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Issue 1, July 30

Issue 2, July 31

Issue 3, August 1

Issue 4, August 2

Issue 5, August 4

Issue 6, August 5

Issue 7, August 6

Issue 8, August 7

Issue 9, August 8 (Final)

Articles
Church sees future with 20/20 vision
A whole world in our hands
Griswold gladdened by Convention’s prayer, ‘mission energy’
How are you implementing the 20/20 vision for the church’s future?
Deputies concur: Same-sex rites in use, but common liturgies must wait
Budget decisions favor youth, cultural services
Committee elected to nominate candidates for next Presiding Bishop
For the living of these days
For the facing of this hour
Wrap-up of legislation
Media and mission
U.N.’s Jeffrey Sachs calls Church to moral challenge of reconciliation
World Mission statement calls for new focus on evangelism, service
Anglican Observer takes Convention as opportunity to connect with U.S. Episcopalians
Well, yes, we made it after all!
Churchwide action on same-gender blessings must wait, bishops say
Three cheers for volunteers
Consent decision sparks widespread reaction
In unity, diversity, ecumenical visitors share insights
What are you and your congregation doing to improve the environment?
Earth to Convention…protect our food
Those who opposed Robinson’s consent determined to go forward
Saints of God photo
Deputies elect Anderson VP; Werner re-elected president
Venezuela joins ECUSA
Venezuela nueva diócesis de ECUSA
Robinson ratified; Bishops vote 62-43
Interfaith voices strong in support, but church members fear divisions
Native American singers and drummers photo
Title III debate moves forward, sans dramatic changes
What can individuals do to further world peace?
Transfiguration: bomb tests spark lessons in peace
Nazi treatment of gays recalled
Signs and Wonders
Committee expedites 97 late-breaking resolutions
Accusations put Robinson consent on hold
Hiroshima and Healing
Bishop recalls Hiroshima blast: ‘I felt like the room…was dyed purple’
Unawareness is root of all racism, PB tells forum
Youth, young adults lead budget priorities
How should the church invest in youth?
Young adult voices replace rhetoric, command respect
Title III revision favors standing committees’ referral of candidates
Cultural competence essential for seminarians, advocates say
Culturally diverse rites vital to 20/20, bishops affirm
Saints come marching in
Gold: the color of our church
Deputies OK Robinson election
I will raise them up!
'One people reconciled'
Why must the church continue to confront racism?
Once deacons themselves?
Puerto Rico diocese joins ECUSA
Puerto Rico miembro pleno de ECUSA
Francis and Solheim honored
Bishops reject direct ordination to priesthood
Bishops to mull local option for same-sex rites
What is your opinion of capital punishment?
Robinson hearing sets stage for Deputies
Gap widens to chasm says Cape Town archbishop
Sunday Eucharist set for 10 a.m.; Nigerian Archbishop to preach
Witnesses debate blessings’ potential for mission
Ryan reiterates why he could not throw the switch
To the Pointillism
My Lord! What a morning of prayer
Miscellaneous Photo
Chapel's stations update Way of Cross
Art is muse for meditation
What is your prayer for Convention?
For all the saints: Bishops recommend names to calendar
20/20 energy surges through Convention
We're one big, happy Abrahamic family
Christian hope grew in Ground Zero's grief
Being a peace church in the world of war
Church's mission starts with inclusion
No more conversation on women’s ordination, committee decides
Briefly Noted…
Shop now in marketplace of faith
Miscellaneous Photos
Ethnic communities launch new caucus
Sexuality issues spark ‘teachable moments’across Convention
Dioceses encouraged to take up mission of reconciliation
This Family Robinson: New granddaughter delights bishop-elect
How does reconciliation occur in your diocese?
‘We need the gift of one another…,’ PB tells Convention
Nightly ‘General Convention News’ broadcast makes debut
Church’s youngest members find Convention home
Baptismal covenant forms foundation for Title III revisions
Comunidades étnicas se organizan para la Convención General
Catch cues from Cape Town
Middle East, 9/11, Bridging Cultures, 20/20... Can We Talk?
How is the General Convention reflecting the diversity of the Church?
Consent votes for bishops-elect
Visitors, guests emphasize our global connections
Experienced news teams working this convention
Enjoy Minneapolis – but not too much!
Young people add their voices to mix at convention
Budget seeks to reconcile abundance of faith in time of scarcity
Worship to embrace diversity of languages, cultures, music
Morning aims to help participants ground decisions in prayer
Peace group to mark Hiroshima anniversary, host workshops
The Witness magazine to honor peace and justice advocates
American Anglican Council offers ‘Place to Stand’ for traditional views
Collaborative of ministry groups share in ‘Claiming the Blessing’
Video showcases women’s ministries
Be sure to find “The Great Minnesota Welcome”
Committee members ponder issues of faith and genetics, food safety




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Committee members ponder issues of faith and genetics, food safety

7/30/2003

Five resolutions on the theological implications of new genetic capabilities appear on the lengthy agenda to be addressed by church leaders at the General Convention. As a continuation of the Episcopal Church’s attention to bioethical issues, these are likely to stimulate lively debate.
“New genetic knowledge raises theological issues,” said David H. Smith, chair of the New Genetics Task Force, part of the Committee on Science, Technology and Faith created by an act of General Convention in 2000.

The realization that humans now can manipulate DNA, the basic blueprint of cellular life, is driving Episcopalians to ponder both the immediate and the long-range impact of this new potential. Responsibility for providing moral guidance and pastoral care becomes ever more complicated and  vital.
What position, for example, should thoughtful Episcopalians and others take on genetic testing of adults, children and human embryos and fetuses? What is a reasoned response to possibilities for enhanced life offered by stem-cell research. What is a spiritually informed stance regarding genetic modification of the world food supply? Above all, where is the hand of God in animal and plant life that we now can influence at the molecular level?

Since the 1970s, the church has engaged in a slow dance with what some would call “playing God.” Smith and 13 task force colleagues, including Cynthia Cohen, Ellen Wright Clayton, Bruce Jennings and LeRoy B. Walters, call for a more measured — if not always unified — view. Acknowledging that the possibility of irresponsible behavior exists, they assert that work within a God-centered context is the most reasonable approach to life-affirming progress in the new genetics.

Task force work was intense, said Smith, who this year retires as director of the Poynter Center for the Study of Ethics and American Institutions at Indiana University. He and Cohen did the recruiting.

Drew upon experts

“Our task force includes persons who are among the half dozen most knowledgeable in the country on these issues,” said Smith, author of “Health and Medicine in the Anglican Tradition.” Cohen, a philosopher and lawyer, is senior research fellow at the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and editor and author of books and articles on bioethics.

 “We began with brainstorming about what issues we should talk about,” Smith explained. “We did not want to rehash old ground, speak in bland generalities or offer ideas so remote from the community and life of the church as to be unhelpful.”

Although their original charge did not include production of a book, Smith said the project grew during four “intense” meetings and “lots and lots” of file sharing over the Internet. The book, “A Christian Response to our Genetic Powers,” published by Rowman and Littlefield, is being published for distribution during convention.
“Don’t expect a single point of view to pervade chapters written by members,” Smith cautioned. “The book is polyphony rather than unison singing.”

Resolutions drafted by the task force should stimulate lively discussion. They include ethical guidelines for gene transfer and germline intervention; caring for children in the face of the new genetics; the church’s role in counseling and education on biomedical ethics; and approving research on human stem cells.
While the task force pondered human genetics, the Science, Technology and Faith committee addressed issues of food supply and safety with conferences on genetic engineering and food supply, on robotics and nanotechnology, and roundtables on ways to better engender public understanding and more discussion of these issues. Websites were created to foster ongoing dialogue.

One resolution addresses serious concerns about the safety of food in the rush to manage food production from seed to market.

The work of both the task force and the committee follows the often indistinct line separating fact and faith, a juxtaposition that has engaged the best minds for centuries.

Rather than offer definitive answers, both groups seek to establish sound and godly concepts within which to approach these issues.

Knowledge incomplete

Robert J. Schneider, a scholar, teacher and member of the committee, said that what seems startling, even revolutionary today, will assume its rightful and more modest place as science continues exploring the unknown.

In an essay posted to at www.berea.edu/SpecialProject/scienceandfaith/essays.asp, Schneider writes: “Our knowledge of God’s universe remains incomplete; the sum of human knowledge about the natural world is always increasing; the full and final description and portrait of the universe has yet to be constructed; the end of the operations of science remains beyond human vision.”

Complexity and ambiguity are not sufficient reasons for the Episcopal church to shelve consideration of genetic issues, Smith said. “Somehow, the church must find a way to continue to stay au courant with these issues so as intelligently to teach, speak and provide pastoral care.”
For more, visit: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/ens/2003-138.html


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