Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Consultation: Putting Faith in Action at #GC77

The Consultation has been bringing together leaders from around the Episcopal Church to focus on their common commitment to peace with justice since 1985. Together they create a platform for legislative priorities at each General Convention of the Episcopal Church ... and here's the one for #GC77 (which [a] will be our hashtag on twitter because [b] it is the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church and [c] our Methodist cousins used #GC2012 for their General CONFERENCE 2012 a few months ago.

“Transparency and Transformation” The Consultation Platform 2012

The Consultation is a coalition of thirteen independent organizations in the Episcopal Church committed to peace with justice. We come to the 2012 General Convention in Indianapolis understanding clearly that The Episcopal Church is facing the challenge to be a vehicle of God’s mission in the world in a time of economic fragility, societal upheaval, and an impulse toward rigid religious doctrine.

We give thanks for our Church's baptismal identity and common life embodied and expressed in the ministry of all the baptized in the governance of our church. This governance by all the baptized has enabled this Church to respond to the challenges of the times for generations and serves as a model of inclusive and responsive governance to the entire Anglican Communion.

As we have been equipped for mission by this baptismal governance, we call the church going forward to strive for the transformation of ourselves, the church, and the world as promised in our baptismal covenant. Therefore, we challenge The Episcopal Church, gathered in this 2012 General Convention, to live more fully into the five promises of our Baptismal Covenant:

1. To continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.
  • Affirm our baptismal ecclesiology and restore Confirmation as an effective pastoral response to significant turning points in the Christian life.
  • Support authorization of liturgical rites of blessing for covenants made between two people of the same gender.
  • Adopt changes in canons to support marriage equality.
  • Work for the elimination of the US federal Defense of Marriage Act and support civil marriage equality.
  • Support more gender equality in “Holy Women, Holy Men”.

2. To persevere in resisting evil and, whenever we fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord.
  • Work for the abolition of modern human slavery – especially the trafficking of women and children.
  • Defend the right of workers to organize. Insist on fair and transparent hiring and treatment of individuals who work at the church center, including the maintenance workers as a model of just and humane treatment.
  • Actively work to bring about comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform.
  • Continue the struggle to dismantle racism and all forms of prejudice and oppression, including sexism, heterosexism, homophobia and ableism.
  • Renew the call to every diocese and Episcopal seminary to mandate anti-racism training
  • Include in Safe Church training an orientation to domestic violence, bullying and appropriate responses.
  • Actively work to end transgender discrimination in all forms.

3. To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
  • Encourage new forms of ministry and leadership development, especially among our youth and young adults, communities of color, and multicultural ministries.
  • Support participation in the Anglican Communion and respectfully decline to endorse the Anglican Covenant.
  • Demand greater transparency in financial reporting from The Episcopal Church

4. To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves
  • Fully support the UN Millennium Development Goals, including the 0.7% allocation of government funds.
  • Continue the church’s active involvement in supporting our public schools.
  • Promote community investing.
  • Work to reform the US tax codes for compliance with justice for all.
  • Insist on US foreign aid and military assistance standards to assure that human rights are upheld.
  • Engage Episcopalians and inform them of the value of the existing structure of The Episcopal Church's governance.

5. To strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.
  • Work for the end of violence against women, children and sexual and gender minorities throughout the world.
  • Work for environmental justice, especially as it impacts poor and disenfranchised communities.
  • Strive to change US budget priorities that fuel the culture of violence at the expense of health and welfare at home and abroad.
  • Continue to support selective conscientious objection in the military.
  • Call upon Episcopal ethicists to study the technological changes in modern warfare, e.g. the increased use of drones and emergent technologies.

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