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.


Why we passed A095 and A167

At the recent General Convention of the Episcopal Church, we spent hours and hours playing with voting machines and practicing our parliamentary procedure. We got very little done for the first week, and then we nit-picked resolutions in order to free them from the constraints of Windsor language. We didn't have time to consider many worthwhile pieces of legislation. But when all was said and done, the General Convention made sure that a few resolutions were passed -- A095 and A167, sacred cows for a number of members of the Human Sexuality subcommittee of Social and Urban Affairs.

Here's why.

'Buried on Page 195 of Jonathan Rauch's new book, Gay Marriage: Why It Is Good for Gays, Good for Straights, and Good for America, is this insight into why the government's stamp of approval isn't actually the one that matters most in the battle over gay marriage: "The full social benefits of gay marriage will come when religions as well as governments customarily bless it: when women marry women in big church ceremonies as parents weep and ministers, solemnly smiling, intone the vows," observes Rauch, a writer in residence at the Brookings Institution.'

'In other words, forget courthouses and city halls; the fight for legitimacy for gay couples will be won under a roof topped by a cross and a steeple. About three-quarters of Americans choose to be married by a member of the clergy. When it comes to weddings, if not regular worship, we remain a country of steadfast churchgoers.'

'It's a point grasped by both proponents and opponents of same-sex unions: Marriage is a threshold, a life-changing event because of its distinct combination of legal, social, and religious significance. For many of us, the importance of the institution is rooted more deeply in joint blessings than in joint tax returns.'

From an April 2004 article in Slate magazine.

Here is the final text of A095 and A167.


Blogger Grandmother said...

Thanks for discussing A167. I have been very concerned about it, but no one else has even mentioned it.

Seems contradictory to the others to me at least.

Again, thanks again

11:06 AM  
Anonymous Marc Robertson said...

Dear Lydia:
Thanks for your "background" on these two resolutions. If there arer theological concerns re: homosexual persons and their behavior, it would follow that such concerns would also apply to society as a whole. In this case, the Church would need to take an apologetic stance re: the negative consequences of homosexual behavior for the betterment of the homosexual person as well as society in general. This would be my concern re: the passage of these two resolutions. Another would be the inherent political nature of the process by which these resolutions were passed. Any questions about the theological relationship and apologetic witness of Church to society? The theological underpinnings of these resolutions? My sense is that these were primarily political statements, not theological ones. As such, ECUSA continues to reveal that it cannot think or act theologically, nor does it want to.
The political process of "nit-picking" and wearing participants down to "vote-by-exhaustion" has proven to be a sorry way of defining the Body of Christ.
Thanks again for your faithful leadership. - Marc Robertson

3:21 PM  

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