Commission finds "emerging consensus in the Diocese of Virginia for the support of same gender unions"
The Windsor Dialogue Commission of the Diocese of Virginia has issued a report on the Listening Process in the diocese. The report summarizes the process, the commission's findings, and its recommendations. Cost to the diocese: $8,500.
About the process:
In its report to the 2009 Council, the Commission established the following goal of the work it recommended be undertaken:A key finding:
“To offer a listening process that enables mutual understanding.”
To achieve this goal, the Commission recommended that twelve churches representing the diversity of the diocese be selected to participate in the process. The parishes selected would be paired. The Rector of each parish should select four persons from that congregation to participate. Hence, there would be six groups of eight persons who, it was determined, should, with the assistance of a facilitator, hold a two hour meeting once a week for six weeks. The Commission selected Churches to participate with an eye to characteristics which would increase the likelihood that the persons participating would have useful conversations. The Bishop spoke to the appropriate rectors and twelve churches were enlisted. The R-5 Commission had proposed the new “Commission be tasked to make a report of its findings and work to the 214th Annual Council, in time for further action to be taken in anticipation of the 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in 2009.” In light of that injunction, the six listening groups were promptly established and they proceeded conscientiously and with
commendable dispatch. The results of their work make up the bulk of this report.
The key to what the Commission believes was a successful enterprise was the use of competent facilitators. These received training which was of the highest quality.
Payment of the trainer constituted the only significant expense of the Commission.
Based on these six groups, with four overwhelmingly positive experiences and two characterized by feelings of impatience for not addressing issues of liturgy and blessings, it appears that there is progress towards an emerging consensus in the Diocese of Virginia for the support of same gender unions.Recommendations:
• Continue and expand the “Windsor Dialogue Listening Group Process”.The report is here.
• Report and disseminate the results of the “Windsor Dialogue Listening Process” to the larger Anglican Communion.
• Make the “Windsor Dialogue Listening Process” available to the larger Anglican Communion
• A permanent record of the work of the Windsor Dialogue Commission should be maintained.
• Establish an Oversight Group to oversee the continuing work of the “Windsor Dialogue Listening Group Process”.