A STATEMENT INTRODUCING C056
To the House of Deputies
General Convention – 17 July 2009
THE VERY REVEREND SAM CANDLER
CHAIR OF COMMITTEE 13
Whether you are a first-time observer, or a veteran, to General Convention, you know that the issue of blessing same gender commitments has been intense and controversial. For a generation, every General Convention has been considering this matter; surely we know every contrasting argument by now. We have heard all manner of voices – the progressive and the traditional, the shrill and the gentle, the painful and the pastoral.
At this 2009 convention, on the last day of our gathering, Committee 13 brings forward Resolution C056. We believe that it represents an elegant blend of theological care, ecclesiastical breadth, and pastoral generosity. Our cognate committee received eleven different initial resolutions on same-sex blessings and/or marriage, rites, we heard over two hours of open testimony, and we listened sensitively to various perspectives in our own committee.
My fellow deputies on Committee 13 are wonderful, and I give thanks for them. And let me say, too, that we especially appreciated working with the bishops in our cognate committee. This convention is wise to depend upon cognate committees to develop resolutions, resolutions which both houses, legislatively, might then find suitable; and we worked together gracefully in Committee 13. The House of Bishops received our resolution first, took some time with it, then took some more time; and they have amended our cognate version.
Now, the House of Deputies Committee 13 believes we have a fine current document. We desire decency and order in the Episcopal Church, theological decency and liturgical order; and this resolution supplies a gentle and modest way forward. We recommend that this house, without amendment, concur with the House of Bishops.