Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Sitting for a minute as the dust settles from the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church

As the dust continues to settle from the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, my FB feed is full of posts of friends and colleagues making their way home from Baltimore ... and reviews and summaries of the actions of GC80 are starting to pop up. This great ENS one from the always brilliant Mary Frances Schjonberg gives a very concise and helpful overview of major actions and challenges of what was truly an historic gathering.

This was the 11th Convention I've had the privilege of being part of -- this time from my "non-essential alternate" seat on my couch with my laptop. And so I also want to note -- with some bemused astonishment -- that among the resolutions that did not make the "above the line" commentary in the ENS overview because they were adopted overwhelmingly and engendered little if any debate or discussion were the ones posted below.

I need to sit with that realization for just a minute.

I need to work for a minute
to really absorb the fact that we have evolved 
from a church which was on the verge 
of being voted off the Anglican Island 
for daring to aspire to be a church 
where all the baptized were included in all the sacraments 
and where you could expect at every triennial meeting 
of the General Convention 
to get beat up with toxic theology 
and bad readings of Leviticus 
into a church where a staff position for LGBTQI & Women's Ministries, 
the creation of an LGBTQ+ Inclusion Task Force, 
expansion of our definition of gender identity and expression, 
and advocating for access to gender affirming care 
are among the resolutions adopted by wide consent.

As in with no debate.

As in ... OMG ... I really kind of need a minute.

More later. But for the moment lots of gratitude -- and lots of resolve to keep the work moving forward. La lucha continua.
  • A063 - That the 80th General Convention direct the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society to establish a staff position of Director of LBGTQI and Women’s Ministries
  • D026 - That the 80th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint jointly a Task Force on LGBTQ+ Inclusion … who represent the diversity of the LGBTQ+ members of this Church
  • D029 – That the 80th Convention affirm that non-binary as well as binary identified transgender and cisgender people are included in the phrase "gender identity and expression,” and that the provisions of the Canons of the Episcopal Church apply equally to people of all genders.
  • D030 -- That the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church direct the Church Center to develop multilingual, multicultural churchwide resources to support our dioceses, provinces, churchwide leaders, and congregations in living into our commitments to welcome and support people and communities of diverse genders, including transgender and non-binary.
  • D045 -- That the 80th General Convention of the Episcopal Church express its full support of the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and IOM (International Organization for Migration) in their mission to protect LGBTIQ+ persons forced to seek refugee or asylee status because they fear being persecuted based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics.
  • D066 -- That the 80th General Convention calls for the Episcopal Church to advocate for access to gender affirming care in all forms (social, medical, or any other) and at all ages as part of our Baptismal call to “respect the dignity of every human being.”
  • D072 -- That the 80th General Convention address the urgent need for gender and sexuality training in our church on all levels.
  • D092 -- That this 80th General Convention express to the Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, its dismay at the decision to exclude same-sex spouses of LGBTQ+ bishops from participating in Lambeth Conference 2022

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