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#GC79 Update for July 7

#GC79 Update for July 7

A big day at General Convention as the House of Deputies voted to begin the process of Prayer Book Revision (resolution A068) to include expansive language and budgeting just shy of two million dollars for the work.


The vote was taken by orders;

Yes No Divided
Clergy 63 30 17
Lay 69 26 15


Given the importance of this step, here is the whole of the resolution, as passed;

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 79th General Convention authorize the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, plus two members or representatives from Province IX of The Episcopal Church, one being a bishop of said province and one being a clergy or lay representative of said province, to undertake comprehensive revision of The Book of Common Prayer 1979; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision will continue in faithful adherence to the historic rites of the Church Universal as they have been received and interpreted within the Anglican tradition of Common Prayer and mindful of our existing ecumenical commitments while also providing space for, encouraging the submission of, and facilitating the perfection of rites that will arise from the continual movement of the Holy Spirit among us and growing insights of our Church; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision utilize the riches of Holy Scripture and our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship; and be it further

Resolved, that this church ensure that, at each step of the revision process, all materials be translated into English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole, following the method commonly called dynamic equivalency; and be it further

Resolved, that such revision will continue to adhere to the four tenets of “The Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral”, as enumerated under points “(a), “(b), “(c)”, “(d)” on pages 877 and 878 in the Book of Common Prayer 1979 under the heading “Lambeth Conference of 1888, Resolution II”; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision shall incorporate and express understanding, appreciation, and care of God’s creation; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision take into consideration the use of current technologies which provide access to a broad range of liturgical resources; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music follow the “Guiding Assumptions” and “Plan for the revision of the Book of Common Prayer 1979” from the SCLM Blue Book Report to the 79th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music shall report to the 80th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the sum of $1,917,025 be appropriated to the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music for the 2019-2021 Triennium for this process.


There was passionate testimony in opposition, from multiple perspectives from a desire to preclude marriage equality to concern over the money to be spent.  There was also concern expressed that younger Episcopalians, who will inherit this potential new BCP are underrepresented.

From Twitter;


Dr James Farwell, professor of Liturgics at Virginia Theological Seminary noted on his Facebook page, that now was the time to begin this work which won’t be at final approval until 2030.


An amendment was offered to extend debate that failed, however a call for silence and prayer preceding the vote was passed seemingly unanimously.  The resolution now goes to the House of Bishops for further debate and possible amendment.  All of which is to say that we haven’t quite embarked on this journey yet.


Today’s worship included a Revival led by the Presiding Bishop; who offered another energetic sermon; some of his best lines being;

Lord send a revival. And let it begin in me

I am convinced the opposite of love is not hate, but selfishness

God wants us to LOVE.

We waste a lot of time in life on stuff that does not give life.


But there was amazing energy from the interpreter which added another powerful dimension to this revival.

Photo by Roger Hutchison via Twitter



Another emotionally powerful moment came from the testimony of the family of Carmen Schentrup, who was killed in the school shooting in Parkland, FL.  Speaking to the House of Bishops, Philip Schentrup applauded the statement from Bishop’s United Against Gun Violence, and urged them to be leaders in the work to reduce gun violence.

Philip Schentrup stands with his family as he addresses the House of Bishops about gun violence. Photo: Mike Patterson/Episcopal News Service


Afterwards, bishop Curry asked for a moment of silence and then led the bishops in the Lord’s Prayer.


Tomorrow morning, Bishops United Against Gun Violence is planning a public witness at Brush Square Park, across the street from the Austin Convention Center where the General Convention is meeting. The Schentrups will also speak, along with Abigail Zimmerman, a ninth-grader and Episcopalian from Texas who co-led a school walkout in March in response to the Douglas High School massacre.



Today also brought out protestors from Westboro Baptist Church.  Convention participants were encouraged to not engage with them.  Westboro’s Twitter feed accounted their protest as huge success – So many cameras! – in their ongoing campaign of indecency and hatred.  So much winning.

photo by Daniel Summers via Twitter



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Fred Loving

I got it now. These people have not been in the news for a while so clarification was needed.

Fred Loving

So what exactly is Westboro Baptist Church protesting ?

Kurt Hill

What are they protesting about? You, me, the post-Christian age…

Prof Christopher Seitz

How reassuring for the Liturgics man at VTS to offer his kindly counsel, ‘don’t worry, it will take a long time.’ As if that means a lessening of progressive “our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship” worrying said millenial.

As expected, this looks like a shaking off of all remnant of whatever remaining conservative voice there is. All that is left is consolidation and kind glances.

I see +TN has asked that episcopal role be ‘reinstated’ in B012. Is that just a last Hail Mary pass to no one?

Kurt Hill

Ever the Christian optimist, eh professor..?

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