Oh, my goodness... how I LOVE getting news from Integrity when it reports such wonderful outcomes at the General Convention. It seems that the LGBT community can feel pretty confident that there are LOTS of people who recognize the time has come to stop keeping us as strangers at the gate when God has already said, "It's all good!"
Two resolutions... D025 and C056... were approved and sent to the House of Bishops. The House of Deputies (these are clergy and laity) were overwhelming in their approval of D025, which among other things will allow for the usual procedures involving discernment, ordination or consecration, of LGBT people. Since 2006, the Church has lived with a rule that specifically barred us from the episcopate. This rule (B033) was adopted to keep everybody in the Anglican Communion happy as they were still reeling from the idea that LGBT people existed (odd, but true, folks!) We in the United States had to be anti-Christs, or of the Devil, to think that LGBT people were actually sitting in the pews. (I wish I was making this up, but I'm not. Just look into the vitriol that has been put out there about us.)
C056... which came out of what's called the Prayer Book, Liturgy and Church Music Committee, takes a step closer to recognizing same-sex blessings in the Church. It seems it must have the temporary blessing of the Bishops Theological Committee... the one chaired by +Parsely of Alabama, that has the "top secret subcommittee". The intent is to come up with a formal proposal not for this convention, but the one in 2012.
Yippee, right?! Yes, of course, we should cheer. But, from across the pond, the fuzzy-faced Archbishop of Canterbury fired a shot across the bow. In an interview with Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream, the ABC is quoted as saying:
‘As for General Convention it remains to be seen I think whether the vote of the House of Deputies will be endorsed by the House of Bishops. If the House of Bishops chooses to block then the moratorium remains. I regret the fact that there is not the will to observe the moratorium in such a significant part of the Church in North America but I can’t say more about that as I have no details.’
He regrets this?? And, again, maybe it's living in the schismatic Southern United States, but I read what he's saying as an attempt to circumvent our process and tell our HOB to say, "Hell, No" to these resolutions.
I do recognize that these actions cause discomfort in other parts of the Communion, as well as within our own Church. But I believe these actions are meant to be a call to all of the Communion to recognize that LGBT people are people!
Tonight, in Anaheim, Integrity is screening the film "Voices of Witness: Africa". I have not seen this movie yet, but it documents the level of cruelty inflicted on our African brothers and sisters-in Christ on their own continent. Worse, this persecution is supported by the likes of ++Akinola and ++Orombi. That should make any Christian concerned.
The HOB is debating the merits of some of the proposals from the HOD right now. We'll see what happens.
May God's Holy Spirit move in and amongst and through all of those assembled in Anaheim.