Archive for the ‘General Convention 2006’ Category

{my sunday best}

June 24, 2006

Apparently, capitulating to patriarchy is the “new black” in the Episcopal Church. Fortunately, it’s before Labor Day, and I encourage you all to wear white this Sunday:


{amendment of our life together}

June 24, 2006

With all the attention given to General Convention’s Resolution B033, which was rammed through the House of Deputies at the 11th hour with strongarm tactics from the Presiding Bishop and Presiding Bishop Elect, and which was reported in the media as a committment on the part of the Episcopal Church to not ordain GLBT persons as bishops, I find it interesting how little attention has been given to another resolution.


African Bishops Disappointed by Episcopal Church’s Failure to Stone, Burn Gays

June 22, 2006

I’m sure that exactly no one, with the possible exception of ++Frank Griswold and +Katharine Jefferts Schori, that the African Bishops are not mollified in the slightest by the actions taken by the General Convention yesterday.

T19 (no, sorry, won’t link to them) reports the following statement from the seemingly omnipresent ++Peter Akinola, this time in his role as the Chairman of the Council of Anglican Provinces in Africa:


Clergy gone wild!

June 22, 2006

Aron reports that the following email exchange was posted on the Via Media Forth Worth Yahoo Group:

I thought you might be interested in this email exchange…

First, here’s an email sent from a member of the Diocese of Fort Worth to Iker…

On Jun 19, 2006, at 3:32 PM, Susann Eller wrote:

> As a member in good standing of the Episcopal Church not your church

> apparently, I want to let you know that I do not agree with you and

> your followers on the Resolution passed yesterday asking that this

> Diocese withdraw from the Episcopal Church.

> I along with many others in this Diocese will remain affiliated with

> the Episcopal Church of the United States not you and your followers.

> How dare you speak for us?

> Susann M. Eller

> Member of Trinity Episcopal Church

And then here’s the good Bishop’s response…

—–Original Message—–

From: Bishop Jack L. Iker [mailto:jliker@…]

Sent: Monday, June 19, 2006 9:29 PM

To: Susann Eller

Subject: Re: Member of Episcopal Church

You are mistaken in your notion that our Diocese is withdrawing from the Episcopal Church. Please stop spreading lies. Stick to the facts.

I am your bishop – and I speak for this diocese, whether you like it or not.

Grow up.



Nice, huh?

Nice, indeed!

Behold, the consecration vows for a Bishop in the Episcopal Church! (From the rite entitled “The Ordination of a Bishop”, which begins on page 511 of the Book of Common Prayer)

Bishop: As chief priest and pastor, will you encourage and support all baptized people in their gifts and ministries, nourish them from the riches of God’s grace, pray for them without ceasing, and celebrate with them the sacraments of our redemption?

Answer: [presumably spoken by Bishop Iker at his own consecration –Ed.] I will, in the name of Christ, the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.

Bishop:  Will you be merciful to all, show compassion to the poor and strangers, and defend those who have no helper?

Answer:  I will, for the sake of Christ Jesus.

Perhaps Bishop Iker’s prayerbook adds “…unless they’re chicks or homos.”  Mine does not.

Liz Zivanov reports:

When Bonnie Perry got up and asked the HoD if A161 meant that gays were to return to lying and deceiving about who they are in order to be in the church,, I watched three priests from the Diocese of Dallas look at each other, chuckle, and nod their heads. So much for unity and honesty

When are we going to just start calling people out on that kind of behavior?  No one is perfect, to be sure, but one of the functions of the clergy orders is to model Christian charity, mercy and humility before the jerks (like me) who they are called to serve.  That sort of rank, snarky assholery may have a place in the Republican Party, but it has no place on the floor of a grievously divided General Convention, and priests who have sworn at their ordination to “build up the family of God” (BCP 532) should be held accountable for that kind of the behavior.

African Bishops: Killing is okay, buttsex not so much.

June 21, 2006

Here’s an interesting article from Thinking Anglicans about the table at which the Bishops of the Episcopal Church hope they’ve bought themselves a seat today:


Episcopal Church Flip-Flops, Makes Ass of Self

June 21, 2006

Many of you will no doubt be thrilled to learn that today is the last day of the 2006 General Convention of the Episcopal Church. And what a day it’s been….

Yesterday, resolution A161 (which, as amended by the House of Bishops, would have placed moratoria on both the consecration of GLBT bishops and the development or authorization of rites for blessing same-sex unions) was resoundingly defeated by the House of Deputies. The reaction from the House of Bishops makes me wonder if the Presiding Bishop hasn’t already had some sort of back-channel message from the Archbishop of Canterbury to the effect of “no resolution, no invitation to Lambeth”. So they managed to whip up a resolution (B033) originating in the HoB, which reads as follows:

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 75th General Convention receive and embrace The Windsor Report’s invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further

Resolved, that this Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.

Frank Griswold++ (the current Presiding Bishop) presented this text to both houses at a special joint session (called by Bishop Griswold himself). At one point, it looked like the resolution was going to be stopped by procedural maneuvers, and all of the sudden the Presiding Bishop-elect asks to address the Deputies. Since the President of the House of Deputies can invite guests to speak, he extended an invitation to +Katharine, and this is what she said:

“Yesterday afternoon, the bishop of Louisiana spoke eloquently in our House about living in a church with two minds — one church, two minds. As he was speaking, an image was rising in my mind. It is a challenging image.

We have read many stories in the news about conjoined twins — two bodies or parts of body united in one being. …. Some parents have to wrestle with the decision of trying to separate or not trying to separate those twins. They operate with the assumption that it is wrong to attempt to separate those twins unless both can live full lives.

I think we are in a church much like that. this creature, this Body of Christ, is not wholly one and it is not wholly two. The resolution which stands before you is far from adequate. I find the language exceedingly challenging, but my sense is that it’s probably the best we’re going to do today, and at this convention. I am fully committed to the inclusion gay and lesbian Christians in this church. I certainly don’t understand adopting this resolution as slamming the door, and I do think that if you pass this resolution, you have to keep working with all your mind at finding a common mind in this church. I don’t find this an easy thing to say to you, but I think this is the best we’re going to manage at this point in our history.

Thank you.”

Apparently, the deputies agreed.

LAY: yes 77.4 no 21. divided 11 carried

CLERGY: 75.8 yes 24 no divided 10 carried


I am feeling fairly inarticulate at the moment, so I’ll let Father Jake express just exactly what I’m feeling right now:

“..exercise restraint by not consenting…” How else can this possibly be heard except as a slap in the face to Bishop Robinson and all of our faithful glbt brothers and sisters?

The world was watching to see if at least one segment of the Body of Christ would reject the self-righteous bigotry that they have come to expect from those who call themselves Christians. And we have shown them that we’re not any different from the Falwells and Robertsons that regularly make a mockery of our faith. Most likely many will shrug and say they were not surprised, and then turn to the next page of the Wall Street Journal. We have crawled back into that box the secular world has built for us; a box that is quickly becoming irrelevant in many people’s lives anyway.

I’ll tell you one thing: I will never refer to myself as an Anglican again. We have created a golden calf that is not worthy of our worship, let alone our respect.

Keep in mind that this will not be enough for Anglican bigots like Peter Akinola. TEC is going to continue to be treated like a naughty child who must be disciplined. We have managed to not only compromise our integrity, but have also produced nothing that will be considered acceptable to the Communion. We blinked.

My heart is broken. Beyond that, I am outraged. There must be consequences created for this act of cowardice.

Not much to add to that, except to emphasize and concur with his point: this will not please the conservatives one iota. A quick survey of the popular conservative Anglican blogs shows that they’re already starting to howl and moan. We have sold our birthright for a mess of pottage.

Also, I wonder precisely what “manner of life” means? Does that include having a vagina? Or being divorced? Neither of those currently disqualifies one from the episcopacy in our church, but would disqualify one from the episcopal office in many provinces of the Anglican Communion.

This is yet another example of the Episcopal Church trying to buy peace with the conservatives for the moment at the price of a future of discord. It would have been better to have the courage of our convictions and say to the Communion, “we can’t commit to this because we are not of one mind”. Instead, they’ve put out this “call upon…exercise restraint” nonsense, which will almost certainly be challenged. The Bishops, being more collegial, will probably hold the line. I doubt the Standing Committees of the liberal dioceses will be so compliant, though, and where will that leave us? With the bishops refusing to consecrate those who have been chosen by the people?
My final thought for now is this: although I’m trying to have an open heart about this, it sure looks to me like the new Presiding Bishop-elect’s first act was to give the finger to the gay and lesbian members of her flock so that she can be sure of her place at the Archbishop of Canterbury’s little tea party.

UPDATE: The Archbishop of Canterbury is apparently wasting no time in letting up know just how little we’ve bought for ourselves by compromising our integrity:

Archbishop’s statement at the conclusion of deliberations on the Windsor Report and the Anglican Communion at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America

Wednesday 21st June 2006

“I am grateful to the Bishops and Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) for the exceptional seriousness with which they have responded to the request of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that they should address the recommendations of the Windsor Report relating to the tensions arising from the decisions associated with the 74th General Convention in 2003.

“ There is much to appreciate in the hard and devoted work done by General Convention, and before that, by the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, in crafting the resolutions. This and the actions taken today show how strong is their concern to seek reconciliation and conversation with the rest of the Communion.

“ It is not yet clear how far the resolutions passed this week and today represent the adoption by the Episcopal Church of all the proposals set out in the Windsor Report. The wider Communion will therefore need to reflect carefully on the significance of what has been decided before we respond more fully.

“ I am grateful that the JSC of the Primates and ACC has already appointed a small working group to assist this process of reflection and to advise me on these matters in the months leading up to the next Primates’ Meeting.

“ I intend to offer fuller comments on the situation in the next few days. The members of Convention and the whole of the Episcopal Church remain very much in our prayers.”

The Episcopal Church is officially not sorry for doing the right thing

June 20, 2006

Father Jake reports that Resolution A161, intended to respond to the Windsor Report’s recommendations of moratoria on the consecration of gay bishops and the blessing of same-sex unions, was put to a vote by orders in the House of Deputies this afternoon in the following amended form:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church regrets the extent to which we have, by action and inaction, contributed to strains on communion and caused deep offense to many faithful Anglican Christians as we consented to the consecration of a bishop living openly in a same-gender union. Accordingly, we are obliged to urge nominating committees, electing conventions, Standing Committees, and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise very considerable caution refrain from the nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.; and be it further

Resolved that this General Convention not proceed to develop or authorize Rites for the Blessing of same-sex unions at this time, thereby concurring with the Windsor Report in its exhortation to bishops of the Anglican Communion to honor the Primates’ Pastoral Letter of May 2003; and be it further

Resolved that this General Convention affirm the need to maintain a breadth of responses to situations of pastoral care for gay and lesbian Christians in this Church.

Resolved that this General Convention apologize to those gay and lesbian Episcopalians and their supporters hurt by these decisions.

(The bold text was added by amendment, and text removed by amendment is struck out)

It failed. By a substantial margin, and in both orders of the House of Deputies.

Classical Anglican’s liveblog of GC06 listed the following results:

LAY: 38 yes 53 no 18 divided: Motion fails
CLERGY: 44 yes 53 no 14 divide Motion fails


(The post containing these results has since been removed.)

Homobigots pwn3d!!11!

UPDATE: The current Presiding Bishop, Frank Griswold, has called for a special joint session of both Houses tomorrow. Tomorrow, incidentally, is the last day of GC06, and there is a whole hell of a lot of legislative work remaining undone…including the budget for the next triennium. I have to say that I’m extremely surprised at how all of this has been handled. I thought they’d dispose of all the non-Windsor stuff first, and then dive in, but days for the resolutions to even come out of committee.

Bishop Iker requests Alternative Episcopal Cartoonage

June 20, 2006

cartoon from www.cartoonchurch.comCartoon by Dave Walker.

Stupid reporters: world without end, amen.

June 19, 2006

To my beloved regular readers (most of whom are athiests, as near as I can tell): I promse I’ll stop talking about the Episcopal Church soon. General Convention ends on Wednesday. Thanks for your patience!

The Daily Episcopalian has an interesting post about how the press is treating the election of Bishop Jefferts Schori as Presiding Bishop-elect. The pattern he identifies is familiar to those of us on the left side of blogistan: every “issue” has two “sides” which must be given equal treatment, no matter how miniscule and fringe one “side” ay be.

Scanning the wires tonight, I have become weary of the privileged place that the Anglican right is receiving in news stories about the election. What about these brave campaigners who are still less than 1/10th of the house of bishops (12 of the 180+ voting today) who have endured years of condescension from their brother bishops who don’t know enough to recognize their own sexism? Where were they in today’s stories? Kathrine Jefferts Schori wouldn’t even be a priest without the likes of Barbra Harris. So why is it that she isn’t in today’s stories and the usual American Anglican Council-types are? (Not that I mind people quoting the Rev. David Anderson speaking against he Episcopal Church. As the Larry King show demonstrated the other night, there are few things more beneficial for our Church than to have David Anderson speak against it.)

The press loves conflict and the quick interview, no matter how small the group causing the conflict might be. It is worth repeating here that when the clergy and lay deputations of each diocese were asked to confirm Jefferts Schori’s election, she received what amounts to 90 percent of the vote. In politics this is a landslide. In the Episcopal Church, somehow, it shows we are rent asunder.

Help me out here, brothers and sisters in the media. What is the fascination with a group of people that despite investing millions of dollars in upsetting the Church, have achieved so little influence on their native soil? I agree that from a media relations point of view they are valuable…

…but having said that, at some point, don’t you expect them to produce something along the lines of results? I mean, is this the great schism? That the eight or ten diocese (out of more than 100) that got themselves together to oppose Bishop Jefferts Schori are going to walk? I would hate to see it happen, but schism has been your guiding narrative for three years, and what if that is all you ever have to show for it? Meanwhile, you fail to notice that we’ve know got an Episcopal Church united behind a female Primate who speaks Spanish and was elected with the support of her Latin American brethren, leaving us better positioned than we have ever been to evangelize not only the United States, Central and northern South America and beyond.

If you were financial reporters and people kept predicting a recession that never came, you’d eventually stop paying attention to them, no? Or, if you were Charlie Brown and you’d been out with Linus on Halloween waiting for the Great Pumpkin, eventually you’d start wondering whether the Great Pumpkin was ever going to come.

You can check out the rest here.

quelle surprise!

June 18, 2006

Katharine Jefferts Schori, Bishop of the Diocese of Nevada, was elected the 26th Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, June 18, on the fifth ballot cast by the House of Bishops. Her election was confirmed by the House of Deputies, as is required by church canons. Below are the results of each ballot as tallied by the House of Bishops and released by the Voting Secretary of the House of Deputies.

The Convention will dive back in to the substance of the Windsor resolutions tomorrow, and no major decisions have been made in that area yet. However, many feel that the election of Bishop Jefferts Schori bodes well for those of us favoring an inclusive church. Not only will she be the first woman Primate of a province of the Anglican Communion (in which most provinces don’t ordain women at all), but she is generally thought to be to the left of most of the other six candidates. She is one of the bishops who participated in the consecration of Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. She is widely respected, but no one, and I mean no one, thought she had a chance at being elected Presiding Bishop. This is quite a surprise.

Bishop Jefferts Schori will be the first Presiding Bishop to hold a Ph.D. in the sciences; she is an oceanographer. And a pilot. And fluent in Spanish, as she demonstrated when she addressed the Convention this evening in both English and Spanish.
She is also the only candidate who spoke about the UN’s Millenium Development Goals in her candidate video. As the MDG seem to be the emerging vision for the future of Episcopal mission, this is a very interesting choice on the part of the House of Bishops.