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Summarizing General Convention #77

Summarizing General Convention #77

Some dioceses summarize of the accomplishments of General Convention and what it means for the local church.


The Diocese of Washington made this list:

Budget & Structure

The budget for the Episcopal Church in the 2013-2015 triennium was unanimously adopted by the 77th General Convention July 11 with little fanfare

The House of Bishops on July 10 approved a move away from, but did not authorize the sale of, the Episcopal Church Center headquarters

Applause and cheers erupted July 11 as Resolution C095, which calls for creation of a task force to re-imagine the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century, sailed unanimously through the House of Bishops. A day earlier, deputies also had passed the measure unanimously.

General Convention’s Committee on the Church Pension Fund voted July 6 to affirm most of the terms of the mandatory denominational health insurance plan that must be fully implemented less than six months after convention adjourns

The House of Deputies expressed its commitment to a national Episcopal Youth Event and expanded funding for evangelism in its first full day of business at General Convention. Those resolutions now go to the House of Bishops for consideration.

Leadership

The Rev. Gay Clark Jennings from the Diocese of Ohio, an eight-time deputy to General Convention, was elected president of the House of Deputies on July 10 on the first ballot. She will begin her three-year term at the conclusion of General Convention on July 12

Byron Rushing from the Diocese of Massachusetts was elected on the second ballot July 11 to serve as the next vice president of the House of Deputies.

The House of Deputies on July 10 elected seven lay and two clergy members to serve on the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council. The bishops on July 11 concurred with the deputies’ elections

The House of Deputies took another step toward changing the church’s status quo when it adopted a resolution that permits the next presiding bishop, who will be elected in 2015, to remain a diocesan bishop. Canons currently require the presiding bishop to resign her or his seat upon election

The House of Deputies July 8 approved on final reading an amendment to the constitution of the Episcopal Church to remove the requirement that consent for bishops elected within 120 days of General Convention be given by convention. The usual process for consenting to bishop elections is by votes of diocesan bishops and standing committees.

The House of Bishops went on record July 8 supporting the “unflagging efforts” of the four continuing dioceses which are rebuilding after a majority of their laity and clergy left the church over theological and policy disagreements

Liturgy & Language

The House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops to pass Resolution A049, which authorizes provisional use of the rite “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Lifelong Covenant” starting Dec. 2 (the first Sunday of Advent). Clergy will need the permission of their bishop under the terms of the resolution

The House of Deputies on July 9 concurred with the bishops to offer support for the transgender community by adding gender expression and identity to two canons that prevent discrimination

There was standing room only at two separate hearings July 6 as the 77th General Convention’s Evangelism Committee heard both personal testimonials and theological rebuttals of the controversial “open table”

The Anglican Communion & International Engagement

The House of Bishops concurred with the deputies July 10 to affirm their commitment to building relationships across the Anglican Communion, especially through the Continuing Indaba program, and to decline to take a position on the Anglican Covenant

Affirming economic investment and a two-state solution for Israeli-Palestinian peace, Episcopal Church leaders on July 5 welcomed Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem Suheil Dawani to Indianapolis for the 77th General Convention.

Israel-Palestine: Deputies support positive investment, engagement

Convention pledges continued advocacy for peace in Sudan

Representing more than half of the Anglican Communion’s 38 provinces, and many ecumenical and interreligious partners, guests attending General Convention spoke of their gratitude for the Episcopal Church’s hospitality as they gained a deeper understanding of its polity and legislative processes

Culture & Art

Monument Circle in downtown Indianapolis on July 9 played host to the New Community Festival organized by the offices for ethnic ministries in the Episcopal Church

Convention directs dioceses to examine impact of the “Doctrine of Discovery”, which refers to international laws, ecclesiastical documents and policies that were understood to set forth the ways colonial powers laid claim to newly discovered territories, beginning in the early 1500s and continuing through the 1700s

General Convention is, for the most part, a world of words, but Enedina Vasquez is giving it a visual interpretation with colorful drawings reflecting her experiences at this year’s meeting in Indianapolis

Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers July 8 presented Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori and her husband, Richard Schori, with Hero of Camping Ministry awards for their contributions to the Episcopal camping world

The Diocese of Connecticut shared these items:

So, what changes?

Here are just a few of the ways that GC77 could impact you:

Resources for blessing same sex couples available – what does this mean in CT? Bishops will hold conversation with clergy at gathering tentatively set for Aug. 2.

Your parochial reports will soon ask for info about your soup kitchen (and other mission work) A010

The final amended resolution on “Open Communion” will probably not change your mind but could influence your actions and will certainly inform your conversations.

If you are entrepreneurial and mission-minded and have a fabulous initiative in want of start-up funds, you’ll have another potential resource in A073

.

You will somehow be hearing from an appointed task force that will be listening to the church as they propose ways to restructure The Episcopal Church.C095

If the bishop allows it, you could continue to use the BCP lectionary.

You will have church resources available for beloved animals.

Also:

Denominational health plan – B026

The 2009 General Convention vote mandating use of Church Medical Trust plans will stand, despite resolutions to delay or reject it. We’ve used them in CT for several years already. A provision to acheive parity in dioceses in cost sharing between clergy & lay employees can now extend to 2015 instead of 2013, per resolution B026.

Israel/Palestine

Resolution B019 affirms positive investment, commends the work of the American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem, more. As currently listed on the General Convention page, Resolution C060, related to divestment, didn’t reach both Houses, allthough it’s possible it did and the website wasn’t updated. Text of B019 on this ctepiscopal page

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Michael Russell

The budget was not unanimously passed. As a Deputy from San Diego I voted against it. Others voted no as well. People kicked the can down the road, so we will see what actually happens.

It is fair to say there was little interest in taking on the budget on the floor as shown by the overwhelming rejection of my motion to cut the total staff line by 25% over the next three years.

There is high confidence in the restructure proposal and high hopes that the budget will in fact work.

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