Saturday, July 07, 2018

2018 General Convention, Day 4

It's very late and I'm very tired, so I'm just going to briefly mention one issue on which my committee spent a great deal of time today.

There was a resolution that would have added a sixth promise in the Baptismal Covenant, in the question following the creed, along the lines of, "Will you cherish the goodness and beauty of God's creation, and endeavor to protect its integrity?" We heard testimony on it yesterday, mostly in favor, and very passionately so. The proponents argue that, with the ecosphere as fragile and compromised as it is, creation-care is a first order concern. 

Opponents argue that, as critical as creation care may be, baptism is about the paschal mystery, dying and rising with Christ, and we should not elevate creation care to the level of becoming a condition of baptism, and that it is presumptuous of us to make a unilateral major change to the conditions of a rite so fundamental as baptism. Besides, doesn't persevering in resisting evil already cover whatever we might do on behalf of creation?

We worked on wordsmithing this for a very long time, for what to me felt like more than an hour. We crafted amendments and amendments to amendments. It was at the same time cumbersome (32 people on the committee), tedious, and passionate. It was a major endeavor, a significant expenditure of emotional and mental labor, and time.

When the moment came for a vote, I fully expected to be on the short end, and was already crafting my argument for the floor of the House of Bishops. The Deputies voted in favor, though not has heavily as I had anticipated (15-6). Then the bishops voted, and to my immense surprise, only two voted Aye, with four voting Nay. Since a resolution has to carry in both orders, it died a sudden death right there. While I believe that was the correct outcome, it kind of seemed a shame in the light of all the work that went into it.

Of course, I also monitored from a distance, with lots of emails, texts and hallway conversations, the progress of the sausage making re same sex marriage in Committee 13. Look around, and you can probably find news. It's still a fluid situation.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I will never understand why people have to fix what is not broken. The Baptismal service is not broken. You announce and pledge that you will work to teach the Child to be come a creature of God. If you do that then you will always respect mankind.