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Today was a day for all of the legislative committees to meet and convene themselves for business. A surprising number of important resolutions were discussed in committees today, rather than being deferred to the last days of General Convention and a rush to judgment as in previous General Conventions. The American Anglican Council is seeking to monitor the progress of some 70 resolutions of concern/interest across all of the legislative committees. Below you will find a brief summary of action on some of those resolutions:
Pastoral Generosity in Extending Blessing of Civil Marriage to Same-Sex Couples: This resolution was referred by the committee to the chancellor of the House of Deputies for review of potential canonical problems.
Equipping the baptized for ministry: Still in committee discussion.
Interfaith Dialogue: Still in committee discussion.
Revision of Title IV - Ecclesiastical Discipline: Significant issues have been raised within the committee concerning the resolution's proposed removal of procedural safeguards and burdens of proof in clergy discipline processes.
Allocate $5 million to help raise $250 million for TEC program budget: The resolution was unanimously supported by the committee and sent to the House of Bishops. The House of Bishops also adopted the resolution unanimiously. It now awaits passage by the House of Deputies.
Proposes increasing diocesan assessment by 1% each year in order to provide $5 million for A069: The resolution was discharged which means that the $5 million for A069 must come from another source.
Adding gender identity and expression as protected categories for purposes of ordination: Still in committee discussion.
Litigation expense disclosure: After lively discussion, the committee voted to refer this resolution to the Standing Committee on Stewardship for further study. That committee will report back to General Convention in 2012.
Revision of Theology of Marriage: Still in committee discussion.
It would be fair to say that bishops, deputies and alternates are all trying to find their stride in the complex rhythms of this Convention-which House of Deputies President, Bonnie Anderson, described as the largest bi-cameral legislative body in the world. It is also fair to say that the voices testifying in regards to these resolutions are overwhelmingly in lock step with Presiding Bishop Jefferts Schori and the leadership of both the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.
In the face of an overwhelming number of resolutions which depart from Biblical norms and Anglican Communion teaching, orthodox Episcopalians are finding a place to worship, rest, and pray at our daily Holy Eucharist and legislative briefings. Many of these brothers and sisters are deputies at General Convention and will need our continued support and prayers for the days ahead.