1/02/2007

Can the Living Church Count?

The Living Church in its end of the year report stated the following:

“Deputies and bishops at General Convention spent considerable time talking about how the church should respond to the recommendations of the Windsor Report, the document issued by Anglican theologians in 2004 in response to the consecration of a non-celibate homosexual person as the Bishop Coadjutor of New Hampshire in 2003. On June 21, the final day of legislation, following a lobbying effort by Presiding Bishop Frank Griswold and Bishop Jefferts Schori, a resolution was passed that seemed satisfactory to almost no one. Known as B033, the resolution recommends that standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction “exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration” of openly gay persons to the episcopate.

Two other resolutions concerning the Windsor Report were adopted by convention. One supports the process of developing an Anglican covenant and the other is a commitment to interdependence in the Anglican Communion.”

OK, that’s three.

Here is what the Episcopal Church General Convention News reported:

“Anglican Communion / Windsor Report:

Reaffirmed the commitment of the Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and desire to live into the highest degree of communion possible; and asked, as an expression of interdependence, the Presiding offices of both Houses to work with the Anglican Communion to explore ways by which there might be inter-Anglican consultation and participation on standing commissions of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church (A159).

Expressed its regret for straining the bonds of affection in the events surrounding the General Convention of 2003 and the consequences which followed; offered "its sincerest apology to those within Anglican Communion who are offended by our failure to accord sufficient importance to the impact of our actions on our church and other parts of the Communion;" and asked forgiveness (A160).

Affirmed the centrality of effective and appropriate pastoral care for all members of this church and all who come seeking the aid of this church; recognized "the agonizing position of those who do not feel able to receive appropriate pastoral care from their own bishops;" urged bishops to seek the highest degree of communion and reconciliation within their own dioceses, using, when requested in good faith, the Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight (DEPO); urged continued maintenance of historic diocesan boundaries, the authority of the diocesan bishop, and respect for the historical relationships of the separate and autonomous Provinces of the Anglican Communion (A163).

Committed the church to the ongoing Windsor Process, "a process of discernment as to the nature and unity of the Church, as we pursue a common life of dialogue, listening, and growth, formed and informed by the bonds of communion we share," and to the Windsor Listening Process (A165).

Supported, as a demonstration of commitment to mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Anglican Communion, the process of the development of an Anglican Covenant and directed certain bodies to monitor the process and offer resources (A166).

Called upon standing committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion (B033).”

That’s six.

So, what’s up, Living Church? Did you miscount or are you spreading rumors, namely that the General Convention did very little concerning the Windsor Report?

Six is very different than three. What gives?

Granted DEPO (Delegated Episcopal Pastoral Oversight) and commitment to the Windsor Process aren’t sexy, but perhaps expressing regret might have made it.

The Living Church, a publication of great value to many of us, fell down on this one.

7 comments:

  1. Indeed. And furthermore, B033 doesn't say "openly gay persons," but instead uses a much broader category. Some would argue, of course, that the resolution includes or should include those who are openly gay among those whose "manner of life" poses challenges to the wider church and strains communion, but I think it's difficult to argue that no other "manner of life" could fall in this category.

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  2. Mark,
    Did all 6 of those resolutions pass at convention? Or are you just talking about resolutions?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Amen, Dylan. The TLC report is outrageously sloppy. After all, isn't it possible to be celibate but "openly gay"? Will Dr. Harmon join our critique of TLC for its "inaccuracy" as he joined in support of A166?

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  4. dr. jl asked "did all 6 resolutions pass at convention?

    Yes: see http://gc2006.org/legislation/view_Legislation.aspx
    (page 10)

    and Sarah dylan breuer and tobias are both correct regarding B033.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I want a tee shirt that says, "My manner of life may be a problem for the larger communion."

    FWIW

    ReplyDelete
  6. Donna McNiel4/1/07 10:30 AM

    My religious community (rivendellcommunity.org) had shirts made last July that say, "We aspire to a manner of life that presents a challenge to the wider church." Pointing out that challenging one another to greater faithfulness is central to the Gospel.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mark,
    So, six resolutions passed relative to the Windsor Report. What resolutions did not pass that has the conservatives up in arms relative to the Windsor Report?
    What actually caused all the hubub?

    ReplyDelete

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