Wednesday, April 15, 2009

GC Resolution Heads-Up

This is the season when we will be seeing more and more drafts of resolutions that will be presented to this summer's triennial General Convention of the Episcopal Church. The text that follows has been made available to me by a member of convention who wishes to remain anonymous at this time. 

The Episcopal Church and Single-Ply Compliance

Resolved, the House of _________ concurring, That this 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church urge every parish and Church institution to commit itself to the use of single-ply toilet paper in all restrooms and outhouses; and be it further

Resolved, That every diocese of this Church appoint a Toilet Paper Compliance Officer to monitor adherence to this single-ply policy throughout the diocese; and be it further


Resolved, That the Parochial Report submitted by every congregation of this Church include a check-box to indicate single-ply compliance; and be it further

Resolved, That training in Anti-Two-Ply be required of all persons in ordained and lay leadership in this Church; and be it further

Resolved, That the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music be directed to draft an Earth Day liturgy, to be submitted to the 77th General Convention, which will include prayer for faithfulness to our commitment to single-ply compliance.



The New York Times reported on February 26, 2009, that two-ply toilet paper is environmentally hazardous.  The Times states:

The national obsession with soft paper has driven the growth of brands like Cottonelle Ultra, Quilted United Northern Ultra and Charmin Ultra – which in 2008 alone increased its sales by 40 percent in some markets, according to Information Resources, Inc., a marketing research firm.  But fluffiness comes at a price:  millions of trees harvested in North America and in Latin American countries, including some percentage of trees from rare old-growth forests in Canada.  Although toilet tissue can be made at similar cost from recycled material, it is the fiber taken from standing trees that help give it that plush feel, and most large manufacturers rely on them.. . . . The country’s soft-tissue habit – call it the Charmin effect – has not escaped the notice of environmentalists, who are increasingly making toilet tissue manufacturers the targets of campaigns.  Greenpeace on Monday for the first time issued a national guide for American consumers that rates toilet tissue brands on their environmental soundness.

The Episcopal Church has made the Millennium Development Goals its first mission priority.  Among those Goals is an important focus on environmental sustainability.  It would be tragic if our Church, committed as we are to peace and justice, were to fail in the matter of toilet paper.  Our Baptismal Covenant implies a single-ply policy:  since we “respect the dignity of every human being,” we must protect the environment in which those human beings live – and must see to it that human beings, in dealing with their most basic needs, do so in an environmentally appropriate way.


Robert said...

This was lovely Dan. I suggest one amendment. I don't think merely checking a box for compliance on the parochial report is sufficient. I feel we would ask for the square footage of TP used per communicant.

Anonymous said...

The Parochial Report is single ply....isn't it? Maybe there is a use for it after all.

Martial Artist said...


I presume that, by "the square footage of TP used per communicant," you actually intend the average (i.e., statistical mean) usage of TP per communicant measured in square footage. If you meant what you literally suggested, that is the square footage of TP used by each individual communicant, I think there would be numerous challenges, not the least of which would be finding a volunteer to undertake the odious task of acquiring and validating the raw data. ;-)

There might also be some objections to participation in data acquisition by those of a more genteel persuasion.

Blessings and regards,
Keith Toepfer

Undergroundpewster said...

Monitoring "...adherence to this single-ply policy..."

That could be a sticking point for the passage of this resolution. Or maybe an icky point!

Anonymous said...

No! are they butting in again?

Anonymous said...

Dear Father Dan:

And who says Fr. Martin does NOT have a sense of humor!!! I loved this post and plan to share it in Diocese of San Joaquin with your long-time friends and admirers!!

Go Cubbies!!!

Deacon Francie

Robert said...

Oh you are absolutely correct Keith. Thanks for that! We do want something that is workable after all for reporting purposes!

Fr. Charles Erlandson said...

The resolution will pass by a paper thin margin.

So now we have PC TP!

Dale Matson said...

You just know that the person who volunteers as compliance officer will be the parish brown noser.

us300 said...

Oh my! I have been using single ply for a long time, and finally got my wife to use it. Now her mother is using it, too. We're on a roll now!

TLF+ said...

"If we are worth anything, it is not because we have more money or more talent, or more
human qualities. Insofar as we are worth anything, it is because we are grafted on to
Christ's life, his cross and resurrection. That is a person's measure." -- Archibishop
Oscar Romero, March 4 1979
Just to remind us that one can be a seriously orthodox believer, a social progressive, and engage real issues sacrificially.

I ran into this Romero quote the other day. God was being gracious - He obviously knew I would be seeing this resolution and in need of an antidote.