Friday, July 3, 2015

July 3 - Blogging GC'15

A statement of dissent, and a cordial response 

A minority report has been filed by 18 bishops in the House of Bishops. It expresses dissent from the actions taken to make fully shared marriage rites available (A054) and to change the marriage canon to do that (A036). However, it also expresses the intention of the endorsers to remain loyal to The Episcopal Church.

Bishops' "Minority Report" on changes to the marriage canon (I.18)

In response, the House of Bishops affirmed the relationships among bishops who disagree on these matters.

"Mind of the House" response to that Minority Report

Here is a link to ENS stories on what has been happening at GC'15:

Episcopal News Service stories on the 78th General Convention

We are nearly done, after what is likely to be a long day today. Please continue to send up your prayers.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

July 2 - Blogging GC'15

Marriage Work is Complete

The work on marriage at GC'15 is now complete, as of late yesterday afternoon.

All parts of the three-part bundle of marriage resolutions were passed, with slight amendments, by the House of Bishops, with the House of Deputies concurring without further amendment. Here are the three resolutions in their final form:
  1. A037 - Continue the Work of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage
  2. A054 - Adopt Resources and Rites from "Liturgical Resources I: I will bless you and you will be a blessing, Revised and Expanded 2015
  3. A036 - Amend Canon I.18 Marriage
I summarized the effect of these three resolutions on June 25, and I'll be even more brief here:

The blessings rite for same-sex couples authorized at GC'12 is authorized for another three years, and two new marriage rites are authorized for fully shared use, so that different-sex and same-sex couples can use the same marriage rites. Diocesan bishops retain authority to permit or forbid use of those rites in their dioceses, but if they forbid use of the marriage rites, they must allow their use by the couple and/or their priest in a neighboring diocese. Furthermore, no one will be required to perform these rites in any specific case. The marriage canon, Canon I.18, has been changed so that it is consistent with same-sex marriage. Finally, the marriage task force will continue. Some members will serve again for continuity, but a few total seats will be added so that a greater representation of the spectrum of understandings of marriage in our Church can be incorporated.

The votes taken by the House of Deputies were taken by Orders (explained below) yesterday, as follows -- note that the votes represented here count deputations (clergy & lay), not individual deputies:

Vote on A054: Liturgies

Vote on A036: Canon

Vote sheet for DSO on A036

In a vote by Orders, every deputy must sign their name by their vote, and these are a matter of record. A motion must pass both in a majority of clergy deputations and in a majority of lay deputations -- but to pass in a clergy or lay deputation, 3 of the 4 deputies must vote in favor. So calling for a vote by Orders in effect makes it harder for a motion to pass.

You can see from the votes, however, that both A054 and A036 passed by large margins.

Finally, here are some other resources for learning about the new marriage situation in The Episcopal Church.

DSO videos of reflections by Bishop Breidenthal

Episcopal News Service story

House of Deputies News story

Associated Press news note

Summary of SCOTUS decision in Center Aisle

We have two more "legislative days" remaining. We are so grateful for your prayers thus far. Please continue to pray for us.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 1 -- Blogging GC'15

Updates at bottom 

A Note about Focus

There are many things going on during this 78th General Convention that I am not mentioning. I am focusing almost exclusively on the legislative activity related to marriage, with reflections on the election of our next Presiding Bishop here

Busy Day Ahead

Yesterday we had a bit of a mess up, when it became clear that the structure resolutions and the following items on the calendar for consideration were not available to Spanish-speaking deputies in translation. So we recessed earlier than planned.

Today therefore we are scheduled to deal with three major items of business:
  1. 11:15 a.m. Mountain Time: structure (meaning institutional governance structures), 
  2. 2:15 p.m. Mountain Time: budget (a presentation, not the vote), and 
  3. 3:45 p.m. Mountain Time: marriage (A036 & A054)
Optimistically, this means we could get a lot done today.

For fun, I took some photos on my run this morning so that I could share them here.

Some Photos from a Run Up the Hill

I decided to run up to the Utah State Capitol and continued on up the hill to see what I could find.

An LDS building across from the Temple complex

The Utah state capitol building

A chapel in the park at the bottom of Canyon Creek Road

The view (1) from "The View" lookout, above the capitol

The view (2) from "The View" lookout, above the capitol

Another view of the state capitol building

A final view of the state capitol building

Especially today, please keep us in your prayers.


UPDATE:  The HoD is considering in order the following resolutions: A004, A006, D013, A133, A054, and A036. We have adopted the first two, so there are two more to go before we reach the two marriage resolutions (A054 & A036). We meet 2:15-3:15 for a join HoD + HoB session for the presentation of the proposed budget. Then, after a shorter than originally scheduled break, we begin again at 3:30 p.m. Mountain Time. It is impossible to know exactly when discussion of the marriage resolutions will begin. My hunch would be about 4:00 p.m., possibly a bit before or after that.

UPDATE 2: Both A054 and A036 passed in the House of Deputies, on votes by Orders. Details in the morning, on tomorrow morning's blog post.

July 1 quick note RE marriage resolutions -- Blogging GC'15

Remaining Marriage Resolutions: A036 & A054

It appears at this writing (5am July 1) that the discussion of the remaining marriage resolutions (A036 and A054) will be moved back.

The House of Deputies will resume the discussion of the structure resolutions at 11:30 a.m.

At 2:15 p.m. we will have the joint HoB & HoD session to receive the report of PB&F on the budget.

Then, possibly, the discussion of A036 and A054 scheduled for 11:30 a.m. will take place beginning at 3:45 p.m. (Mountain Time).

I will post updates here when they are available.


UPDATE 7:45 a.m.:
Here is a tweet from HoD News / @DeputyNews

"HoD today: Finish yesterday's structure debate in 11:15 am session, joint budget session at 2:15 pm, marriage in 3:45 pm session. "

Reminder: This is all Mountain Time. So 3:45 p.m. in UT is 5:45 p.m. in OH.