Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Dean Kevin Martin Update

Hello again from Anaheim

Sunday of General Convention started with a beautiful Eucharist and the receiving to the United Thank Offering. The Presiding Bishop presided and preached. During the offertory, representatives from every diocese mounted the stage area and placed their diocesan offerings in the collection plate. A special treat that morning was music added to the service by Elizabeth Von Trapp.

Sunday afternoon, our first major and controversial legislation came to the floor. This resolution was a crafted compromise (D025) on the debate over B033 that urged “restraint” on dioceses electing folks in same sex relationships. This resolution did not refer specifically to B033, but rather, after affirming our commitment to the Communion, stated that our own diocesan canons and election processes. After considerable debate this resolution was passed by about a 70% vote. It was sent on to the House of Bishops, modified slightly and returned to the Deputies on Tuesday. It passed again. There is very little doubt that this action will not be received favorably by the wider Anglican Communion.

I was honored to be asked to speak in favor of a major evangelistic resolution on the vision for Hispanic/Latino ministry, a resolution dear to our Cathedral community. This resolution was well-received and passed. The funding for this was referred to the Program, Finance and Budget Committee. It will probably be modified because the projections on our budget look very bleak for the next three years.

One painful aspect of this convention is the very slow pace at which legislation is proceeding in the House of Deputies. We are now moving toward the 9th legislative day but still on the day four legislative matters. This probably means that many pieces of legislation simply won’t be brought before both Houses.

We have also approved a major revision of Title IV which is our canon on clergy discipline. It is generally an attempt to make disciple more healing and reconciling, yet it will mean that all Bishops and Standing Committees will have to come up to speed quickly on these changes. We have also added over a hundred names to the lesser feasts and fast calendar. I found the list and rationale just overwhelming.

The Dallas deputation and Bishops have great camaraderie and work very well together. Unfortunately, we often find ourselves voting against the majority and our points of view largely ignored. It is a hard place to be.

A number of important pieces of legislation still remain for action.

Dean Kevin

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