Day 6

Well the best intentions….yesterday’s post was almost complete when WordPress decided to eat it. So I had no time to redo it and I apologize for that.
Yesterday we got pretty bogged down, and is usual for GC, we are pretty far behind. Resolution A050 passed (study of the Theology of marriage) but several of us were against it as the resolution was too specific. Instead of directing the study in various ways, what we really need is an open ended study of marriage – scripture, tradition, history, issues, etc. Marriage itself, as it exists now, is a fairly new concept. We would do well to study all aspects of marriage, not just how it might relate to current debates.
Today was an amazing day. We dragged through a lot of resolutions (don’t get me started on Israel / Palestine) and our response to the Anglican Covenant (the wind is really out of that sail, but we agreed to continue in dialogue on this). Finally we voted (after two postponements) on Executive Council and our own Anita George was elected on the first ballot! She was one vote from being the top vote getter. I am so proud of her! I’ve loved having her daughter (and friend), Andrea, here with us all week and Andrea has worked hard promoting her mom. The church has spoken well!
Next up was the structural reform amendment. This was great! The structure committee passed a resolution calling for a task force of 24 people to examine EVERY aspect of our life – national church, headquarters, constitution, general convention, standing committees, you name it. They will report back to GC 2015. Their makeup is to be from folks not currently involved in the governance of our church and will include diverse voices, especially young ones. An unnecessary amendment was defeated, and as at least 15 people stood at microphones, most to offer other amendments, we called the question and voted. The resolution passed unanimously! This is unheard of! When the PHOD called for the NAY votes, there was silence. It gave me goose bumps! Then the HoD erupted in a spontaneous standing ovation. We are ready to streamline, network., flatten, examine, get mean and lean. It was so awesome – the best moment I’ve had in three GCs. We burst into song and celebrated. Our own Canon David Johnson was on this committee and was giddy with excitement. It really was phenomenal.
This was followed by A049 – authorize a trial (provisional) liturgy for same sex blessings. I encourage you to READ THE RESOLUTION! It is well written and provides ample provision AND support for those who oppose this, and no one is required to offer or participate. We want three years of trial use with feedback to the Liturgy folks (the liturgy is ok but needs work). This is NOT marriage, it doesn’t change the Prayer Book or constitution or our understanding of Sacraments. After a lot of debate and an hour of parliamentary procedures, we took a vote by orders. We concurred with the Bishops by a 78% majority in the lay deputies and 76% in the clergy. Afterwards there was no celebration, no gloating, we just adjourned quietly for the day.
And WHAT a day! We also elected our new President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Jennings,whom I got to know on the Coast following Katrina when she came down as a great help to the clergy on the Coast. I have already asked Gay to appoint me to the task force for reform. Keep your fingers crossed!
On a personal note, by this time at previous GCs Jennifer has joined me. But she can’t this year and I really miss her. Home soon and I’m ready to be there!

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Categories: Episcopal Church
  1. July 12, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Thanks for keeping us folks back home informed — and in Real People language! All FOR your appointment; please keep us posted. . . Hurry home, safely.

  2. Joanna Hunt
    July 12, 2012 at 6:56 pm

    Thank you so much for your thoughtful blog and taking time to keep us informed.
    With great admiration and appreciation, Joanna

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