House of Bishops – Day Five – Monday

A very long day Monday working on our statement to the wider Communion. There was a glitch in communications somehow and, even though our agenda had always said that we would not finish our work until the formal business session on Tuesday, the Joint Standing Committee of the Primates and ACC who are continuing to meet here separately for their regular meeting wanted something yesterday. I argued against changing our process because we do not do our best work under pressure, but the Presiding Bishop was able to give them a sense of where we are heading and I think they appreciated that.

We are now working on two statements — a short, pithy one to answer the specific questions we have been asked to address by the Primates and Joint Standing Committee, and a longer one to contextualize that response and speak to the rest of our experience here in New Orleans. Time is short to get all that done and the writing team has been working night and day with our input and suggested revisions/refinements to the text.

We have most of today (Tuesday) to get this done and I have hope that we will indeed complete our work. It’s a very difficult task, given the diversity of this House, but that very diversity is part of the richness of the Episcopal Church and, at least historically, Anglicanism.

Wish I had time to respond to the many responses (and challenges!) to my posting on Sunday. But, my primary responsibility is to be an active member of this House and not a full-time blogger so I’ll have to demure on that! I invite my readers and corresponders to continue their prayers for me, my colleagues, and our work.

6 Responses to “House of Bishops – Day Five – Monday”

  1. Sarah Dylan Breuer Says:

    Prayers ascending!

  2. Reverend boy Says:


  3. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i just read many of those comments on Sunday. people are clearly deeply confused. the utter failure of the House of Bishops to speak effectively against Spong and Pike before him is coming home to roost. the fears are fears that the church will stop preaching Jesus! how could we come to such a pass?

    answer: because bishops are afraid to teach. the call from so many of those comments pleading for bishops who will lead is palpable, and never mind beyond that. i want a bishop who will lead, by clearly and forthrightly doing what he or she believes to be right and then standing up for what he has done and taking responsibility for it in his or her own life.

    that means no more “i stand with you” to anyone being fed to the dogs, but rather, the honest, “i am feeding you to the dogs in order that we may receive such-and-such a benefit.” and it means no more, “oh, you can be a Christian and a Muslim at once, how exciting!” it means no more “the rubrics don’t really apply to me.”

    it means doing to others only what one wants done to oneself, hence my entirely serious proposal that the house of bishops declare a moratorium on the ordination of all sexually active persons to the episcopate. what a refreshing decision that would be. what a clear statement that would be that the bishops do not regard heterosexuals as being more important than the rest of us. what a tremendous reach-out that would be to the historic practice of the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

    but, of course, it will never happen, because whatever acceptance of gay people occurs will never occur in such a way as to disturb the power or privilege of straight people. and if that stings, so be it, it should. now imagine it being your daily experience, to be stung by such, and then have the pastors of the church turn a blind eye to the stinging.

  4. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    another radical proposal

    the bishops respond by saying, “i’m sorry, we’re just the House of Bishops. it is the Executive Council which speaks for the church, and it already has. good day.”

    but that would seem like “not fixing things”. perhaps the job of the bishops is not to save the church.

  5. ecubishop Says:

    My experience is that people want bishops to “lead” as long as we lead in the way they want us to.

    As a matter of fact, the Episcopal Church is “episcopally led and synodically governed.”

    Whatever we do this afternoon, as we draw this meeting to a close, will reflect that polity.

  6. thomas bushnell, bsg Says:

    i’m actually pretty ok with bishops not doing what i want. i got over that one a long long time ago.

    but what i have trouble getting over is bishops saying “i’m doing X” while actually doing Y, or worse yet, saying things like “doing X is bad and nobody should do it” at the same time as doing X.

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