News for Week Ending 7/13/2009
General Convention begins in AnaheimThe 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church began in Anaheim, California, July 7, 2009. Early highlights included addresses by the Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and the President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson. Also, for the first time, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams attended the General Convention briefly. The Diocese of Pittsburgh is maintaining links to General Convention stories from Episcopal News Service, which you can read here. Other news resources about the convention were mentioned here last week. The church publishes a General Convention newspaper every day. You can read current and past issues here.
GC begins making legislative progressAlthough participants in the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church will long remember convention events such as the welcoming address of the Presiding Bishop, it is legislation passed by the House of Deputies and House of Bishops for which history will remember the Anaheim gathering. As the convention moves to the conclusion of its first week, notable resolutions are beginning to work their way throw the legislative mill.
The piece of legislation that has received most notice so far is D025, “Commitment and Witness to Anglican Communion.” This resolution was singled out by the World Mission Legislative Committee as the basis for affirming our commitment to the Anglican Communion while declaring that we have no moratorium on the consecration of gay bishops. As we go to press (on July 13, 2009), this resolution has just been passed by an overwhelming vote in the House of Bishops after having been passed handily by the House of Deputies July 12. The current version of the resolution is available here. Because what has been characterized as a minor amendment was made by the bishops, the legislation now returns to the House of Deputies, where its passage seems likely. Episcopal News Service reported on the passage of D025 July 12. Ruth Gledhill of The Times reported that the Archbishop of Canterbury, even before D025 reached the House of Bishops, said, “I regret the fact that there is not the will to observe the moratorium in such a significant part of the Church in North America but I can’t say more about that as I have no details.” Most in The Episcopal Church would argue that resolution B033 from the last General Convention was only advisory and did not establish a moratorium on gay bishops.
In other developments, the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music Committee sent resolution C056, which calls for the collection and development of “theological resources and liturgies of blessing for same-gender holy unions,” to the House of Bishops. (See ENS story here.) The House of Bishops has also approved a denominational health plan. This legislation, in the form of resolution A177, now goes to the House of Deputies. (See ENS story here.)