Thursday, July 09, 2009

General Convention, Day Three

If I had subtitled this entry it would be: Relationships and Resolutions. Today I sat in on the debate on the sole resolution regarding the Anglican Covenant being dealt with at this convention, a resolutions that resolves that we "provisionally accept" and agree to live by the first three paragraphs on the Ridley-Cambridge draft of the Covenant. There was a great deal of discussion of relationships, communion, etc... and whether our church should "lead" by provisionally accepting the Covenant or, on the other side, whether we needed a covenant at all to accomplish the mission and ministry of the church and sustain and strengthen the ties that we already have with other churches of the Anglican Communion. There was even some question about whether the Church of England would ultimately be able to sign the Covenant since it would appear to hand control of the established Church of England to a higher (foreign) authority. Since the Church of England is an established church and thus beholden to Parlament, that could be problematic.

Right after I left the hearing, I ran into my old field education supervisor who is now working in the American Anglican Council. While he and I would likely disagree on most things, I was able to greet him warmly, show him pictures of my children, and thank him for the pastoral care he game my family and me during my field education time. It struck me that what we are really being asked to do with all of the resolutions regarding the Anglican Covenant and repeal of resolution 2006-B033 is to chose our relationships. Are we as a church going to push ahead with celebrating the committed relationships of GLBT people, perhaps at the cost of both relationships with other churches in the Anglican Communion (but perhaps not between the people of our two churches) as well as relationships with people alongside whom we have served? I don't know, and the choice of honoring one set of relationships at the possible expense of others is one that I'm personally happy that I won't have to vote on. I will, however, have to live with any consequences of that vote or votes, so I am definately praying for the bishops and deputies. It will be an interesting next few days.

Then this evening we had a GTNG dinner gathering at 6:30 p.m. and a GTNG "post-dinner" gathering at 8 p.m. I was glad to have time to sit and chat with folks I haven't met before, have met only online, or haven't seen for a while. Sometimes, I think, the church mechanisms get in the way of such informal but life-giving relationships. Until tomorrow....

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