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special commission appointed; in related news, Dylan asks for prayer

I posted this on Grace Notes, my personal blog, as well.

A Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion has been appointed with the charge of "preparing the way for General Convention to receive and respond to the Windsor Report, the February 2005 communiqué of the primates from Dromantine, and the actions of the June 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council." I will be serving as one of the commission's members, and I covet your prayers.

The Episcopal News Service release (which, curiously enough, doesn't seem to be up yet on their website [Correction 9/21/05 3:22 p.m. -- it's now been posted here.]) follows:

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Special Commission on Episcopal Church, Anglican Communion to meet
Presiding Bishop, House of Deputies President appoint members

By Mary Frances Schjonberg

ENS 092005-2

[Episcopal News Service] The first meeting of the Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion will take place Monday, November 7, at the Episcopal Church Center in New York.

The 14-member commission was appointed by Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold and the Very Rev. George L. W. Werner, president of the House of Deputies. They charged the commission with preparing the way for General Convention to receive and respond to the Windsor Report, the February 2005 communiqué of the primates from Dromantine, and the actions of the June 2005 meeting of the Anglican Consultative Council.

The Windsor Report was released in October, 2004 by the Lambeth Commission on Communion, established by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 2003 in response to reactions in the world-wide Anglican Communion to the election and consecration in 2003 of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of New Hampshire. Robinson is an openly gay man who lives in a committed relationship with his long-term partner.

The report also addressed the decision of the Canadian diocese of New Westminster to permit the blessing of committed same-gender relationships.

The primates of the Anglican Communion issued a communiqué at the end of their meeting in Dromantine in Northern Ireland. The primates asked, among other points, that the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada “respond through their relevant constitutional bodies to the questions specifically addressed to them in the Windsor Report as they consider their place within the Anglican Communion.”

In June, the Anglican Consultative Council (ACC), the principal deliberative body of the Anglican Communion and one of its four “instruments of unity,” agreed with the primates’ request that ACC members from the United States and Canada voluntarily withdraw from active membership on the council for the time leading up to the next Lambeth Conference in 2008. Those members did withdraw and attended the June meeting as observers. They and others made requested presentations to the ACC about both church’s experience with same-gender relationships.

Griswold and Werner asked the commission, on which they both will serve as well, to consider those reports and actions “as they pertain to the life of the Episcopal Church and our relationship to the other provinces of the Anglican Communion.”

“In doing so, the Special Commission will need to consider how we within the Episcopal Church can be faithful to God's mission in the world as we continue to live with divergent points of view held by faithful men and women,” the two wrote in a letter to the members.

“We were seeking a group of people of diverse opinion of the highest quality who can handle such complex issues as these,” Werner told Episcopal News Service. “I am deeply grateful to those who have accepted this appointment.”

The Special Commission will prepare a report with proposed resolutions, if any, for the Blue Book of the 75th General Convention next June. The Blue Book is each convention’s official compilation of reports and proposed legislation from the committees, commissions, agencies, and boards of the General Convention.

The commission’s members are: Sarah Dylan Breuer of Frederick, Maryland (Province III); the Rev. Dr. Ian T. Douglas of Episcopal Divinity School (Province I); the Rev. Mark Harris of Lewes, Delaware (Province III); the Rev. Dr. Katherine Grieb of Virginia Theological Seminary (Province III); the Rt. Rev. Dorsey F. Henderson Jr., bishop of Upper South Carolina (Province IV); the Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, bishop of Nevada (Province VIII); the Rt. Rev. Henry Louttit Jr., bishop of Georgia (Province IV); the Rev. Charles E. Osberger of Wye Mills, Maryland (Province III); the Rt. Rev. Mark S. Sisk, bishop of New York (Province II); the Rev. Canon Rosemari Sullivan of Virginia Theological Seminary (Province III); Katherine Tyler Scott of Indianapolis, Indiana (Province V); the Rev. Francis H. Wade of Washington, D.C. (Province III); Christopher Wells of South Bend, Indiana (Province V); and the Rev. Sandra A. Wilson of South Orange, New Jersey (Province II).

-- The Rev. Mary Frances Schjonberg is national correspondent for the Episcopal News Service.

September 20, 2005 in Windsor Report | Permalink

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Comments

I gladly offer my prayers for Dylan in this work. This is a very important commission for the future of The Episcopal Church.
I pray for a common gound centered in Christ
that will help turn us from the ways of schism and polarization.

Rev. Steven Hagerman

Posted by: Steven Hagerman | Sep 22, 2005 12:07:56 PM

There aren't many west-coast or midwestern members of this commission.

Posted by: Abby | Sep 23, 2005 6:10:08 PM

True, Abby -- though since I'm on the job market, I could full well be in another province by the commission's first meeting. But I suspect that other kinds of diversity and qualifications ranked higher than geography in making the appointments.

Posted by: Sarah Dylan Breuer | Sep 24, 2005 10:07:22 AM

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