Saturday, June 27, 2015

June 27 - Blogging GC'15

On a my morning runs I am listening to Bruce Cockburn's all-instrumental (acoustic guitar) album "Speechless," up on Canyon Creek Road from the bottom land where Salt Lake City lies. It is helping me focus and center.

The work of the Committee #20 on Marriage is going very well. We are nearly finished. Here are the accomplished and/or likely results:

1. We have sent to the House of Bishops a revised Resolution A037 which would authorize an extension of the work of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. The group would retain some members and grow a bit, to 15, with a membership more representative of the spectrum of theological and cultural understandings of marriage present in our Church. It has passed in the House of Bishops and will come before the House of Deputies soon.

2. The committee completed work on Resolution A036 this morning. It proposes changes in the marriage canon, Canon I.18, that would remove gender-specific language so that it is not inconsistent with same-sex marriage. This resolution will go to the House of Bishops immediately.

Resolutions A036 and A037 came from the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, of which the Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Rev. Gail Greenwell, was a member.

3. The committee will meet again after dinner tonight to continue perfecting Resolution A054. This is the same-sex blessing and marriage liturgies resolution, from the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music. It appears very likely at this point that we will approve and forward to the House of Bishops a proposal to continue the use of the blessings liturgy approved at GC'12. We also seem likely to propose for "trial use" three liturgies for same-sex marriage: (i) one following the language used in the GC'12 blessings liturgy but including marriage as well, (ii) one following the 1979 BCP liturgy but gender-neutral, (iii) one following the 1928 BCP marriage liturgy but gender-neutral.

"Trial use" means that we would be using these liturgies as possible substitutes for the current rites in the BCP, so the idea is that they would be approved as part of a process of revising the 1979 BCP.

The effect of adoptions by General Convention of such a version of A054 would be that The Episcopal Church would have fully shared rites of marriage used by different-sex and same-sex couples equally.

The substance of all the other resolutions that were assigned to our committee will have been dealt with by these three resolutions.

I'm sure you are aware that today (at this writing, in a few minutes) the House of Bishops will elect their next Presiding Bishop. No one knows how long that will take. We will know results only after they are finished. Then the House of Deputies has to confirm the choice for it to be final. We here in the DSO presence at GC'15 are all praying for the Breidenthals and for our Church.

UPDATE: The Rt. Rev. Michael Curry (North Carolina) was elected by the House of Bishops to be the next Presiding Bishop, and the election was confirmed by the House of Deputies.

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