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

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 Churchiness | Permalink


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I just received the ENS report and immediately came here to let you know how glad I am that you were appointed to this committee! You are, of course, in my prayers and I feel better knowing that you will be in the conversation! My best!


Posted by: Mark Jenkins | Sep 20, 2005 8:04:47 PM

Prayers are offered up on your behalf among the Baptipalians of Sharpsburg, Ga. God bless you in this very important mission.

Posted by: Joel | Sep 20, 2005 8:15:57 PM

So thankful that you are among those serving...you have my prayers, of course.

Posted by: Kathryn | Sep 21, 2005 4:28:56 AM

Prayer arising for you as you do this important work...you're going to need all the prayers you can get!

Posted by: Karen | Sep 21, 2005 10:19:52 AM

I knew you by your fruits: the blind saw, the lame walked, many hearts were lightened. You can tell them I said so.

Thanks be to God.

Posted by: Louise | Sep 21, 2005 4:54:59 PM

Dylan, this is fantastic, both that they're doing it and that you're on it. What an enormous challenge!

Posted by: Anna | Sep 21, 2005 7:39:43 PM

My prayers are with you.

Just on a side not - the whole body looks a bit light on representation west of the Mississippi, doesn't it? (Even west of Philadelphia, come to think of it...)

Posted by: dave paisley | Sep 25, 2005 1:37:00 PM

I was thrilled to see that you were named to the Commission. It certainly won't be eays work, but I can't imagine anyone better to be a part of it. My prayers are with you.

Posted by: Marie | Sep 25, 2005 3:50:42 PM

Best wishes in this endeavor. You will be in my prayers.

Posted by: LutheranChik | Sep 25, 2005 10:46:57 PM

Best of luck--you're in my prayers.

Posted by: frog | Sep 26, 2005 9:24:11 AM

My prayers will be with you and the Holy Spirit will be at your side. I firmly believe that you will be integral in representing what the Lord guides you to.
I will also be praying for the Rt.Rev. Schori...she went to Nevada FROM Oregon. She won't remember me though.

Posted by: Steve | Oct 1, 2005 1:13:01 AM

Dylan, count on my prayers for you and the Commission in your gospel work. The United Church of Christ, in some settings, has witnessed to justice and full inclusion, and it is tough, slow going. Any light you all can shed will be helpful for all of us as we seek to be faithful. Thanks for all you do.


Posted by: Sharon | Oct 2, 2005 6:57:24 AM

congratulations. I actually know one other member of the commission, which is very odd indeed. And truly, only an episcopalian could use the word "covet" in that context!

Posted by: ppb | Oct 6, 2005 7:35:34 PM

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