- D029 Affirming Nonbinary Access and Leadership
- D030 Develop Resources and Training for Welcoming and Supporting Transgender and Non-Binary Persons and Families
- D066 Addressing Restrictions on Access to Gender Affirming Care
- D072 Resolution on Gender and Sexuality Training
- A063 Creation of a Director of LGBTQI and Women’s Ministries
We are moved that all of these resolutions passed in the context of a Convention that actively extended the crucial work of racial justice, truth telling, and reparations through resolutions, presentations, and testimony. These included A125 (“A Resolution Extending and Furthering the Beloved Community”), which establishes and funds a voluntary Episcopal Coalition for Racial Equity and Justice among dioceses and congregations. Another key resolution, A127 (“Resolution for Telling the Truth about The Episcopal Church's History with Indigenous Boarding Schools”) sets aside funds over the next biennium for investigating The Episcopal Church’s role in Indigenous boarding schools. We heard powerful testimony on the first day of Convention from Indigenous Episcopalians who themselves or whose family members experienced horrible denials of their personhood in boarding school and other racist, anti-indigenous ecclesial settings. We appreciate as well that resolution A126 (“A Resolution Supporting a Comprehensive Review of the Book Of Common Prayer, The Hymnal 1982, and other approved liturgical material”), proposed by Committee 12 (Prayer Book, Liturgy and Music), commits the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to thoroughly review all of The Episcopal Church’s approved liturgical and musical sources for colonialist, racist and white supremacist, imperialist and nationalistic language and content.
Speaking of liturgical resolutions, we were very pleased that this Convention ultimately voted to support A059 (“Amend Article X of the Constitution of The Episcopal Church (First Reading)”) the pathway proposed by the Task Force on Liturgical and Prayer Book Revision (TFLPBR) for liturgical renewal, broadening the definition of the Book of Common Prayer to mean “those liturgical forms and other texts authorized by the General Convention.” This new process will allow for the development of liturgies with inclusive and expansive language as well as liturgical marriage equality to receive authorization as part of the BCP, and not be designated as “second class” rites within The Episcopal Church. We are very glad that the TFLPBR-sponsored resolution A060 (“Endorse Guidance for Inclusive and Expansive Language”), which lifted up concerns about binary language in liturgical texts, also passed.
Among the resolutions on which we focused our advocacy, we were especially gratified that the House of Deputies concurred with the bishops on resolution A063. We very much look forward to the hiring of the Director of LGBTIQ and Women’s Ministries, and we would love to be part of a community that can gather around this person, supporting and dialoguing with them as they make their way into this important work.
We were inspired by the eloquence of those who spoke in support of this resolution, especially in the House of Deputies. As time ran out in debate, there were others who did not have the chance to speak, like the Reverend Isaac Martinez of the Diocese of Massachusetts. He shared his testimony in a series of Tweets. His witness poignantly speaks to the need for this position:
As an Episcopal church planter, my embryonic ministry has been blessed to have professional and prayerful leaders in the office of church planting and redevelopment. This resolution and the draft budget accomplish what other General Conventions before us have failed to do. It provides real and valuable support, in the form of a new DFMS staff position, for the vital and interdependent ministries of combatting the lingering sexism and misogyny in our church and ensuring that every corner of our church fully includes queer and trans people. Yesterday, our Presiding Bishop gave us a good word about closing the gap between the Jesus we know and how we act. The gap isn’t just a product of other Christians’ belief and behavior – we Episcopalians still have a wide gap between what we preach and what we practice when it comes to inclusion and equality for women and queer and trans people. Closing the gap will take clear vision, strong trust, and good, hard work.
The Gospel reading for last Sunday from Luke chapter 10 – the sending of the 70 disciples into the Lord’s harvest – is a favorite of church planters for obvious reasons, but it has a verse that I particularly love to remind my bishops and canons about: ‘the laborer deserves to be paid.’ My siblings in Christ, the labor of equipping each Episcopalian to fully celebrate the image of God in women and queer and trans people finally deserves the investment of a churchwide director. Without a shadow of a doubt, I know this resolution will bear fruit for my QTPOC church plant and for all of our dioceses, congregations, and ministries – I urge your full support.
Thank you, Isaac.
As we close out the 80th General Convention, we give thanks for the many whose labor, both seen and unseen, shapes our church. We celebrate the historic election of Julia Ayala Harris, the House of Deputies' first Latina President, and the Reverend Rachel Taber-Hamilton, the HOD's first Indigenous Vice President. We honor all who offer themselves to serve in the committees, task forces, advisory councils, boards, and yes as deputies. Today we celebrate, and tomorrow we will go back to work committed to walking the way of love.