Monday, July 13, 2009

Live Blogging House of Bishops debate on D025

Here on the floor of the House of Bishops preparing to hear the bishops debate D025. The controversial section of the text reads:

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

Resolved, That 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;

Right now the bishops are voting on the bishop of Ecuador and are taking a ten minute recess as they process the votes. The room is decisively fuller than it was this morning. There is more accredited media here (as well as Matt Kennedy).

All ready it's been clear that the bishops are very concerned about the state of the budget and the topic of the budget continually is raised as each resolution is addressed.

On D025, the the bishops who are members of the World Missions committee voted "not concur" with a vote of 3-2. The House of Deputies, however, have voted in favor of the resolution.

The new bishop of Ecuador is now being welcomed into the House of Bishops and the house has risen to its feet as they applaud.

The House of Bishops has postponed consideration of C056 which would officially begin the process (and in that process encourage practice) of rites for same sex blessings and marriages. This has been attempted at General Conventions in the past and each time it was pushed back. By developing rites, the Episcopal Church will embrace at a national level the blessing of same sex marriages.

C056 has been postponed to Tuesday, July 13.

Bishop Wolf has just made a speech about why the bishops of the World Mission committee voted 3-2 to recommend that the House of Bishops not concur on D025 (the House of Deputies has all ready passed D025). I recorded her giving the talking points and will have that video up shortly. She basically was reminding the HoB that some parts of TEC in South America are not in a place where this would be helpful to them, while other parts of the church have serious issues. She also mentioned that this resolution conflicted with not only the Windsor Process, but also Lambeth 1.10. The bishops are now having "table talk" for twenty minutes.

4:18 p.m. Bishop Henderson of Upper South Carolina has proposed an amendment that he says will state to the larger church, the larger family (as is stated in the creeds, one holy catholic and apostolic church) that they understand what they are doing.

The Bishop of Newark speaks against the amendment since the House of Deputies has all ready spoken. Another bishop says it leaves him with very mixed emotions. He thinks that the last resolve in the resolution will honor the sacramental life of gays and lesbians. Though he's concerned about the covenant of the communion, he seems to care more about the covenant with gays and lesbians so he is "troubled" about this amendment because he does not feel it helps TEC to move forward.

Bishop from Maryland supports the Bishop of Upper South Carolina's amendment to continue serious and prayerful discernment.

Bishop from Atlanta opposes amendment because he thinks it confuses the theological discussion with their own canons - not sure exactly what he means by that. He seems to think that clarifying canons is more important than theology.

A request is now made to have the amendment reread:

Line 36, after words affirms that ... God's call to the ordain ministry in the Episcopal Church is a mystery which the church attempts to discern for all people through our discernment processes acting in accordance of the constitution and canons of The Episcopal Church.

This would replace "God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church, which call is tested through our discernment processes ..."

Two more bishops have risen to support the amendment, including a Bishop from Tennessee. One bishop said that the mystery would include gays and lesbians while Tennessee says that this would help their relationships with the rest of the communion.

Charleston of California also supports amendment - he thinks that the word "mystery" can be interpreted in a variety of ways - it could include the Anglican communion but also could include LBGTI people who could also be ordained because it's a mystery.

In other words, it is not clear, though he says it's clear that it does end a moratorium.

Bishop Gray of Mississippi says the resolution with or without the amendment either does or does not overturn B033, though he's not sure if it had the weight of a canon, he says they still need reticence on his part, he does support the amendment in the hopes that he can support the entire resolution, he's working on that.

Another bishop rises to support the amendment - wants to participate in the wider Anglican Communion and wants to support strategic planning for Hispanic ministry and get away from the notion publicized by the fundamentalists in Latin America that would hinder their understanding of the theological process of the Episcopal Church - he thinks the amendment would be of great help.

Bishop fromMaine - he speaks against the amendment because he likes the clarity and specifically of the original resolution. He wants to represent the context fully.

Bishop from Vermont who believes that God has affirmed and called gay and lesbians into the church and that it's not a mystery. What is a mystery is who is sitting in a chair across from him. That mystery unfolds a call that he did not see there. God calls and continues to call, he has no reservation because he sees in the lives of gays and lesbians holy lives. He wants to the resolution to pass and if this amendment will help to pass it, then he'll enter into an agreement into that as long as it doesn't question gays and lesbians in the ordained ministry.

Bishop Little of Northern Indiana supports the amendment because he couldn't vote on the resolution as it is, however listening to the room that the amendment is interpreted as both pro and anti B033. It may lead to exegetical chaos. It will be hard for those who were not part of this conversation to understand what we're getting at.

Bishop Bruno of Los Angeles opposes amendment because it is not clear. He wants to pass a clear and concise resolution.

Bishop of Utah - speaks in favor of the amendment, knowing that her own deputation will be upset but her culture in Utah will not. She thinks it's a mystery. She leads herself open to what God may have in mind. She does not want to withdraw support of gay and lesbian clery or Bishop Robinson.

Southern Ohio Bishop - opposes amendment, the original wording made it clear God acts and we respond, the amendment lacks a clear understanding that gays and lesbians can be consecreated to the episcopate.

NOTE: I am now running low on battery power and may be twittering much of the debate if it continues. If so, you can follow the Twitter stream by reading the Twitter stream in the right hand column or go to http://twitter.com/babyblueanglica.

Now there is a call to end debate. It fails.

The next bishop does support amendment because it puts God at the center of all this, but it doesn't put boundaries on who God calls.

So - I supposed this amendment means what ever you want it to mean. Very disappointing!

Bishop Chane of Washington - speaks against the amendment. B033 as it was passed three years has caused great pain for everybody. It has also inhibited the church to discern the breath of the Holy Spirit and is discriminatory. The gift to the House of Bishops is to be in this position and know that you will be in disagreement with brothers and sisters and says they are in that place, but when looking at the Holy Spirit and see Gene Robinson as a breath of the spirit, a breath of fresh air. He prays that by voting against the amendment will not hurt the resolution.

Bishop from Ohio - the more he reads the original language and the amendment and more that he listens to his colleagues, the more he finds both to be true. The process leads to either or matter and see them as a both and - moves to an amendment to the amendment -

(return original wording through "The Episcopal Church") affirm that God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church and that God's call is a mystery .... etc.

It is seconded.

Bishop from Iowa is grateful for the amendment to the amendment for clarity and remove the evasion, it puts it all out on the table, this is who we are, he says.

Bishop Whelan of Europe says he is concerned that they worship civil rights more than they worship God, and so to affirm that God's call is a mystery is an antithesis to that, but then when the church discerns an African woman or a gay man in a partnered relationship than that is discerning God's call - he supports amendment to the amendment.

Bishop Lamb also supports amendment to the amendment since he comes from a diocese that excluded women and everyone is welcome to the process.

Bishop of Missouri opposes that the piling on of words does not clarity make.

Bishop of New Hampshire, says it doesn't refer to rights or civil rights - access guaranteed.

Bishop Charleston says that they need to know what they are saying - so he says they need clarity and so he supports this resolution because he supports full inclusion including in God's mysterious call.

Next bishop says it is an issue of integrity and being true to one's self and need to define ourselves of who God is calling us to be.

Eastern Michigan bishop says he appreciates what Bishop Charleston says and says he for one wants to state that what ever they pass, it is access to the process and embrace the mystery. Where does that lead me on a boat, he asks? He has no idea.

I think his boat is sinking, but never mind.

Move the question to end the debate on ALL the amendments.

The amendment to the amendment is now read again:

Amendment to the Amendment is passed and the entire Amendment as amended is passed.

Now the debate begins on the Resolution as a whole. Again, I running low on battery power and if lose the power I will switch to Twitter.

A bishop is now making a speech in favor of the resolution as celebrating human love.

Smith North Dakota is a negative response to one of the Windsor moritoria calls for a roll call vote.

West Texas says he did not plan to support B025 because in his context they couldn't move forward, then he could move forward with Bishop Henderson's amendment he could, but now he can't.

Bishop Daniels wants to speak and got Bishop Robinson to call him over to the mic. He supports the amendment. Lambeth 1.10 does not believe it represents the mind of the communion, just the bishops gathered at that Lambeth Conference. Wants to move for an amendment in the second line after the word Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion.

It is passed.

Bishop in Kentucky retired, sees so much positive material and wants to make sure it's not lost. Wants to split the resolution by lines 1-27 and then the lines 29-40. Wants to make sure the positive gets through.

Wanted to divide the resolution by resolves and he tried to do that, but for some reason Bishop Schori wouldn't let him do that - it wasn't clear, he was trying, but she wouldn't let him do it and told him to sit down. What happened there? He was trying to follow directions from the chair. Obviously, she didn't want to do that.

Bishop of Newark found B033 confounding and sullied the memory of that Convention. He is grateful that this resolution takes the negative experience of B033 and affirms gays and lesbians in ordained ministry and local option on same sex marriages.

Bishop Sauls of Lexington speaks in favor of the resolution - states what is true and what has always been true.

It is not looking good here in the House of Bishops. Now is the time to pray.

Bishop Johnston Coadjutor of Virginia does not agree that this states what is true - he personally agrees with every word in the resolution and is convicted by every word in this resolution but it is the repudiation of B033 and breaks with the Anglican Communion and he is pained by that. He says that we can affirm all the affection all we want and say we want to be in the communion then go ahead and sever the communion. He opposes the resolution though he agrees with it, sees it as breaking with the Anglican Communion. He is extremely sad to see himself on the loosing side of both of those truths.

Bishop Beckwith of Springfield opposes the resolution. He believes it is an honest statement of where the house and the leaderhship of TEC. He does not believe it's the right thing to do. Overwhelmingly the understanding of the Christian faith that sexual relationship belongs in marriage between a man and woman. Is this a justice issue or a communion issue. We are a minority in our opinion, he said.

The current bishop is saying that a signficant number in the Anglican Communion knows that TEC is following the spirit and believes it will move the conversation forward but to remember to e-mail their indaba groups.

Bishop from Diocese of Albany speaks in favor. If this resolution passes will cease to be what it has always been up to this point. Archbishop of Canterbury said "as for General Convention ... if the House of Bishop blocks the moritorium remains." If he sees what we're possibly about to do, we can only assume that rest of the communion will understand. We have been asked again and again not to do what we are about to do.

If we do this we will totally shred out relationships with the Anglican Communion, he says.

Bishop of Kentucky (and Ft Worth he said) needs help with his discernment - the assumption that the passing will end the moritorium.

Idaho Bishop now speaks - Ubuntu he heard two things, commitment to be in relationship with you and true self and this resolution clearly identifies who they really are, with clarity and integrity.

Bishop Robinson of New Hampshire speaks talks about his partner and meeting with the deputation of Mississippi and it was a holy time. Robinson said he was told he represented the church of the future and that the people of the Mississippi weren't ready yet. It's all going to end up with full inclusion, that's where it's going to end up. It's time to stand up and be the church God has called us to be, he says.

Bishop from Delaware speaks in favor of the resolution. The room is now packed, every seat is taken - except for three empty tables, three empty tables remain abandoned, the three empty tables marked as Anglican Communion visitors. They are empty.

Bishop Wolf of Rhode Island rises and says the consensus of the group is not only to take this resolution as amended and move beyond B033 and the moritoria and other restraints.

Western Louisanna bishop rises to say that this resolution will fracture Anglican Communion.

Bishop Frey of Rio Grande opposes resolution, though he's grateful for the generous language. The object was to get everyone there when the Israelite went into the dessert. His concern that the House of Bishops haven't convinced the larger constiuency or the Anglican Communion.

Bishop of California rises in favor, mentioning Integrity's video. He speaks in favor of the resolution, quoting Harvey Milk who said "let us give them hope."

Western North Carolina rises to support the resolution, as does the Bishop of El Camino Real.

This may be it, this may be really it.

I will now go to Twitter here.

99 Bishops voted in favor of the resolution
45 Bishops voted against the resolution
2 Bishop abstained

69% yes
31% no

5 comments:

Milton Finch said...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

donbullockjr said...

Turns out what is right or wrong is what ever you vote it to be.

Anonymous said...

donbullockjr just pronounced TEC's epitaph.

Bill C said...

Sounds as if they are putting the finishing touches on the tower of Babel.

Andrew said...

Its going good..

Thank you..


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Andrew
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