General Convention 2006

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling. Then I will go to the altar of God, and I will praise you . . . Psalm 43:3-4

The General Convention of the Episcopal Church
met in Columbus, Ohio from June 11-21, 2006.
This blog offers a view of the convention and beyond from the perspective of Lydia Evans, a two-time lay deputy from the Diocese of South Carolina.
Visit the links found below for additional resources
as well as pre- and post-convention coverage.
Thank you for remembering the convention deputies and their families in your prayers. For further resources, visit my webpages.
For all posts from the month of June, click here.
For all posts from the month of July, click here.


It’s Wednesday morning, and we’re sitting in an unprecedented Joint Session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.

++Frank Griswold addresses the Joint House, and says,

“When I became your Presiding Bishop eight and a half years ago, I called the church to the costly discipline of conversation…As part of our response to the Windsor Report, we have passed Resolution A159 which reaffirms ‘the abiding commitment of the Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and to seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible.’ We have also passed Resolution A166 supporting the process of developing an Anglican Covenant…We have thus indicated our desire for continuing conversation.”

“However, unless there is a clear perception on the part of our Anglican brothers and sisters that they have been taken seriously in their concerns it will be impossible to have any genuine conversation. Therefore there will be no deep exchange and the bonds of affection which undergird communion will be further strained.”

“For our voices to be heard there needs to be a clear sense that we are not ignoring the sensibilities of those who are genuinely unable to understand what we have done…Humility is not an easy virtue, but it is very much required in this season. Humility requires at times a stance of restraint in order that something larger can happen. There are times when what may appear to be a step backward may be called for in order to go forward.”

“As your Presiding Bishop and chief pastor, I now ask both houses to consider the following resolution.”

We were then given a copy of this new resolution.

Resolution B033: On Election of Bishops

Proposer: The Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson (Upper South Carolina), Endorsers: The Rt. Rev. Edward S. Little II (Northern Indiana), The Rt. Rev. Robert J. O’Neill (Colorado), The Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf (Rhode Island)

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, that the 75th General Convention receive and embrace The Windsor Report’s invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation; and be it further

Resolved, that the Convention therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.

We began to discuss the resolution, and it was announced that the PB-elect would like to address the HOD. We took a vote on the question of inviting ++KJS to speak to us, and her message was to the point. Here is some of what she had to say.

“This resolution…is far from adequate. I find the language exceedingly challenging.

"I am fully committed to the full inclusion of gay and lesbian persons in our church.

"I certainly don’t see this resolution as slamming the door. But you’re going to have to continue to work…I think this is the best we’re going to manage at this point in our church’s history.”

+Philip Linder, dean of Trinity Cathedral in the Diocese of Upper South Carolina said, “Our Presiding Bishop has spoken with great clarity about what it will take for us to remain at the table of the Worldwide Anglican Communion.” +Tony Clark of Central Florida called for a vote by orders on the perfected motion.

And then it happened. Members of the House of Deputies began to debate the motion, and +Ruth Meyers from the Diocese of Chicago rose to amend the motion. To amend the motion which the Presiding Bishop, and the Presiding Bishop-elect, urged us to pass intact.

It was proposed that the last resolve be amended to add ‘until General Convention 2009’ following the words ‘wider church.’ This amendment was defeated, and we voted on the resolution which had come to us from the House of Bishops for concurrence.

In the lay order, with 104 dioceses voting, there were 72 affirmative votes, 21 negative votes, and 11 divided votes. It passed in the lay order with more than 77% in favor. In the clerical order, with 109 dioceses voting, there were 75 votes in the affirmative, 24 negative votes, and 10 divided votes. It passed in the clerical order with more than 75% in favor.


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