Tuesday, July 10, 2012

General Convention: Will the Episcopal Church become nimble?

The Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham, president and dean of the Virginia Theological Seminary, wrote a brief commentary for Center Aisle, the Diocese of Virginia's daily newspaper at General Convention, that has gotten some buzz. It is reprinted below:

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Revolution is in the air. This General Convention is open to possibility. It is interesting hearing from deputies and Bishops about some of the ideas for the future. So the House of Deputies has already passed a resolution instructing the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to sell the Episcopal Church Headquarters (fondly known as 815). Talk of the next Presiding Bishop (due to be elected in 2015) being free to retain her or his Diocesan position is being taken seriously. Restructuring the church so that it can become much more nimble is a major theme.

Some credit this revolutionary conversation to the growing number of younger Bishops in the House. Others feel that it is being forced on the Church by the pressures on the budget. Others think it is due to the fact that this Convention is not obsessed with issues around human sexuality and therefore starting to look ahead. Whatever the actual reason (and probably all three are factors), it is a good conversation.

I suspect there are more surprises to emerge from this General Convention. The Seminary has been present since the start and will be present until the end. We will use this week of Commentaries to keep you all posted.

The Very Rev Ian Markham Dean and President

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