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.


"Let's Kill It."

On Monday morning, I appeared before the Canons committee to speak to D067, the resolution which stated that “no person shall be ordained to the office of deacon or priest, or consecrated to the office of bishop, unless such person lives faithfully within the convenant of marriage between one man and one woman or in a single and celibate life.”

I began by saying that I appreciated the Presiding Bishop’s reference the previous Monday to a part of the ordination service, the Veni Creator Spiritus – ‘enable with perpetual light, the dullness of our blinded sight.’

I told the committee that I have enjoyed my involvement with committees in our diocese which have allowed me to work with aspirants, postulants and candidates for holy orders, and recently, nominees in our Episcopal Election process.

I read portions of the 1979 Ordinal from the BCP.

“Do you believe his manner of life to be suitable to the exercise of this ministry?”

“Every Christian is called to follow Jesus Christ…God now calls you to a special ministry of servanthood…You are to study the Scriptures…and t model your life upon them.”

“Will you do your best to pattern your life in accordance with the teachings of Christ, so that you may be a wholesome example to all people?”

I reminded them that in every resolution dealing with human sexuality in the last several conventions, we have seen language acknowledging faithful, monogamous relationships as the standard.

In fact, in the GC2006 Blue Book, the SCLM has proposed a rite for the Celebration of an Engagement which contains gender specific language identifying the participants as a man and a woman.

Finally, I pointed out that paragraph 53 of ‘One Hope, One Call’ stated that there were no authorized rites for same-sex blessings in the Episcopal Church.

I urged the committee to amend Canon III.1 to add this section requiring either faithful, monogamous marriage (between a man and a woman) or a single, celibate state as a condition for ordination in all three orders.

Members of the committee asked a number of questions, including whether passage of this resolution would preclude a divorced person from ordination (now that’s a different question, isn’t it?), or whether I might be open to replacing the word ‘celibate’ with ‘chaste.’

After I answered all of their questions, I had to return to my committee, Social and Urban Affairs, where we were hearing testimony on a number of resolutions.

I understand that after I left the room, Bishop Rowley suggested that Canons reject this resolution. He said, “Let’s kill it.” And so they did.

This was the action I expected on D067, and it’s just further evidence that The Episcopal Church is unable to set limits on anyone’s behavior, particularly that of its priests, bishops, and deacons.


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