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WESTERN LOUISIANA: Convention adopts 'Windsor-compliant' stance

By Mary Frances Schjonberg
[Episcopal News Service]  Delegates to the 27th annual convention of the Diocese of Western Louisiana, meeting October 13-14 in Alexandria, Louisiana, adopted two resolutions which described the diocese as "Windsor Compliant."

Bishop Bruce MacPherson had requested such a diocesan stance.

One resolution, submitted by the vestry of Grace Episcopal Church in Monroe, states that the diocese "fully accepts and endorses The Windsor Report as has been delivered to us by the Anglican Consultative Council and the Archbishop of Canterbury."

It also supported MacPherson, who has said that he is a "Windsor Bishop," defining that as a bishop who fully accepts and endorses the Windsor Report.

A resolution proposed by the vestry of St. Mark's Cathedral in Shreveport characterized the Windsor Report "not as a judgment but as part of a process with goals of healing and reconciliation as its basis." The resolution also said "we commit ourselves to the process outlined in The Windsor Report as the way forward."
The voting on the resolutions was done by orders using secret ballots. On the first resolution the clergy vote was 34 yes and 20 no, and the lay vote was 99 yes and 37 no. The second resolution passed with a clergy vote of 30 yes and 22 no, and a lay vote of 76 yes and 61 no.

At the end of the 75th General Convention's deliberations on the Windsor Report, MacPherson said that he was "disassociating (himself) from the actions of General Convention 2006 that are not compliant with The Windsor Report," according to a recent Western Louisiana news release.

Since then he had urged adoption of a position identical to that stated in the resolution proposed by the Grace vestry.

In his address to this convention, MacPherson characterized passage of the convention's Windsor-related resolutions as a way to "affirm our desire to remain as a faithful part of the Episcopal Church in Communion with the See of Canterbury."

The full texts of the Windsor-related resolutions are available here.

The two resolutions were among five the convention considered. Information about other resolutions was not available on the diocesan website.

In his address to the convention, MacPherson recalled the state of the diocese a year ago after the two-fisted punch it received from hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He praised the way the diocese met the needs of those in the affected areas and those who fled into the diocese from elsewhere.

"As a diocese we faced tremendous financial demands to meet the ministry needs of many; however ... through the generous contributions of a vast number of people from across the diocese, the nation, and from abroad, God provided for us," he said, noting especially the help of Episcopal Relief and Development and the Church Pension Fund.

Noting differences of opinion in the diocese, MacPherson urged reconciliation rather than "public attack" and criticized those who pass along rumors.

"My brothers and sisters in Christ, we must not let our differences tear the fabric of this diocese nor our community of faith," he said. "We must not let our differences destroy that which God has called us into, and this being a ministry of reconciliation."

MacPherson said he would call a gathering of clergy and laity to begin a diocesan-wide process of reconciliation and healing.

The full text of MacPherson's address is available here.