It's the lead up to General Convention, which begins next week. The plot thickens, the pot boils, things are shaken and stirred:
(i) President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson is suggesting that Dispatch of Business may propose a special order so that the House of Deputies can meet as a Committee of the Whole to discuss matters pertaining to the restrictions and admonitions placed on Bishops and Standing Committees by B033 passed on the last day of General Convention 2006. Hopefully if this takes place it will be a forward looking discussion rather than a blame game muttering. It is time to move on and this special order might provide the means to do so. See the announcement on this HERE.
(ii) The challenge to the budget and to The Joint Committee on Program, Budget and Finance will come to a head and the sensibilities of scarcity and abundance will be at the center of the discussion of what to do when the funds are down. See article HERE.
(iii) A study on world mission has been produced and is available HERE. It will challenge the Convention to look again at the world mission priorities of The Episcopal Church. This study is informative of the current state of affairs in how funds and staff time are used. It does not propose a specific future direction, but provides information for any who are interested in future planning.
(iv) A group of bishops are offering a resolution which would allow for the use of the Prayer Book service for the blessing of a civil marriage in the case of civil marriage between persons of the same sex. See HERE.
(v) There is a concerted effort to get a line item back in the budget for the Millennium
Development Goals. At issue here is posting a specific amount for this effort in a public way. See HERE.
(vi) There is a proposal on Communications efforts of The Episcopal Church that is meant to counter the proposal by Church Center Staff in Communications to redirect the energies and monies for communications in new ways. The Board of Governors of Episcopal Life Media will propose two resolutions on furthering the work of Communications. See HERE.
(vii) It appears that the Daughters of the King are in the midst of a challenge to reorder their membership qualifications. The Daughters of the King are both an Episcopal Church organization and at the same time larger, including on some level persons from other Churches. Working out this membership matter is seen by some in the organization as a microcosm of the struggles faced in the Church these days. See HERE. and HERE.
Much of this stirring is in relation to the proposed budget, the programmatic offerings of the Church Center staff, and the resolutions coming out of various Committees, Commissions, Board and Agencies. Some of it arises out of these particular times in the Anglican Communion and The Episcopal Church.
It is a feisty time, but it seems to me deputies and bishops are better informed prior to General Convention than in past years and are coming with more creative ideas.
It promises to be a fine Convention, particularly if we keep our life together in prayer, with openness to what the Spirit might be offering. We shall see.