Thursday, July 16, 2009

Like a snowball rolling downhill

D025 is now joined by C056 as a landmark resolution of GC. As far as I can tell, this is the resolution agreed to by 104-30 votes (2 abstentions) in the House of Bishops, cited from Stand Firm:

"Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge the changing circumstances in the United States and in other nations, as legislation authorizing or forbidding marriage, civil unions or domestic partnerships for gay and lesbian persons is passed in various civil jurisdictions that call forth a renewed pastoral response from this Church, and for an open process for the consideration of theological and liturgical resources for the blessing of same gender relationships; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consultation with the House of Bishops, collect and develop theological, and liturgical resources and report to the 77th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music, in consulation with the House of Bishops, devise an open process for the conduct of its work inviting participation from provinces, dioceses, congregations, and individuals who are engaged in such theological work, and inviting theological reflection from throughout the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops, particularly those in dioceses within civil jurisdictions where same-gender marriage, civil unions, or domestic partnerships are legal, may provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention honor the theological diversity of this Church in regard to matters of human sexuality; and be it further

Resolved, That the members of this Church be encouraged to engage in this effort."

Is it a problem that no limits are put on "theological diversity"?

Why is the vote in the House of Bishops on this matter more decisive than for D025?

Is the church in any sense compelled to create new liturgies to follow a country's revision of its civil laws pertaining to relationships?


Anonymous said...

Typo:that should read "a country's revision"
and the answer to your question is no.

I hope that TEC in its collation of liturgical resources will take note of your province's rite which can be found on at least one of your official diocesan websites, your province being the first in the Anglican Communion to formally allow such a blessing of same gender relationships through your General Synod's passing of your Worship Template.

Were you at that General Synod, or were you absent for that one also?

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
Thanks for the correction.
I should be surprised if TEC does not take note of the rite. I won't be much of a guide for their discovery, never having found it myself!
I am hazy in my memory of which General Synods I was at in connection with the Template. But I don't think it's proponents made it clear to us that we might be approving liturgies lurking out of site on websites! We thought we were approving flexibility for Sunday worship. My understanding is that a later clarification of General Synod limited the ability of people to rely on our Template for legitimizing same sex blessings as authorized services of our church.

If I am wrong, you will no doubt put me right ...

Anonymous said...

The blessing of a relationship rite is a publication of your provincial Liturgical Commission
found at
under “for life events” (difficult eh!)
It was spearheaded by the same bishops of your province who produced your Worship Template (same site – “The New Template” – no mention of Sunday or the other things you fabricate) which was passed by your General Synod officially allowing the “Blessing of a Relationship” – first to do so in the Anglican Communion. The same bishops together published a paper setting out their diocesan position many years ago clearly in the same spirit of D025.
But then, as noted previously, it is much easier to point to “them” rather than to critique “us”.
It is of interest that you still have not highlighted TEC’s General Convention affirming the foundational Gospel proclamation that "Jesus is Lord" – but you appear to have a personal Google setting that enables you only to find things you agree with in ACANZP and disagree with in TEC.

Peter Carrell said...

Hi Anonymous
If you could point me to the site where the GC affirms Jesus is Lord I should be glad to point it out in a post. I have had a look or two at GC's resolutions page - there are so many it has not been obvious to me what is what. Your assistance would be appreciated.

All critiques of D025, including my own, have been around its impact or likely impact on the Communion as a united (or as good as we can do these days) communion. NZ's decision, rightly or wrong, do not appear to be of concern to the Communion at this time. My critique is not whether they are wrong and we are right, but whether this is a move which clarifies or not the likelihood of another gay bishop in TEC. I have tried to point to reputable American opinion-makers and shapers, such as Mark Harris, who support my contention (and that of others) that D025 is a game-changer. If you disagree with Mark Harris' assessment it would be good to have the grounds of that difference set out for me to reflect on.