Comments: more about D025

Some comments from a person who attended most of the debates in the House of Deputies and House of Bishops regarding D025:

First, can we all please get down from the ramparts and stop the shouting, the leaping to unwarranted conclusions, and the threats? It is unseemly and unChristian.

D025 is a simple statement about who we are and where we are, at this time in TEC. We cannot enter into a Covenant pretending to be who others may want us to be. Communion relationships must be based on integrity, not just authoritarian contraints, as is the case with the Roman Communion.

D025 states that we are members of the Anglican Communion and that we commit ourselves to continue as "constituent members."

We recognize that membership involves relationships of mutual support between parishes, dioceses, and provinces that call us to live, as well as preach the Gospel, that feed hungry people, provide medical care, build schools, teach Sunday School, build churches and hospitals, etc. We commit ourselves to this work and these relationships in mutual love and support, whenever we are invited, even in provinces that have excommunicated us.

We have observed the restraint called for in B033. At this General Convention, we deliberately turned aside resolutions that would have rescinded B033, in spite of the fact that intrusions by foreign Primates increased during the time of that observance of B033. Indeed, foreign Primates, together with some former TEC bishops formed a new schismatic Anglican Church that now demands that it replace us in the Anglican Communion. All of this schismatic activity went on in spite of the fact that we were the only Church observing any part of the moratoria.

Our conservative brothers ands sisters have refused to engage in the "listening process". Indeed, some have been so defiant as to support government legislation in their provinces that would criminalize LGBT persons even assembling to talk to each other. In TEC, we have been engaged in the "listening process" for over thirty years, at parish, diocesan, and General Convention levels. The results of our "listening" to the lives of LGBT persons and families is that we have discerned the fruits of the Holy Spirit in their lives and the signs of Christian holiness in their relationships. We have found this to be undeniable. We are telling to the Anglican Communion so.

We state that the calling to ordained ministry is a mystery of God, which happens at the initiative of the Holy Spirit. We commit ourselves to prayerful discernment of God's call in our lives and in our Church, not in some "anything goes" manner, but according to our Constitution and Canons.

We acknowledge that we are "not of one mind" about these things, in our Church and in the Communion. We offer respectful dialogue and freedom of conscience to those who disagree with these views.

In the name of God, who is sovereign, what more can the Communion ask of us?

Posted by karen macqueen+ at Wednesday, 15 July 2009 at 9:16pm BST

Beautifully put, Karen. Thank you. What more can the Communion ask of us indeed.

Posted by Lois Keen at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 2:40am BST

I can assure you that at least one bishop who voted "Yes" told me that he did not interpret D025 as rejecting B033 -- any diocesan or standing committee can use whatever criteria they wish in giving or withholding consent.

FWIW, I was present for all the debates on D025 in both houses & am willing to answer any specific questions that anyone might have to the best of my meager abilities.

Posted by Prior Aelred at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 3:46am BST

You have done well, Karen, but I fear it will not satisfy those who don't want to be satisfied. And that will vex them even more...

Posted by Göran Koch-Swahne at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 6:29am BST

The headline on the BBC radio 4 news at 7 o'clock this morning said that this decision made it likely that TEC would be excluded from full membership of the Anglican Communion.

Huge numbers of people in the Church of England who don't follow the specialist coverage will have heard this. I think it is right that this is the way it is going.

It may or may not be fair, but we shouldn't delude ourselves. And surely those attending General Convention didn't really doubt that this resolution would have a seismic effect on their relations with the rest of the Communion? It is quite different from the Gene Robinson thing, when the reaction did come as a surprise. This one was very strongly telegraphed in advance.

Posted by badman at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 9:04am BST

I agree with you, badman, and, like you (I presume and hope), I welcome what TEC has done. But that shouldn't prevent one claiming (a) that the resolution is as decently and unprovocatively worded as it could be; (b) that hostile reactions from the usual suspects have been indecently expressed and generally dishonest in their one-sidedness.

Posted by john at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 11:55am BST

Suddenly it dawns on me that the whole IRD conservative Anglican realignment is utterly predicated on being able to turn church life into a fight club. If this or that difference cannot be exploited and spin doctored to get believers fighting, then surely queer folks will always be a red hot provocation.

KH reveals this, and do other leading AngConRealign figures. Journalists often have not been helpful, since after all the church being a fight club is a familiar trope to them, especially when it comes to controversies about modern queer folks.

On another blog, somebody posted some clues from Bowen Family Theory, a model that puts a heavy emphasis on gradual differentiations of individual self in authentic family relationships, compared with family unity based on hiding the real selves evolving across time in the family context, while more and more relying on surface conformity to demonstrate that the family still exists, intact.

Taking this Bowen tack, the challenge facing progressive believers and anybody who still occupies big tent Anglican leeway is: honestly differentiating self while refusing to turn differences into a Really Big Fight To The Death.

Closely read, I think that is what this D025 resolution seems to be trying to conceptualize and express to the rest of the planet. If that is the real case, thank goodness, thank God.

Imagine. A group of Anglican believers who want to demonstrate that God is not finished with any of us, that we correct what we can understand to have been legacy mistakes in our negatives about queer folks or any other mistaken issue, that we progress without strict conformity, and prefer to have enough big tent leeway that peace and good will across Anglican differences is the going norm, not turning every global Anglican difference into a fight club meeting.

Posted by drdanfee at Thursday, 16 July 2009 at 10:03pm BST

The Episcopal church cannot be removed from the Anglican Communion and they know it only to well.

Posted by Robert Ian Williams at Friday, 17 July 2009 at 7:13am BST

A couple of definitions:

3. association; fellowship.
4. interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication: communion with nature.
5. the act of sharing, or holding in common; participation. []


1. the act of agreeing or of coming to a mutual arrangement.
2. the state of being in accord.
3. an arrangement that is accepted by all parties to a transaction.
4. a contract or other document delineating such an arrangement.
5. unanimity of opinion; harmony in feeling: agreement among the members of the faculty. []

I think we can all acknowledge that one can be in communion with another without being in agreement on all things, right?

Posted by Pat O'Neill at Friday, 17 July 2009 at 11:33am BST
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