For reasons unknown to me, WordPress deleted the final paragraphs of my post on GCIndy#3. So here they are:
In between the rather frustrating legislative moments a mentioned in the earlier post, we had a fine Liturgy with a sermon by House of Deputies’ Presiding Bonnie Anderson. I then testified on behalf of a Diocese of Chicago sponsored resolution on peace in the Middle East. The legislative committee on Internation Concerns has a half dozen or so resolutions which they must consider and probably will conflate into something most all of us can support.
My concern is that the final product will not be strong enough in articulating the plight of our Palestinian Christian brothers and sisters in this stalemated “peace process”. However, we will most surely re-assert our support for a two-state solution, a return to the 1967 borders, and decry Israeli settlements which continue to be constructed to change the “facts on the ground” on what was traditionally seen as Palestinian land.
The House of Bishops then spent some time in private conversation requested by the provisional bishops of Quincy and Ft. Worth about just what The Episcopal Church means by being a “hierarchical church.” This is prompted by court cases seeking to reclaim church properties occupied by breakaway, so-called “Anglican” churches. Everyone agrees that while “individuals may leave the Episcopal Church, congregations and dioceses may not.” But the whole question of diocesan autonomy and what power the “national church” with its Presiding Bishop, Constitution and Canons have over diocesan bishops and their own Conventions is more complex than it at first appears. We will continue the discussion this afternoon, but likely not resolve this issue at this Convention.
In the meantime, the House of Deputies authorized the Executive Council to see our Church Center headquarters (815 Second Avenue) in New York and look for a more suitable location. It will be interesting to see if the bishops will agree to abandon this East coast, establishment icon and really look to do something different.
I think we might!