The Episcopal Church's House of Deputies will discuss whether it wants to explore the revision of controversial Resolution B033 in a committee of the whole before the relevant legislative committee begins its work, Bonnie Anderson, president of the house, disclosed tonight in an email to deputies.
Anderson said a wide-ranging conversation would give valuable guidance to the house's Committee on World Mission, which has received at least 12 proposed revisions to B033. The controversial resolution passed under unusual parliamentary circumstances on the last day of the 2006 General Convention. (See pages 1 and 4, here.) It has been widely interpreted as a de facto ban on the consecration of bishops in same-sex partnerships.
Dear Deputies and First Alternates,
With just a few days left before we gather together in Anaheim for the 76th General Convention, I want to inform you of a procedure available to the House of Deputies that we will propose to use to have a discussion, not debate, regarding resolution B033 that was concurred at the 75th General Convention. We will have this discussion in the context of a “Committee of the Whole”. The purpose of this discussion will be to exchange information and viewpoints among the deputies, and to inform Legislative Committee #8 World Mission, to which committee all the resolutions relative to B033 have been assigned.
What it is:
Committee of the Whole is a parliamentary process that enables a legislative body such as the House of Deputies, to discuss a topic in an orderly manner, without debate or taking a final action on a resolution on the matter. It is used primarily when a deliberative assembly wishes to have a discussion on a particular topic.
How it will happen:
The Legislative Committee on Dispatch of Business will present a special order of business to the HOD in the same manner all special orders are presented. The HOD will review the procedure presented by Dispatch and the House will vote whether or not to use or to amend the Committee of the Whole procedure as proposed.
When it will happen:
During the legislative session on Wednesday, July 8, Dispatch will present the special order for consideration by the HOD.
If the special order is adopted, on Thursday afternoon, July 9, the HOD will meet for one hour in the first session of the Committee of the Whole during the regularly scheduled legislative time; and on Friday morning, July 10, the second session of the Committee of the Whole will meet for one hour during the regularly scheduled legislative session.
It is my belief that the House of Deputies will benefit by having an opportunity to discuss B033 apart from the context of legislative procedure. Many deputies have indicated their longing to discuss B033 together as a House. The HOD Legislative Committee on World Mission (#8) has indicated their work will be aided by this conversation in the HOD prior to the committee’s open hearing on the topic.
I look forward to our work, prayer and deepening relationship.
Please join me in daily thanksgiving for our ministry together, as it is and as it is yet to become. Please join me daily in asking the Holy Spirit to be present with us in all our deliberations, celebrations and conversations.
Bonnie Anderson, D.D.
President, The House of Deputies