Convention and Consents
  • Sunday, July 8, 2012

By Lauren Anderson

The House of Deputies approved Resolution A157, which eliminates a constitutional requirement that any bishop elected within 120 days of General Convention must obtain consent from a majority of deputies.

The election of a bishop ordinarily requires the consent of a majority of the standing committees of all the dioceses and the majority of the bishops in the Episcopal Church. The 120-day provision shifted the standing committees’ responsibility to the House of Deputies at Convention.

Christopher Hart of Pennsylvania said deputies should not give up the privilege because the House does a better job than the standing committees of learning about and welcoming the new bishops.

The Rev. Bonnie Perry of Chicago also spoke against eliminating the provision because the current process allows the entire House of Deputies to meet the bishop-elect in person at convention. Perry added that meeting a bishop through the web can be superficial.

“When we are able to meet people, spend time, and have a conversation, it’s in that incarnational reality that we learn most about people,” Perry said.

Michael Wood of New York supported eliminating the provision, saying there should be a uniform process for the approval of all bishops and that it should be left to standing committees.

“When there is real controversy, the standing committees have no lack of opinions on what they should do,” he said.

Great Fifty Days: Meh

The House of Deputies voted against a resolution to encourage members of the Episcopal Church to engage in “weekly worship, prayer, Scripture study, tithing, and honoring the Sabbath” during the great fifty days of Easter.

Speaking against the resolution, The Rev. William Locke of the Diocese of Rhode Island said, “I’m not sure why we’re encouraging to pray fifty days of the year and not the rest.”

All Days Are Yours

The house voted down a resolution that would have designated September as “Lay Ministry Recognition Month” in the Episcopal Church.

“I love peanuts,” said the Rev. Michael Ambler of Maine. This month is national peanut month. … We will accomplish nothing to put lay people in the same category as peanuts.”

“We are a church of predominately laypeople, so every day of the year is lay ministry recognition month,” said the Hon. Byron Rushing of Massachusetts. “This speaks against our baptismal understanding of who the members of the church are. We are the church.”

Demurral on ESV

The house sent Resolution A061, which would add the Contemporary English Version (1995) and the Contemporary English Version Global (2005) to the list of authorized translations for use in lectionary readings, back to committee.

The house passed the resolution July 7 with an amendment to add the English Standard Version to the list, but reconsidered because the ESV uses the word homosexuality. The Very Rev. Earle King of the Diocese of New York moved to refer the resolution back to committee, saying it was a more appropriate setting to vet Bible translations.

Much Work Awaits

The house elected new representatives to the Disciplinary Board for Bishops:

Clergy: Angela F. Shepherd and Peggy E. Tuttle
Lay: A. Joseph Alarid and William J. Fleener, Jr.

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