Home > Episcopal Church > GC Legislative Day 3

GC Legislative Day 3

Yesterday (Saturday) I gave my floor seat to one of our more than capable alternates and spent time with some old friends who were in town. Breakfast with seminary classmate Monique Ellison, who now works for the fabulous Listening Hearts ministries. I hope our COM will take a look at how they can help train discernment committees (are you reading Melanie Lemburg?). Then a great visit with Bruce Colville, a stalwart at Camp Cost Care following Katrina and dear friend. Bruce has dedicated his life as a missionary to disaster relief and recovery and brings incredible energy and expertise and abilities to those situations. It was great catching up with both.
In the afternoon I watched legislation progress online, and sat in the House of Bishops gallery to observe their debates. I always like to spend a bit of time in the HoB while at convention, they are of course a much smaller body than the House of Deputies and therefore their debates are very different. I am impressed with their respect for one another. AND, just like in the HoD, there are “certain” Bishops who really don’t feel a resolution should ever go to vote without them speaking to it!
I was GREATLY disturbed about resolution D045. Read it here. While tucked into a seemingly innocuous resolution to our Rules of Order (which frame how we debate things – this resolution talks about how long people can talk, how we handle certain elections, how long debate must take place prior to an amendment being presented, etc.), this resolution ALSO proposes a bizarre element. The resolution calls for a “polity review” of every resolution to make sure it doesn’t violate our “polity” or make changes to it. The review person for each legislative committee would be appointed by the President of the House of Deputies. WHOA NELLIE! First of all, this arbitrary review based on one person’s opinion of “correct polity” is a blatant attempt by the sitting PHOD and her supporters to maintain control over every piece of legislation. A polity reviewer could simply reject any reform legislation before it even is addressed by the committee. What a back door way to maintain status quo! I was stunned to read this and I was immediately regretting not being on the floor so I could speak against it. The other really bad news – the resolution was proposed by our current Parliamentarian (appointed by the PHOD) – a rumored candidate for Vice President of the HoD, and co-sponsored by our chancellor – also a candidate for VPHOD, and the just-appointed-by-the-President acting VPHOD.
This reminds me of old Communist Party tactics. What an amazing attempt to control legislation and combat the movement of reform sweeping this GC! Fortunately there were folks who caught on and the resolution was sent back to committee. DEPUTIES LOOK FOR THIS – we must not allow that language to win the day, it gives way too much power to the PHOD, no matter who that is, and is just a really bad idea.
A resolution to add some “official” translations of the Bible to the list in our Canons brought on a lot of debate, but also highlights one of the areas of needed reform in our canons. Do you know how hard it is to get over 800 deputies, most of whom have no real expertise in this area, to agree on proper Bible translations? There has to be a better way to approve, or disapprove, such things.
Much attention had been spent on the ongoing budget process. I know that committee has been really putting in long hours and have a monumental task.
Congratulations to our own Canon Kathryn McCormick on her election on the first ballot to be a Trustee of the Church Pension Fund! Now on to Anita George’s election to the Executive Council. Vote Anita y’all!
Today your Mississippi deputation will proudly wear our Camp Bratton Green t-shirts to the host diocese’s event at the baseball field. Go CBG!

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Categories: Episcopal Church
  1. July 8, 2012 at 6:50 am

    One of the great problems of the whole General Convention involves the extent to which decisions are made by people with competence to evaluate the alternatives. Perhaps all our Deputies diagnose their own medical problems, fix their own household electrical systems, distill their own whisky, manage their own investments, and so on….

  2. Alison Harkey
    July 8, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    David, I am so enjoying reading your blog and learning about GC. Excited about Kathryn McCormick’s election and hoping and praying for Anita. Go Mississippi!!!
    Alison Harkey

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