Dr. Marion Hatchett: “never break a rubric unintentionally”. I think most priest have given communion to an unbaptized person. Hospitality and compassion may require it. But the doctrine of Baptism remains.

A personal example may be helpful. When I was ordained a priest, my father, an ordained Baptist minister, preached at my ordination. When the time came for the ordination, the Episcopal clergy gathered around to lay hands on my head along with the Bishop. My father remained in his seat, because there is no agreement between the Episcopal and Baptist churches on ordination. Just before the Bishop said the words of ordination he stopped, removed his hands from my head, and motioned for my father to come over and lay his hands on my head as well. This was contrary to the teaching of both the Episcopal and Baptist churches. This was poor doctrinal theology, but it was perfect pastoral theology. Bishop Patterson was a good bishop, and my dad was a good Baptist pastor. And yet, the doctrine remains.

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Christian Life / Church Life, --Gen. Con. 2012, Baptism, Episcopal Church (TEC), Eucharist, General Convention, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Sacramental Theology, Theology

(Reuters) U.S. Episcopalians move closer to allowing transgender ministers

The U.S. Episcopal Church’s House of Bishops on Saturday approved a proposal that, if it survives a final vote, would give transgender men and women the right to become ministers in the church.

The House of Bishops voted at the church’s General Convention to include “gender identity and expression” in its “non-discrimination canons,” meaning sexual orientation, including that of people who have undergone sex-change operations, cannot be used to exclude candidates to ministry.

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

(Diocese of Mississippi) David Johnson offers some Thoughts on Yesterday at General Convention

The hearing on same gender unions will likely be the largest hearing of this convention. However, I would say that the subject has not been much on the forefront at this convention. More attention has been focused on structure and the wider church’s budget.

We also expect committee action on the Anglican Covenant. Many observers expect the recommendation from that committee to be acceptance of the Preamble and first three sections while demurring on the fourth section (which deals with discipline). Some of the air was released from this balloon by the English church’s refusal to embrace the proposed covenant.

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

Both Transgender Resolutions Pass House of Bishops, Both South Carolina Bishops Speak Against

(ENS)–My headline, not theirs–KSH.

Bishop Andrew Waldo of the Diocese of Upper South Carolina opposed D019, seeking clarification of “gender expression ”¦ to get a sense of how the people in my diocese who have a poor understanding of what transgender means.

“I believe we need to have more discussion in the church, in our congregations, in order to be able to speak in a way that is theologically sound, that gives a deeper understanding of what it means to be a transgender person,” he said.

Read it all.

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

(ENS) General Convention PBLCM Committee hears testimony on same-gender blessings liturgies

Nearly 40 people testified July 7 on General Convention Resolution A049 to Authorize Liturgical Resources for Blessing Same-Gender Relationships.

Those testifying alternated between proponents and opponents of the resolution, but supporters outnumbered opponents, at least six of whom came from the Diocese of Central Florida.

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

Important Food for Thought from Terry Pratchett for General Convention 2012

Be careful. People like to be told what they already know. Remember that. They get uncomfortable when you tell them new things. New things”¦well, new things aren’t what they expect. They like to know that, say, a dog will bite a man. That is what dogs do. They don’t want to know that man bites a dog, because the world is not supposed to happen like that. In short, what people think they want is news, but what they really crave is olds”¦Not news but olds, telling people that what they think they already know is true.”

–Terry Pratchett, The Truth (HarperTorch, 2001), p. 79 (his emphasis)

Posted in Uncategorized

Bishop Dan Martins–The Third Legislative Day at General Convention 2012

We had long debate, with several attempts to amend, of a resolution that seeks to increase the pressure on dioceses (like Springfield) that pay less than the full asking from the national church. Eventually, with a push from the Presiding Bishop, it got re-referred to committee for further work.

We passed, on second reading, a constitutional amendment that will remove the House of Deputies from the consent process for bishops elected within 120 of General Convention, and send everything to the Standing Committees. This is now in the hands of the Deputies.

Read it all.

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

Cherie Wetzel–Snippets from General Convention 2012

Interesting facts from the Commission on Structure hearing this morning. 84 out of 111 dioceses have operating budgets of less than $2,000,000. That amount has to fund all of the diocesan staff positions, serve for debt reduction and maintenance on all diocesan property and accommodate all diocesan functions and expenses. That means that 3/4 of the bishops deal with diocesan budgets smaller than several of the larger Episcopal churches in Dallas.

Compare that to the $8.7 million it will cost this year to maintain and service debt reduction on the national headquarters at 815 Second Avenue in New York City. In the first meaningful vote of this Convention, the House of Deputies yesterday voted to sell 815. When this vote was announced at the press briefing, there was an audible gasp in the room. This Convention is not “business as usual.” The outstanding loan on 815 is $37 million and I would guess that the penthouse apartment with terraces and views of the United Nations building will sell for $18 million alone. Anyone need prime office space in New York City? Call me! I can make a good deal for you.

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

Another Resolution on the Anglican Covenant–C015

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 77th General Convention call for and encourage further study and reflection on the proposed Anglican Covenant (the fourth draft) during the next Triennium.

Read it all. Did you see who proposed it?

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

(Arkansas) Lowell Grisham Updates some Reflections on Yesterday at General Convention 2012

Today, the committee chairs were invited to lunch together to visit a bit about how the flow of legislation is going. It is going pretty well, except… It seems that some bishops have prevailed in omitting the funding for a number of basic functions — things like what happened to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, having their program funding cut to zero by the House of Bishops. It seems like immature and passive aggressive behavior to me. Part of what that means that we have to send three members of our committee, who will miss our major hearing tonight, to testify before the Program, Budget and Finance Committee so that we will be able include the funding for the SCLM in the budget. There is something very strange afoot. It’s okay with me to talk about wanting to restructure the church and to set up some deliberative ways to discuss that, but it’s almost childish to de-fund major Commissions without notice. That seems dysfunctional at best; like sabotage at worst.

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

L.A. Episcopal bishop talks about recovery from cancer

Episcopal Bishop J. Jon Bruno, the head of the six-county Los Angeles diocese, generated applause, laughter and whistles this week when a telephone call was broadcast during a bishop’s convention in Indianapolis.

In early May, Bruno announced in an open letter that he had been diagnosed with leukemia and was undergoing aggressive treatment, but on Thursday, he told the bishops that he was “doing fabulous,” according to the Episcopal News.

“We’ve gone from what one doctor said was a hopeless case to a complete remission,” he told the bishops. “I’ve been cleared of leukemia.”

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Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * Culture-Watch, Episcopal Church (TEC), Health & Medicine, TEC Bishops

A Rape Survivor Now Ministers Body and Soul

[After the rape]…Church brought no relief. It made everything worse. Church, at least in the wake of tragedy, was the empty predictability of confession recited in unison, hymns sung by rote, sermons about the glorious soul and the sinful body and magical forgiveness. A favorite verse from Romans in her copy of the Good News Bible now sounded like a lie: “We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him.”

Only at home, alone with the secret of her rape, could Ms. [Marcia] Shoop find something to grasp for survival. “I felt Jesus so close,” she recalled in a recent interview. “It wasn’t the same Jesus I saw at church. It was this tiny, audible whisper that said, ”˜I know what happened. I understand.’ And it kept me alive, that frayed little thread.”

By now, more than a quarter of a century later, that thread has led Ms. Shoop, 43, to become a Presbyterian minister herself, one who has developed religious teachings aimed at repairing the rift between mind and body, soul and spirit. Born out of a survivor’s struggle, they form her variation on the broader field of “incarnational theology,” which focuses on the living, breathing, physical Jesus.

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Posted in * Christian Life / Church Life, * Culture-Watch, * Religion News & Commentary, Ministry of the Ordained, Other Churches, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Presbyterian, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Theology, Violence