[Episcopal Life Online]14 July 2009--After more than two hours of discussion and with a standing-room-only crowd watching, the House of Bishops on July 13 adopted an amended version of Resolution D025, which opens "any ordained ministry" to gay and lesbian people.
Bishops voted 99-45, with two abstentions, for the revised resolution, which goes to the House of Deputies world mission legislative committee. The committee must make a recommendation to the full house about whether to concur in the amended resolution, amend it further, or defeat it, according to Deputy Sally Johnson (Minnesota).
The bishops amended the fourth resolve, which originally read "that the 76th General Convention affirm that God has called and may call such individuals, to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church which call is tested through our discernment processes acting in accordance with the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church." They inserted the words "and that God's call to the ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church is a mystery which the church attempts to discern for all people" after the words "to any ordained ministry in the Episcopal Church" and deleted "which call is tested."
The House of Deputies was the house of initial action for D025, widely considered a response to Resolution B033, which was adopted by the last General Convention. B033 urged restraint in consenting to the consecration of bishops whose "manner of life" challenged the rest of the Anglican Communion. That challenge was widely understood to refer to gay bishops in partnered unions.
Bishop Geralyn Wolf of Rhode Island, chair of the World Mission legislative committee which crafted resolution D025, had advised bishops to reject the measure because it could threaten a proposed Anglican covenant and undermine "mission at home and abroad because it presumes a theological understanding that we have not in fact established."
The bishops of most of TEC dioceses outside of the continental United States did not vote in favor of D025. It is a development on which we may want to keep an eye.