I am pleased to have been able to submit the following resolution to the General Convention office this afternoon. Co-sponsors are Dr Christopher Wells, also of Northern Indiana, and the Revd Bruce Robison of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
TITLE: Provisional Acceptance of the Anglican Covenant
Resolved, the House of _____________ concurring, that this 76th General Convention of the Episcopal Church make a provisional commitment to abide by the terms of the Anglican Covenant proposed in the most recent text of the Covenant Design Group (the “Cambridge-Ridley” draft); and be it further
Resolved, that the text of the proposed covenant be commended to the various dioceses of this church for study and comment during the coming triennium; and be it further
Resolved, that the Presiding Bishop and the President of the House of Deputies appoint a Special Task Force to determine what constitutional and/or canonical measures may be necessary in order to make a permanent commitment to the Covenant; and be it further
Resolved, that this Special Task Force prepare a report to the 77th General Convention of the Episcopal Church that includes draft legislation that could be considered should the convention decide to make a permanent commitment to the Covenant.
The 75th General Convention passed resolution A166, which supports the participation of the Episcopal Church in the development of an Anglican Covenant. Since then, the Covenant Design Group has produced several drafts, culminating in what the members of the CDG believe is the final product of their work, the Cambridge-Ridley Draft.
The 75th General Convention also passed resolution A159, which affirms not only our commitment to interdependence in the Anglican Communion, but a desire to live in “the highest degree of communion possible.” The same convention also passed resolution A160, which offers an apology that “our failure to accord sufficient importance to the impact of our actions on our
church and other parts of the Communion” has “strained the bonds of affection” between the provinces of the Communion.
Since 2006, these strains have only grown more severe. Given our share in their creation, and in keeping with our long-held ecumenical position that for the greater good of the larger Church’s unity, “this Church is ready in the spirit of love and humility to forego all preferences of her own,” and as a sign of good faith toward our sisters and brothers across the Communion, it seems appropriate that we voluntarily and temporarily agree to order our life according to the terms of the Cambridge-Ridley Draft until such time as we can ascertain the level of its acceptance by other churches, and consider more fully the nature of our identity as a constituent member of the Anglican Communion of churches.