A Report
from the Diocesan Deputation to General Convention

Minneapolis • Aug. 7 & 8, 2003


 

 

 

Greetings from Minneapolis

With Friday morning's news that the Most Rev. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury has called an "extraordinary meeting" of Anglican primates for mid-October, we turn hopefully homeward, despite the passage Thursday of Resolution C051. More about that below.


     

 

 

 

 

 

On Thursday morning, after consultation with Bishop Iker, the deputation agreed that one clergy member and one lay member would return to the House of Deputies. They were greeted warmly by members of other deputations, who had asked them to return to the floor in hopes of defeating Resolution C051, the compromise redrawn late Wednesday in the House of Bishops. Debate on the resolution was arranged to begin at 4 p.m. to encourage prompt action at the end of the day.

 

 
 
    Resolution C051
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 74th General Convention affirms the following:
  1. That our life together as a community of faith is grounded in the saving work of Jesus Christ and expressed in the principles of the Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral: Holy Scripture, the historic Creeds of the Church, the two dominical sacraments, and the historic episcopate.
  2. That we reaffirm Resolution A069 of the 65th General Convention (1976) that "homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church".
  3. That, in our understanding of homosexual persons, differences exist among us about how best to care pastorally for those who intend to live in monogamous, non-celibate unions; and what is, or should be, required, permitted, or prohibited by the doctrine, discipline, and worship of the Episcopal Church concerning the blessing of the same.
  4. That we reaffirm Resolution D039 of the 73rd General Convention (2000), that "We expect such relationships will be characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God", and that such relationships exist throughout the church.
  5. That we recognize that local faith communities are operating within the bounds of our common life as they explore and experience liturgies celebrating and blessing same-sex unions.
  6. That we commit ourselves, and call our church, in the spirit of Resolution A104 of the 70th General Convention (1991), to continued prayer, study, and discernment on the pastoral care of gay and lesbian persons, to include, the compilation and development, under the direction of the Presiding Bishop, of resources to facilitate as wide a conversation of discernment as possible throughout the church.
  7. That our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another, and we commit ourselves to that communion despite our diversity of opinion and, among dioceses, a diversity of pastoral practice with the gay men and lesbians among us.
  8. That it is a matter of faith that our Lord longs for our unity as his disciples, and for us this entails living within the boundaries of the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church. We believe this discipline expresses faithfulness to our polity and that it will facilitate the conversation we seek not only in the Episcopal Church, but also in the wider Anglican Communion and beyond.

     

Deputy Kendall Harmon of South Carolina read the Minority Report of the Prayer Book and Liturgy committee. The vote, taken "by orders," Went in favor of the resolution. At the suggestion of Fort Worth Deputy Judy Mayo, any member of the House who wished to do so was allowed to sign the minority report.

 
   

Overnight in the Anglican Communion, a number of new voices were heard to object. On Friday Morning, the call for a meeting of the primates was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury, whose official residence and office are located at Lambeth Palace.

     
   


Statement from Bishop Gregorio Venables,
Primate of the Southern Cone of South America

The Anglican Church of the Southern Cone deeply regrets the vote by ECUSA's General Convention to confirm the appointment of a bishop who is a practicing homosexual. Sadly this decision ignores the mind of the Anglican Communion as set out by the Lambeth Conference in 1998 in its Resolution 1.10. as well as the clearly expressed view of the Anglican Primates when they met in Brazil in May of this year. The Convention's vote is contrary to the clear teaching of Holy Scripture and the Anglican formularies about marriage. If the consecration of Canon Robinson proceeds, the Convention will be taking ECUSA outside the boundaries of the Anglican Communion. This will cause great distress not only in North America but also across the Anglican family world-wide. Conservative and orthodox Primates of the Communion will be meeting soon to consider what action to take. Dioceses and parishes in the United States who wish to remain loyal to the Anglican Communion will be also considering their position in the coming weeks. We offer them our support and prayers and call upon the wholenChurch to pray earnestly that God will have mercy on His church.


Statement from Archbishop Bernard Malango,
Primate of Central Africa

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen.

What is happening in New Westminster [British Columbia, Canada] as a diocese, is now happening with ECUSA and is impacting the entire Anglican Communion. They have been turning a blind eye and a deaf ear to all our pleas.

I am gratified that Archbishop Rowan Williams has called a Primates meeting for October to deal with this great crisis. We have been urging ECUSA not to depart from the Scriptures and the faith. It is not we who are breaking away from the Anglican Communion. It is they who are breaking away from us. The consequences will be very bad. We have received word of the tears of those like Bishop Keith Ackerman
who grieve over this decision and we share in their anguish. Jesus Christ will eventually wipe every tear away.

It is also important to say how grateful we are for the faith and courage of Bishop Robert Duncan and the other faithful bishops, clergy and lay Christians who have stood up so clearly for the Scriptures and the Faith. We remain in full communion with them.

Faithfully, Yours in Christ,

The Most Rev. Bernard Amos Malango
Archbishop and Primate of Central Africa

 

     
   

LAMBETH PALACE | 8 AUGUST 2003
Archbishop to convene primates meeting

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, is to convene an extraordinary meeting of the Primates of the Anglican Communion this autumn.
The meeting will take place in London in mid-October and it is expected that
invitations will be sent out in the next week.
Dr. Williams said that the effects of recent developments at the ECUSA General Convention were being felt throughout the Communion and there was a need for the Primates to meet to consider them.
" I am clear that the anxieties caused by recent developments have reached the point where we will need to sit down and discuss their consequences. I hope that in our deliberations we will find that there are ways forward in this situation which can preserve our respect for one another and for the bonds that unite us.
" I hope we can use the time between now and then to reflect, to pray, to consult and to take counsel."

     
   

 

     
    With appreciation for the hospitality of the people of Minneapolis, especially the members of Westminster Presbyterian Church and Central Lutheran Church, and hope for our future in the Body of Christ, we attended morning Eucharist on Friday and turned toward home.      
         
           
   
Click here to see Bishop Iker's Pastoral Letter,
to be read in every church in the diocese on Sunday, Aug. 10.
     
           
           

Click on a link to see previous reports

Report for Wednesday, July 30

Report for Thursday, July 31

Report for Friday, Aug. 1

Report for Saturday, Aug. 2

Report for Sunday, Aug. 3

Report for Monday, Aug. 4

Report for Tuesday, Aug. 5

Report for Wednesday, Aug. 6