Wednesday, 12 July 2000
The House of Bishops amended a resolution concerning U.S. relations with Cuba, which had been amended earlier by the House of Deputies, and returned it to the senior house. The resolution (C045) now asks Congress and the president to restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and asks that "issues of human rights, freedom of speech and movement" along with freedom for political prisoners, be considered in that process.
The bishops also approved resolutions activating the Task Force on Reform of the Criminal Justice Systemunder the direction of the bishop for the armed forces, health care and prison ministries (B001a); and directing that office to convene representatives of the Episcopal health care groups and individuals in health care (A079); affirming and endorsing the Cambridge Accord respecting the civil rights and dignity of homosexualpersons (C043a); clarifying language in Called to Common Mission (B048) and declaring it to have been correctly interpreted by the bishops' April 3 mind-of-the-house resolution (B046); and supporting Okinawan people in their efforts to achieve the removal of U.S. military bases and personnel from Okinawa (D028);
Other resolutions requested that the Church Pension Fund study expansion of Medicare Supplement B health-care benefits to retirees (D078a); urged the fund to continue developing socially responsible policies regarding investments and to explore dedicating "a small percentage of the assets" to assist residents of low-income neighborhoods (D102a); authorized for trial use commemorative propers for Florence Nightingale; Enmegahbowh, priest and missionary; and Philip the Deacon (A068); directed the Executive Council to prepare "a comprehensive demographic census" of church membership by Jan. 1, 2005 (A101a). Finally, the bishops passed resolutions amending Canon 1.6, on parochial report procedures (A104a); directing the Standing Commission on Constitution and Canons to prepare an amendment to Canon 4.13, providing a hearing process for clergy desiring remission or modification of a sentence (D056); and changing a commission's name to the Standing Commission for Small Congregations (A020).
Concurred with the deputies:
On resolutions calling on the Executive Council to establish aprocess by which congregations may identify themselves as "safe spaces" (A009); encouraging continued dialogue on human sexuality (C008); promoting nonviolence by resolving that each congregation of the Episcopal Church become a model for peacemaking (A058) (this was reported as sent to deputies on July 11); supporting initiatives to make AIDS-related medications available at affordable prices, especially in the poorest and neediest nations (A051).
The bishops held elections July 10 to Executive Council, the General Board of Examining Chaplains, and for trustees of General Theological Seminary.
Executive Council: Bishops Ted Daniels (Virgin Islands) and Catherine Roskam (New York).
General Seminary trustees: Bishops John Croneberger (Newark) and Douglas Theuner (New Hampshire).
General Board of Examining Chaplains: lay, Philip Clark (Northern California), Susan Lindley (Minnesota) and Peter Williams (Southern Ohio); faculty, the Very Rev. Lloyd Lewis (Long Island), the Rev. Canon Leonel Mitchell (Northern Indiana) and the Rev. Harmon Smith (North Carolina); presbyterate, the Rev. Katherine Black (Massachusetts), the Rev. Scott Hennessy (Virginia) and the Rev. John Loving (Northwest Texas).
The deputies amended a resolution recognizing the importance of the ministry of communication (B029a) to include a plea for the use of more diverse languages, including signing and Braille. They also amended a resolution calling the Church Pension Fund to address housing needs for retired clergy to include overseas clergy (C024a). Those resolutions go back to the House of Bishops for reconsideration.
In other actions, the deputies passed resolutions encouraging development of a Christian education curriculum (B015sa); commending the ministry of reconciliation by the Church of Nigeria (D089s); calling each organization in the church to consider how its ministry will positively affect the lives of children in the church (D045a); recognizing the youth presenceand expressing gratitude for the youths' unique contribution (D114); expressing gratitude for the ministry of Pamela P. Chinnis (D106); recognizing the " compassionate ministry" of the EpiscopalChurchWomen and United Thank Offering (D113); rejoicing in the presence of the ECW Triennial Meeting and President Jane Banning of the Diocese of Pittsburgh (D058);
Concurred with the bishops:
Encouraging continuing education for clergy and lay professionals (A074); calling for the Episcopal Church to support formation of an Anglican Urban Network (C006); endorsing a World Council of Churches proposal to achieve acommon date for Easter (A043); and addressing the Episcopal Church's continuing relationship with newly autonomous overseas dioceses (A129); prohibiting a chancellor or vice chancellor of a province from being a church attorney or lay assessor in any diocese in that province (D016); conforming the canons to the current structure of Province 9 (A125); allowing the bishop of a diocese to give consent to the solemnization of marriage by a priest who is licensed in that diocese even if not canonically resident in that diocese (D026); and making slight changes in certain articles of Title 4 which hadbeenamended by the deputies in 1997 and were then approved by the bishops at this convention (A025).
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