Clergy and lay deputies to the Episcopal Church’s General Convention have taken a key step towards a comprehensive multi-year revision of the denomination’s Book of Common Prayer (BCP). Such a revision may include gender-neutral language for God and same-sex marriage rites.
Prayer Book revision has been among the more controversial topics at the church’s triennial convention meeting in Austin, Texas July 5-13. Some deputies have advocated for gender-neutral language for God to be employed in the BCP, arguing that it makes the content more accessible and egalitarian. Other deputies oppose such changes, arguing that there is no groundswell of support among local parishes for a BCP revision. Others have questioned the practicality of pursuing such a major project during a time when the denomination faces significant decline in membership and attendance. The resolution appropriates $1,917,025 in total across the next three years for the revision process.
Officials from orthodox/traditionalist dioceses have expressed concern that prayer book revision could force dissenting dioceses to permit same-sex marriage. Currently, eight domestic dioceses do not permit such unions to be solemnized by their clergy or within their churches. Read More
Episcopal Church Still Skidding Downhill
Episcopal Church Prepares to Tighten Screws on Traditional Marriage Proponents
Pushback on Prayer Book revision from Hispanics, young deputies [Video]
Deputies endorse incoherent Prayer Book revision resolution [Video]
PB revision last hurrah of Episcopal Church's Boomers [Video]
Bishops reject Prayer Book revision [Video]
Convention endorses supplemental gay rites, but budgets no funds for their drafting [Video]
Jesus remains the 'son' of God in Episcopal Eucharistic prayers [Video]
The three articles come from Juicy Ecumenicalism and the six videos from Anglican Ink. I am posting the links to them together for easy reading and viewing. This development will impact not only the Episcopal Church but the other Anglican entities in the United States. Whether it will spark another exodus of unhappy Episcopalians from the Episcopal Church only time will tell. While some Continuing Anglican churches may see an uptick in visits from disaffected Episcopalians, I don't think that Continuing Anglican churches should count on this development reversing their own decline. Rather they should focus on reaching out into the communities in which they are located and engaging the unchurched.