So today, Tuesday, is a great getting up morning. Here on the "other" coast it is 6 AM and I am finally able to comment on the work of Sunday and Monday.
Sunday the House of Deputies passed D025, which legislative name will come to be as well known as B033. Monday the House of Bishops passed D025 with two amendments. It now goes back to the House of Deputies for a vote on the amended resolution. I hope it passes without any further revision and without much debate.
D025 revised is as follows:
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm the continued participation of The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion; give thanks for the work of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference of 2008; reaffirm the abiding commitment of The Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention encourage dioceses, congregations, and members of The Episcopal Church to participate to the fullest extent possible in the many instruments, networks and relationships of the Anglican Communion; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion and pledge to participate fully in the Inter-Anglican Budget; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm the value of "listening to the experience of homosexual persons," as called for by the Lambeth Conferences of 1978, 1988, and 1998, and acknowledge that through our own listening the General Convention has come to recognize that the baptized membership of The Episcopal Church includes same-sex couples living in lifelong committed relationships "characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God" (2000-D039); and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God's call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church
,; and that God's call to the ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church is a mystery which the Church attempts to discern for all people through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church; and be it further
Resolved, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge that members of The Episcopal Church as of the Anglican Communion, based on careful study of the Holy Scriptures, and in light of tradition and reason, are not of one mind, and Christians of good conscience disagree about some of these matters.The original text of B025 was crafted by Deputy Rebecca Snow and others, it was then worked on by the World Mission legislative committee and a subcommittee of that group and by a small writing group. We remained faithful to Deputy Snow's intent, drew in matters from other resolutions, avoided the blame game, stated what the life and experience of the church is and moved on.
It is helpful to remember that B033 was itself not a clear moratorium, but rather a church-wide cautionary urging. It was as close as the last convention could get to a moratorium and was understood to make it virtually impossible for a gay - in - relationship bishop elect to get the required consents from bishops and standing committees of dioceses. What D025 does is to return the matter of restraint to the diocese and its bishop, and retains the canonical provisions for election to the Episcopate in place. The end result is that bishops and standing committees are free to exercise their conscience as always.
The really important thing that D025 does is state matters as they stand. We are both part of the Communion and exercising our vocation in God's call to us.
So, now off to legislative committee. We have miles to go before we sleep and 6 hours of House of Deputies time on the floor.
More to follow.