From Columbus: Two Windsor resolutions get deputies OK

June 21, 2006

The House of Deputies approved two resolutions June 20 dealing with the response of the church to the Windsor Report.

Deputies concurred with resolution A166 from the House of Bishops supporting the process of developing an Anglican Covenant process. They also approved resolution A159, a commitment to interdependence in the Anglican Communion.

Debate on A159 was brief. The resolution reaffirms "the abiding commitment of the Episcopal Church to the fellowship of churches that constitute the Anglican Communion and to seek to live into the highest degree of communication possible."

"What we are doing here in [A]159, is attempting to get back on the island. We cannot do this unless we are going to take seriously the language of this report," said Ellen Neufeld of the Diocese of Albany.

The language in resolution A166, which survived an attempt to change references of a covenant to "conversation," says the measure is "a demonstration of our commitment to mutual responsibility and interdependence in the Anglican Communion."

The resolution directs the Executive Council's international concerns committee and the Episcopal Church's representatives on the Anglican Consultative Council to follow the process of the Communion for developing an Anglican Covenant and making regular reports to Executive Council.

Some deputies were skeptical of agreeing to a process without a guarantee of being involved in its formation. "It is signing a blank check," said Patrick Wadell of the Diocese of El Camino Real. "There needs to be some method for insisting upon our participation in the process, whatever form it takes. To ask this General Convention to sign such a blank check and just trust the process, is, I think, dangerous and naive."

The chair of the Special Committee of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, the Rev. Francis Wade of the Diocese of Washington, said the resolution was simply intended "to bring us into the process" at the beginning.