General Convention webcast previews General Convention

Episcopal Church leaders held a webcast previewing General Convention yesterday, May 13. Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori, House of Deputies President Bonnie Anderson, General Convention executive the Rev. Gregory Straub, and Bishop J. Jon Bruno of the host diocese of Los Angeles were the presenters.

The role of young people, the fate of controversial resolutions and the effect of actions on the "people in the pews" were some of the topics discussed during an Internet broadcast, or webcast, May 13 with officers of General Convention, the Episcopal Church's triennial governing meeting...

The webcast, which was moderated by Neva Rae Fox, program officer for public affairs for the Episcopal Church, originated from Anaheim, California, where the convention will meet from July 8 to 17.

The fate of GC2006 B033 (see below the fold) was discussed. The Presiding Bishop said:

I've been very clear in my public communications for the last few months that my hope is that we not attempt to repeal past legislation at General Convention—it's a bad legislative practice," said Jefferts Schori. "I would far more prefer us to say where we are today, in 2009, to make a positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church and that we be clear about who we are as the Episcopal Church.

President of the House of Deputies Bonnie Anderson noted:
Twelve resolutions concerning B033 have been submitted ... and all have been assigned to legislative committees, as is the practice for all resolutions. "We can't really predict what will happen in regards to B033, which is the beauty of General Convention. It is up to the participants at General Convention to take those resolutions under consideration, to hold open hearings with regards to the resolutions, gather the voices of everyone present that wishes to speak … and we also pray for the intervention of the Holy Spirit as we debate in the House of Deputies."

The Rev. Susan Russell, President of Integrity writes at her blog:
We can not only live with that ... we can WORK with that. A positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church is EXACTLY what we mean by "the full inclusion of all the baptized in all the sacraments" -- and it is exactly what we are going to Anaheim to help our deputies and bishops both craft and implement.

Others feel less encouraged by the words of the Presiding Bishop. Please use the comment sections to add your thoughts. (be sure to sign your name to your comments)

Questions were asked about General Convention and The Covenant. The Presiding Bishop said it would be discussed but as it is not in its complete form the General Convention could not vote on it yet.

All legislation submitted to date is here.

Resolutions on B033, Same Sex Blessings and other resolutions affecting the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons in the church are here.

More from Episcopal LIfe Online report here.

The webcast can be viewed here.

Mark Harris comments here on stating where TEC is in 2009 on consents to the elections of new bishops.

Resolution Number: 2006-B033
Title: Exercise Restraint in Consecrating Candidates
Legislative Action Taken: Concurred
Final Text:
Resolved, 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

Comments (3)

Having now watched the web cast
take aways:

wonder if Starbucks paid us for product placement?
GC will be held by the Magic Kingdom and will be a Magic Kingdom (more of the same patriarchal nonsense?)
the youth will build a Habitat for Humanity house on the arena floor - transported elsewhere afterwards
Lots of exposure for McLaren and his emergent church "gospel" (btw - Bruno does not believe the Pew survey on young people and their rejection of institutions - so not off to a good start there)
LA night will be rock and roll and light show with slides of the Garden of Eden and celebrate creation
GC volunteers get free registration
While KJS does not want to re-do B033 but have something else that states where we are now on inclusion - Bonnie Anderson says we WILL discuss it and there are 12 (?) resolutions about it - she does not preclude any outcome but leaves it to the GC to decide.
Global Economic Forum will feature the ABC and others on video
AC and Covenant - we will talk about it but no decision as it is not in final form yet
GC will recycle and use recycled products

BA - we will go away as a People in Mission not just with programs for mission
KJS - inspired, equipped, and challenged to be members of TEC transforming the world
Bruno - empowering youth for action

The PB fails to spell out what she means by a "desire to include all people fully in this church." So far she has done nothing to work for the full equality of LGBTs. Instead she offers a paraphrase of the same "gays and lesbians are children of God," etc. The Episcopal Church has been saying this sort of thing for decades now and little progress has been made. The webcast was sleep-inducing--not real journalism.

The PB says it would not be a good idea to undo B033 when in fact it was largely because of her that B033 is on the books. She waited until many people had already gone home for Grwiswold and she to impose B033. She should clean up her mess and start representing all the people of this denomination. That she failed to say "gay," "lesbian," "LGBT" may also be part of her so-called positive message about moving on and saying clearly where we stand. The problem is the situation is very unclear and she seems to be busy backtracking on the ideal of equality. It might be better for everybody if the Episcopal Church openly expressed its ongoing homophobia.

The PB lacks leadership qualities that would enable one to lead the denomination to equality and she comes across as very condescending toward the House of Deputies when Bonnie Anderson mentioned the many resolutions on B033. Her eyes were shifty at the point of the program.

A "desire" is nothing. Action is needed.

It may be too late because many people have moved on and find no need for a religious game where some people are told they are second-class members and must wait till kingdom come to be recognized as human.

Gary Paul Gilbert

This was the phrase that struck me as particularly empty, "...a positive statement about our desire to include all people fully in this church and that we be clear about who we are as the Episcopal Church."

I don't like her statement. It's negative and wishy-washy vague at the same time.

Nope. I've read it four times, and I like it less each time.

June Butler

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