The 78th General Convention wrapped up work in Salt Lake City today. Here is a summary of the days work.
Deputies elect Kurt Barnes as General Convention treasurer
Two days after the House of Bishops elected incumbent Kurt N. Barnes as the treasurer of General Convention and three days after the House of Deputies elected former Executive Council Member Del Glover to the post, the House of Deputies elected Kurt Barnes to serve as convention treasurer.
Here is how it came about.
On June 30, the House of Deputies narrowly elected former Executive Council Member Del Glover, the only other nominee running against Barnes. Glover received 414 votes and Barnes received 400. On July 1, Barnes received 102 votes and Glover received 48….
Presiding Bishop-elect Curry asks for two vice presidents
Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real and Bishop Dean Wolfe of Kansas were both elected vice presidents of the House of Bishops during the July 3 afternoon session of the House of Bishops. Presiding Bishop-elect Michael Curry had requested a suspension of the rules to allow the elections of two instead of the usual one vice president. The house agreed to support the intention of the presiding bishop-elect and the two were elected. Bishop Suffragan Diane Bruce of Los Angeles was elected secretary of the house and she nominated Bishop Suffragan Allen Shin of New York as assistant secretary.
A courtesy resolution for the Presiding Bishop
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori was greeted with a standing ovation, sustained applause, cheers, whistles
after a courtesy resolution thanking her for her ministry was introduced by the 78th General Convention Committee on Courtesy and Privilege.
Committee created to evaluate General Seminary, Convention relationship
The 78th General Convention approved Resolution D075 authorizing the presiding officers to appoint a committee of no more than five members to evaluate the relationship between the General Convention and The General Theological Seminary. According to the resolution, the committee is to include one of the trustees elected at convention and is charged to determine whether this relationship is mutually beneficial at this point in the life of the church. The committee is asked to report to their findings to the 79th General Convention with recommended action, including the possibility of ending this relationship.
Houses affirm support for Central Americans fleeing violence
The House of Deputies voted July 3 to concur with the House of Bishops of Resolution D033, “Supporting Refugee Rights in Central America,” which calls on The Episcopal Church to “acknowledge the continued violence against and displacement of citizens in Central America’s Northern Triangle (Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador), perpetrated by armed state and non-state actors.”
The world began paying attention to the crisis of epidemic violence in Central America when in the summer of 2014 Honduran, Guatemalan and El Salvadoran children began arriving at the U.S. border in unprecedented numbers….
The Rev. Emily Mellott, alternate deputy from the Diocese of Chicago and rector of Calvary Church, Lombard, spoke to deputies about the lighthearted aspects of life in the House of Deputies.
- General Convention Bingo: The Rev. Melody Shobe is a deputy from the Diocese of Rhode Island
- Electronic Voting Game: The Winnie Varghese is voting secretary of General Convention and deputy from the Diocese of New York; The Rev. Bonnie Perry is a deputy from the Diocese of Chicago
- Poem in Honor of Swipe Cards and Voting Devices: The Rev. Tamsen Whistler is a deputy from the Diocese of Missouri
- Hymn to the Virtual Binder: The Rev. Lowell Grisham is a deputy from the Diocese of Arkansas
General Convention 2015 began the process for revision of both the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and The Hymnal 1982. The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) was directed bring plans for revision of both books to the next convention in Austin, Texas, in 2018. In addition, “Holy Women, Holy Men” was also revised, and a process to use so-called Rite III Eucharists as the principle Sunday liturgy.
Among other liturgical issues, the convention directs bishops to find ways for congregations without clergy to receive Communion, but the House of Bishops defeated proposals to allow unbaptized people to receive Holy Communion or to study the issue.
The convention approved making available a revised version of “Holy Women,
Holy Men” with additional saints’ commemorations but left “Lesser Feasts and Fasts” as the church authorized supplemental calendar of commemorations (see article here).
The revised “Holy Women, Holy Men,” is called “A Great Cloud of Witnesses.”
The convention also made provision for using what is commonly called “Rite III” during principle Sunday services, with certain restrictions; authorized materials for honoring God in Creation; updated the prayer book lectionary to conform to the Revised Common Lectionary; authorized continued work on the World Music Project and support for the Leadership Program for Musicians Serving Small Congregations; and approved continued revision of the Book of Occasional services.
In liturgical matters referred to the special legislative committee on marriage, General Convention approved two new marriage liturgies with gender-neutral language that same-sex or opposite-sex couples may use as well as continued use of the rite for blessing same-sex relationships that General Convention 2012 approved.
Prayer book and hymnal revision
Resolution A169 directs SCLM “to prepare a plan for the comprehensive revision” of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer and to present it to the next General Convention. It says the plan must “utilize the riches of our church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship” and “take into consideration the use of current technologies which provide access to a broad range of liturgical resources.”
In preparing the plan, SCLM will “consult with the side breadth of cultural expression and participation throughout our church,” said the Rev. Devon Anderson, deputy chair of the prayer book, liturgy and music legislative committee.