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This page last updated 15 April 2007
Anglicans Online last updated 17 March 2019

General Convention 2000
News Centre

THE NEWS CENTRE at Anglicans Online is perhaps the world's premiere source for international Anglican news. Part of our technique for keeping it the best is to omit excess local and regional coverage. But so many of our readers are in ECUSA; we wanted to offer Anglicans Online coverage of ECUSA's General Convention without saturating the News Centre. So we have this GC2000 News Centre. Note that, in keeping with our house style, we retain English spelling for an American event.

Saturday, 15 July: More press coverage of women's ordination
The Rocky Mountain news reports that 'Episcopalians support crackdown'. The Denver Post reports that '3 Episcopal dioceses ordered to ordain women'

Saturday, 15 July: Wrapup articles on GC 2000
One Associated Press weekend wrapup article says 'Episcopalians reject same-sex ceremonies' and another says 'Episcopalians Move Forward on Gays'. The Birmingham (Alabama) News says that 'Episcopal leaders disagree on future of same-sex unions'. The Des Moines (Iowa) Register says that '2 churches form a bridge ahead of national pact' and then talks about local implementation of CCM.

Saturday, 15 July: Archbishop's son is no one's mouthpiece
The Rocky Mountain News wrote a piece on Andrew Carey, younger son of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has been in Denver covering the GC for the Church of England Newspaper.

Friday, 14 July: There's nothing like a deadline to create efficient debate
The Episcopal News Service reports that in the last few hours of General Convention a large number of resolutions were passed, of which the most important was the budget. There are many others, but you have to scroll to the second half of the press release to find them.

Friday, 14 July: Rebel dioceses face censure
Or so says the Denver Post, which reports that dioceses of the Episcopal Church that refuse to ordain women probably will face a crackdown, if a measure passed by one house of the church's General Convention is confirmed by the other house today. Three dioceses don't ordain women, even though the church passed a mandatory law 24 years ago allowing women into the ministry. The Associated Press filed this story about yesterday's Deputies vote. The Los Angeles Times published this story about it.

Friday, 14 July: The press likes Pam Chinnis
So do most people, evidently. The Denver Post reports on the good-bye party for Pamela Chinnis, past president of the House of Deputies.

Thursday, 13 July: Deputies affirm women's ordination mandatory for all
The Episcopal News Service reports that 'despite rumors of a possible walkout, the House of Deputies voted overwhelmingly on the morning of July 13 to press implementation of the canons regarding women's ordination. The resolution (A045) specifically calls for compliance in the three dioceses that still disagree with the practice.' We were intrigued by this sentence: 'When the vote tally was reported, the Fort Worth deputation moved to the back of the hall with the deputation from Quincy and members of other deputations, but did not leave the floor. "We weren't walking out of the church. We're not leaving the Episcopal Church. We went back to pray, because that's what we do," explained the Rev. Canon Charles Hough, chair of the Fort Worth deputation.'

Thursday, 13 July: Episcopalians in Agreement on Sexuality
The New York Times' Gustav Niebuhr reported today that leaders of the Episcopal Church reached agreement on an unusual resolution about human sexuality, in which the church officially acknowledged that its parishioners include unmarried couples living in long-term relationships and that those relationships are worthy of pastoral care.

Thursday, 13 July: HoB approves first seven resolves of sexuality resolution
The Episcopal News Service reports that by an overwhelming margin, the House of Bishops concurred with the House of Deputies July 13 in approving the first seven resolves of a resolution expressing support for couples living in "life-long committed relationships" other than marriage. They had previously voted down a request to restore the eighth resolve (ENS report here; AO correspondent Pepper Marts filed this report). Reuters filed this story.

Thursday, 13 July: Self-congratulation on electronic communications
You will note that you are not currently reading an ENS publication; you are reading Anglicans Online. We are covering General Convention because we didn't think that the official coverage was anywhere close to good enough. However, today the ENS congratulates itself on what a fine job it did with electronic coverage. We think that it did a fine job in 'wholesale' electronic coverage, of providing material to the working press, but we are not happy with its 'retail' coverage: writing for the members of the church. In our opinion this stands in stark contrast to, say, the ELCA's electronic coverage of its last meeting. But forward progress is good. We don't mind our church being behind the curve, but we wish they'd stop saying they're ahead of it.

Thursday, 13 July: House of Bishops rejects C039s
The Rocky Mountain News reports that 'Episcopal bishops reject same-sex rites'. The Denver Post reported it as 'Same-sex issue divides Episcopalians'. The New York Times said 'Episcopal Bishops Reject Plan for Rites Outside Marriage'. The official ENS press release is here.

Thursday, 13 July: Episcopal delegate used salt to 'bless both sides'
The Dallas Morning News reports that the Revd Nelson W Koscheski, returned home to Dallas, says that 'his sprinkling of salt in various locations at the Episcopal national convention in Denver was intended to be a blessing.'

Thursday, 13 July: Elections to Executive Council and General Seminary board
The ENS reports on the results of elections to Executive Council etc.

Wednesday, 12 July: The press reacts to C039s
Wire stories were filed last night (see below). Today the Denver Post reports that 'Episcopalians turn down liturgy for unmarried couples'. The Rocky Mountain News reports that 'Episcopalians voice support for gay unions'. Sheesh; you can't tell the players without a scorecard, can you? The Birmingham (Alabama) News reports that 'Episcopal panel urges rites open to gay unions'. The Los Angeles Times said that 'Episcopalians Officially Recognize Gay Couples'. The World News online news service, writing from the AP wire story below, said that 'Episcopalians Nix Gay Rites'.

Tuesday, 11 July: House of Deputies defeats D039s
The ENS reports that by a narrow margin in a vote by orders, the House of Deputies July 11 deleted a final resolve from resolution D039s. The controversial resolve called for the preparation of a rite to "support relationships of mutuality and fidelity other than marriage which mediate the grace of God." Here is a longer story from ENS about the vote. The Associated Press reported this story as 'Episcopalians OK Support for Gays', while Reuters reported it as 'Episcopal leaders defeat gay union proposal'. We have not managed to find online an official copy of D039s (as voted), but the report by AO correspondent Pepper Marts contains his unofficial transcription of it, and a later report contains both AAC's and Integrity's comments thereon.

Tuesday, 11 July: Remaining sexuality resolutions discharged
The Episcopal News Service reports that Committee 25 voted unanimously to discharge all remaining resolutions on sexuality. Any resolutions submitted to the committee but not contained in the four resolutions already packaged by the committee are gone.

Tuesday, 11 July: Gearing up for non-marriage relationships
The Denver post reports that Episcopalians will consider today whether the church should have a liturgy for people in non-marriage relationships. The Rocky Mountain News has a similar story, but describe it as a gay rights situation. The Associated Press had this to say about it.

Tuesday, 11 July: Prayers for medical situations?
The Scripps Howard News Service reports that the Standing Commission on Music and Liturgy is proposing additions to the prayer book to minister to the suffering that accompanies many medical decisions. Some additions would simply be brief prayers. Others might be a liturgy, with songs and responses.

Tuesday, 11 July: Reflections by Jean Torkelson
The religion writer of the Rocky Mountain News, Jean Torkelson, reflected today on the state of things at General Convention, including the assertion that 'Two gay issues defeated at triennial convention'.

Monday, 10 July: House of Deputies elects Currie vice president
The Episcopal News Service reports that Vincent C. Currie Jr. of the Central Gulf Coast was elected on the afternoon of July 10 as vice president of the House of Deputies.

Monday, 10 July: Committee 25 sends sexuality resolution to deputies
The ENS reports that after five days of meetings and three major hearings, Special Committee 25 has cleared a path through a tangled thicket of sexuality resolutions. The committee has forged a compromise measure that acknowledges traditional teaching on marriage while supporting "relationships of mutuality and fidelity other than marriage."

Monday, 10 July: Bishop Beckwith and the Booklet
The ENS wire carried a story about the Rt Revd Peter Beckwith, Bishop of Springfield, and his being less than pleased with a printed booklet distributed by Trinity Wall Street. Rather than try to summarise this odd story, we suggest that you just read it.

Monday, 10 July: A cleric's conservative crusade
The Philadelphia Inquirer interviews the Revd David Moyer, president of Forward in Faith North America. This is a nice interview, well worth your attention.

Monday, 10 July: Associated press carries the Salt Story
The Associated Press reports that 'a Texas delegate ... says he wasn't looking for wounds in a national debate over homosexuality when he scattered salt under the tables of openly gay and lesbian delegates and their supporters. Instead, the Rev. Nelson W. Koscheski of Dallas says his sprinkling of salt in various locations at the Episcopal national convention at Denver was intended as a blessing.'

Monday, 10 July: Pittsburgh newspaper profiles George Werner
The Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh), George Werner's hometown newspaper, has published a profile of this man who was just elected president of the House of Deputies.

Monday 10 July: EC disputes singer's label of anti-gay
The Rocky Mountain News reported today that various members of the Episcopal Church have denied the charge levelled by singer Judy Collins that the church is anti-gay.

Monday, 10 July: Lots of activity on ENS newswire
We have highlighted the Monday ENS stories that we think warrant your attention. If you want all of the official news, have a look at the ENS story index.

Monday 10 July: Newspapers say good things about CCM
The wire stories were first. Today there are articles in newspapers that employ religion writers, each with a different point of view. The Denver Post reported that a 'historic accord linking the Episcopalians and Lutherans doesn't have much of a downside, church officials said. The two churches will now be able to share resources and ideas'. The Post and Courier (Charleston, South Carolina) reported that 'local pastors are celebrating the agreement between the two denominations, which was made official by the Episcopal Church USA on Saturday.' The Los Angeles Times reported that 'The agreement, which takes effect next January, is not a merger. Both denominations will maintain their separate identities and organizations.'

Sunday, 9 July: More work ahead
The Rocky Mountain News reports that there is much more work to do on the agreement between ECUSA and ELCA before it actually happens.

Sunday, 9 July: One primate says sweet things about another
It would have been terribly rude for Michael Peers (primate of the Anglican Church of Canada) to say unkind things about his host Frank Griswold (primate of ECUSA) after being invited to speak at GC 2000. So he didn't. He said only nice things. He also talked about how much of a money problem the Canadian church has. We heard absolutely no reports of him passing around a collection plate.

Saturday, 8 July: Money for colleges, and argument about process
The ENS reports that today the House of Bishops voted to give three historically black colleges more than they had requested, but only after a lengthy digression on how the church funds such support.

Saturday, 8 July: Electronics ban irks bishops
One of the resolutions presented to GC is B014, which would have prohibited the use of mobile phones, paging devices, computers or other forms of electronic communication at bishops' gatherings. Anglicans Online (which you are now reading using an electronic communication device) fundamentally exists for the purpose of promoting, by good example, the use of electronic communication within the church, and we have been more than slightly scornful of the avoidance of technology in ECUSA and its governance. We are therefore greatly relieved to learn that this resolution has been postponed indefinitely. The details are hidden in the middle of a press release about money for traditionally black colleges; do scroll down. Note that a similar resolution, D030, was introduced to the House of Deputies by the person who was today elected its president. It was amended twice and then referred back to committee, presumably in paper form.

Herb Gunn, lay deputy from the Diocese of Michigan (and the President of the Episcopal Communicators) moved an amendment to D030: "and be it further resolved that pencils, paper, eye glasses, hearing aids, lap top commuters, and hand-held devices used for personal record keeping and information maintenance shall be exempt." AND while Gunn's amendment passed on the previous day, when the committee returned to the floor with a revised rule--his amendment was not incorporated. His second attempt to clarify that rules should not restrict the use of electronic data maintenance devices was defeated by the house of deputies.

Saturday, 8 July: Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott

Ein' feste Burg ist unser Gott,
Ein gute Wehr und Waffen;
Er hilft uns frei aus aller Not,
Die uns jetzt hat betroffen.
Der alt' böse Feind,
Mit Ernst er's jetzt meint,
Groß' Macht und viel List
Sein' grausam' Rüstung ist,
Auf Erd' ist nicht seinsgleichen.

See ENS release GC2000-031 if you have no idea what this means. But the story has made most of the world's major newspapers, probably including yours, so you most likely already know. Here is Frank Griswold's statement about the passage of CCM.

Saturday, 8 July: George Werner elected president of the House of Deputies
ENS reports that the House of Deputies elected George L.W. Werner to succeed Pamela P. Chinnis as president of that House. Werner retired recently as the dean of Trinity Cathedral in Pittsburgh, in a retirement service that Anglicans Online staff attended. We can prove that we were there by telling you that the sermon was unbelievably terrible, because nobody would ever write down such a statement in an official forum, but if you were there, you know that it was.

Saturday, 8 July: Deputy resigns from Dallas deputation after salting incident
The Episcopal News Service reports that the deputies from the Diocese of Dallas announced the resignation of the Rev. Nelson W. Koscheski from that deputation.

Saturday, 8 July: Newspaper prints prediction that this is last GC
The Rocky Mountain News reported on an interview with traditionalist Richard Kew, in which he claims that 'for the Episcopal Church as we know it, this is its last General Convention.'

Friday, 7 July: HOB approves CREDO project at reduced funding level
The Episcopal News Service reports that bishops wrestled with an amendment to help fund the CREDO project (a clergy wellness initiative of the Church Pension Group). While they did not question the need for the project, or the validity of the particular approach, bishops found it hard to justify a funding request for $100,000 and funded it instead at $30,000.

Friday, 7 July: Dallas deputy attempts purification of other deputations
Louie Crew needs no introduction. Among other things, he's the chairman of the deputation from the Diocese of Newark. AO Correspondent Pepper Marts filed a brief and stunned report that a member of the Dallas deputation salted Dr Crew to attempt to exorcise him. Other eyewitness reports say that the salt was not thrown, but placed ritually under the table. Later reports to us by telephone from Denver say that the salter was the Rev. Nelson W. Koscheski, who had also placed salt in various places around the Dallas deputation, and that the apology to the convention was made by the Rev Dr Mark Anschutz and not by the deputation leader. The Episcopal News Service reported the incident. AO correspondent Judy Fleener filed this observation. Your news centre editor is fascinated by this use of salt; he had thought that the tools for exorcism were bell, book, and candle. But the Catholic Encyclopedia (c 1909) says this:

The chief things formally exorcised in blessing are water, salt, oil, and these in turn are used in personal exorcisms, and in blessing or consecrating places (e.g. churches) and objects (e.g. altars, sacred vessels, church bells) connected with public worship, or intended for private devotion. Holy water, the sacramental with which the ordinary faithful are most familiar, is a mixture of exorcised water and exorcised salt; and in the prayer of blessing, God is besought to endow these material elements with a supernatural power of protecting those who use them with faith against all the attacks of the devil. This kind of indirect exorcism by means of exorcised objects is an extension of the original idea; but it introduces no new principle, and it has been used in the Church from the earliest ages.

Friday, 7 July: Today's voting activities
The Episcopal News Service reports that a new pattern seems to be emerging in the House of Deputies: whenever a controversial resolution on sexuality is brought to the floor, someone calls for a vote by orders. It also discusses some of today's votes.

Friday, 7 July: House of Bishops approves CCM
The house of deputiesThe Episcopal News Service reported just now that the House of Bishops approved resolution A040 by more than a two-thirds majority. The vote, which followed nearly an hour's debate, commits the ECUSA Episcopal and ELCA Lutheran churches to a full sharing of ministries and mission. The Associated Press carried this story immediately. The Rocky Mountain News reported it this way. The Denver Post reported it this way.

Friday, 7 July: The Associated Press reviews the big issues
Most commercial news stories about religion are printed in the Saturday newspapers, so the wire stories move on Fridays. The Associated Press reviewed the issues in today's story.

Friday, 7 July: Vote today on CCM
The Denver Post reports that Episcopal bishops will vote today on whether the church enters a historic agreement with Lutherans so the denominations can exchange clergy and pool their efforts to serve congregations. The Rocky Mountain News agrees.

Friday, 7 July: Gen Xers find role at church convention
In what might be interpreted as an attempt to find something to say during a convention whose timing is like a sumo match, the Rocky Mountain News today interviewed Patricia Lane of Bethesda Maryland, who, besides being a nice person, is newsworthy because she is 36 years old.

Thursday, 6 July: Judy Collins cancels GC concert
The ENS reports that singer Judy Collins has decided to cancel a scheduled concert at the General Convention to protest what she called the church's discriminatory policies against homosexuals. The Denver Post reported it this way, two days later.

Thursday, 6 July: 'Special Committee 25 takes initial action on heterosexism'
The Episcopal News Service reports that the special committee appointed to deal with sexuality issues has combined a resolution on heterosexism with another resolution calling for continued dialogue on sexuality. OK, OK. If we had any actual news to report, you know you'd find it here.

Thursday, 6 July: More about sexuality
The Rocky Mountain News reports that ECUSA inched closer Wednesday toward a debate on whether it's an outright sin to object to homosexual behavior.

Thursday, 6 July: Episcopalians could link with Lutherans
The Associated Press reported today that ECUSA leaders are considering an alliance with the largest U.S. Lutheran denomination. Pamela Chinnis, president of the House of Deputies, and Frank Griswold, presiding Episcopal bishop, said they want the vote taken soon. The Christian Science Monitor wrote this story about it.

Thursday, 6 July: Washington Times on GC
The Washington Times (a newspaper owned by Korea's Unification Church) reported today that 'Episcopalians seek to revive a dwindling denomination'

Wednesday, 5 July: Evening press release wrapup
The GC2000 news service has filed its end-of-the-day news releases. 'Life, death, sexuality mark deputies' first day'. 'Bishops debate push for mandatory anti-racism training'. 'House of Bishops will embark on closed prayer sessions'. We hope that this means that the lay deputies can get an extra hour of sleep, but somehow we doubt it. 'Griswold and Chinnis address sexuality and Episcopal-Lutheran communion.' And the text of the PB's homily. You will note that none of the wire services has rushed to press with any of these stories.

Wednesday, 5 July: Reuters wire story about GC
Reuters first story about the GC says 'Episcopalians open meeting, facing controversy'.

Wednesday, 5 July: Resolution C001 rejected
The ENS reports that on its first morning of business, the House of Deputies voted to reject a resolution that would have imposed sanctions on dioceses for failure to pay their "fair share" of askings to the national church.

Wednesday, 5 July: GC might dodge the sexuality issue
The Associated Press reports that debate on the role of homosexuals could end up with a decision not to take any action at all. A proposal before the General Convention would codify the church's unofficial policy of allowing each diocese to decide whether to ordain gays and bless same-sex unions.

Tuesday, 4 July: Gay advocates arrested at protest
The Associated Press reports that one day before the Episcopal Church's national debate on homosexuality, dozens of gay and lesbian advocates were arrested during a protest, and that conservatives unveiled a campaign saying homosexuals can change their lifestyles. The AP also distributed a brief interpretive piece about the same event. The Episcopal News Service (the press arm of ECUSA) reported the story in press release 002 and released these photographs.
The Denver Post said 'It may have been the city's most polite law-breaking event.' The Rocky Mountain News called it 'a genteel act of civil disobedience' and noted that the arrests included a mother and her son.

Tuesday, 4 July: ENS Webcast aired
We watched (or rather, listened to, as there wasn't much to watch) all 14 minutes and 22 seconds of today's ENS webcast and can report that you needn't rush to the computer to listen attentively.

Tuesday, 4 July: The last pre-event coverage
There's nothing really to write about yet, but there is air time to fill, and there is a need to test to make sure the distribution mechanisms are working. The first GC2000 news release is out, number 001, and it makes for interesting reading even though it has no actual news.
The Rocky Mountain news wrote about the issues and the people.

Tuesday, 4 July: First news blips in national sources
National Public Radio this morning gave roughly 60 seconds of on-site reporting from Denver to an overview of General Convention and the issues likely to be dealt with. (No surprise which ones.) Reuters reports that contention over gays is a major topic; the Associated Press mentions that same-sex issues are likely to dominate the event. The Denver Post goes into slightly more depth, reporting also that women's issues will loom large. The Rocky Mountain News actually discussed the broader issues instead of just focusing on sex and sexuality. And at last there are signs of activity in the main concourse of the Denver Convention Centre, as spied on by the webcam.

Monday, 3 July: First webcast online
The first Episcopal News Service web cast (link requires RealVideo or equivalent) went online, but the first three minutes—of its 14-minute length —were voiceover photos, of the GenCon seal and Jim Solheim, news director. It's an overview of General Convention, not surprisingly.

Saturday, 1 July: An introduction to General Convention
James Solheim, director of the Episcopal News Service, has written a nice background essay on ECUSA's General Convention.

Wednesday, 14 June: Diane Rehm interviews Frank Griswold
Diane Rehm, a well known Washington DC radio 'talk show' host, interviewed the Most Reverend Frank Griswold, Presiding Bishop of ECUSA, on 14 June, You can listen to the interview in RealAudio.

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