Thursday, May 7, 2009

This is the Episcopal Church's response to its own report of decline and conflict?

In several posts, I've mentioned and linked to The State of the Church report put out by the House of Deputies (elected clergy and laity) of the General Convention (the denomination's legislative gathering, which comes up this summer).

The report was well documented and painfully clear: the consecration of an actively homosexual bishop resulted in church-wide conflict, damaging the work of most congregations; the church is losing an average of 19,000 people per year; deaths outpace births and the remaining members are way older than both the national average and by comparison to other denominations; few congregations are involved in evangelism of non-Christians.

So, what kinds of responses are on the table for General Convention? The following is one of a cluster of resolutions that reflect the dominant approach:

Resolution: C001
Title: Adding Gender Identity to Canons
Topic: Canons
Committee: 08 - World Mission
House of Initial Action: Deputies
Proposer: Diocese of Newark


Resolved, the House of _____ concurring, That Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church be amended to read: No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression of gender identity, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons of the Episcopal Church. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established.

EXPLANATION Title III, Canon 1, Sec. 2 of the Canons of the Episcopal Church states: "No person shall be denied access to the discernment process for any ministry, lay or ordained, in this Church because of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities or age, except as otherwise provided by these Canons. No right to licensing, ordination, or election is hereby established." This resolution would revise this canon by adding "gender identity or expression of gender identity" to this list of protected categories.This revision is based upon our increased understanding of the need to respect the human dignity of transgender people: transsexuals, and others who are seen to differ from societal gender norms. Gender identity, in and of itself, should not be a basis for exclusion from consideration for, or participation in, the ministries of the Church.


Yeah, people becoming priests to explore their own sex lives. That has a fine track record for producing church health.

h/t MCJ & SF

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

"by adding 'gender identity or expression of gender identity' to this list of protected categories"

...We hereby certify that we have "stupid" written across our foreheads.

Come on now, this would affirm the "right" of any sexual deviant to be a lay or ordained minister in this church! Deny them the "right", and you get slapped with a hate crime charge or lawsuit.

Okay, I have had my rant.

Mellow, U.P., mellow...

Keep us posted on the status of this one.