Monday, July 16, 2018

2018 General Convention: Wrap-Up

Back home now, recovering a sense of normalcy after the hothouse environment of General Convention, and getting ready to take myself out of action for a about a month later this week--annuel summer holiday. So, some quick thoughts while it's all still somewhat fresh.

This was my sixth convention, spanning fifteen years--three as a Deputy and now three as a Bishop. Of the six--and, frankly, also of the handful that I followed prior to 2003--I feel comfortable in saying that this one was, in terms of end results, the least horrible of the bunch. 

Let's be clear: the outcome was not in any way good. The Episcopal Church has arrogated to itself authority that it does not inherently have, and redefined a sacramental relationship that was instituted by God in creation. That is monumental hubris. And, to add insult to injury, it has deprived bishops of the authority of teaching and liturgical leadership that does properly inhere in the episcopal office. This is scandalous, and a source of shame.

All that said, the silver lining is that the "progressive'" juggernaut, for the first time in my memory, came away with significantly less than it had sought. They had aimed for quick insertion of the new marriage rites into the Book of Common Prayer, and amendment of the catechism. They got neither. They had sought to begin a formal process of comprehensive Prayer Book revision, culminating in a second constitutional reading in 2030. Instead, convention opted for an indeterminate season of creative liturgical anarchy for an by those who want such things, but with the current book enshrined as the constitutional standard indefinitely. And the Prayer Book is the locus of the doctrine of the Episcopal Church. This is not ground that will be held without a struggle. Vigilance is necessary. But we have evaded the ecclesiastical equivalent of nuclear war. This is reason to give thanks.

6 comments:

Joseph N. Davis said...

Thank you for this. I agree. It seems the progressive l8beral juggernaut was restrained by the practical sense of tye House of Bishops, who were reluctant to accept responsibility for the chaos that would ensue if the original proposals were accepted.I say this as an outsider who merely read a few reports as convention was going on. I could be mistaken and may need to revise my assessment later.

revrhino said...

Thank you +Dan for keeping us abreast of General Covention with your thoughts in an already grueling schedule. It is greatly appreciated. Vacation blessings.

underground pewster said...

After stripping Bishops of their authority, I guess the next logical resolution to submit will be one that calls for removing the word "Episcopal" from the Prayer Book, the logo, all letterheads, titles, and 815.

Tregonsee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tregonsee said...

Bishop Martins, thank you for what was clearly a painful labor to chronicle the 2018 GC. While TEC is no longer my church, it is inspiring to see those who have remained to give faithful witness. Clearly it has been at great emotional and spiritual cost, and often with very unchristian criticism from those who have chosen to walk other paths.

Dale Matson said...

"...but with the current book enshrined as the constitutional standard indefinitely." TEC is governed by the book in name only. What about Scripture, Tradition and Reason?