Monday, July 13, 2009

Peace (?) Be with You.

The Episcopal Church is currently meeting in General Convention. You can keep track of what's happening over at TitusOneNine, which is near the top of Pastor Zip's "Blogs for Faithful Churchmen" one the right column of this blog.

The big news there, so far, is that the House of Deputies has approved a resolution that "acknowledges that God has called and may call any individual in the church to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church, in accordance with the discernment process set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the church." This resolution essentially overturns a resolution from the last General Convention to not ordain any more practicing gay Bishops. Next it goes to the House of Bishops, who need to approve the resolution for it to officially go into effect. (Here TEC's General Convention is like the US Congress, where both the House of Representatives and the Senate must approve legislation.)

Early this afternoon TitusOneNine posted this message from Bishop John Howe of the Central Florida Diocese, which begins:
We have reached the mid-point, and I want to give you some impressions. This is a remarkably different General Convention than any of the previous six I have attended as a Bishop. I would characterize all the previous Conventions as highly contentious. This one is not. We still have the same recurrent issues ahead of us, but the "conservative" wing is so greatly diminished that its voice is almost irrelevant.

I made that comment to one person who questioned whether I really meant it, "Irrelevant? Don't you mean "hated?" No, there is no sense of animosity here. The conservatives state their position(s) respectfully and they are treated with respect in return. It is just that they are so hugely outnumbered that it doesn't matter.

At the open hearings on the sexuality questions the "progressives" outnumber the "conservatives" somewhere between six and ten to one. I have been proud of the members of the Central Florida deputation entering into the debate, but often they have been nearly the only ones speaking on behalf of a "traditionalist" position. (Some of our folks have been approached and questioned by members of the "Youth Presence" that is here who seem never to have heard a "traditionalist" position articulated previously.)
Read it all here.

I read this not long after getting off the phone with a friend in the Church of Sweden, where we spoke of recent events. After that, and what I've been reading of TEC's Convention, and thinking of my recent attitude towards our Synod and Churchwide Assemblies, I'm thinking maybe I've become a bit too peaceful.


Steve Martin said...

It appears that the ELCA will be going down that same road.

How do you feel about that, Pastor?

Pastor Zip said...

Not good at all.

Steve Martin said...

I didn't think so.

My pastor says that that is one of the great things about our mortality. The ELCA leadership won't be around forever (here anyway) and when they die off, the Lord may replace them with those that are more faithful to the Scriptures. (If the ELCA lasts that long)

Thanks! Keep up the good work, Pastor!

- Steve