More Upbeat Remarks about the HoB Meeting
At this rate it seems increasing unlikely to me that there will be any major parting of the ways between the orthodox and the revisionists following GenCon06 this summer. It looks like the bishops will endorse these recommendations from the special commission. We cannot know how the House of Deputies will vote as of yet, meaning that the recommendations could still fail to carry the day at GenCon06. But my suspicion is that the general movement in favor of remaining a part of the world-wide Anglican Communion will convince enough members of both houses to endorse the recommendations. I believe the status quo will be retained until Lambeth 2008.
Of course, if the diocese of California elects a non-celibate homosexual person to serve as their bishop before GenCon06 then this newly found re-commitment to do as much as possible to remain a part of the world-wide Anglican Communion will be put to the test. The confirmation of +Robinson by the house of bishops was actually rather close in 2003, so it is believable that if a few bishops have had a change of heart about the wisdom of their votes to confirm +Robinson then such an inappropriate bishop-elect could be rejected this time around. Approving either a non-celibate homosexual bishop-elect or the creation of blessing rites for same-sex unions would clearly be "choosing to walk apart." Right now, I don't see either of those things happening. It looks like the far-left has lost a bit of its momentum at present. We shall see.
Bishop vonRosenberg says in his sermon: However, in the midst of this sense of unrest, unease - and, perhaps, even hopelessness at times - a special commission of bishops, priests and lay people has been working. We saw a draft report last week, and it really will be a remarkable document. Various voices from the worldwide Anglican Communion will be represented, and these will be woven into the same fabric as differing perspectives of the church in our country. Following the presentation of the draft document, bishops from many points of view indicated that they could support it. This document, then, became a kind of nourishment for us in the House of Bishops - sustaining us, if you will, in a time of hunger and need.
After receiving the document and after hearing the responses to it, I among others knew a kind of peace - peace that comes from the experience of grace. Grace was certainly conveyed into a situation that very much needs the grace of God. Grace, you will remember, is unearned and undeserved - but the experience of it is quite real indeed, as we all know.
You may read the entire sermon here.