What's Going On?
It's hard to get a read on General Convention this year. Some years it is pretty clear what the issues will be and where the wreckage will be found. The fast lanes are sometimes clearly marked and the defining moments are sometimes known well in advance. Reading the tea leaves under such conditions is no problem. After all, we are professionals.
This time, however, I have consulted all the classic fortune tellers and they all report that the crystal ball is clouded. Maybe this is just a momentary problem, but we are three days into Convention and nothing, nada. There are not many newshounds about. There is little to report. Even the not too loyal opposition has little to do except to listen carefully for every crumb of heresy, fuzzy thinking, etc, in hopes of pouncing on "the story."
Some of the hearings are beginning to draw some interest. There are resolutions on beginning the process of development of rites for same sex blessing, or for using prayer book services for the blessing of civil marriages where there is a same sex couple. Hearings on them have been held.
The discussion of the resolution on B033 has widened and a special order for a committee of the has taken place. There was a good exercise late Thursday afternoon in the House of Deputies in which people who did not know each other talked one on one about how B033 impacted their lives and the life of the church.
Last night there was a hearing on the 16 resolutions on B033 with more than forty people testifying. The most remarkable thing was the voice of young people. Articulate, clear and well argued statements were read by eighteen year-olds. It was wonderful to hear.
I keep meeting heroines and heroes. Last night at the open hearing on "Episcopal Elections and the Anglican Communion" aka B033, the wondrous Ms. Kaeton gave me a photographed smooch.
At the Eucharist yesterday morning I finally caught up with the delegation from the Philippines and had a chance to worship with The Prime Bishop The Rt Revd Edward Pacyaya Malecdan and Attorney Floyd Lalwet.
Floyd gave an important summary of the history of the Episcopal Church in the Philippines at a luncheon meeting and Prime Bishop Malecdan gave an extraordinary gift to The Episcopal Church during the Eucharist on Wednesday. At that same service the Presiding Bishop preached on mission and used the example of The Episcopal Church in the Philippines as an example. Titus Pressler wrote on this on his blog, TitusonMission. See his remarks, HERE.
Interest in the B033 resolutions will grow today as deputies have opportunity to speak on the matter of whether or not to continue the moratoria on the ordination of bishops who are gay and in relationship. While there may be nuanced responses in terms of what is presented as resolutions on the matter, the fact is we will walk out of here with real decisions having been made. At this point it seems the House of Deputies will probably go for something that moves us beyond B033 and puts moratoria back in the hands of individual who on principle will not give consent and takes moratoria off the church wide table. But who knows? We will see.
Meanwhile the schedule is crushing and there is just too much to do and too little time. Hopefully things will become less hectic as the days go by. Sometime I hope to visit the Exhibition area for more than a quick bite to eat on the way to the next meeting.