GC2012

General Convention closes with flurry of activity: ‘Watch out, world. We’re coming’

In the last hours of its eighth day, General Convention handled a flurry of resolutions covering a wide range of topics.

Following the close of Convention, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori said at a press conference, “You have seen the Episcopal Church not only of the future, but of today, in the presence of young adults, a more significant number than we’ve seen in a long time, people of many nations and tribes and language traditions.” 

“The Episcopal Church is health, it’s becoming healthier, and it’s poised for an even more significant impact on the world around us,” she said, according to Episcopal News Service.

“There’s not stopping us. Watch out, world. We’re coming.” 

In the final day of legislation, the Convention:

• took a stand against bullying;

• spoke against the Defense of Marriage Act;

• defeated legislation opposing fracking;

• ensured that the next General Convention, scheduled for Salt Lake City in 2015, will be at least 10 days long, instead of the eight days of the 2012 Convention;

• changed the name of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe to the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, acknowledging that not all American churches there are Episcopal, an action resulted from a unanimous vote;

• voted to create a Churchwide Development Office;

• opted to move the Church Center headquarters away from the Church Center building at 815 2nd Avenue, New York City;

• passed a resolution supporting gun-free zones for churches and church schools;

• required anti-racism training throughout the Church;

• voiced support for labor unions;

• condemned racial profiling;

• voted to allow the use of the 1979 Book of Common Prayer with the permission of the ecclesiastical authority, as well as the Revised Common Lectionary;

• made available liturgical services at the loss of a beloved animal; and

• passed new canons on how dioceses and bishops dissolve their relationship peaceably.

While the eighth day of Convention was busy in both houses, both bishops and deputies found time for fun as well. In the House of Bishops, five bishops named Mark sang about the “Five Marks of Mission.” A video of their performance can be found at http://www.episcopalcafe.com/lead/general_convention_2012_live/musical_entertainment_from_fiv.html.

In the House of Deputies, a winner was declared in the game “Bonnie Ball,” named after the just retired president of the House, Dr. Bonnie Anderson. All of the deputies and much of the support staff were “scored” based on rules that included wearing funny hats and uttering certain phrases. A story on Bonnie Ball can be found at http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/07/12/game-over-bonnie-ball-closes-out-inaugural-one-game-season/.

A round-up of General Convention by Episcopal News Service, with links to more stories, can be found at

http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/07/12/convention-wrap-up-re-envisioning-church-for-the-21st-century/.

-By Lauren R. Stanley (Episcopal News Service contributed to this report.)

Categories: GC2012