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Monday, July 13, 2009

Regarding blessings

This morning (7:30am) the Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Music Committee met for an hour and a half on nothing but the blessing resolution. As yet, I have not been able to obtain a copy of the corrected text. Going by what I heard aloud, the first resolve is a reworking of our C056 first resolve. Their third resolve is very much like our "conscience" clause. However, other things have been mixed in, and I need the text to be able to report to you clearly and without misstatements.

The resolution will bear the number C056, but will be called the substitute resolution C056. The revision is now on the legislation site, but I have not had time to study the details.

The Committee passed whatever version of it as their secretary recorded. It goes to the House of Bishops first. They are beginning a meeting right now, and I am going to that meeting to see if the resolution comes up for discussion and vote.

More details later.




    At the moment, the House of Bishops is meeting, but in closed session. All observers are being held in the lobby. The closed session was to be only one-half hour, but is now running longer.

    John Speller is here with me, and one or the other of us will continue to keep you abreast of developments.


  2. Don and all,
    I wanted to post a comment just to let you know I have been following, and thank you very much!

    Bill Sanders
    Advent, Crestwood


    At 3:50 local the House of Bishops began to discuss D025. Bishop Wolfe gave a summary of why the 5 bishops recommended as they did, and then the full house went to 20 minutes of discussion at their tables, in essence calling a recess for the rest of us. Presumably D025 will come to a vote of the full house before this session ends at 6pm local.

    As yet, C056 (blessings) has not been mentioned.

  4. Amended version passes HoB 99 in favor, 45 opposed, 2 abstentions, and now returns to the HoD.

    The HoB debate was live blogged on twitter.

    Media briefing is on live now,

  5. Somebody handed me a business-card sized message:
    "Forgive us our tweets as we forgive those who tweet against us."

  6. I started a post on the finalities of the day. Then I pushed some key and it all disappeared. So here goes again. This report comes a little on the late side because the West Missouri deputation invited our deputation to a lovely cocktail hour immediately on the close of the legislative sessions.

    Beth has already posted the vote in the House of Bishops on D025. The amendments were 1) a technical one of rephrasing in the first resolve, and then 2) one of more substance in the next-to-last resolve. At first they took out the entire first clause and replaced it with something about God's call being a mystery, which of course it is. And then a second amendment put back in the original clause, but left in the wording about a mystery. We do not yet have the details of this text, but it will probably be posted by tomorrow morning.

    The vote was by roll-call. Bishop Smith voted for the resolution. The discussion, debate, and voting took approximately two and a half hours. There were numerous retired bishops present, who are still accorded the vote, though a proposal has been made to give them only seat and voice, not the vote, in the future.

    Beth is right that it goes back to the Deputies. It should not have too much of a struggle, but some opponents might use this opportunity to drag things out by making even more amendments.

    C056 on blessings was passed out of committee early this morning. It has not yet been brought up in the House of Bishops. I'll be watching there tomorrow. It retains "our" numbering, C056, and therefore has Diocese of Missouri at the top. But it is an almost completely substitutionary resolution.

    At present the main issue is whether "generous pastoral response" to the needs of church members - translate: allow same-gender blessings - for all bishops of the church or only for those in areas where marriage or union is a legal option for same-gender couples. The latter is the view of Bishop Parsley who wrote a minority report. I read it as the former.

    At the last minute, they stuck in "domestic partner". I hope that doesn't create another bottleneck. Many uses of "domestic partner" involve opposite-gender couples co-habiting without benefit of marriage, not just same-gender couples. At this point, if somebody argues about that, it will just muddy the waters even further.

    The House of Deputies has passed the resolution (or is there more than one?) on gender identity and gender expression, applying only to the discernment process. Now, don't trust me entirely here because I'm reporting what I think other folks told me.

    It was announced that the Deputies had passed and sent to the Bishops all four items on the Title IV revision. This is the discipline section of the Canons. Reportedly, the bishops are to discuss this tomorrow.



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