Monday, August 15, 2011

The Blessings Project in Process

It's a beautiful day in the Menlo Park neighborhood. (If you're not familiar with "the Bay Area" that's between San Francisco and San Jose.) I arrived an hour or so ago and am getting ready for three days of meetings finalizing the draft of the SCLM C056 Task Force "Blessing Project" and the report that will end up in the (not necessarily blue) Blue Book for General Convention 2012.

The process has been an amazing privilege to be part of ... the work of not only the folks on the various task forces but the "wider church" who have had input and opportunities for engagement with our work all along the way. Bishops and Deputies. Theologians and Canon Lawyers. Parish Priests and Seminarians. Activists and Academics.

Reading through the copious comments of our "consultant reviewers" I was struck over and over again at the deeply respectful tone and timbre of nearly all of them ... and that the folks who think this is a bridge too far AND the folks who think it doesn't go far enough are all part of the process.

While going to look for this link to the actual text of the resolution to post here, I also found a link to this E-Cafe blog post by Rebecca Wilson posted the day after C056 was adopted in Anaheim in 2008. Entitled "Resolution C056: It's our job now" it begins:
Yesterday morning, on the last day of convention, the House of Deputies passed Resolution C056 on Liturgies for Blessings. The House of Bishops passed this resolution overwhelmingly on Wednesday afternoon.

The final resolution was a substitute for the original C056 and was crafted by a small group of bishops informed by a larger Indaba-style conversation that took place on Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

C056 begins the process for the Episcopal Church’s response to various kinds of same-gender unions: committed relationships, domestic partnerships, civil unions and marriages. It also contains a provision for pastoral generosity in states with legal status for same-gender couples.

The ultimate power of this resolution will be determined by the strength of the process it sets in motion.
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. And as we put the last touches/edits/footnotes on this particular pudding I am deeply encouraged by the strength of the process its initiating resolution set in motion and by the end results that we will bring to Indianapolis. Not because we all agree on everything. Not because I think these resources for the blessing of same-gender relationships is a destination. And in spite of the fact that the paradigm has kept shifting directly under our feet as we've worked on this over the last 2 years.

So off to work we go. Keep us in your prayers over these next three days. Know that all who have commented and contributed ... not only in this C056 process but to all the processes that got us to the point of having a C056 to implement ... have both a stake and a hand in whatever we'll end up bringing to Indianapolis. AND to whatever we end up adopting in Indianapolis. AND to the rest of the work ahead.

Blessings from "The Blessings Project!"


JCF said...

Um, Stanford is "Down On the Farm" in Palo Alto.

JCF, Bay Area Native (Go Giants!)

Oh, Go Blessings Project, too! ;-)


thanks ... i knew better

Erp said...

Actually the main campus of Stanford is not in Palo Alto but in unincorporated Santa Clara County (the Stanford owned research park and the Stanford owned shopping center which pay taxes are in Palo Alto).

I don't know whether you'll have a chance to see the remarkably gaudy church at Stanford.

Jim said...

Umm... is this your idea of a vacation?



No. For the record, I'm on "vacation hiatus" in the service of the national church SCLM work finishing up here in Menlo Park this week working on a deadline fixed by Blue Book publication deadlines. Think of it as the "work hole in the vacation donut." Friday I got back on R&R and am off through Labor Day so all is well.