Quick early evening report…

General Convention

I’m dashing this note off having just scarfed down a triple-cheese burger and salad (hold the bread, heavy on the Tums) and on my way to the Program, Budget and Finance meeting tonight. (There’s a chance they’ll be discussing the money appropriated for evangelism and advertising this evening and I want to give my 2 cents if they are.)

We had a long day on the floor of convention this afternoon. The two big issues we dealt with was the first of the Windsor Report resolutions (the one on our interdependence upon the Anglican Communion) and the resolution to remove the role of General Convention in consenting to certain episcopal elections. Both were clearly seen as tests of something, but I’m not sure what.

The first vote on interdependence was subject to a number of amendments from the floor that would have included language pointing out the historic independence and/or autonomy of provinces. The amendments were strongly rejected by the House of Deputies on voice votes and the resolution itself was passed overwhelmingly. (I didn’t hear a “nay” vote.)

The second resolution was voted on “by orders” on a request from a number of dioceses. We still don’t know the results of that vote and won’t until the morning. I voted in favor of removing General Convention’s role in consents chiefly because of a very good point made during the floor debate – the present system creates two levels of inquiry and process for bishops. Some bishops are carefully screened by General Convention and some are acted upon by Standing Committees. Members of Standing Committees rose to report that they did not do nearly the extensive investigation that was routinely being done by Convention. I voted the way I did so that we would have one system for all. This will be a vote that will have to be repeated next Convention even if it does end up passing this one… which I don’t expect. The overwhelming number of comments were negative and against the change during the floor debate.

Like I said though, my sense was that a pulse of the House was being taken during these two votes. I’m wondering what the doctor has found.

The Author

Episcopal bishop, dad, astronomer, erstwhile dancer...