Monday, July 13, 2009

Bishops Approve D025

Words fail me. I am astonished. Tonight the House of Bishops approved D025 with only one amendment, which I consider minor. And they approved it with a huge majority: 99 for, 45 against, and 2 abstaining. That is similar to the House of Deputies 2:1 margin. Astonishing!

The bishops amended the 6th resolve to read:
Resolved that this 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry within TEC and that God's call to the ministry is a mystery which the Church attempts to discern for all people through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.
Compare it to that passed by House of Deputies:
Resolved, the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church, which call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church;
I believe that is a minor amendment, and I hope the Deputies will accept it. If so, it will be a done deal.

I have been dubious, even depressed and hopeless that the Bishops would concur with D025. I didn't believe D025 had a chance of passing the House of Bishops. They proved me wrong … quickly … and by a 99 to 45 margin. I am astonished and nearly speechless.

As I have said to some of you, I know I have to eat a lot of crow now. I was miserably wrong about the Bishops. It never occurred to me that they would concur with this resolution at all -- much less by such a wide margin. But I am delighted. So … I will try to find some crow, and recipes for well-served crow, suggestions for appropriate side dishes, etc. I will happily do so.

To me, the bishops’ concurrence with D025 feels like a long-awaited “welcome home.” I am touched, astonished, and profoundly grateful that they have said I do have a place in TEC.
Drink this in, my friends. Pending agreement about the 6th resolve, the House of Deputies and the House of Deputies have both concurred to this resolution:

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm the continued participation of The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion; give thanks for the work of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference of 2008; reaffirm the abiding commitment of The Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention encourage dioceses, congregations, and members of The Episcopal Church to participate to the fullest extent possible in the many instruments, networks and relationships of the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion and pledge to participate fully in the Inter-Anglican Budget; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm the value of "listening to the experience of homosexual persons," as called for by the Lambeth Conferences of 1978, 1988, and 1998, and acknowledge that through our own listening the General Convention has come to recognize that the baptized membership of The Episcopal Church includes same-sex couples living in lifelong committed relationships "characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God" (2000-D039); and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God's call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further

[Note:This is the part that the House of Bishops amended, so the language here is not what the Bishops passed.] Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church,; and that God's call to the ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church is a mystery which the Church attempts to discern for all people through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge that members of The Episcopal Church as of the Anglican Communion, based on careful study of the Holy Scriptures, and in light of tradition and reason, are not of one mind, and Christians of good conscience disagree about some of these matters.

Something very close to this will be the official statement of The Episcopal Church. Thanks be to God.

28 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

From my blog: "Lisa Fox and I are working on saucing crow. I am thinking a highly reduced sauce with fruity tang, spicy undertones, and a lovely wine to accompany it."

7/13/2009 10:40 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

OK, with roasted baby beets, garlic mashed potatoes, and a frisee, apple, walnut salad with shavings of gorgonzola. Lemon sorbet and langues du chat for dessert if our humility can last that long.

7/13/2009 10:46 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Oh, Paul, thank you! I have been stymied about how to serve the crow. Sounds like you already have the menu well in hand. I'll come pitch in as best I can.

But, y'know, my friend ... I suspect it was your prayer that did the trick! Shall we perhaps grill the crows upon a suitable 2-by-four?

7/13/2009 11:04 PM  
Blogger it's margaret said...

Fageddaboutit Lisa --and just enjoy it. Run with it!

7/13/2009 11:21 PM  
Blogger Wormwood's Doxy said...

May I skip the beets? Or is that part of my penance too? ;-)

(If you want to make it REALLY bad for me, make Brussels sprouts or cabbage...)

I'm going to bed with a light heart for the first time in weeks. Love to you all, my dear fellow travelers on The Way!

Doxy

7/13/2009 11:25 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

Doxy, full beet dispensation (but oh, they are so yummy).

This is the part of the prayer that was efficacious (because I know it accords with the divine will):

"Help us all to love one another and unite in shared mission and ministry."

(Not that the part about the 2x4 wasn't heartfelt.)

Can you tell I felt giddy in the first two comments?

7/13/2009 11:33 PM  
Blogger Göran Koch-Swahne said...

Happy, happy, are the peope who have the Lord for their God!

7/14/2009 1:04 AM  
Blogger Suzer said...

Praise God! :)

7/14/2009 3:56 AM  
Blogger David said...

dear, dear Lisa
you realize what this means?

1) none of us are going anywhere! we're already home praise God.

2) the Church will need living blessings like you, Paul and dear Doxy to help them grow into this larger blessing we are all claiming.

Yes, my own Church here in Canada has yet to make a similar difinitive statement at its next General Synod, but it's inevitable.

So unpack those bags, dear Lisa and put your feet up, you're not going anywhere. Bon appetit

Praise God!

David@Montreal

7/14/2009 7:10 AM  
Blogger Chris+ said...

Lisa,
It was clearly the right and faithful thing.

We should remember, however a "huge majority" exists as a result of the departure of those that fulfilled the role of opposition. The result of the shift in the tectonic plates of our church remains to be seen. I hope we are able to continue our best thinking without those of a more conservative bent to slow us down.

7/14/2009 7:31 AM  
Blogger The Host's Nest said...

As a straight woman priest, ordained in 1978 when it was a tremendous struggle to find my own place at the hearth in this church, and even today know that there are firesides where woman priests are still not welcome to warm ourselves, I can say to all our GLBT brothers and sisters, welcome home!

7/14/2009 9:02 AM  
Blogger Pfalz prophet said...

I've had to eat a portion of crow several times in my lifetime. The side dish that accompanied the crow was a lightly poached egg, applied to the face instead of eaten.

You really ought to try the baby beets, but I'd place the crow on a pilaf of brown rice and pearl onions instead of the mashed potatoes. Add a few bits of minced garlic for aroma.

Keep up the blogging, Lisa, love it!

7/14/2009 10:31 AM  
Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Lisa and everyone, ain't it great?

Those of us there at the convention were not at all sure which way the resolution would go in the HOB. The result was very much a surprise to me. In truth, there was a good bit of concern that the HOB would vote the resolution down or add amendments that would make it unacceptable to the HOD.

Serve the crow any old way and rejoice, my dear.

7/14/2009 10:43 AM  
Blogger Thomas B. Woodward said...

Lisa -- I want the world to know that you played an important role in the passage of D025. Your willingness to work overtime in the few hours your work as Archivist left you to help counter the distortions of the right and to affirm the deepest meanings of the Gospel week after week, month after month has been as important as anything else in coming to this day.

That is one great truth. The second truth - a paradox, not a contradiction - is that the passage of D025 is a free gift of the Holy Spirit to the Episcopal Church and through us to the world. It is a gift to all of us - even those who oppose the Truth.

By the end of the week, there will be a check in the mail, the proceeds of which are to go for the best Marguerita Jefferson City, Missouri can provide. You are to gaze upon it, run the swizzle stick through the ice several times, raise the glass to your lips and savor, savor, savor the work of our saviour through the blessings of tequila and truth.

7/14/2009 10:44 AM  
Blogger Wormwood's Doxy said...

I want to be friends with Thomas!

7/14/2009 10:55 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

"pilaf of brown rice and pearl onions"

I deem this a friendly amendment and gladly accept it.

7/14/2009 2:23 PM  
Blogger WilliamK said...

If the Church needs further evidence for why it needs the witness and ministry of God's LGBT children, it will find it in this discussion about how to make a gourmet meal with crow! I mean... "frisee, apple, walnut salad with shavings of gorgonzola"! Without gay folk it would be nothing but tuna casserole; just look at the Southern Baptists. ;-)

7/14/2009 7:11 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

And there's nothing wrong with tuna casserole. Wouldn't mind a helping of that tonight! (Yes, I am an ex-Baptist from California's Central Valley.)

7/14/2009 8:58 PM  
Blogger Kirkepiscatoid said...

Shouldn't crow be served with a nice cranberry sauce?

7/14/2009 9:32 PM  
Blogger Jim Cowan said...

I would like a helping of crow as well. I didn't say I'd go, but I really doubted the bishops would do the gospel thing. They did! Now I am praying like the dickens that they keep their nerve! Peace. Jim

7/14/2009 10:06 PM  
Blogger Joanna Depue said...

The Spirit of God has moved mightily. And the people of God shall say Amen!

7/14/2009 10:07 PM  
Blogger WilliamK said...

Paul,
I think you confirm my assertion. All the decent tuna casserole is being made by EX-Baptists. ;-) Imagine what the still-Baptists are forced to consume. We should pray for them without ceasing! ;-)

7/14/2009 10:35 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Bless you, my friends! for keeping the discussion going today when I wsa tied up with work. [Ugh!]

WilliamK's right: This church would collapse if not for the gay men who can come up with such lucious recipes for Crow Well Eaten.

Sorry I don't have more energy to respond to each and every delightful comment. But I am bushed. And GRATEFUL! You all are the best!

7/14/2009 10:59 PM  
Blogger Cany said...

Lisa: Well, no crow, please.

You are shocked and happy, and I am returning to church and happy it seems.

Seems like a damn fine day to me!

7/15/2009 4:28 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

If you go for crow, won't you upset PETA? Maybe you can find some soy-crow. It would probably tast better anyway!

We are all very relieved to not be losing you!

7/15/2009 7:54 AM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Cany, that is *marvelous* news!!

Doug, LOL!

And belated thanks, Thomas, for you very kind remarks. You are a dear. And I'll look forward to savoring that marguerita. (Eat your heart out, Doxy! ;-)

7/15/2009 8:31 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

Lisa,

I was hopeful that this was good news. However, I have my doubts. Please take a look at Bishop Smith's message. All D025 does is ensure that everyne has access to the discernment process. That was never in doubt or the problem.

The problem with B033 is that paces a stop at the concent process. D025 says nothing about that. In fact, Bishop Smith suggests this situation has not changed. I will not be surprised that the 'manner of life' issue is raised by him in the near future to explain him not giving consent to another nominee.

In my opinion, D025 is too clever by half. It makes GLBT folks think we have achieved something that we have not.

7/15/2009 7:53 PM  
Blogger Lisa Fox said...

Matthew, I disagree. D025 says firmly that we are back to where we were in 2006 before B033. We have always been asked to exercise discretion about candidates to holy orders ... and well we should! D025 says that we are going to attend to our Constitution and Canons -- not to some false moratorium coming from Windsor. To me, this seems like a good thing.

Discernment commitees at the parish, diocesan and TEC levels have always been asked to exercise judgment. To me, it seems that D025 says that B033 is no more operative than the discernment we have always exercised. I am grateful for that.

I disagree you about what Bishop Smith may do. He has done faithful work on GC's Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Music Committee. I respect what he has done at GC and what he has quietly done in our diocese. Matthew, just look at the people he has ordained in our diocese! He has well proven that he looks at the holiness of life of our ordinands -- not at any shibboleth. Get real! I am inclined to trust him, and I hope you will too.

7/15/2009 9:21 PM  

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