Friday, July 17, 2009

It's Over. Now the Work Begins

Well, we did it. Over 300 resolutions acted upon in 10 days.

First, the big one. Yes we pass C056 on same sex blessings by more than two thirds in the laity and clergy. Yes it allows for local options, but no it does not direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to prepare liturgies, only to gather theological and liturgical resources. In other words, we have space to work with this, but no official action on preparing an official liturgy. And no one is forced to perform a same sex marriage, just as no one is forced to perform a heterosexual marriage.

Pauli Murray and Manteo & Virgina Dare (the first persons baptized in North America) and Thurgood Marshall and the first women priests in the EC were all referred to the Standing Commission on Liturgy & Music (SCLM) for preparation of feast day materials. They will look at them over during the next three years and make recommendations to the next GC. Sadly, the alternative baptismal covenant did not get through the bishops, although now it is out there and will likely gather some steam and acceptance over the triennial.

Holy Women, Holy Men (the new Lesser Feasts and Fasts) was given trial use for the 3 years coming, with the SCLM being charged to gather feedback for a more final version next time. The early buzz is that John Muir's name will be struck, but who knows?The reason: Muir was not particularly a Christian and quite critical of the church; the reaon he was included in the first place is that his work inspired so many Christians to take on the environment. To include him definitely requires a shift in thinking about who should be on the calendar; you be the judge. Literally. There will opportunity to have your say on him and over 100 other new people.

Biggest surprise is C023 which would have added sexual identity and expression to the list of reasons that people could not be automatically disqualified from the ordination process. We voted to add them; the bishops voted to delete the entire laundry list and just say all persons. We with signals from the trans community voted to not concur with them, which reverts the canon back to the old language. The biggest issue was that we thought we needed to reflect a reality that not everyone actually does have equal access and to mention by name those who do don't always. The fact that some people we wished to add to the list did not get through should not be used as reason to removed all the other groups who were already identified.

Right at the end, we got word that the bishops prayed for +Gene (Robinson) who is sick. No word on what this is yet.

As of this post, no more for awhile, though I may respond if you make a comment. I am not reporting what happens in Oakland for the weekend. And if you are clergy and in the diocese of NC come see your deputation in Burlington on Wednesday.

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