All Saints Pasadena – Voices of Columbus

June 24, 2006

Open Letter from Gene Robinson after General Convention 06

Filed under: General Announcements — by Moderator @ 10:24 pm

Rt Rev Gene RobinsonJune 24, 2006

An Open Letter to my Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

From V. Gene Robinson, Bishop in the Church of God in a blessed place called New Hampshire:
Many of you have been writing to me, in the aftermath of General Convention, to ask what I am thinking, now that the Convention has called upon the Church to deny consent to the consecration of partnered people as bishops.  Frankly, like all of you, my thinking is all over the map.  But here is where I am, only a few days later.

First, let’s give ourselves some time to recover.  In the first few moments of having the breath knocked out of us, we struggle just to breathe, unable to think about much of anything other than getting some oxygen back into our lungs.  We have been dealt a blow that has knocked the wind out of us.  Let’s be kind to ourselves, breathe a little, before we try to move on.  Nothing has to be decided or done in the next few hours or days.  Let’s catch our breath, remembering that breath is a powerful image of the Holy Spirit in the Old and New Testaments.  Let’s allow ourselves to be re-infused with that Holy Spirit which has never abandoned us, no matter what the Church does or doesn’t do.

Let’s remember what DID happen at the General Convention.  Faithful gay and lesbian Episcopalians showed up and witnessed to the power of Almighty God working in and through their lives.  You would have been SO PROUD of Integrity, Claiming the Blessing, the Episcopal Women’s Caucus, The Witness, and countless other groups speaking on our behalf.  Susan Russell, Michael Hopkins, Carol Cole Flanagan, Elizabeth Kaeton, Bonnie Perry and others too numerous to mention put their hearts, souls and every waking moment into representing ALL of us so very well and so faithfully.  We owe them such a great debt.  Faithful gay and lesbian Episcopalians were EVERYWHERE, witnessing to God’s saving grace in their lives – being so joyful and filled with God’s Spirit, there was no denying God’s love in their lives.

We gathered at Trinity Church to celebrate the eucharist as the people of God.  Not only were the nave and balconies filled, but the basement and sacristy as well, with gay and straight alike proclaiming God’s love for ALL of God’s children.  It was a glimpse of heaven, and of the Church as it ought to be.  Let’s not forget that we have been given a foretaste of the heavenly banquet where the marginalized are given an honored seat at the table.

The Episcopal Church declared its opposition to any constitutional amendment – federal or state – which would short circuit gay and lesbian couples seeking the civil right of having their relationships legally acknowledged.

On Sunday, we elected a Presiding Bishop who is committed to the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people into the life and work and leadership of this Church.  The Spirit was palpable, once again in Trinity Church, as the election balloting unfolded before our very eyes, pushing forward to the election of the first woman as Primate and Presiding Bishop.  If indeed, as I have often said, this fight is really about the end of patriarchy, then that patriarchy was dealt an awesome blow in +Katharine’s election.  When the primates next meet, it will be a new day, and at the table will be a representative of the world’s majority – women – incarnate in our primate.  Thanks be to God for that!  You go, girl!

To our joy, the House of Deputies refused to give in to threats from within and without our Church, and decisively rejected the call to withhold consent from partnered people elected to the Episcopate.  We thought that was the end of it.  But alas, it was not. (more…)

June 22, 2006

A Statement of Conscience

Filed under: General Announcements — by Jeff @ 10:35 am

Posted at the Episcopal Diocese of Washington's site.

We, the undersigned Bishops of this 75th General Convention, in the
confidence of the Gospel and out of love for this great Church, must
prayerfully dissent from the action of this Convention in Resolution
B033 (on Election of Bishops). We do so for the following reasons:

*  The process used to arrive at Resolution B033 raises serious concerns
about the integrity of our decision-making process as a Church. In
particular we note that we discussed a resolution, A162 , on Tuesday,
but were never given an opportunity to act upon it. Instead, we were
presented with a different resolution this morning, and were given only
30 minutes for debate and discussion. This resolution bears great
consequences both for the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal Church
and unfortunately was not adequately discussed.

*  Our conversation has been framed in a flawed paradigm, forcing us to
choose between two goods-the full inclusion in the life of the Church of
our brother and sister Christians who happen to be gay or lesbian and
our full inclusion in the life of our beloved Communion.

*  The process that brought about the reconsideration of this matter
failed to honor the integrity of the House of Deputies by bringing undue
pressure to bear on that body.

They saved the worst ’til last…

Filed under: Louise's Posts — by Moderator @ 9:29 am

Louise BrooksTv commercials taut a slogan about Las Vegas (the home of our Presiding Bishop Elect Katharine Jefferts Schori)… “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” and wouldn’t it be great if that were also true about Columbus. Unfortunately, what happened in Columbus yesterday will have an effect around the world. The railroading through the House of Bishops and then the House of Deputies of B033 – of a moratorium on the ordination of bishops whose ‘manner of life’ might cause offence to the wider church was a shocking series of events.

Beginning the day before, the HOD (House of Deputies) overwhelmingly defeated Resolution A161, commonly known as the “moratoria” clause. My gay brothers and sisters in Integrity and their straight allies were a well-oiled machine on the HOD floor as they rose to speak against this resolution. It was amazing to watch how well orchestrated the loyal opposition was. And while it looked like an effortless process, we know from all the late-night and early morning strategizing, that it was the product of years of hard work. That night as we all celebrated this church we love so much, a handful of bishops met to rewrite A161 to be proposed in the HOB the next day.

The next morning began with +Schori’s first sermon since her election. “Jesus calls us all to be friends, not agents of fear,” she preached. For those who like short sermons, this one lasted only about 10 minutes. But it was all down hill after that. A161 was introduced to the HOB as B033. While there was some language about engaging in reconciliation and a listening process, the basis of the resolution was to agree to a moratorium on the ordination of bishops whose ‘manner of life’ might cause offence to the wider church.

“This is stupid”, grumbled +Jon Bruno (who the LA Times claims voted for it). Bishop Mike Curry of North Carolina rose and gave an eloquent dissent. Bishops Chane and Andrus tried to propose an amendment. ++Griswold was furious. It was an incredible scene as he chastised his fellow bishops for wasting time. A flustered Andrus finally withdrew his amendment. Some called for a roll call vote. ++Griswold was once again furious. He did not want to waste time. Then he delivered his threat: If you do not pass this, we will not be invited to Lambeth in 2008. He denied that the Archbishop of Canterbury had specifically make that threat, but made it clear that he felt that was the case. Fear was rampant. ++Griswold had clearly become an agent of fear. Then +Schori rose and gave her ludricious “conjoined twins” analogy. (Ask Ed to speak about this at the upcoming forum on Sunday.)   It was the capper, or closer. The vote was taken. It passed. Railroaded through the HOB on a locomotive of FEAR. “Jesus calls us all to be friends, not agents of fear.” (more…)

Ed’s Response to General Convention Wednesday

Filed under: Ed's Posts — by Jeff @ 6:31 am

Rev. Ed BaconDear friends:The actions of yesterday’s General Convention in passing a resolution which calls for restraint in consenting to the election of gay and lesbian bishops troubles me deeply for many reasons.

The deepest reason is that it singles out one category of humanity for discriminatory treatment – a violation of the most basic Christian principles and values and antithetical to the teachings and life of Jesus.

Into the minds of those who have fragile relationships with a church they thought was courageously inclusive, it invites reasonable doubts about how authentically supportive the institutional Episcopal church is of the ordination of Gene Robinson three years ago; is the church reversing itself or to quote the Presiding Bishop, "is it taking a step back in order to take a step forward"? For this observer of how the resolution was strong-armed through both legislative houses it raises grave concerns about the effectiveness of the leadership of our church to promote justice for all in the face of phenomenally strong forces of anxious and exclusionary conservatism as well as that of unadorned fear. It was the unimaginative refusal to decline the seductive trap of unhealthy roles of "critical parent – compliant/rebellious child" in order to say with love, grace, and maturity, "We will remain in interdependent, respectful, affectionate, and listening relationship with the Anglican Communion while continuing to obey the guidance of God’s Spirit to minister to all without discrimination." It was heartbreaking to watch it all up close. It will take years for the church to heal from yesterday's actions.

Yesterday's appalling set of events now forms part of our new context for ministry at All Saints. What counts now more than ever is our response.

We will not cower or waiver from our mission of healing, inclusion, justice, and peace.

At All Saints we will continue to express those ministries by the help of God with love, joy and grace. We will continue to encourage those beyond our membership who are discouraged by this General Convention action through the ministry of "Claiming the Blessing." We will continue our work to bring an end to genocide, torture, the war against Iraq, the death penalty, economic justice, and dehumanizing immigration practices. And we will carry all this forward, resourced by prayer and discernment, transformatively beautiful worship, community spirit, and teaching our brother Jesus’ vision of the human race transformed into the human family.

I am flying home today with great anticipation. I am eager to see each of you in church Sunday if not before. And in the Rector’s forum Sunday at 10:15, Lydia Lopez, Christine Mackey-Mason, Susan Russell, Jim White, and I will give a fuller report.

Much love,


June 21, 2006

Statement from Lambeth Palace

Filed under: Official Convention Publications — by Jeff @ 3:12 pm

Rowan, Archibishop of CanterburyArchbishop's statement at the conclusion of deliberations on the Windsor Report and the Anglican Communion at the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church of the United States of America

Wednesday 21st June 2006

“I am grateful to the Bishops and Deputies of the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church (USA) for the exceptional seriousness with which they have responded to the request of the Primates of the Anglican Communion that they should address the recommendations of the Windsor Report relating to the tensions arising from the decisions associated with the 74th General Convention in 2003.

“ There is much to appreciate in the hard and devoted work done by General Convention, and before that, by the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, in crafting the resolutions. This and the actions taken today show how strong is their concern to seek reconciliation and conversation with the rest of the Communion.

“ It is not yet clear how far the resolutions passed this week and today represent the adoption by the Episcopal Church of all the proposals set out in the Windsor Report. The wider Communion will therefore need to reflect carefully on the significance of what has been decided before we respond more fully. (more…)

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