Bishops Blogging, March 17 House of Bishops

Bishop Dan Edwards, Nevada, post VI (Monday night):

…Tomorrow we will be discussing whether to consent to the consecration of the Bishop Elect of Northern Michigan. I know, like, and respect him. There are a couple of issues about liturgy that give me pause, but I still want to support him. I am afraid he will get nailed because of his Zen meditation practice and a general bias against the edgy way Northern Michigan operates. I pray it will go well.

Edwards, post VII:

The moratorium on same sex blessings is not likely to survive forever — especially since Southern Cone and others have been violating the other moratorium with reckless abandon if not malice aforethought. They are now even in Nevada, though not in a particularly potent way. There will probably be some move to repeal the “restraint” resolution to comply with the moratoria at General Convention this summer. What to do?

On the one hand, if we just do a 180 and repeal what we did at last Convention, that will be destructive to the communion, tearing open a wound just beginning to heal. The theology committee is working on its report on human sexuality and that will not be out until next year, so taking dramatic action this year, just before the report is getting the cart before the horse.

On the other hand, LGBT folks all over the nation feel diminished by Prop 8. If we maintain the moratoria, that is likely to be seen as our Church aligning with the churches that backed Prop 8 — absolutely untrue, but the appearance may matter more than the reality.

So what to do? I would be interested in hearing from you.

Bishop Kirk Smith, Arizona wrote on Tuesday,

One bishop addressed the “elephant under the table” the fact that some of our wealthiest dioceses pay very little to the larger church….Even in a time of economic duress, we can certainly afford to fund our mission. The money is there, what is lacking is the motivation. Maybe if we spent a little more time proclaiming the Gospel instead of crying “poor-mouth,” we would be better off on every level– parish, diocese, national church.

Bishop Carol Gallagher, first Native American (Cherokee) female bishop in the Episcopal Church writes this morning,

We humans need the light. And when bishops meet, it is often too easy to get mired in debates and conversations over canons than to delight in the companionship and shared ministry. We are at our best when we share our burdens and bring light to one another. We are at our worst when we draw lines in the sand and exclude the other from our circles.

Jesus encounters religious leaders who are trying to draw him into an argument, into the places of separation, exclusion and division. He answers them that his father is present with him – the God of all is in their very presence which brings an end to exclusion, separation and division. God seeks loving relationships and not those who plot in darkness and live by laws that shut others out.

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