Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Deputies Elect President

Bonnie Anderson, the current Vice-President of the House of Deputies, was unanimously elected as the House's new President. This election was necessary because George Werner, who has been President for some time, was not re-elected as a Deputy this year by the Diocese of Pittsburgh. George will be honored for his years of service on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. Most likely that explains the guy with the camera following him around; we'll be offered some form of a video presentation.

Our response to the Windsor Report is being discussed. Two hearings were held yesterday. In the afternoon, resolution A0159 (Commitment to Interdependence in the Anglican Communion) was discussed, along with other related resolutions (C004, C009, C014, C025, C027, Co37, C038 C039 and C042). The evening hearings considered A165 (Commitment to Windsor and the Listening Process) and A166 (Anglican Covenant Development Process). Tonight we will discuss A160, A161, A162 and A163.

What's interesting is that I'm told that there's been few people signing up to speak at tonight's hearing. Yesterday, from what I understand (I was with Bono and Bp. Curry) there were some powerful statements offered by Susan Russell and Martyn Minns, but little content beyond that.

This afternoon I sat in on the legislative committee meeting charged with bringing some form of these resolutions before Convention. Although there was no question that the members of this committee are a competent and very capable group, I found the experience troubling. Maybe it was because they had an audience listening in, but each speaker seemed to take forever to make a statement. I listened for about an hour to a debate over how exactly to reference "the listening process" (should it be Lambeth 1.10, or the Windsor Report, or the ACC statement?) until I finally left to seek more coffee.

I spoke with a few people today, and here's my general impression; there's not much energy left for these debates. As I mentioned last night, folks are ready to move on. This is both a good and a bad thing. It's good because it seems to me that it is past time to move on and focus on the mission of the Church. But, it's bad because it appears that there is a good possibility that some Deputies might support those resolutions which will most quickly and efficiently put past debates behind us. If the decisions they are charged to make are rushed, we may find either a confused message being the result, or one that unnecessarily puts us at odds with much of the Anglican Communion.

In other news, Archbishop Rowan Williams has sent a message to Convention. As a man who is known to carefully choose his words, there's a couple of comments regarding the Windsor Report that are worth noting:

The recommendations of the Windsor Report will be much in your minds and your deliberations, and I appreciate the work your Commissions and Committees have done in responding to the Windsor Process...Windsor is not the end of the story, but it sets out a positive picture of what that might imply as together we strive to serve the mission of God.
Rowan has picked up the phrase introduced by the Special Commission; "the Windsor Process". And, to make sure we understand, he makes his meaning even more clear by stating "Windsor is not the end of the story..." This is encouraging, to say the least.

More after tonight's hearing.


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