Thursday, May 14, 2015

General Convention 2015 - Resolutions on Health

When I began this blog, one of the points was to prepare for the General Convention. So, here we are, coming to General Convention again. 

As in the past, I have looked at the resolutions submitted to Convention to see which might be about the Episcopal Church’s comments on issues of health, whether public health, medical care, or other issues. So far, there is only one that addresses health explicitly. That resolution is C020 “Ministry to People with Mental Illness and Their Families. A C resolution is one that comes by referral from a diocese meeting in convention, and this is from the Diocese of Delaware. The content is straightforward:

Resolved, the House of _______ concurring, That the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church call upon dioceses, congregations, schools and agencies of the Episcopal Church to assess best practices in their mission and ministry for the inclusion, support, and spiritual care for persons with mental illness and their families; and be it further

Resolved, That dioceses, schools, and agencies publish those best practices while promoting and providing links to local mental health advocacy groups and providers.

The desire to identify and use best practices is common across many disciplines these days. In this case, the accountability for the identification falls broadly. It runs the risk of that old saw that “if it’s everybody’s responsibility, it’s nobody’s responsibility.” In the past, we might imagine this passing and then being referred to a continuing body, one of the committees, commissions, agencies, or boards (CCAB’s) in the Church. However, one of the likely consequences of this convention is that there will be fewer CCAB’s, and that those that remain will have more defined (or perhaps restricted) portfolios. This could become an agenda for a network of interested persons, as imagined by the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church (TREC). What we don’t know yet is whether this Convention will lean away from CCAB’s and toward such networks; and if so, when, how, or even if such networks will form.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Once Again, General Convention Is Coming: Pray Hard!

Those who have been reading with me for a while will recall that one of the ongoing topics for this blog has been General Convention. That has included both reports and legislation before the Convention, and considerations and consequences during and after.

Well, this is another General Convention summer. With that in mind, I wanted to point to the information that is already available on line. There has been a concerted effort to make more information available through the General Convention web site before the Convention itself. So, if you'd like to look ahead here are some suggestions.

First, from the General Convention web page you can link directly to the two reports that have been getting the most attention: the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church (TREC) and the Task Force on the Study of Marriage. With an additional click, you can link to the Blue Book reports (formally, the Reports to Convention of Committees, Commission, Agencies, and Boards). Instead of waiting for a printed version, these are being loaded to the web site. And, instead of waiting for one complete publication, reports are being added as they are submitted. So, if there's a report you're interested in and don't see yet, keep checking back.

The same thing is happening with resolutions to General Convention. If you link to the Legislative Resources page, you can link through to all the resolutions that have been submitted. Once again, these are being added as they are submitted, so keep checking to see if your particular interest is addressed.

With the Reports from the Task Force for Re-imagining the Episcopal Church and the Task Force on the Study of Marriage, and also the election of the next Presiding Bishop, this should be an interesting General Convention. You can go ahead and start your review, and so be better able to keep informed about all that happens in and around this year's General Convention.

Monday, April 06, 2015

The Mighty Acts of God

I preached at this year's Easter Vigil at St. Mary Magdalene Episcopal Church. For once I chose to preach at the end of the Vigil rather than in the Eucharist of the Resurrection. Knowing that will help make sense of the sermon. 

The Vigil and Eucharist were glorious. I like to think that the sermon contributed.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

On Loss and Grief and Dreams - and God

My newest piece is up at the Episcopal Café. It's about the relationship between loss and grief - and between grief and the holy. I've addressed this before, but this is the result of further reflection.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

On the Word and on Words: Sermon for Christmas 1, Year B

I'm a little slow in keeping up, but I'm still out there. I preached for the First Sunday of Christmas at St. Mary Magdalene Church. It was my reflection on how the Word became flesh, and we became heirs. You can link to the sermon here