Bishop Christopher Epting on Recent General Convention Developments

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Fears of a “meltdown” here at the 77th General Convention of The Episcopal Church seem today largely unfounded. As I indicated in an earlier post, I have often been amazed that this somewhat unwieldy body of lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons seems to find a way for common sense and the Holy Spirit to bring us back from the brink time and time again over the years.

At this point, it looks as though we will not only have overwhelmingly passed provisional liturgies for the blessing of same sex unions and made a rational, careful response to the proposal for an Anglican Covenant which will keep us at the table, but will pass a sensible (for now) budget for the next triennium, vote to relocate but not sell the Church Center headquarter in New York, establish a special task force and process for listening to the church and bringing to the next General Convention specific plans for restructure of our administration and governance. Not bad for eight days in the smoldering heat of an Indianapolis summer!

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)General Convention --Gen. Con. 2012TEC Bishops

7 Comments
Posted July 11, 2012 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

Well, when you have effectively run off all dissenting voices, it’s amazing what you can accomplish as a group.

July 11, 10:00 am | [comment link]
2. Pageantmaster [Katie bought Welby] wrote:

It is very telling that this time there are no guests from the CofE bishops at General Convention.  I expect they were all busy with General Synod, yes, that will be the reason I expect.

At this point, it looks as though we will not only have overwhelmingly passed provisional liturgies for the blessing of same sex unions

Indeed, contrary the Moratoria [remember them] and the undertaking given by the House of Bishops at New Orleans

and made a rational, careful response to the proposal for an Anglican Covenant which will keep us at the table

At somebody’s table for what it is worth, but sufficient, you hope not to get thrown out on your ear given the first decision you mention, and not forgetting that you have been sawing the legs off the table as hard as you can with departing Uncle Rowan’s connivance.

Not that there is any point in you signing any Covenant.  You are incapable of even following your own canons on changing liturgy or presenting budgets or anything else, why would anyone believe you would keep to anything you signed up to?  Best be honest and not bother - no point making rules or commitments you won’t keep.

but will pass a sensible (for now) budget for the next triennium

Hmm well the contribution to the Anglican Communion has been halved, but then, Rowan and the ACO who you have been financing have outlived their usefulness haven’t they?  Job done, chaos created, +Morgan stuffed on the CNC by Jefferts Schori and Douglas, why would you need to keep financing LamPal and ACO even if even now they are out with their begging bowl.  I can see your point.

establish a special task force and process for listening to the church and bringing to the next General Convention specific plans for restructure of our administration and governance.

This is the peculiar disconnect - having 600k in the pews on Sunday and having spent the last few days making a shambles of your liturgy and doctrine….yet, with a nice video, a rousing round of Kumbaya, and a few thousand dollars for a chinwag, yet you feel you are going to turn round the church you have spent the earlier part of the week doing your best to sink.  Bishop you are living in La La land!

But as the man falling past the 14th floor optimistically said, ‘It is looking good from here.’

July 11, 1:19 pm | [comment link]
3. David Wilson wrote:

I am sorry to inform the good bishop that the Holy Spirit has nothing to do with it.  How can He?  He would have to act contrary to His nature as he cannot act contrary to the truth of Holy Scripture.  That, Bishop Epting, is something you should have learned by, at the very least, your first year in seminary.

July 11, 1:53 pm | [comment link]
4. tired wrote:

A glance over a few of his entries was sufficient to repulse me by the level of surviving acrimony for the “uncivil” orthodox, which was tempered only by his generous self congratulation.

Meanwhile, TEC is unhinged from Christian authority - one is hard pressed to imagine why any Christian teaching might survive the machinations of TEC.  He may view that as the avoidance of a “meltdown.”  As one with a different perspective, the herd of Gadarene swine ineluctably comes to mind.

Anywho, the end result is the same in a number of ways.

Matt 8:34 - “And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave...”

rolleyes

July 11, 5:27 pm | [comment link]
5. BlueOntario wrote:

Re, #1: Shame on the ABC. Would that he would speak on this one way or the other. I remember Jamaica and New Orleans vividly. Shame.

July 11, 5:39 pm | [comment link]
6. BlueOntario wrote:

Rather, #2.

July 11, 5:40 pm | [comment link]
7. MichaelA wrote:

#4, yes, “generous self congratulation” aptly describes +Epting’s blog entry.

His church is declining and there is strong and unresolved conflict on a number of issues where he claims that there is unity.  For example, HOD passed a measure requiring that the grand TEC coporate headquarters building at 815 be sold.  That requirement has been amended out of the measure by the HOB.  I assume the HOB will win this one in the short term, but the fact that so many deputies wanted 815 sold is significant.  It reflects strong opinion on many liberal blogs, and the HOB blocking the measure isn’t going to change people’s opinions.

And then there is the budget which +Epting assures everyone is “sensible”.  That may be so, but it still embodies the same problem raised by many liberals in TEC: programs at the diocesan level are being cut, in favour of projects favoured by the central bureaucracy.  Again, the anger expressed at this is not going to abate just because +Epting utters some soothing words.

And then there is the problem of falling numbers and therefore income in TEC.  I understand +Epting’s diocese is not doing too bad, but overall TEC is doing bad, with a steady drain on membership.  Liberals in the parishes are already starting to ask what 815 and the HOB is doing to help them overcome this.  Public froth on controversial issues such as we have seen at this GC is likely to drive people away from the congregations, not attract them.

July 12, 5:07 am | [comment link]
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