Progress and Hope
Yesterday, the House of Deputies worked its way through quite a few resolutions including the first of those proposed by the Special Commission to deal with a growing rift within the Anglican Communion. That resolution, officially named "A159: Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion," passed the House of Deputies saying that we commit ourselves to the interdependence of the Anglican Communion, a relationship characterized by "forebearance, trust and respect" in the words of the resolution. Some deputies sought to ammend the resolution to include that we remain autonomous of other Anglican churches, though interdependent. The ammendments failed and the resolution on interdependence passed.
Another key vote came with a resolution seeking to change how the election of a Bishop is confirmed by other dioceses. The current practice is that elections within 120 days of the General Convention are approved by that convention, while other elections are confirmed by the Standing Committees of each diocese in the country. Through both systems, 4 lay persons and 4 clergy from each diocese make the decision. Those in favor of the current system which relies on the General Convention prefer the open debate possible in those cases. I voted together with the Diocese of Georgia deputation to change this practice so that all consents to elections of Bishops are handled equally. We believe that the process should be consistent and in our experience, the Standing Committees receive a full packet of information on the persons which allows for a more appropriate review. Also, the General Convention (despite the furor over openly gay Bishop Gene Robinson in 2003) has not refused to consent to an election since the 1800s. The Diocese of Georgia voted in favor of the change, but the resolution did not pass and the current practice will continue.
Some inspiration during the day came from the following things I heard from small group discussion in worship to the floor of the House:
"There are no ordinary people." -Bishop Jim WaggonerMuch important work remains ahead and your ongoing prayers are much appreciated.
"Evangelism is one beggar telling another beggar how to find the Bread of Life." -Canon Kevin Martin
"If you really want to understand a people, come to understand that for which they hope...Don't live into your deepest fears, but your deepest hopes." -Chaplain Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church