Looking Ahead to General Convention 2006
February 8, 2006 revision
It's still too early to have a totally clear view as to what will be the key issues at the 2006 General Convention . The Convention will be held June 13-21, 2006 in
Deputy from CT, 1991, 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2006
Alternate Deputy from
Member of (national) Executive Council 2003-2009
Member of Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop, 2000-2006
May 25, 2006 comments
I have reviewed these issues and eliminated those that seem to have not materialized in the Blue Book or issues that actual circumstances have by-passed.
Andrew T. Gerns
- Katrina aftermath
- (TM) economic outreach to displaced people & affected congregations
- pastoral (including liturgical) care to the displaced
- (TM) evangelistic outreach to the unchurched (or de-churched) displaced
- (TM) church plants in areas of intense, immediate population growth due to the displaced, such as
Louisiana( Baton Rougeand beyond), adjacent Texas, and central ). Mississippi
- (TM) re-building of destroyed churches, in both the physical-plant sense and the people sense.
- (TM) salary and benefits continuation for diocesan and parish clergy and lay staffs when their employer's income is either seriously diminished or even zero.
(AG) A major overhaul is proposed with two underlying assumptions
- First, to move the basis of the code away from something like the Uniform Code of Military Justice to one that assumes Restorative Justice
- Second, to include procedures toward the disciplining of lay people alongside the discipline in place for clergy.
- The current system is big, expensive and unwieldy. The proposed system would require a total overhaul of both process and thinking, and probably also require every diocese to revise their own canons. It is not at all clear if the laity mentioned in the proposed Title IV are all baptized members (“
”) or laity with a specific office (“ordo”). I (Andrew) believes there it is to vague and too big—a nice theory but without sufficient regard to the Law of Unintended Consequences—to pass. It will either fail or be sent back. laos
- Make Us One: A Study Guide for the Bilateral Dialogue between the Episcopal Church in the
USAand the United Methodist Church
- New Presiding Bishop -- the House of Bishops elects, and the House of Deputies concurs. Nominating Committee nominees have been announced, and include three men and one woman. Three others may be nominated.
- Ted Mollegen asks:Will the Bishops elect a strong leader, or will act they like the barons negotiating with King John in establishing the Magna Carta in 1215, and elect someone who will pretty much leave them alone?
- Andrew Gerns asks: Will the Bishops elect a Public Presiding Bishop who understands communications, media-relations, and who can stand toe-to-toe with Rowan Williams as a theologian?
- New President of the House of Deputies (The present President, Dean George Werner , will continue in this office through this Convention, but is not eligible for re-election, because he was not re-elected a Deputy by the Diocese of Pittsburgh). TM says the smart money is on Ms. Bonnie Anderson, a well-respected and well-liked laywoman from Michigan, who has previously been Chair (and earlier, Vice-Chair) of the the General Convention's powerful Program, Budget, & Finance Committee (PB&F), and who is now a member of the Executive Council, and its Administration & Finance Committee. AG thinks this is still the case.
- Primates' Meeting
- Anglican Consultative Council (ACC) meeting
- Declarations of impaired/broken communion
- Meetings of Regional Primates
- Potential new actions yet to come between now and the General Convention:
- in Anglican Communion TM says: Informal inputs from many of the Anglican Communion provinces indicate that the strident, schism-threatening statements of some archbishops do not reflect the opinions of anywhere near all of their constituents. Many do not agree with TEC's sexuality-related actions in 2003, but do not see schism as an appropriate response. Throughout the Communion, women are particularly inclined to see upset over homosexuals in the church as mainly an issue for males.)
- in the Episcopal Church (e.g., departures and/or returns of clergy or organizations). AG says: Recent rulings from the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Panel on Reference (which attempts to assist in the adjudication of disputes between departing clergy/parishes and their bishops) has stated outright that they won’t weigh in on cases that also before civil courts and they will side with the Bishop/Local Province in setting up alternative oversight. This means that direct legal action against dioceses won’t work. Recent trends show that what works best is when departure-minded clergy sit down with their bishops and Standing Committees and make a deal. Conservatives are finding that when individuals leave, even in groups, they are no longer officials or members of the diocese or congregation that they previously belonged to. The property continues to belong to the Episcopal Church, and when any elected or appointed officials leave, they will be replaced by new officials, in accordance with the Canons.
- (TM) Can Episcopal clergy conduct these marriages/unions (if permitted by the laws of the applicable state)? Can Episcopal clergy bless these marriages/unions if someone else has conducted them?
- (AG) Even though any action on even studying such rites is on hold indefinitely and all Bishops and clergy are not to carry them out, there will still be proposals coming to the floor to both stop the practice indefinitely or to move forward immediately.
- (AG) IMHO—nothing of substance will happen here, which means the status quo will remain. This means that those who want a blanket prohibition and those who want study/experimentation will be equally angry.
- (AG) These are important because General Convention guides and directs our lobbyists in how they represent us to Congress and the Executive Branch.