How does it affect the Episcopal Church in Delaware?
by Cynde A. Bimbi
Chances are you know the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church is taking place right now in Austin, Texas. Some of you diligently follow the news from our General Convention via Twitter, Facebook, or following live feeds. But many probably do not and may not realize the effect the process at the general convention could have on our own diocese. Perhaps a new prayer book in our pew and/or marriage rites for the whole church could be generated from this convention.
While there are entertaining images and videos that are coming from Austin (see Bishop Brown having fun in the below video), there is much business to tend to for our Delaware deputation (four clergy and four lay, plus alternates) as well as for our bishop. They work hard representing our diocese and spend many long hours and days furthering the mission of our church and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This convention could be a record-breaking year for the number of resolutions that have been filed, as 443 were set for discussion on the opening day. Each resolution must be dealt with by the House of Deputies as well as the House of Bishops. On the morning of July 8th, 417 resolutions were “incomplete”, meaning that the House of Deputies has not acted on them.
Two resolutions that are hot topics for the 79th General Convention include a Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer (A068) and Marriage Rites for the Whole Church (B012). Both resolutions passed the House of Deputies and are now headed to the House of Bishops. Each deputation votes by order. Both houses (deputies and bishops) must pass the same resolution for it be adopted by General Convention.
A few other resolutions that have seen action concern Israel-Palestine. D019, Ending Church Complicity in the Occupation, was voted on, today, July 9 by the House of Deputies and passed by an overwhelming majority. Other Middle East resolutions were approved without discussion on July 8: Aid to Palestinian Refugees (B021), and The Status of Jerusalem (B003) which reaffirms the church’s stance that Jerusalem should be a shared holy city and refers to the Trump administration’s relocation of the U.S. embassy as an “obstacle to peace”. More resolutions on these topics are scheduled for July 10, but the chair of the deputies’ Social Justice and International Policy Committee, Sarah Lawton, said that D019 would most likely generate the most controversy and perhaps extended debate.
The House of Deputies also passed Resolution A005, recommending $5.8 million for church planting in the next triennium, $1 million less than the original resolution.
For a complete list of all resolutions, click here. For more details on General Convention and to follow posts from our deputation click here.
So, that is just a small bit of business that has taken place this past week at our General Convention, but certainly could make a difference in our church in the Episcopal Church in Delaware.