Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunday legislative session

Sunday was not a day of rest for bishops and deputies. After this morning’s joyous worship, it was time for a long afternoon of hard work.

This afternoon the House of Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops in approving a resolution recommitting to the Millennium Development Goals as a “primary mission priority,” and increasing support for the MDGs from .7% of revenue of the Episcopal Church to 1%. The text of this resolution is at

Much of the discussion this afternoon was around resolution D025, a response to resolution B033 from 2006 General Convention, which urged restraint concerning the election of bishops whose "manner of life" would cause offense to the wider Anglican Communion. That has been generally perceived as a moratorium on electing bishops who are gays or lesbians in committed same-sex relationships.

D025 reaffirms the ongoing commitment of The Episcopal Church to the Anglican Communion, but also opens “any ordained ministry” to any person whose “call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of The Episcopal Church.”

The full text of the resolution is at

Another important resolution passed by the deputies this afternoon is D038, which asks the Church to allocate $3.5 million for the implementation of “The Episcopal Church's Strategic Vision for Reaching Latinos/Hispanics in the United States.”

The full text of this resolution is at

Earlier in the week a young woman new to our diocese testified before the Evangelism Committee in favor of this resolution. Michelle Aguilar, 16, whose father, the Rev. Richard Aguilar, is the new priest-in-charge of St. Margaret’s and San Francisco de Asis, Miami Lakes, told the committee, “The Strategic Vision of the Episcopal Church for reaching Latinos and Hispanics responds to the current concern of the church regarding the decline in membership, and at the same time it provides the tools needed by the church.”

“The Latino population is constantly increasing,” she said, “and I believe that more Latinos should know about the Episcopal Church.”

She noted that there is currently insufficient funding for Hispanic/Latino ministry that could reach out to these persons who “are looking for a church that is open and welcoming to persons from all backgrounds.”

Implementing the Strategic Vision would mean that “finally our slogan invites everyone”--La igleisa episcopal le da la bienvenida.

D038 must now go to the House of Bishops. In this evening’s media briefing Bishop Frade expressed some concern that the resolution might not find such easy approval from the bishops, because of budgetary concerns. But, he said, he would try hard to convince his sister and brother bishops of the need to approve the plan, because, “It’s about 20 years too late, and we have to move fast.”

No comments: