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Welcome To Minneapolis...

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




‹‹ Return
Sexuality issues spark ‘teachable moments’across Convention

7/31/2003

Malcolm Boyd exiting the Integrity Eucharist during GC 2003
  

 
Gen-X conversation
  

 

The Convention’s two houses may be where sexuality issues are legislatively decided, but voters will come to those halls informed by discussions that are happening this week all over downtown Minneapolis.

For the American Anglican Council, whose members identify as “mainstream” Episcopalians, “Unconventional Breaks” daily at 4pm at Central Evangelical Lutheran Church, located near the Minneapolis Convention Center, are meant to provide a learning environment  in the midst of controversy. The authority of Scripture is a main theme of discussions there.

The Rev. Canon David Anderson, AAC president, told The Daily his organization is “not leaving” the church even though General Convention measures on consent to an openly gay bishop and proposed rites to bless same-gender unions are bringing Episcopalians on all sides of these issues to confrontation. But whether those resolutions would be considered “teachable moments,” in the long or short term, is up for debate, depending on who you ask.

“What the liberals are saying is: ‘We’ve learned a lot today about human life, psychiatric issues, and therefore we really know more than they know and therefore we know that (homosexuality) is okay now and (conservatives) don’t understand that,” Anderson said. “That premise is based upon Holy Scripture being non-authoritative. If Scripture is God-breathed then it is still applicable today. If it is simply the ramblings of people back then, then, yes, modern science may have a real update on what they wrote.”

The Rev. Susan Russell, executive director of Claiming the Blessing, a group dedicated to achieving ratification of a formal blessing of same-gender unions, has a different view. “I said when I was ordained that I believed the Holy Scriptures contain all things necessary for salvation. I do not believe everything contained in the Bible is necessary for salvation.”

 “We are all selective literalists,” said Russell, who is based in Southern California, where there is a large gay and lesbian population. Same-sex blessings should be formalized, she said, as a tool to bring more people into the fold and provide them pastoral care. “If you take any one verse out of context you do so at our own peril. Holy Scripture is not a psychology manual or a sexuality textbook. It’s a faith manual. It is the history of a faith community, of God’s presence in our lives,” she said.

If a controversial sexuality measure passes, Convention may be over for some people, who may leave the church, Anderson said. “There will be angry people in churches holding the newspaper asking their rector: ‘What are you going to do about this?’”
However, conversations with convention participants reveal that most people believe great numbers will not leave the church, at least in the short term, and it will continue on in all its diversity.

“I think it’s no coincidence that we’re back in Minneapolis, the site of the 1976 approval of the ordination of women, and that was the last supposed great schism that was going to split the church,” said Russell. “I remember those debates and the fear and the predictions that a third of the people would leave the Church as a result. But about one percent left. I’m sure that grieved the heart of God. But I also know that has strengthened the Church to have women more fully includedThirty years from now we will see (gay union liturgies and openly gay clergy) as another step towards full inclusion.”

“I am not going anywhere,” said Michael Hopkins, president of Integrity, a pro-gay and lesbian group of Episcopalians. “The truth is that the mainstream of Anglicanism is extraordinarily wide. That is the glory of our church. No matter what happens at this convention I will remain not only in the church but serving it. I will not attempt to get my way by threatening to leave. And I still ask those on all sides of the debate to take such threats off the table.”

 “We are not leaving either,” said Anderson. “What we are saying is the action of approving either of those resolutions is schismatic from the Anglican Communion. What is unclear is how the primates of the communion respond to this kind of schismatic action. Will this cause a diminution or estrangement or the end of participation of the Episcopal Church in the global communion? I don’t know.”

So far dialogue has been largely amicable, indicating that through God’s grace friendships can still be forged and Episcopalians can remain hopeful in our future together — despite the vast differences.

Anderson said he has many gay and lesbian friends that he keeps in touch with. “I love them,” he said. “They know my point of view and I know theirs but we don’t sit down and hash it out. The Church is a family and there are times in families when things get awkward but you try and hold the family together.”

Sarah Tippit Johnson is a correspondent for Reuters and a member of St. Timothy’s Church in the Diocese of San Diego.


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