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GC2009: D025 House of Bishops Transcript

GC2009: D025 House of Bishops Transcript

supplied by Cheryl Wetzel of Anglican Mainstream
July 13, 2009

Presented by Chair of the World Mission Commission, the Rt. Rev. Geralyn Wolf, Rhode Island.

The committee (cmte) has voted not to concur with this resolution. Let me tell you some of the reasons why we voted that way:

1) Some dioceses in The Episcopal Church are outside the US and not theologically or culturally ready to vote for same sex unions

2) Adoption of this resolution must be interpreted as a rejection of the Windsor Continuation report

3) This resolution does not reflect our hearings within the Anglican Communion.

4) This resolution implies a theological understanding of the subject that has not been established

5) This resolution is not in accord with Lambeth Resolution I.10 6) Some disagree with this resolution.

If we pass it, what will happen to them? D025 has language that is so imprecise that it has a variety of interpretations. This is not helpful. Since it was submitted to the World Mission Committee, we must look at it through that lens. This will not be an asset to our continued world mission. The majority on the committee questioned some parts of the resolution and rejected others. The minority of the committee accepted some parts and rejected others.

The vote was 3 no; 2 approve. Therefore, we recommend that we do not concur.

At this point, Bishop Jeff Lee of Chicago asked for table conversations prior to discussion.

The Presiding Bishop suggested they try 20 minutes of conversation. The press/visitors were not dismissed from the room. At the end of 20 minutes, another 10 minutes was added to the discussion. Dorsey Henderson S. Carolina amend: line36 Resolved that the 76th General Convention affirm that God's call to ordained ministry is a mystery, which is tested n our discernment processes Line 36 after affirms that. God's call to the ordained ministry is a mystery which the church attempts to discern for all people, through and in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church.

This is Family talk on grace, justice, unity and mission. Why Family talk? What we do affects each other. I can't do anything in my diocese that doesn't affect TEC. What we do in TEC affects the whole Communion: one holy catholic and apostolic church. We haven't worked out what that means to be a part of something larger. I would hope that it would state to the larger church that we are aware that what we do affects the larger family. In anticipation of the theology cmte, we can commit to Anglican Communion to debate and study.

M. Beckwith, Newark. If this is amended, what happens to it? Back to HOD? Chair (Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori) believes House of Deputies has enough invested in the resolution that they will find time to reconsider.

Nathan Baxter, Central PA: I want to find a way to affirm that same sex unions are holy. Concerned with Covenant in the Anglican Communion, but also concerned about our Covenant with LGBT (Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered) brothers and sisters, which we have been working on for a significant time. Therefore, I don't like the amendment.

John Rabb: MD: We are still in a period of discernment and I speak in favor. I know this will make people in my diocese very upset. Neil Alexander, Atlanta: I speak in affirmation of our own canons. This amendment renders that muddy. Defeat amendment and work on clarifying resolution.

Michael Curry, N. Carolina: God's call is God's call and we are willing to engage that gay and lesbians in partnered relationships is the fact on the ground.

Bauerschmidt ,TN: moved resolution further along the path of being descriptive rather than proscriptive. I am loathe to take actions contrary to those who are not in charity with our actions. I rise to support the amendment Charles, CA: support amendment. We are walking a fine line between trying to craft language for our Anglican Communion to not break relationship with them while on the same time trying to craft language acceptable to our LGBT folks. Be very careful in the end of the day: many among us will see this as approval for LGBT in the episcopacy.

Gray, MS: it seems to be that this resolution as constituted, with or without the amendment, overturns B033. Not sure B033 ever had the weight of canon, but it did have the weight of mutual trust and forbearance. We have a need for restraint on our part. I support the amendment. Hope to be able to support the entire resolution.

Barry Douglas. Support: 1) commitment to participate in wider Anglican Communion as we have indicated in many ways; 2) just passed strategic program for Hispanic ministry. Will take some time for many Hispanics in Latin America to agree with your actions about the nature and actions of gay people. Which will hinder many from understanding and joining TEC. 3) will take time. It needs much more time.

Steve Lane, ME: speak against. I like the clarity of the original. It states what and who we are. We need to describe us as we are and I hope we can be received by larger church as who we are. Urge not to adopt.

Ely, VT: God has affirmed and called and will continue to call LGBT persons. That is not a mystery to me. Am sympathetic to the notion that our discernment process is effective. I don't have any reservation about the call because I have seen gay and lesbian leaders lead others to Christ through their ministries. IF this is any way to question that call of God to those who are currently involved in our church, I would find that to be a great disappointment.

Ed Little, N. IN: support amendment because I would need to vote no on main motion, and this says we have to listen to theological discussion. Bruno, LA: clarity is important. They are one with us in Christ at baptism we need to be clear and concise. Speak against this amendment. Those who minister in your dioceses have a right to ordination process.

Irish, Utah: in favor of amendment, which will be a disappointment to my deputation and my diocese. Do so for the same reason as Bp. Curry said. I find the church to be a holy mystery and the ordination process is as well. Do not assume a negative vote withdraws my support for Bp Robinson or others. Amendment is a positive step.

Breidenthal, S. OHIO: amend. God acts and we respond. Lost in amendment is gay and lesbian persons being consecrated to the episcopate. Draws our attention to the canons that already exist. Leave open terrain for gays and lesbians in our midst. If there is confusion, it is well worth the space. Original lang. Is in line with what I believe to be true. Move to end debate. Did not carry

Counsel, NJ: support amendment. It adds a sense of high calling. I prefer that to language of rights. Let's discern Jesus at work in our lives, not draw boundaries on who God calls. I have seen godly men and women who are gay and lesbian and service with grace. Chane DC: speak against amendment. B033 as it was passed 3 years ago has caused great pain for everybody. Has inhibited breath of the holy spirit in our Church. It has been in its own way, painful for every body. "Exquisite pain" as per John Hines. We are in that place. When I look at the breadth of the spirit, I find Gene Robinson to be a breath of fresh air. Some will disagree and go home and deal with more pain. There is no winner, no looser.

Hollingsworth, OH: more I read original language and listen to my brothers, I find both to be true. Can I offer an Amendment to the amendment? Line 36 76th general convention affirm that God has called and may call any person and that God's call to the ordained ministry in the church is a mystery.... Return original wording through the Episcopal Church and add that and continue with Bp Henderson's amendment. Seconded

Scarfe, IA: grateful. Brings transparency to say what we want to say. It removes any attempt at evasion. Puts it all out on the table. This is who we are. Mystery is when I look in the mirror and realize that I cal called to ordained ministry. Whalen, Europe: concern with 1st and 2nd amend. It is said in Europe that you worship civil rights more than we worship God. No one has the right to be ordained. The Church must affirm God's call. Must avoid that this is all about civil rights. Support amendment to amend.

Lamb, San Joaquin: systematic exclusion from ordination process in San Joaquin prior to its reorganization. Welcome is not necessarily to ordination but the process. Robinson: NH: there is nothing in the resolution that refers to rights or civil rights that violates the constitution and canons. That access to the process not ordination is guaranteed. Additional words might avoid train wreck over whole resolution.

Charles, CA: not how we say it, but that we all know what we mean. Support it as long as this church includes every person in God's process. Ramos, Ecuador Central: we must be true to ourselves as Christ's body. It is time to define who we are and who God is calling us to be. Difficult and risky. But I support amend to amend. Ousley, E MI: I want to stress the importance of clarity and how we act. Whether we go with amend? Is not the question, but how will this lead me as a bishop of this church? I have no idea and will have to sort through this. Move end to debate? Yes. Motion to approve amendment to the amendment. Voice vote failed. Tellers counted hands. Vote: aye 78; nay 60. Amendment to the amendment carries. Now we will vote on the whole resolve as amended, lines 36 - 40. Voice vote. Amendment carries. Now we have discussion on the whole resolution. Benfield, AR: I support D025. The revelation and Creedal language is intertwined. We don't understand the Love of Christ for Humankind; the love of one for another. We are talking about limiting ordination and consecration based on chromosomal makeup. We already have a theology and new we need to proclaim it to this generation and boldly proclaim the Mind of Christ.

Smith, ND: This resolution will be a negative response to the Winsor Moratoria. I am asking for Roll Call vote. (more than 5 hands raised to support roll call vote) Lillibridge, West TX: I came not planning to support B025. With listening, I thought I could support it but now with Dorsey's amendment, I can't . I don't want to loose the last resolve that people of good conscience can disagree. Is that proscriptive or descriptive? Reed, KY: there is so much positive in this resolution. We have not discussed the vote on the first 27 lines or the last 7 . Can we postpone discussion on lines 29 - 40 or vote on them separately? Presiding Bishop: Are you moving to deal with each Resolve separately?

Shaw, MA: I offer grateful support for Bp. Benfield's remarks. It is time. I know from living a celibate life that it is a rare gift. Beckwith, Newark: I was a deputy at 2006 General Convention and B033 sullied that convention for me. This D025 affirms who we are and what we are about. If we pass this, it affirms the House of Deputies and their hard work on bringing 13 resolutions into one document. Sauls, Lexington: I am in favor. I don't understand how anyone can be in opposition. This states what is true.

The Constitution and Canons govern the discernment process. This resolution corrects any misconception that B033 and D025 lie side by side. Each still in effect; each still true. Johnston, VA: I disagree. Personally I agree with the resolution but we do need to face the fact that is is a repudiation of Bo33 and breaks faith with the Communion. In light of the ACC meeting, they gave us a rare gift in not forwarding the Covenant to this Convention. Now we are shooting through their generosity. The Communion is too much to loose. We must look beyond our small church in the western world.

Beckwith, Springfield: I stand in opposition. Personally I believe it is an honest statement of where we are. If you believe this is the right thing to do, do it now. I do not agree. Sex outside of a man and a woman is not what God designed for His people. It is inappropriate. Which is more important? A perceived justice issue or the integrity of the Communion? Give us pause as a minority. Breidenthal, S. Ohio: In our indaba groups last summer, we learned that we minister in different contexts. We take the Gospel seriously and we love Jesus. That changed the thinking of the rest of my Indaba group. Therefore, although this is a risky decision, it will move the conversation forward in the whole communion. Please remember to email your indaba group and tell them why we have done this.

Love, Albany: I am in opposition. IF this passes, TEC will cease to be what it has been. We have already heard the quote from the Archbishop of Canterbury that is the House of Bishops blocks the vote on this resolution, the moratorium remain. I regret that this part of the Communion is not willing to do what our Communion partners have asked of us time and time again. WE have been specifically asked not to do what we are about to do. This will yet tear the fabric of our Communion into shreads. We wll cease to be what we have always been.

Gulick, KY and Ft Worth: I have a question. Will passing this resolution really end the moratorium? Won't we be ending the moratorium at the time of the consecration of a pay partnered person, not by passing this resolution? Presiding Bishop: The moratorium ends with this passage. We were asked to exercise restraint and we have done that. Idaho: Ubuntu means that we must bring our true self to be in relationship with you. This resolution gives clarity and integrity. Robinson, NH: Six years ago, Mark and I met with the Mississippi deputation prior to consent in the House of Deputies. It was a holy time of mutual listening. I stated that I represent the Church of the future. Their people were not ready to vote for that. We all know where this will end. It will end at the full inclusion of LGBT. When? In 10 years? In 20 years? When it does, we will ask why we have held on so long to second class citizenship. But, don't be surprised at being asked to pay a price for this decision. All the Gospels talk about paying a price for decisions. We must stand up and be who God calls us to be. Wright, DE: That final resolve is essential. In TEC and the Anglican Communion the source of unity is mutual love for Jesus Christ, mutual regard and love for each other. That final resolve is essential.

Knudsen, ME retired: One mistake we made relative to the 1998 Lambeth Conference was to allow people to pull out of the corps of I.10. The Communion drafted a report and a resolution that passed overwhelmingly. We pulled it to pieces. Hold onto the totality of this resolution.

Wolfe, RI: I taught for 4 years at a Quaker boarding school. The faculty met weekly to discuss school issues. At the end of the discussion, the moderator would announce the consensus of the group. The consensus of this group seems to be to move beyond B033 and the moratoria and other restraints. As the moderator at the Quaker school said so often, I disagree with you, but will not stand in your way.

McPherson, W. LA: If we pass this, we will fracture the Communion. Frye, Rio Grande, Interim: I oppose this. There is gracious language and intent in this resolution. One thing I noted about Moses and his 40 year trip into the Promised Land is that when the leaders were sick, the group stopped until they were well; when the community was sick, the leaders stopped until they were well. Then they all walked on together. That is Ubuntu. This resolution represents the mind of this House but not the mind of the Communion that we want to remain a part of. [At this point, a Native American man started prayer chanting outside the House of Bishop's chambers. He continued for several minutes. It was hauntingly beautiful.]

Taylor, W. Carolina: I intend to vote yes. There is the usual Anglican ambiguity on lines 36 and 37. It says nothing about the moratorium. Graves, El Camino Real: I stand to speak for truth and to speak it now. IF we are going to consider the Covenant in the future, we must begin by being honest about who we are.

Lawrence, S. Carolina: I am opposed. Who can deny that the Trinity is a mystery? That mystery is discerned from Scripture as we confess Sunday by Sunday. Sexuality is a mystery but not a total mystery. Why did God make us of two different sexes? One point is for procreation, but the second is complementarity. Man and woman complement each other in the way their bodies are constructed. That's not looking at Scripture; that's looking at nature. We need to look at Scripture more. Last summer at Lambeth I went to all of the sexuality seminars that were held. I was frequently the only TEC bishop there. At one seminar where we discussed Paul's letter to the Romans, an Aussie bishop said, "is it really that confusing? Would a Loving Father leave us with a lack of clarity on these issues?" Many are confused by the complexities of what to do. This leaves us not knowing who we are and what we are to teach and what we are to do. I speak against this. Howe, C Fl: We speak lovingly of the Anglican Communion and then demand to be part of it on our own terms. He then read a portion of a letter from the Church of England and Archbishop of Canterbury to the Church in Uppsala Sweden, stating that they could no longer be in communion because of the stand the church in Sweden had taken on gay issues. Kocheski, OK: I am in favor of postponing the vote. There are great things I need to ponder here. PB: called for voice vote. The motion to postpone failed. Within 10 minutes, the House voted by roll call vote on Resolution D025.

The final vote was 99 in favor; 45 opposed and 2 abstain.

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