GC2009: House of Deputies Meets in Committee of the Whole to Discuss Resolution B033
By Michael Heidt in Anaheim
Meeting on the afternoon of July 9, the House of Deputies was moved by its re-elected president, Bonnie Anderson, into a "Committee of the Whole" in order to discern the mind of the House concerning Resolution B033 - passed at the 75th General Convention to place a moratorium on ordaining or consecrating persons whose lives were a matter of "concern" to the Anglican Communion.
The discussion was prefaced by two introductory addresses from members of the Committee Eight, giving background to the controversial Resolution and outlining several responses to it. In brief, Resolution B033 has been adopted in the final moments of the 75th General Convention in order to keep The Episcopal Church within the Communion by going some way towards complying with the Windsor Report. Since the Resolution is still in place a response from the House of Deputies was appropriate. Deputies were told that:
They could take no action, they could reaffirm the actions of the 75th General Convention, they could pass a resolution disavowing those actions, pass a resolution affirming the canonical legality of LGBT ordinations/consecrations, or they could draft a new statement emphasizing the full participation of all the baptized in the life of the Church.
Introductions over, the House moved to round table discussion guided by three narrative style principles:
What is your story with respect to Res. B033? What is our story as a Church with respect to B033? What is God calling us to do now?
After half an hour of table talk the House reconvened to comments from the Chair of Committee Eight, Deputy Jennings, who thanked members of the Committee for their hard work. Dr. Anderson announced that the "Committee of the Whole" will reconvene on Friday morning.
Tomorrow's Committee debate should reveal the mind of the House. Will it move in the spirit of Ubuntu to express its interconnectedness with the overwhelming majority of the Anglican Communion? Or will it decide to walk a more parochial path, siding with its own very vocal LGBT champions? The vote is presently out on whether the Archbishop of Canterbury's plea for Communion adherence at this morning's Eucharist has had an effect on the House.
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