Thursday, July 16, 2009

Alan Scarfe (Iowa) on Monday at General Convention--An exhausting day

The exhaustion is more than physical. It is spiritual and emotional. The Holy Spirit’s presence is tangible, and I tend to be a weeper when that happens.

The House of Bishops afternoon session offered no relief. Before us was the resolution D-025, which the House of Deputies had passed late on Sunday afternoon. Some saw this as a repudiation of the B-033 resolution of last minute infamy or fame at GC 2006. Rather it was an opportunity to state clearly but gently who we are as The Episcopal Church in our recognition that God may call any one of us baptized to ordained ministry and that for each of us it is indeed a mystery. By implication some will claim that we rolled back B033. I believe that resolution remains in our consciousness and present in our common life until we act otherwise. The impact on the wider Communion remains a relevant issue to most of us, and as one bishop said – B033 remains in place until we consecrate another Bishop that would appear to repudiate it.

The conversation around D-025 lasted two and a half hours. The tenor was respectful and mindful that we are not of a common mind. The relationship with the Communion partners was always in our minds, but so was the importance of being able to be transparent as to who we believe God calls us to be in the context of our mission and baptized membership. The vote of 98 to 25 probably shocked some. I was left once again deeply moved. Twice in one day and at such a magnitude was too much. And there’s almost a whole week remaining.

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