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General Convention predictions

General Convention predictions

Okay, we’ve compiled our wish lists for General Convention. Now tell us what you think will happen to key legislation.

Two guess from me: the resolution to permit Communion before Baptism or without Baptism, or regardless of Baptism will not be approved. The degree of alarm over this resolution has always seem disproportionate to the likelihood of its approval. But I have enjoyed the conversation.

Resolutions of the “boycott, divestment, sanctions” sort aimed at Israel will not pass. The Presiding Bishop opposes them. Bishop Dawani of the Diocese of Jerusalem and the Middle East opposes them. I don’t believe supporters of these resolutions can overcome their opposition.

I am less confident about this prediction, but I believe we will do something that slows down the implementation of the denominational health plan. I am not well versed in the ins and outs of this issue, so I can’t offer a helpful explanation on why the plan hasn’t lived up to its billing. (Anybody care to help?) But it is clearly causing problems, and I think the church will respond in some way.


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A Facebook User

The opinion in the Diocese of Ohio, one of the proposers of a DHP resolution, is that the Denominational Health Plan has not lived up to its billing, because it has not. It is not a denominational plan, but a denominational wide mandate creating in a monopoly where each diocese is still expected to self-fund its own claims and premiums are based upon the census data for that particular diocese: average age, male-female ratio, claims history, local medical costs, numbers of participants, etc. There is no spreading of costs or participation in a larger pool because everything continues to be diocese dependent. Contrary to what was said leading up to the 76th General Convention, the DHP is not a Denominational Health Plan, but a Diocese-by-Diocese Health Plan.

The claim that we don’t yet know the full benefit of this plan because the mandate has not taken effect is not accurate. I believe the statistic is that over 90% of the dioceses are in the Medical Trust and therefore most of any potential savings have already been realized in setting the 2012 premiums.

Alan James

Don Reed

I hope you’re right, Jim, about the BDS resolutions. The best way toward a peaceful final-status agreement is positive investment in Palestinian businesses, not retribution against Israel. The Palestinian people have certainly been victims of oppression and have suffered much. Israelis have suffered too. There are also records of injustice on both sides. But there are good intentions on both sides as well, and a longing for peace. I hope GC’12 will encourage TEC to pursue investment, not retribution.


I find it interesting that the “open communion” issue always causes such a stir. It is safe to assume that there are people that come into an Episcopal Church more often than not to participate in worship – including Communion – without being baptized.

I understand the concern of passing a resolution on it as doing so would minimize the two sacraments directly from Christ’s ministry, but I also think we have to recognize that Communion is already relatively open.

Hunter Ruffin

Michael Russell

@Jim Naughton

Yes it was relatively nimble and I hope we can suspend the rules and do more of it this time. But most of the chatter is in the usual channels.

Jesse Zink

I share your assessment that “open communion” will not pass. But I wonder if it won’t be referred for some kind of study. (Does Convention ever do that?) That’s what happened in Connecticut: couldn’t get folks to agree at diocesan convention so give it to a committee to study.

I’m not sure that actually resolves the issue, however, so much as it just postpones the fight. That might be OK.


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