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GC2012: HOB to HOD - Take down the "For Sale" sign at Episcopal Church Center

GC2012: HOB to HOD: Take down the "For Sale" sign at Episcopal Church Center
815 Second Avenue will be off the market

By Mary Ann Mueller
Special Correspondent
July 10, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS - The House of Deputies took the teeth out of D016 requiring the sale of church property located at 815 Second Avenue by removing the sell by date clause, Tuesday afternoon the House of Bishops removed the heart of the Resolution by removing the words: "Accordingly, the General Convention directs the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church to sell the Church Center Building at 815 Second Avenue, New York City."

Now, all that is left of the Resolution is: "Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring -- That it is the will of this Convention to move the Church Center headquarters away from the Church Center building at 815 2nd Avenue, New York City."

Now, the very beleaguered Resolution was kicked back to the House of Deputies for its further consideration, retaining only a voiced will of General Convention that the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society relocate Episcopal Church headquarters away from New York City.

The Episcopal Church's Chief Operating Officer Bishop Stacey Sauls explained that a relocation feasibility study, partially underwritten by the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, is in the final stages of completion. The results of this study are expected to be revealed at the October Executive Council meeting and implemented by the 2015 General Convention.

New York Bishop Mark Sisk, in whose diocese the Episcopal Church Center is located on Manhattan Island, made the amendment to remove lines 31- 33 which direct the Executive Council to sell the 11 story building at 815 Second Avenue.

The New York bishop said that he cannot think of a single square inch of Manhattan Island property that has ever been sold by the Episcopal Church without regret because of the loss of potential income to the church.

When the vote was called the voice vote was too close to determine an outcome.

Then Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori asked to see hands. Again, the sea of hands was too close to make a call.

Finally the Presiding Bishop asked for her House pages to count the hands that were raised in the air.

A final count was secured: Yah - 74 and Nay - 71.

The results were met first with groans, followed by laughter.

Resolution D016 had passed, as amended, and it was again sent back to the House of Deputies with the message to take down the "For Sale" sign at 815 Second Avenue.

Mary Ann Mueller is a journalist living in Texas. She is a regular contributor to VirtueOnline

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