#GC79 Roundup for July 13, 2018

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photo by David Paulsen/ENS

Both Houses have adjourned sine die as of about 3:30 pm Central, which means they are effectively finished with the business before them for this Convention. In all, they considered a whopping 517 resolutions, including passing a budget for the next Triennium; wrangling with the possibilities for BCP revision; adopting an updated version of the Book of Occasional Services; adopting revisions to the Church calendar to include Thurgood Marshall, Pauli Murray, and Florence Li-Tim Oi; adopting inclusive-language Eucharistic prayers for trial use; and voting overwhelmingly to begin the process of readmitting Cuba as a diocese of the Episcopal Church. The “compromise” version of Resolution B012 was formally adopted by both Houses as well. This resolution places the issue of marriage for all couples squarely in the hands of local clergy, even in instances where the Ecclesiastical Authority of a diocese is uncomfortable with allowing same-sex couples access to the rites. The applicable Resolveds read,

“…Resolved, That under the canonical direction of the Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge and where permitted to do so by civil law, provision will be made for all couples desiring to use these marriage liturgies in their local congregation or worshipping community, provided that nothing in this Resolve narrows the authority of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge (Canon III.9.6(a)); and be it further

“Resolved, That in dioceses where the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or, where applicable, ecclesiastical supervision) holds a theological position that does not embrace marriage for same-sex couples, and there is a desire to use such rites by same-sex couples in a congregation or worshipping community, the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or ecclesiastical supervision) shall invite, as necessary, another bishop of this Church to provide pastoral support to the couple, the Member of the Clergy involved and the congregation or worshipping community in order to fulfill the intention of this resolution that all couples have convenient and reasonable local congregational access to these rites.”

We’ve also had updates on our friendly General Convention Pigeons. The esteemed birds granted their first interview to the Café’s Cara Modisett several days ago, and have been providing entertainment and gentle reminders throughout the Convention. The Deputies recognized the Pigeons’ efforts during the last legislative session with a courtesy resolution, which thanks them for,

.“…their representation of the Holy Spirit when necessary, for providing vital entertainment when needed, and for being gentle guides when ‘crumbs are left under thy table’ or on the floor.”

ENS reports that the Pigeons’ human Tweeters are the Rev. David Sibley of Long Island and the Rev. David Simmons of Wisconsin:

“…On July 4, as house leaders were explaining how to use the deputies’ loaner iPads to access the Virtual Binder, a pigeon swooped low over the alternates’ coop. Great bird brains instantly thought alike as Sibley and Simmons texted each other, concluding that, ‘this thing needs a Twitter account.’ Thus, @gc79pigeon was hatched.

“’The idea that coalesced very quickly after that was, OK, let’s be funny. Let’s not pick on anyone. Let’s not advocate for any particular issue,’ Sibley said. ‘Let’s just try to make jokes about the things that pigeons do and, at times, the absurdity of the process and the current happenings in the house.’”

 

 

 

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

part of our national Church, which has made this decision, so we must find a way to live within its bounds. Furthermore, the key resolution of Convention, B012,implies that the diocesan bishop should take a leading role in working how we will do so. Therefore rectors wish to use these rites, and who have the assent of their vestry, should contact me by the 15th of August if they intend to perform these rites. (I should add that, as a result of conversations over a period of months, I believe I have a sense of the rectors likely to desire to use these rites.) This question does not apply to missions, for whom I am in effect the rector, and from whom I will continue to withhold my permission.

We will endeavor to see that same sex couples who are not members of one of these parishes are pastorally committed into the care of the visiting bishop so that one of the rectors of the parishes he will oversee may provide the rite. -- EDOD Bishop

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Prof Christopher Seitz
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Prof Christopher Seitz

I should hasten to add that the Convention reaffirmed both the honoring of conscience of clergy who cannot preside at a same sex marriage, as well as the canonical right of a rector to have control over the liturgical life within his or her Church building.

As the chief theologian and liturgist of the diocese, I instruct and exhort all of our rectors to continue with both the traditional teaching of the Church catholic and the inherited practice with respect to marriage. In so doing you will remain in full solidarity with my own teaching and ministry as the bishop of this diocese. Let me remind you that this teaching is held by the ecumenical Churches and the Anglican Communion, comports with the Scriptures, and is embedded in our own canons. I instruct you thus for the good of your souls and the preservation of the unity of the Church.

I am, however, no longer able to stop parishes, who wish to, from using these rites. We are, and will remain, a part of our

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