The deputation met in the meeting room and we were able to talk about the various resolutions that were not passed with concurrence in both Houses. That is our process which the first Presiding Bishop, The Rt. Rev. William White, implemented because he understood this would allow the Church the surety that bishops, priests and now also deacons and laity share in the structural governance of The Episcopal Church. Having suffered from the abuse of both bishops and presbyters the newly formed body incorporated the fullness of the baptized into the General Convention. That happens when the General Convention meets and that is what has just happened.
We were also able to talk about how we were ready to leave with the work completed and move on from this place. It is a gathering of the family from across the fullness of The Episcopal Church expressing the uniqueness of the various dioceses for good or for ill. The deputation went out to dinner and Kathy and I packed and decided to go for a late supper. All of us are tired. All of us have our “take” on what has taken place here. What has been done and what has not been done. As the days, weeks, and months unfold, we will see some of those resolutions again and experience what they have called us too as the People of God. I found an interest article in the Wall Street Journal 17 July 2009 by Philip Jenkins entitled Their Separate Ways. It was a good article but seemed to have missed the reality that we did not implement a canonical change in the ordination of persons but in the access to the discernment process leading up to the process. It may be a fine point and I have no doubt in my mind where it is leading, but that major step has not yet been taken. It also has asked the rest of the Anglican Communion to look with us into this process and the process of Blessing same gender relationships. This is also, what Lambeth asked us to do as a part of the Anglican Communion. Going our separate way is exactly what we did not do and those resolutions that called for us to do that or implied we were doing that were rejected. There were times that each House walked a fine line but I believe that as a Convention (The Episcopal Church) that line was not crossed.
I look forward to being home within a few weeks and having time to visit various areas with members of the deputation to share with those who are interested in what we did. On Saturday the 25 July, the deputies will gather at Christ Church Cathedral for the initial presentation and express my thanks to them for this time of sharing. I also thank them for the blogs that were sent out to share with the diocese what was happening from each of their unique perspective. I also express my thanks to Cindy McCrory for her work of bringing us all the news of the happenings and goings on while we were here. She was able to gather that news because of the embrace of the new technologies available through the Church office.
Kathy and I now leave for San Francisco and will be staying at Grace Cathedral for a few days. On the way, we will stop in Oxnard and visit the mother of our son’s godfather for a few hours. We then are going to Davis where I will preach and celebrate on Sunday at the local parish church. Please do keep the Church, the Diocese, and our deputation in your prayers. May the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ bless us all and keep us in His grace and love.
PAX, Bishop Duncan