Live blogging: the bishops take up D025

The text of Resolution D025 is here. It is a response to Resolution B033 of the 2006 General Convention.

Live blog beneath the fold:

3:42 Pacific, Bishop Geralyn Wolf presents the resolution, which failed among bishops on the World Mission Committee by 3-2.

She lists some of the reasons they gave. Mostly that it would damage the Communion. Could undermine mission at home and abroad because we haven’t done the theology.

Disregards the Lambeth resolutions on human sexuality. What will happen to people who disagree. Is unclear and allows for a variety of interpretations.

Bishop Jeff Lee of Chicago : asks for conversation time at the tables at which the bishops sit.Motion passes.. Twenty minutes of table talk. Another ten minutes of table talk.

Bishop Dorsey Henderson amends the language that says God calls partnered gay folks to the ordained ministry to say “The call to ordained ministry in the ED is a mystery which the EC attempts top discern for all people through our discernment processes in accordance with the constitution and canons of the EC .

This is family talk, and it is important that it is rooted in the gospel. The gospel of grace, justice and mission. It is family talk and it involves all of us. What we do effects each other. … What does it mean to belong to a larger Church..

Mark Beckwith of Newark speaks against the amendment. Nathan Baxter of Central Pennsylvania says he would like to see us “pass an action that would move us toward honoring sacramentally same sex unions.” Because we already regard it as holy in our experience. he is very, very much concerned about out covenant with our communion he is also concerned about our covenant with GLBT, which stands in jeopardy, as does our opportunity to evangelize them. So the amendment sidesteps the issue nad lessens our intergrity.

Raab of Maryland: supports the amendment. It promotes continuing prayerful discernment.

Neil Alexander of Atlanta: don’t confuse a desire to do more theology with an affirmation fo our own canons. It muddies the water.

Michael Curry: I am hearing this amendment stating what is the case: that God’s call is God’s call and ofr us it is a mystery. We are willing to engage that mystery in the EC…. gay and lesbian people can be called in that mystery. If so, we should say so with integrity. But then he says he supports the amendment. ( I am confused by this)

Bauerschmidt of Tennessee: supports the amendment. makes it more descriptive rather than prescriptive. I am loathe to open our church up to further misunderstanding within the Anglican communion. Let’s not open ourselves up to misinterpretation.

Charleston of California supports the amendment. But has a concern. Will people grab it and run in different directions. We need to be clear… is this permission to go forward on LGBT bishops or not? I support, but as one on the side of ending hte moratorium.

Gray of Mississippi: this resolution as constituted with or without the amendment either overturns B033 or not. not sure B033 ever had the weight of canon. It had the weight of mutual trust and forbearance. I happen to believe there is still a need for some reticence on our part.

Alvarez of Puerto Rico: supports the amendment. Will make it easier to evangelize in Latin America.

Steve Lane of Maine: against the amendment. I like the clarity and specificity of the original. One of the merits of this resolution is its apt description of where we are. Don’t muddy it.

Tom Ely of Vermont: God has called and will continue to call gay and lesbian persons into ministry in this church. That is not a mystery to me. …About the fact that God is calling and continues to call (GLBT) I don’t have any reservations. GLBT people have led others to Christ through their ordained ministry. I want this to pass and if this will help it to pass, I can accept hthat but if it is meant to question the call to the call of God to those who are currently in ordained ministry in our church, I would find that a great disappointment.

Ed Litte of Northern Indiana: supports, but may lead ot exegetical chaos.

Jon Bruno of LA: we don’t need more theology. We have seen the importance of GLBT people and their ministry.

Carolyn Irish of Utah supports the amendment But doesn’t want it to be understood as withdrawimg support of Bishop Robinson or gay clergy in her diocese.

Tom Briedenthal of Southern Ohio: opposes amendment. It doesn’t contain a clear statement of GLBT persons being consecrated to the episcopate. A certain elegance to the original language, which draw on and reaffirm the canons.

I need to pause soon because my battery is going down and there is no power source in the house of bishops press area..

I missed what my bishop said, but he spoke of knowing affirm GLBT folks will cause pain, but said it had to be done. Wait, here it is: B033 as passed caused great pain for everybody. It also has in my opinion inhibited the ability of our church to discern the breadth of the Holy Spirit. In its own way, it hs been discriminatory.

Mark Hollingsworth of Ohio proposes an amendment I will try to get later, but it restores the language about God calling LGBT but keeps the mystery language. Something like this: affirm that God has called and may call such individuals to any ordained ministry in the episcopal Church and that God’s call to ministry in the Episcopal Church is a mystery…. picks up previous resolution.

Gene Robinson points out that although people keep saying that we can’t look at gay ordination as right for gay people, that isn’t what is being asked for. What is being asked for is access to the discernment process.

End of debate on amendments.

The Hollingsworth amendment passes 78-60. So the explicit statement that God calls LGBT people are called to all orders of ministry remains. Then comes a vote on the section with the amendment. The entire section carries and is now included in the resolution.

Debate resumes on the entire resolution. Benfield of Arkansas: limit love is fearful at best, and limiting the love of the Trinity at worst. It’s time to move forward.

Michael Smith of North Dakota wants a roll call vote.

Gary Lilibridge of West Texas: came in planning to vote against the resolution. Would have supported it if the amendment taking out explicit recognition of GLBT. But since that amendment was further amended, he now can’t support it.

And with that, I am out of power, so I am back in the press room where they are streaming the debate in the House of Deputies, but not the House of Bishops. So I am charging my battery and getting texts from the floor.


These notes were taken on my Blackberry, so I am still cleaning them up:

Knudson asks for prayer before the vote: Then says: the mistake we made Lambeth 1998 was to pull one statement out of a thoughtful corpus. Lost the whole. stands with everyone who is holding the totality of resolution.

Geralyn Wolf taught in a Quaker school for four years. They did a lot of consensus work. The consensus seems to be to move beyond B033. she wants to test that. It is possible to lose a vote and win people’s hearts by handling it gracefully as you carry on in the community.

Macpherson notes we embrace constit rshp in Anglican communion, but we will fracture it.

Frye, Rio Grande: welcomes fellowship of the House… Wants to get everybody on boardmmm haven’t even convinced our own constit, let alone others. Andrus of Calif: has seen Voices of Witness Africa about GLBT in Africa. When we use the prhs World mission, it has to include them, too.

Gray ReevesL speak the truth and speak it now… Lots of cleansing in our church of past secrets. If we are going to enter into a covenant we need to be honest about who we are.

Lawrence of So Carolina: human sexuality is a mystery but not a total mystery… Gays can’t procreate… And he contends glbt relaships aren’t complimentary. And scripture makes it clearer yet. At Lambeth a New testament scholar was talking academically about ambig texts. An Aussie bishop said God wouldn’t leave it unclear. Our teachings are too complex and we don’t know what to teach and what to do.

Howe of CFla: He reads a letter from the ABC to the Swedish Church saying steps they recently took toward gay equality jeopardize the Porvoo Communion of which both churches are a part.

Okla bishop asks for postponement. Says his own feelings have changed…. Opp to have text in front

Motion fails.

Singh Rochester grew up in India. Talks of caste system. Can’t overcome caste system with incarnational examples… With dalit priests, gospel would have been only upper class.

Singh: Let us not use the Ang comm as a smoke screen.

Baxter: we have to be honest. The incompatibility of baptism and bondage. Science and theology. arguments once used against blacks. Sci has changed and theology has grown.

Gregg of NoCaro; exciting and wonderful and glorious process for us all.

roll call vote underway

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