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Vol I No. 1
Anglicans Worldwide

Three Key Resolutions of the 2018 General Convention in Austin

by sinetortus

Among the plethora of resolutions passed at the Convention,  the following three stand out as being of particular note:

A068 Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer which, despite its title,  actually does NOT initiate a comprehensive revision but instead provides for the development of more alternative and trial liturgies.

B012 Marriage Rites for the Whole Church, which extends the authorization of “continued trial use” of the liturgies for same-sex unions and that they be included in Liturgical Resources 2. It also mandates that where a bishop does not accept the possibility of providing such liturgies that bishop “shall invite, as necessary, another bishop of this Church to provide pastoral support to the couple, the Member of the Clergy involved and the congregation or worshipping community” in order to ensure “that all couples have convenient and reasonable local congregational access to these rites”.

A227 Communion Across Difference, which establishes a Task Force to be made up of an equal number of person who accept and reject the possibility of a same-sex couple entering into a marriage (something referred to in the resolution as “the clear decision of General Convention that Christian marriage is a covenant between two people, of the same sex or of the opposite sex”).

This group is tasked with finding “a lasting path forward for mutual flourishing” of those with these differing views within the Episcopal Church.

 

The full text of each of these resolutions is set out below:

 

A068 Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention, pursuant to Article X of the Constitution, authorize the ongoing work of liturgical and Prayer Book revision for the future of God’s mission through the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement. And, that it do so upon the core theological work of loving, liberating, life-giving reconciliation and creation care; and be it further

Resolved, that our methodology be one of a dynamic process for discerning common worship, engaging all the baptized, while practicing accountability to The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention create a Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR), the membership of which will be jointly appointed by the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies, and will report to the appropriate legislative committee(s) of the 80th General Convention, ensuring that diverse voices of our church are active participants in this liturgical revision by constituting a group with leaders who represent the expertise, gender, age, theology, regional, and ethnic diversity of the church, to include, 10 laity, 10 priests or deacons, and 10 Bishops; and be it further

Resolved, That this Convention memorialize the 1979 Book of Common Prayer as a Prayer Book of the church preserving the psalter, liturgies, The Lambeth Quadrilateral, Historic Documents, and Trinitarian Formularies ensuring its continued use; and be it further

Resolved, That this church continue to engage the deep Baptismal and Eucharistic theology and practice of the 1979 Prayer Book; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops engage worshiping communities in experimentation and the creation of alternative texts to offer to the wider church, and that each diocese be urged to create a liturgical commission to collect, reflect, teach and share these resources with the TFLPBR; and be it further

Resolved, That the TFLPBR in consultation with the Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons is directed to propose to the 80th General Convention revisions to the Constitution and Canons to enable The Episcopal Church to be adaptive in its engagement of future generations of Episcopalians, multiplying, connecting, and disseminating new liturgies for mission, attending to prayer book revision in other provinces of the Anglican Communion; and be it further

Resolved, That liturgical and Prayer Book revision will continue in faithful adherence to the historic rites of the Church Universal as they have been received and interpreted within the Anglican tradition of 1979 Book of Common Prayer, mindful of our existing ecumenical commitments, while also providing space for, encouraging the submission of, and facilitating the perfection of rites that will arise from the continual movement of the Holy Spirit among us and growing insights of our Church; and be it further

Resolved, That such revision utilize the riches of Holy Scripture and our Church’s liturgical, cultural, racial, generational, linguistic, gender, physical ability, class and ethnic diversity in order to share common worship; and be it further

Resolved, That our liturgical revision utilize inclusive and expansive language and imagery for humanity and divinity; and be it further

Resolved, That our liturgical revision shall incorporate and express understanding, appreciation, and care of God’s creation; and be it further

Resolved, That our liturgical revision take into consideration the use of emerging technologies which provide access to a broad range of liturgical resources; and be it further

Resolved, That the SCLM create a professional dynamic equivalence translation of The Book of Common Prayer 1979 and the Enriching Our Worship Series in Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole; and that the SCLM diversify the publication formats of new resources, liturgies and rites to include online publishing; and be it further

Resolved, That this church ensure that, at each step of the revision process, all materials be professionally translated into English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole, following the principles of dynamic equivalence and that no new rites or liturgical resources be approved by this church until such translations are secured; and be it further

Resolved, That the TFLPBR shall report to the 80th General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That there being $201,000 in the proposed budget for the translation of liturgical materials, that the Executive Council be encouraged to identify additional funds in the amount of $200,000 to begin this liturgical revision.

Status: Filed

 

 

B012 Marriage Rites for the Whole Church

Resolved, the House of Deputies concurring, That the 79th General Convention authorize for continued trial use, in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6, “The Witnessing and Blessing of a Marriage” and “The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage 2” (as appended to the report of the Task Force for the Study of Marriage to the 79th General Convention); and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention authorize for trial use, in accordance with Article X of the Constitution and Canon II.3.6, “The Blessing of a Civil Marriage 2” and “An Order for Marriage 2” (as appended to the report of the Task Force for the Study of Marriage to the 79th General Convention), beginning the first Sunday of Advent, 2018; and be it further

Resolved, That the period of trial use for these liturgies shall extend until the completion of the next comprehensive revision of the Book of Common Prayer; and be it further

Resolved, That the SCLM monitor the use of these rites as part of their work of revising the Book of Common Prayer; and be it further

Resolved, That the material prepared by the TFSM with regard to paragraph one of “Concerning the Service” of Marriage, the proper prefaces for Marriage and the Catechism be referred to the SCLM for serious consideration as they engage in the process of revision of the Book of Common Prayer; and be it further

Resolved, That all of this material be authorized for publication as part of Liturgical Resources 2 (as appended to the report of the TFSM) and be made available electronically in English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole at no cost by the first Sunday of Advent, 2018; and be it further

Resolved, That under the canonical direction of the Rector or Member of the Clergy in charge and where permitted to do so by civil law, provision will be made for all couples desiring to use these marriage liturgies in their local congregation or worshipping community, provided that nothing in this Resolve narrows the authority of the Rector or Priest-in-Charge (Canon III.9.6(a)); and be it further

Resolved, That in dioceses where the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or, where applicable, ecclesiastical supervision) holds a theological position that does not embrace marriage for same-sex couples, and there is a desire to use such rites by same-sex couples in a congregation or worshipping community, the bishop exercising ecclesiastical authority (or ecclesiastical supervision) shall invite, as necessary, another bishop of this Church to provide pastoral support to the couple, the Member of the Clergy involved and the congregation or worshipping community in order to fulfill the intention of this resolution that all couples have convenient and reasonable local congregational access to these rites; and be it further

Resolved, That the provision of Canon I.18.7 applies by extension to these liturgies, namely, “It shall be within the discretion of any Member of the Clergy of this Church to decline to solemnize or bless any marriage”; and be it further

Resolved, That the provisions of Canon I.19.3 regarding marriage after divorce apply equally to these liturgies; and be it further

Resolved, That bishops exercising ecclesiastical authority, or where appropriate ecclesiastical supervision, who hold a theological position that does not embrace marriage for same sex couples, shall in the case of remarriage after divorce, invite another bishop of this Church to oversee the consent process and to receive any report of such Marriages, as provided in Canon I.19.3(c); and be it further

Resolved, That bishops continue the work of leading the Church in comprehensive engagement with these materials and continue to provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That this Church continue to honor theological diversity in regard to matters of human sexuality; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $100,000 for the implementation of this resolution; and be it further

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Secretary of General Convention and the Custodian of the Standard Book of Common Prayer, in consultation with the outgoing Chair of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage and the Chairs of the Legislative Committees to whom this legislation is referred, to finalize and arrange with Church Publishing for the publication (in English, Spanish, French, and Haitian Creole) of the material contained in “Liturgical Resources 2” as approved by the 79th General Convention; the General Convention Office to make these materials available electronically at no cost no later than the first Sunday of Advent 2018.

 

A227 Communion Across Difference

Resolved, That the 79th General Convention direct the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies to appoint jointly a Task Force on Communion across Difference, consisting of not more than 14 people, who represent the diversity in this Church including members from countries other than the United States; and be it further

Resolved, That half of the members appointed hold that marriage is a “covenant between a man and a woman” (BCP, 422), half of whom hold that marriage is a “covenant between two people” (Resolution 2018-A085), in the presence of God, and that all of those appointed seek a pathway toward mutual flourishing in The Episcopal Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force seek a lasting path forward for mutual flourishing consistent with this Church’s polity and the 2015 “Communion across Difference” statement of the House of Bishops (https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/article/mind-house-bishops-statement-‘communion-across-difference’), affirming (1) the clear decision of General Convention that Christian marriage is a covenant between two people, of the same sex or of the opposite sex, (2) General Convention’s firm commitment to make provision for all couples asking to be married in this Church to have access to authorized liturgies; and also affirming (3) the indispensable place that the minority who hold to this Church’s historic teaching on marriage have in our common life, whose witness the Church needs; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force consult widely with members of this Church who represent its diversity of cultural background, age, race, gender, gender identity, and sexual orientation, particularly its members in countries other than the United States;and also with representatives reflecting the diversity of views and voices of the Anglican Communion, our full-communion ecumenical partners, and those churches with whom we carry on ecumenical dialogues; and be it further

Resolved, That the Task Force report and make recommendations to the 80th General Convention, ending its term at that time except by further action of General Convention; and be it further

Resolved, That the General Convention request the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance to consider a budget allocation of $75,000 for the implementation of this resolution.