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 Issues | Communion Divisions | ECUSA 2006 Gen Con

ECUSA General Convetion 2006

Some resolutions passed.

ECUSA was asked by the Primates of the Anglican Communion to turn back from the revisionist courst they have been steering by expressing their regret at the consecration of an openly homosexual man as Bishop and by agreeing not to take any more precipitate action along this line.

It was argued that the only body which could do this was the General Convention which meets every 3 years.    At the meeting in June 2006 various motions were passed but these fell well short of what was required of them.

A160 Expression of Regret
Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, that the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, mindful of “the repentance, forgiveness, and reconciliation enjoined on us by Christ” (Windsor Report, paragraph 134), express its regret for straining the bonds of affection in the events surrounding the General Convention of 2003 and the consequences which followed; offer its sincerest apology to those within our Anglican Communion who are offended by our failure to accord sufficient importance to the impact of our actions on our church and other parts of the Communion; and ask forgiveness as we seek to live into deeper levels of communion one with another.

Comment: It will be seen that Resolution A160 does not express regret for the consecration but only for straining the bonds of affection. In other words there is nothing here to indicate that the Convention thought the underlying action was wrong.

A161 Election of Bishops
Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church regrets the extent to which we have, by action and inaction, contributed to strains on communion and caused deep offense to many faithful Anglican Christians as we consented to the consecration of a bishop living openly in a same-gender union. Accordingly, we urge nominating committees, electing conventions, Standing Committees, and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise very considerable caution in the nomination, election, consent to, and consecration of bishops whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion.

Comment : Again this stops well short of the moratorium requested.

 

Resolutions indicating the continuing intent of ECUSA to promote immorality.

A167 "Full and Equal Claim" for All the Baptized
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church reaffirm that gay and lesbian persons are by Baptism full members of the Body of Christ and of The Episcopal Church as “children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance, and pastoral concern and care of the Church” (GC 1976-A069); and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reiterate its apology “on behalf of The Episcopal Church to its members who are gay or lesbian, and to lesbians and gay men outside the Church, for years of rejection and maltreatment by the Church,” and recommit to “seek amendment of our life together as we ask God’s help in sharing the Good News with all people” (GC1997-D011); and be it further
Resolved, That, in evidence of that apology, The Episcopal Church pledge to include openly gay and lesbian persons on every committee, commission or task force developed for the specific purpose of discussing issues about sexuality and request the same of our sister churches in the Anglican Communion and Anglican Communion bodies; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reiterate that “our baptism into Jesus Christ is inseparable from our communion with one another, and we commit ourselves to that communion despite our diversity of opinion and, among dioceses, a diversity of pastoral practice with the gay men and lesbians among us” (GC2003–C051).

A095 Gay and Lesbian Affirmation
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the Episcopal Church’s historical support of gay and lesbian persons as children of God and entitled to full civil rights; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention reaffirm the 71st General Convention’s action calling upon “municipal council, state legislatures and the United States Congress to approve measures giving gay and lesbian couples protection[s] such as: bereavement and family leave policies; health benefits; pension benefits; real-estate transfer tax benefits; and commitments to mutual support enjoyed by non-gay married couples”; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention oppose any state or federal constitutional amendment that prohibits same-sex civil marriage or civil unions.

Resolutions indicating ECUSA's abandonment of Scriptural authority.

D069 Supreme Authority of Scripture
The Convention was asked to pass the following:

Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That the 75th General Convention acknowledges that the Bible has always been at the centre of Anglican belief and life, and declares its belief that Scripture is the Church's supreme authority, and as such ought to be seen as a focus and means of unity.

However, this was rejected and instead they:
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention acknowledges the authority of the triune God, exercised through Scripture.

C001 - Anti-Jewish Prejudice in Liturgical Texts
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention direct the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to collect and develop materials to assist members of the Church to address anti-Jewish prejudice expressed in and stirred by portions of Christian scriptures and liturgical texts, with suggestions for preaching, congregational education, and lectionary use, and to report to the 76th General Convention.

Other resolutions of note

A129 : Affirm Creation and Evolution
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention affirm that God is Creator, in accordance with the witness of Scripture and the ancient Creeds of the Church; and be it further,
Resolved, That the theory of evolution provides a fruitful and unifying scientific explanation for the emergence of life on earth, that many theological interpretations of origins can readily embrace an evolutionary outlook, and that an acceptance of evolution is entirely compatible with an authentic and living Christian faith; and be it further
Resolved, That Episcopalians strongly encourage state legislatures and state and local boards of education to establish standards for science education based on the best available scientific knowledge as accepted by a consensus of the scientific community; and be it further
Resolved, That Episcopal dioceses and congregations seek the assistance of scientists and science educators in understanding what constitutes reliable scientific knowledge.

A165 Commitment to Windsor and Listening Processes
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention of The Episcopal Church commend the Windsor Report “as offering a way forward for the mutual life of our Communion” (Primates’ Communiqué), and as an essential and substantive contribution to the process of living into deeper levels of communion and interdependence across the Anglican Communion; and be it further Resolved, That the 75th General Convention commit The Episcopal Church to the ongoing “Windsor Process,” a process of discernment as to the nature and unity of the Church, as we pursue a common life of dialogue, listening, and growth, formed and informed by the bonds of communion we share ; and urge all members of this church to commit themselves to the call of greater communion and interdependent life; and be it further Resolved, that the 75th General Convention commend the “listening process” as recommended in the Windsor Report, “so that greater common understanding might be obtained on the underlying issue of same gender relationships” (Windsor Report, ¶135), and be it further Resolved, that the 75th General Convention gratefully acknowledge the practical steps taken by the Anglican Communion Office to begin a formal “listening process” across the Communion, and be it further Resolved, that the 75th General Convention commit this church to participating fully and openly in this “listening process,” both at the local level and with the rest of the Communion (ACC 13, Resolution 12) , and be it further Resolved, that a staff person at The Episcopal Church Center be identified to forward this listening process in coordination with the cognate person for the Communion and with our Communion partners.

A166 Anglican Covenant Development Process
Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 75th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, as a demonstration of our commitment to mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Anglican Communion, support the process of the development of an Anglican Covenant that underscores our unity in faith, order, and common life in the service of God’s mission; and be it further
Resolved, That the 75th General Convention direct the International Concerns Standing Committee of the Executive Council and the Episcopal Church’s members of the Anglican Consultative Council to follow the development processes of an Anglican Covenant in the Communion, and report regularly to the Executive Council as well as to the 76th General Convention; and be it further Resolved, That the 75th General Convention report these actions supporting the Anglican Covenant development process, noting such missiological and theological resources as the Standing Commission on World Mission and the House of Bishops’ Theology Committee to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Joint Standing Committee of the Anglican Consultative Council and the Primates, and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion; and that the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church report the same to the Primates of the churches of the Anglican Communion.


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