After emotional debate, the House of Deputies voted to concur this afternoon with the House of Bishops who passed a resolution stating that "this Convention receive and embrace the Windsor Report's invitation to engage in a process of healing and reconciliation," and "therefore call upon Standing Committees and bishops with jurisdiction to exercise restraint by not consenting to the consecration of any candidate to the episcopate whose manner of life presents a challenge to the wider church and will lead to further strains on communion." This after the House of Deputies soundly rejected the resolution calling on us to refrain from ordaining gay and lesbian bishops yesterday.
What I heard from our folks from Utah this evening: I feel beaten up. I have a hard time believing in Church right now. Let's don't let this stop us from continuing the push to full inclusion for all of God's people. We must look to The Art of War (Lao Tsu) and be strategic in moving forward. Bishop Carolyn shared her reflections on the process in the House of Bishops. We are all so proud that she stood with those in dissent.
The day started with a joint session of both Houses, during which Bishop Griswold chastised the Bishops and Deputies for not taking the Windsor Report seriously. Sitting in the alternate gallery, I was outraged that he would so baldly try to change the obvious will of the House of Deputies. The Deputies on the floor must have felt even more strongly. Griswold then distributed the text of the resolution quoted above and said the House of Bishops would retire to consider it. After the report came back that the House of Bishops had approved the resolution and several minutes of debate, President Elect Bonnie Anderson asked the House of Deputies for its thoughts on inviting Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori to address the House. Bishop Katharine's words were painful to hear, and afterwards several deputies declared that they would support the resolution, as abhorent the language is, as a gift to Bishop Katharine.
Dave Bailey reflected at the evening deputation meeting that Bishop Schori's metaphor about the dilemma facing the Convention actually placed a clear choice before us. She reminded us that when parents and doctors are considering separating conjoined twins, they always consider whether the separation will allow both babies to live full lives separately. She admitted the language of the resolution was not perfect, but was likely the best we could do at this time.
Now we wonder, was our choice to forego separation out of fear that we would not have a full life separate from the Anglican Communion, the correct one?