Wednesday, July 11, 2012
I wanted to share with you this post today that talks well about the action taken yesterday regarding the Anglican Communion. I think this gives the reader a clear sense not only of the intentions of General Convention but also how the Communion is reporting our decisions.
The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle
Posted On : July 11, 2012 11:41 AM
Bishops and deputies affirm Continuing Indaba, communion relationships
[Episcopal News Service – Indianapolis] The House of Bishops concurred with the deputiesJuly 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.
After considering eight resolutions, the General Convention's committee on world mission recommended adoption of two resolutions on Anglican Communion relationships and theAnglican Covenant, a document that initially had been intended as a way to bind Anglicans globally across cultural and theological differences.
Connecticut Bishop Ian Douglas, chair of the World Mission Committee, told ENS following the vote that the resolutions are "a genuine pastoral response because we are not of one mind, and to push a decision at this time would cause hurt and alienation in our church on both sides and instead we chose to stay in the conversation."
Resolution B005 portrays the decision not to take a position on the covenant as "a pastoral response to The Episcopal Church."
The resolution acknowledges that, following extensive study and prayerful consideration of the Anglican Covenant, there remains "a wide variety of opinions and ecclesiological positions in The Episcopal Church."
It also calls for the presiding bishop and the president of the House of Deputies to appoint a task force "to continue to monitor the ongoing developments with respect to the Anglican Covenant and how this church might continue its participation." That task force would report its findings to the next convention.
In both houses, an amendment to remove the section that declines to adopt the covenant, as well as to set up a task force, was defeated.
The Rev. Mark Harris, deputy from Delaware and a World Mission Committee member, told the deputies that he came to convention wanting to say no to the covenant. "[But] this is not about our wants but what we need … We need a place where we can continue to listen to the wide divides across the Anglican Communion," he said. "Why must we provide an answer now…when we are in a massive effort to re-envision and restructure the church? We don't need more division."
Deputy Jack Tull of Florida, a member of the World Mission Committee, had submitted an earlier resolution (D006) that called on the church to decline to adopt the covenant "as I did not want to see us expend any more energy on this. But coming here has shown me and other committee members the proper approach to take. That insight is reflected in this resolution."
Council has been studying the covenant progress for the last six years, most recently through its D020 Task Force (called for in Resolution D020 from the 2009 meeting of convention). That task force recommended, and council agreed, in October 2011 to submit a resolution (A126) to this meeting of convention that would have convention state that the church is "unable to adopt the Anglican Covenant in its present form."
B005 expresses the convention's gratitude to "those who so faithfully worked at producing and responding to the proposed Anglican Covenant."
Resolution B005 initially was submitted by Douglas. The original language encouraged the church to embrace the preamble and first three sections of the four-section Anglican Covenant. This, Douglas told ENS prior to convention, would ensure that the church does not remove itself from the ongoing covenant process.
The document's fourth section, which outlines a disciplinary method for resolving disputes in the communion, has been the covenant's main sticking point.
Resolution D008, also proposed by world mission, has been revised from the original legislation proposed by the Rev. Tobias Haller, a deputy from New York. Neither Haller's nor the current version specifically mentions the covenant, but the original was modeled on legislation adopted by several Church of England dioceses that have opposed adopting the covenant.
The resolution calls on the church to "deepen its involvement with communion ministries and networks using where applicable the Continuing Indaba process: conversations across differences to strengthen relationships in God's mission" and encourage dioceses, congregations and individual Episcopalians to educate themselves about the Communion and "promote and support the Anglican Communion and its work."
Haller serves on the Continuing Indaba reference group alongside representatives from Africa and the United Kingdom. He said the program is "catching fire and inspiring people around the communion. It's now being explored as a way for parishes within dioceses to spend time with one another and to learn from one another. Continuing Indaba will be the lifeblood and breath of the Anglican Communion."
Deputy Josephine Hicks from North Carolina, a member of convention's World Mission Committee, endorsed the Continuing Indaba program, which is facilitating ways of enabling Anglicans to learn from one another and communicate across different contexts. "We heard on the committee a resounding support for maintaining relationships in the Anglican Communion," she said.
Hicks, who serves as the Episcopal Church's lay member on the Anglican Consultative Council, the communion's main policy-making body, said that it's important for the Episcopal Church to continue to be a part of the various councils of the Anglican Communion because that is "where relationships are forged, where our voice can be heard, and where we have the chance to dispel inaccurate perceptions."
Some deputies said that the Episcopal Church does not need pieces of paper, such as the Anglican Covenant, to be in relationship.
The resolution celebrates "the great blessing of the Anglican Communion in its diversity within community as autonomous churches in relationship bound together in our differences in service to God's mission."
It also states that the Episcopal Church will "hold fast and reaffirm our historic commitment to and constituent membership in the Anglican Communion" as expressed in the preamble of the church's constitution, and that it would "maintain and reinforce strong links across the communion" committing itself to continued participation in its councils.
Douglas told the bishops that the resolution "gives gratitude for diversity of churches, celebrates relationships across differences, reaffirms our membership in the Anglican Communion, promises ongoing participation in the councils of the communion, and also lifts up and supports the good work that our church and other churches have been doing in the Continuing Indaba and commits us to educating our own so that we can deeper support the Anglican Communion.
Throughout the Anglican Communion, seven provinces have approved or subscribed to the Anglican Covenant. They are Ireland, Mexico, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, Southern Cone of America, and the West Indies.
Two provinces – the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia – have voted against adopting the covenant. The Episcopal Church in the Philippines bishops also have rejected the covenant.
In March, it became clear that the Church of England could not adopt the covenant in its current form when a majority of its dioceses voted the document down.
The Anglican Church of Southern Africa has adopted the document pending ratification at its next synod meeting later this year.
The Church in Wales last April gave the covenant "an amber light, rather than a green light." The church's governing body said it feared the recent rejection of the covenant by the Church of England jeopardized its future and clarifications about that were now needed before a decision could be made. It sent questions on the matter to the Anglican Consultative Council, the church's main policy-making body, which meets later this year.
Article from ENS – Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service. The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, D.D.
As I have explained this will be passed by the House of Deputies. The Diocese of Texas has a plan for dealing with this. Our plan, rolled out in April, communicated to all Diocese of Texas clergy, and posted for the diocese in order to have access to the materials is available at: http://www.epicenter.org/unity
1) Ensuring that this liturgy did not kick off Book of Common Prayer revision
2) Limiting the use of this new liturgy to same gender couples
3) Leaving the use of the rite to the bishop's discretion
4) Authorizing local adaptation by the bishop
5) That clergy may not be forced to do this liturgy
These key pieces of the legislation support our plan and also support the careful attention to the theological diversity of this house and our church.
Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, D.D.
IX Bishop of Texas
Sent while out of office.
My work on the Committee on Structure has kept me pretty busy. I apologize to my readers and thank you for the reminder to do a journal entry.
Yesterday afternoon I did do several video pieces that you can see on the Diocese of Texas web site. And, a reminder that you can get up to date information on what is happening through a variety of media by going to: http://www.epicenter.org/gc2012 The twitter feed is an excellent way to keep up.
A couple of items to report.
First is the wonderful work that Mary MacGregor did with the ECW Triennial meeting. She coached and guided them through a rethinking of their life and ministry. I, and I think we, can be very excited and proud to have leadership like Mary's affecting the ministry of the church. We have a strong presence here in Indianapolis at ECW, Altar Guild, and Daughters of the King.
In the House of Bishops: Yesterday we elected the House of Bishops representatives to the discernment committee for the Presiding Bishop.
In the House of Bishops: We sent over to the House of Deputies a resolution to leave dollars on the ground level of ministry by decreasing the percentage of giving to the Episcopal Church from 19 to 15. The resolution also allows for people a process to deal with the fact that not all diocese give their full asking.
Today we passed a resolution encouraging everyone to read the bible in a year. You can find a great program here: http://thecenterforbiblicalstudies.org/bible-challenge-invitation/
I will write a separate blog entry on yesterday's action by the House of Bishops on Same Gender Blessings and another on the allegations regarding the 9 bishops.
Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, D.D.
IX Bishop of Texas
Sent while out of office.
Office of Public Affairs
NOTE the following is presented in English and Spanish
General Convention July 8 Sermon:
Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori
[July 8, 2012] The following sermon was presented today at the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, meeting in Indianapolis IN through July 12.
UTO INGATHERING AND FESTIVAL EUCHARIST
Sunday, July 8
The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
Presiding Bishop and Primate
The Episcopal Church
Did you hear Ezekiel? Mortals! Stand up and listen! God is sending you to a rebellious house, full of impudent and stubborn folks. Your job is to go tell them, "listen up – here's the deal, from the Big Man himself." And if they don't listen, at least they will have met a prophet.
Garrison Keillor is famous for noting that nobody wants a prophet at a birthday party. Our image of prophets is something like fire-breathing dragons or maybe Nunzilla, but a prophet is simply somebody sent to speak for God, to tell it like it really is. Sometimes prophets speak words of comfort and strength, the kind of words the psalmist is asking for – mercy and relief. And sometimes the prophet speaks words that are harder to hear, reminding us that we're supposed to love God with all we are and have and love our neighbors as ourselves. The reminder usually comes because the audience hasn't been living up to that expectation. Whatever Jesus said in the synagogue seems to have been that kind of challenging word.
Jesus' friends and neighbors obviously don't expect to hear anything prophetic from the ordinary carpenter down the street or from the brother of their friends. He has never stood up in their synagogue before and said anything particularly challenging – so who does he think he is? Mark doesn't tell us what he reads or says. Luke says that it's the part of Isaiah that says, "the Spirit has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, release to the captives, healing to the blind, justice to the oppressed, and to announce the year of the Lord's favor." And his friends and neighbors are offended.
It is offensive – and confronting and challenging – to hear that even though you think you're getting along OK, you've missed the boat. Yet until we can see the chasm between what is and what ought to be, we don't have any hope of changing. Indeed it is the act of crossing that boundary between what is and what ought to be that is so characteristic of prophets. When Jesus is called a prophet, it has to do with erasing the boundary between God and human flesh. Prophetic words of comfort or challenge urge a kind of frontier work – getting across the fence between fear and possibility, reconciling division, transforming injustice, urging the lost onto the road home.
Sometimes those encouragers of boundary crossing come in very ordinary, even quiet, packages – and that may be what the people in Jesus' hometown were so annoyed about. It's harder to ignore somebody you respect or know pretty well.
A prophetic invitation arrived in my inbox a couple of months ago. A group of Christian leaders and politicians was asked to come to Washington, DC, to consider the state of public discourse in the United States. The invitation made reference to one of our better known political figures, Senator Jack Danforth. A conversation about civility seemed a highly appropriate endeavor, but as the day grew closer, getting ready for this gathering seemed a lot more urgent, and I came very close to canceling. But those who went heard a prophetic chorus of voices – Roman Catholic clergy and religious, Southern Baptist preachers, Senators and Representatives from both parties, Lutheran and Methodist bishops, evangelical pastors from the Assembly of God and Pentecostal traditions. Each one lamented the loss of respect for political opponents and the inability to make common cause for the greater good. We didn't read today's psalm, but it certainly fit the conversation:
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy, we've had more than enough contempt.
Please! No more ridicule from the arrogant,
or abuse from proud and conceited people!
We started our gathering by talking about the hope of Americans and indeed people across the world for change, in the face of the contempt and arrogance they hear from Congress and other politicians. We soon moved to talking about the abuse and ridicule we hear from our brothers and sisters in Christ. That sort of confession brought hope, and urged us into other kinds of frontier crossing, beginning with finding a prayer partner. Mine is the Rev. Franklyn Richardson, pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Mt. Vernon, New York and Port St Lucie, Florida. Other kinds of prophetic action and word are going to emerge from this process, including a statement and a number of positive actions to encourage more civil and effective discourse in politics and in our religious lives. Words matter profoundly, and as Christians we affirm that every time we gather to give thanks for the frontier crossing incarnate Word in our midst.
Prophets speak and act for God, with spoken and incarnate words of strength, hope, and challenge. That ministry comes in many forms. Today we're going to give thanks for the prophetic work of the United Thank Offering, reaching out in creative possibility around the globe. Each triennial gathering of the Episcopal Church Women begins with a blessing and distribution of crosses, and the hands that are extended to receive them are a sacrament of blessing for this kind of prophetic work. When Jesus lays on hands and heals a few, even in a place that doesn't think he's got much to offer, he's doing something prophetic. The work those hands of ECW members do in gathering and blessing ministries around the globe is another way of reaching out across borders, boundaries, walls and fences of division.
What about your hands? They, too, are instruments of healing, reconciling, re-creation – let's see those hands! Here is a sacrament of God's mission. How will you use those hands in an impudent and rebellious house? These hands can be instruments of warning, or to comfort and strengthen the wavering. Hands can be instruments of prophetic communication, a gift only some among us have learned.
When Jesus goes off to other villages to teach, he is using words and hands in prophetic ways, announcing the reign of God close at hand, healing, feeding, and drawing people into community. He sends his friends out to do the same things:
to announce the good news of the reign of God
to teach new believers
to heal the hurting
to challenge injustice
and to tend the garden we share with all the rest of creation.
Those five marks of mission are the work and mark of prophets, of all Jesus' friends and their partners. All of his commentary about what to take on the trip across the border is a reminder to keep it simple – to go as emissaries of the incarnate word, to be a gift and to speak and act for God's dream – to GO into the world of God's dream.
When we gather like this to make Eucharist, we offer all that we are and have for this work. That little exchange that starts, "lift up your hearts," is about entering another reality – some old translators put it, "hearts aloft!" Get moving! Go cross the frontier between heaven and earth – boldly go where Jesus has gone before – and invite others to go with you to help build the world that God intended at creation.
So – mortals, prophets – stand up! God is sending you to a rebellious house, full of impudent and stubborn folks. As the prophet Pogo said, "is us." Your job is to go and say, "listen up – here's the deal, God's got a better world in mind, and you are needed to help make it happen." And once you've started the conversation about good news, keep moving, keep showing and telling the world what God's dream looks like.
Eventually, the world will know they've met a prophet – a whole community of prophets.
1 An Episcopal priest as well, he's been a prophetic force in the search for peace in Sudan.
2 "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly, cf. The Pogo Papers, 1953.http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walt_Kelly
The Episcopal Church: www.episcopalchurch.org
The General Convention: http://www.generalconvention.org/
Oficina de Asuntos Públicos
Convención General Sermón predicado
por Obispa Presidente Katharine Jefferts Schori
[8 de julio de 2012] El siguiente sermón fue presentado hoy en la 77a Convención General de la Iglesia Episcopal, que se reúne en Indianápolis, Indiana, hasta el 12 de julio.
La Reverendísima Katharine Jefferts Schori
Obispa Presidente y Primado
¡Mortales! ¡Levántense y escuchen! Dios les está enviando a una casa rebelde, llena de gente insolente y terca. Su trabajo consiste en ir a decirles: "Escuchen, este es el pacto, del Gran Hombre en sí mismo". Y si no escuchan, por lo menos sabrán que han conocido a un profeta.
Es ofensivo - y confrontador y desafiante - el saber que a pesar de que creemos que nos hemos estamos llevando bien, no hemos dado la talla. Sin embargo, hasta que podamos escuchar el abismo que hay entre lo que es y lo que deberíamos ser, no tenemos ninguna esperanza de cambiar.
A veces los profetas que anuncian tales noticias aparecen de una manera muy normal y tranquila, y eso puede ser lo que molestó tanto la gente de la ciudad natal de Jesús. Es más difícil hacer caso omiso de alguien a quien respetamos y conocemos muy bien.
Ten piedad de nosotros, Señor, ten piedad, hemos tenido más que suficiente desprecio. ¡Por favor! ¡Que no haya más ridículo por parte del arrogante, o abuso por parte de un pueblo orgulloso y engreído!
Comenzamos nuestro encuentro hablando de la esperanza de los estadounidenses ante el desprecio y la arrogancia que escuchan en el Congreso y en otros políticos, pero pronto empezamos a hablar del abuso y ridículo que escuchamos de nuestros hermanos y hermanas en Cristo. Mantuvimos unas conversaciones animadas, y terminamos por aceptar orar con y por un compañero, comenzamos a dar forma a una declaración común, y desarrollamos una lista de acciones positivas que podríamos tener para el fomento de un discurso más civil y efectivo, tanto en la política y como en nuestras vidas religiosas. Las palabras importan profundamente, y como cristianos afirmamos eso cada vez que nos reunimos para dar gracias por el Verbo encarnado en medio nuestro.
Los profetas hablan y actúan en nombre de Dios, con palabras habladas y encarnadas de fortaleza, esperanza y desafío. El ministerio profético se nos presenta de muchas formas. Consideren la obra agradecida de la Ofrenda Unida de Acción de Gracias [UTO] y de las Mujeres de la Iglesia Episcopal [ECW], ayudando en una posibilidad creativa aquí y en todo el mundo. La reunión trienal comienza con una bendición y distribución de cruces, y las manos que se extienden para recibirlas son un sacramento de bendición. Cuando Jesús pone en las manos y cura a algunos, incluso en un lugar que no creía que tenía mucho que ofrecer, está haciendo algo profética. El trabajo que las manos de mujeres de la iglesia Episcopal hacen en la recolección y en los ministerios de bendición en todo el mundo es también profético.
¿Qué pasa con las manos de ustedes? Ellas también son instrumentos de sanación, reconciliación, y re-creación, ¡veamos esas manos! Eso es un sacramento de la misión de Dios. ¿Cómo va usted a usar esas manos en una casa insolente y rebelde? Estas manos pueden ser instrumentos de advertencia, o de consuelo y fortaleza para los indecisos. Las manos pueden ser instrumentos de comunicación profética, un regalo que no todos hemos aprendido.
Cuando Jesús se va a otros pueblos para enseñar, está usando las palabras y las manos de una manera profética, anunciando el reino de Dios ya cercano, la curación, la alimentación y llamando a la gente a reunirse en comunidad. Envía a sus amigos a hacer las mismas cosas:
a anunciar la buena noticia del reino de Dios
a enseñar a los nuevos creyentes
a sanar al herido
a combatir la injusticia
y a cuidar del jardín que compartimos con todo el resto de la creación.
Esas cinco marcas de la misión son la tarea y la marca de los profetas, de todos los amigos de Jesús y sus socios. Todo el comentario acerca del equipo de viaje es un recordatorio para que sea sencillo, vamos como emisarios de la palabra encarnada, para ser un don y hablar y actuar a favor del sueño de Dios.
Por lo tanto: ¡mortales, profetas, levántense! Dios les está enviando a una casa rebelde, llena de gente insolente y terca. Algunos de ellos, como el profeta Pogo, dicen: "Somos nosotros". Su trabajo es ir y decir: "Escuchen, este es el pacto, Dios tiene en mente un mundo mejor, y les necesitamos para logarlo". Y una vez que hayan comenzado la conversación acerca de las buenas noticias, sigan mostrando y diciendo al mundo cómo es el sueño de Dios.
Con el tiempo, la gente de todo el mundo se dará cuenta que han conocido a un profeta, y a toda una comunidad de profetas.
 "We have met the enemy, and he is us." Walt Kelly, cf. The Pogo Papers, 1953.http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Walt_Kelly
 An Episcopal priest as well, he's been a prophetic force in the search for peace in Sudan.
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- "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
- "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
- "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
- "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
- "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
- "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
- "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
- "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
- "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball