Yesterday was so exciting, I didn’t even blog. Most of you already know that the House of Bishops approved A049, Provisional Use of a Rite for Same Sex Blessings. The Committee on Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music rewrote the original resolution and amended it in its session yesterday morning, adding language that makes it clear that clergy and bishops who cannot, in good conscience agree to these blessings, cannot be punished under canon law for refusing to officiate.
I would urge all of you to see this as a measure of inclusion and equality. We have not approved a marriage rite but we are saying to our gay and lesbian parishioners – and those who have turned away from the Church, feeling that the Church has turned them away – that we acknowledge the faithful love of two people of the same sex. At the same time, there is no attempt here to exclude those in the Church who do not approve of same sex blessing. I hope that all of you will plan to attend the post-Convention meeting at St. Christopher’s on August 15 to hear from deputies and Bishop Young on this and many other matters approved by this Convention.
In other news of the day, we passed two resolutions about supporting our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ and added language to the Canons that disallows discrimination against transgendered persons. A transgendered priest from Oregon spoke eloquently to these two resolutions.
The big snafu yesterday had to do with the translation of resolutions into Spanish. Several resolutions have been heavily amended/completely changed in committee. There is often not enough time to get the translations out quickly. Lest you think this affects only a few people, you would be surprised at the numbers of Spanish speakers in the room.
In fact, I have to say this is perhaps the most diverse group of Deputies I have served with. I believe about 40% of the House is women and there are a good number of African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans represented as well. Many dioceses, including ours, have deputies and alternates who are under 40. Remembering my first General Convention in 1985 where almost all of the Deputies were white men - most all of them retired - I am quite pleased to see the change.
And now I must head back to the floor for our afternoon session. I am sorry I didn't get this out last night; however, I was under the weather (sinuses) and went to bed very early. You are always in my prayers as I trust I am in yours.
May God continue to bless us all and show us the way.