Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Episcopal Church: Next in Welcoming LGBTQ People as Clergy

Following in the pathway blazed by the UCC--who openly ordain out-LGBTQ people--the Episcopal Church in the USA seem to be following that very same path. Coming out of their General Convention in Anaheim, CA, there is this resolution:

The House of Bishops today passed D025 with only slight amendment and by a margin of almost two to one. They affirmed full access to the discernment and ordination process to gays and lesbians. Surely the Holy Spirit was moving through and around their discussion tables. Thank God and thank those bishops who had the courage to stand up for pono. The Archbishop of Canterbury is going to be most unhappy!

Here's the resolution. Read very carefully the fourth, fifth, and sixth Resolveds.

Resolved, the House of Bishops concurring, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm the continued participation of The Episcopal Church as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion; give thanks for the work of the bishops at the Lambeth Conference of 2008; reaffirm the abiding commitment of The Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and seek to live into the highest degree of communion possible; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention encourage dioceses, congregations, and members of The Episcopal Church to participate to the fullest extent possible in the many instruments, networks and relationships of the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention reaffirm its financial commitment to the Anglican Communion and pledge to participate fully in the Inter-Anglican Budget; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm the value of "listening to the experience of homosexual persons," as called for by the Lambeth Conferences of 1978, 1988, and 1998, and acknowledge that through our own listening the General Convention has come to recognize that the baptized membership of The Episcopal Church includes same-sex couples living in lifelong committed relationships "characterized by fidelity, monogamy, mutual affection and respect, careful, honest communication, and the holy love which enables those in such relationships to see in each other the image of God" (2000-D039); and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention recognize that gay and lesbian persons who are part of such relationships have responded to God's call and have exercised various ministries in and on behalf of God's One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church and are currently doing so in our midst; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church; and that God's call to the ordained ministry in The Episcopal Church is a mystery which the Church attempts to discern for all people through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 76th General Convention acknowledge that members of The Episcopal Church as of the Anglican Communion, based on careful study of the Holy Scriptures, and in light of tradition and reason, are not of one mind, and Christians of good conscience disagree about some of these matters.

The amended resolution returns to the House of Deputies for its concurrence.


The Spirit of God, who embraces all of us, seems to be moving in our world, upholding Paul's words that there is being birthed a "new heaven and a new earth."

What do you think of this story?




manxxman said...

It's another brick kicked from the wall of intolerance. That rumbling sound you can hear is a weakening wall. It may not fall fast enough for all of us, but it is, indeed, falling.........

manxxman said...


When do you announce you candidacy that you have been contemplating?

Brett Webb-Mitchell said...

I went to a School Board orientation meeting today. Filing deadline is Friday, July 17th, 2009, and the cost is $5.

manxxman said...

I'll be glad to put up the $5.

Greg Lisby said...

Thank you for all your posts. Just a quick point of clarification regarding the headline for this post. Many, probably most, dioceses of the Episcopal Church have for many years welcomed and encouraged the ordain ministry of open and healthy gay/lesbian clergy. My partner and I are both priests in the Episcopal Church and we have two children. Though some parishes would never interview us for positions, many will and have. I am thrilled to be a Christian in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition.

Brett Webb-Mitchell said...

But it is now formally acceptable in the Episcopal Church, which before this vote it wasn't. The previous post is one written by a pioneer.