2/14/2009

Chicago Consultation on track.

Readers may know that I am a member of the Chicago Consultation. We met this last week in Chicago. It was an amazing two days with a wonderful community of committed Christians. I am proud and grateful to have been included in the mix. The Chicago Consultation is on track to call The Episcopal Church forward into its vocation in the twenty-first century.

Here is the press release from that meeting.

CHICAGO CONSULTATION IS COMMITTED TO CANONS, ANGLICAN COMMUNION
Meeting of Church Leaders Looks Toward Episcopal Church’s General Convention

EVANSTON, IL—The Chicago Consultation met this week at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary. The group of Episcopal and other Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

At its meeting, the group outlined its hopes for the Episcopal Church’s General Convention in July. “We call upon the deputies and bishops who will assemble in Anaheim to act so that all of God’s children in the Episcopal Church can realize the full promise of their baptism,” said Ruth Meyers, co-convener of the Chicago Consultation and professor of liturgics at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in Evanston, Il.

Based on rigorous study of theology and canon law, the Chicago Consultation’s participants agreed to support General Convention resolutions that will affirm the Episcopal Church’s current Title III canons on the election, consent or ordination of bishops, and exclude any outside restrictions on those canons.

“The Episcopal Church’s canon law allows local dioceses to discern and elect the bishops who can best serve them,” said Meyers. “We believe that these canons have served us well and are essential to our common life. Moreover, we believe that the church would be ill-served by relinquishing its historic local initiative.”

The Chicago Consultation also supports General Convention resolutions that will lead the church to establish a rite for blessings of same-sex unions. “For 30 years, the Episcopal Church has prayed and studied about same-sex unions, and we have seen the evidence of God’s blessing in the lives of these couples,” said Meyers. “In many parishes blessings are already happening without a formal rite. Now it is time for our church of common prayer to establish a common rite of blessing.”

The leaders gathered in Chicago also indicated their strong support for The Episcopal Church’s role as a significant and committed member of the Anglican Communion. “Our relationships and experience show that it is possible both to participate in the mission of the worldwide Anglican communion and also to embrace the full participation of our gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered brothers and sisters,” said Meyers. “We choose to pursue this sometimes difficult but always fruitful path.”

The Chicago Consultation includes representatives from many advocacy groups in the Episcopal Church, including Integrity, the Episcopal Church’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community; and The Consultation, an alliance of groups within the church that has advocated for justice for more than 20 years.

“Integrity is proud to participate in the Chicago Consultation. Our goals are completely congruent with those of the Chicago Consultation. We look forward to working with this larger circle of allies as Integrity seeks to move the church beyond B033 and forward on marriage equality at General Convention,” said John Clinton Bradley, acting executive director of Integrity.

The Chicago Consultation, a group of Episcopal and Anglican bishops, clergy and lay people, supports the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Christians in the Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion. We believe that our baptismal covenant requires this.


14 comments:

  1. Wow! Total clarity, in very few words (relatively speaking). I am so proud of all of you. Thank you for the time you have spent on our behalf.

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  2. Love it. Understandable, direct, CLEAN and unashamed and uncompromised...away with the ¨prudent/cowardly¨ and reserved, read nervous, approach (posing as being considerate of *others* while LGBT Christians are abused at Church/beyond)...God wants aunthenticity (at least that´s the spiritual message that I´ve been receiving for decades...being accountable and responsible counts!).

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  3. Clarity is, indeed, a lovely thing.

    Thank you all for your hard work.

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  4. Go for it Mark!

    GC '09 should be the time that reappraisers stand up and finally admit that the agenda for years has been to redefine marriage, ordination, etc., etc., etc. The piecemeal withering of opposition doesn't have to occur. Be bold. Be loud. Put all those delegates on their feet shouting your cause.

    Then, be ready to live with what comes next. Our whole parish is gearing up to leave with property once you set us outside of the Christian faith. Go for it. We're ready. Lawyers and all. Then multiply this promise 1,000 times over and you will see the wholesale destruction of TEC by 2015. Please. Finally have the integrity to say that you're smarter than anyone else and that splitting this Church to shreds is a holy thing to do.

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  5. Allen...long time no hear. The Chicago Consultation is speaking its mind, you speak yours. I hope your congregation or your diocese or your point of view has deputies at convention as well. They will be heard, so will people from across the church most of whom are not so called "reapprasisers" With God's good grace we will all be heard in hearings, committees and on the floor.Then we will have to consider what resolutions come before us and live with the results.

    Interested in telling us your diocese and parish?

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  6. Mark,

    I think you should amend your last to say, "I hope your church sends your delegates to speak their minds, but I 'm sure that they will remain in the minority." Don't blame you for looking forward to the meeting, but let's not pretend that the answer has not already been determined. The debate has been had and won by your side.

    Joel

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  7. Virginia. But does it matter what parish or diocese, Mark? Our suffering Church is already losing 1,000 members a week and the equivalent of one average attendance parish. What's one more? What's another dozen? Another few churches a month? I had the impression that the Spirit has squarely landed in the lap of Integrity and EpiScope supporters to such the extent that the reappraiser's "new thing" was all that mattered; people or not. Forget the human debris left behind and the vastly reduced number of adherents in the Episcopal Church. Now that the conservatives have been shamed and shunned out of the way, or left from sheer disgust, GC '09 will be the equivalent of progressive liberal nirvana. Just stand up and pass resolutions on the floor that you're redefining everything from the Creed, to the meaning of marriage, to qualification to ordination, to the equality of all religions, etc. Just tell the people what the past forty years have been all about and get it out in the open with more pronouncements and resolutions that the home folks will have to swallow. But please don't act like this process has any validity by having "hearings". The average GC delegate is a lot more liberal than the average member. That's been proven time and again. So GC will be a playground of innovation as though the Lord Jesus just left this earth and gave you secret instructions to invent something that no other Christian generation or contemporary Christian body understood. The GC delegates will be very pleased with themselves and will tool around their dioceses telling people how wonderful God is to be moving in the total opposite direction as the majority of world Anglicanism, let alone world Christianity. Please, go ahead an isolate us more, but don't have us believe that a holy and valid process has been at work.

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  8. Allen, unless I misread you, you seem bitter and overly pessimistic. Remember that it's not your church or my church, but God's church, and God will not abandon us, neither those of us who are like-minded to you, nor those who are like-minded to me.

    The average GC delegate is a lot more liberal than the average member. That's been proven time and again.

    I don't know about the average for the whole church, but the delegates from my diocese will be far more conservative than I, and even if GC does not go in the direction that they would prefer, I believe they will remain part of the Episcopal Church.

    In my humble opinion, it seems that few isolate you, but it is rather that you isolate yourselves. Of course, I could be wrong.

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  9. Allen,

    In October 2008 you told us your diocesan bishop was Powell, and you lived in SW Virginia. ( href="http://anglicanfuture.blogspot.com/2008/07/archbishop-orombi-threatened-prelate-or.html?showComment=1215663660000") Have you moved, or were you dishonest in one of your posts? I'm guessing you are actually in the Diocese of Southern Virginia.

    "But does it matter what parish or diocese...?" Actually, it makes a difference to me since I live in the Diocese of Virginia, and until now the departing parishes were pretty much The Falls, Truro and their plants.

    Allen - I rarely agree with your outlook on the Episcopal Church, but I always thought your opinions were those of an honest man. Want to come clean?

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  10. Sir, this statement from your Chicago group is clear but is TEC willing to take the consequences of its convictions?

    Unfortunately, too many in TEC like bing invited to international Anglican shindigs (maybe it is just the airmiles?).... so, I expect another duplicitous, political, BO33 style compromise out of TEC at GC09.... perhaps saying one thing but inteding to do another but still lacking in integrity - hope I am wrong.

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  11. As I said, Lynn, I live in Virginia. But what does it matter anymore what parish or diocese? Apparently the new agenda is willing to rip parishes and dioceses asunder. God has left 9/10ths of Christianity out of the loop except for some bright TEC folks who have received these private revelations about redefining everything.

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  12. Allen, Mark asked you to share the specifics of your diocese and parish; the name of our state is not the name of your diocese, since Virginia has three such entities. You put yourself in the shoes of the drunk telling the judge, "I had two drinks," forgetting to add, "and then drank seven more."

    I'm not particularly concerned about being out of step with 90% of the world's Christians. I'm no more inclined to accept their limited understanding of religion than I am to ask their opinions on mathematical models of deterministic chaos theory.

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  13. "I'm not particularly concerned about being out of step with 90% of the world's Christians. I'm no more inclined to accept their limited understanding of religion than I am to ask their opinions on mathematical models of deterministic chaos theory."
    Lynn - That's exactly the kind of comment that gets us TEC folks branded as elitist. I don't think it's helpful.

    Peace

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  14. "Lynn - That's exactly the kind of comment that gets us TEC folks branded as elitist. I don't think it's helpful."

    It may be elitist, but it's also true. Stadiums in Texas filled to the brim with wildly cheering evangelical Baptists never convinced me to be a Baptist or an evangelical. I should have grave doubts about anyone whose beliefs shift with every turn of a weathervane.
    There are times when General Sherman was right when he said, "Vox Populi, Pox Populi!"
    The voice of the People is not necessarily the voice of God. Usually, it is a whole lot of random individuals who happen to agree, rightly or wrongly. I believe in God, but I don't necessarily believe in that entity called The People.
    There are times when we must stand our small plot of truth. If racial segregation had ever been put to a vote, believe me we'd still have racial segregation.

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