House of Bishops – Day Two

Another difficult day. We listened to passionate testimonies from members of the Anglican Consultative Council and several Primates of  the Anglican Communion.  Clearly,  they want more from us than General Convention has said.  We will  certainly not — and cannot — usurp the prerogatives of our synodical form of government including bishops, priests, deacons, and the laity making decisions together.

On the other hand, there are — in our checks and balances system — specific responsibilities given to bishops, as well as to the other orders of ministry. We can give or withhold consent to episcopal ordinations. We can authorize, or refuse to authorize, specific liturgies in our dioceses. We can cooperate, or refuse to cooperate, with “delegated episcopal oversight” in our dioceses. These are among the decisions we will have to make.

After thanking the Archbishop of Canterbury and our other visitors on the floor of the House this morning, I also thanked the House of Bishops Planning Committee for the schedule. Today was not a day to craft a “Mind of the House Resolution” on these matters. Many of us were too angry.
But now we have the weekend to “take a deep breath.” We hang dry wall and paint houses tomorrow. We worship with the people of Louisiana and Mississippi on Sunday.

Monday, the harder work starts…

6 Responses to “House of Bishops – Day Two”

  1. Ann Says:

    Prayers all around.

  2. ecubishop Says:

    Thanks, Ann.

  3. rwk Says:

    Too much prayer is never a possibility.

  4. Randall Stewart Says:

    Bishop Epting:

    I am nothing more than a conservative layman. Thank you for posting your thoughts.

    If I may say, though, I have grown tired of synodical arguments. Leaving the presenting issue, think of the practice of communing the unbaptized. It is against the canons, yet in my own parish the practice was foisted on us with no congregational discussion. My appeals to the clergy were met with a polite but firm “everyone else is doing it” response. The bishop has presided at the Eucharist since.

    Is this synodical government?

    Randall Stewart

  5. ecubishop Says:


    I agree with much of what you say here. While I have some visceral sympathy with communing the unbaptized, it is an ecumenical nightmare and absolutely contrary to our canon law.

    If your appeals to the clergy were met as you describe, the answer simply won’t do!

  6. Susan Says:

    Prayers ascending for you all in this important work and witness.

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