From the Worldwide Faith News archives

[ENS] Growing diversity, seminary education cost, ecumenism grab

From "Mika Larson" <>
Date Wed, 6 Aug 2003 16:25:44 -0400

deputies action

August 6, 2003

Growing diversity, seminary education cost, ecumenism grab deputies

by Sarah T. Moore
[ENS] The House of Deputies overwhelmingly voted to fully recognize and
welcome Native Peoples into congregational life with special effort to
reach out among urban Native Peoples, reaffirming the 72nd General
Convention designation of 1997-2007 as the "Decade of Remembrance,
Recognition, and Reconciliation" (C008). 

By voting thus, the resolution asks for a budget allocation
consideration of $1.5 million for the triennium to provide grants for
projects that seek to welcome Native Peoples into church life, provide
leadership training, evangelism and mission works among urban and rural
Native Peoples for young and report back to the 75th General Convention.

Supporting this resolution, Deputy the Rev. Anthony Guillen of Los
Angeles called to the microphone all people of color who are deputies as
a witness of the growing diversity of the church. 

Deputy the Rev. John Floberg of North Dakota, who works with Native
Peoples said, "Many of us are committed to a ministry of presence and
compassion. But that is not enough. The ministry of presence must become
a ministry of present."

Hawaii Deputy the Rev. Darrow Aiona said, "I speak in support of the
native indigenous Hawaiians. Since the beginning of the Episcopal Church
in Hawaii, we only have had active, retired and dead Hawaiian clergy
totaling seven. We claim to be 'kanakamaoli' - indigenous people of the
land. We need help in raising up kanakamaoli clergy."

Deputies also adopted another resolution reaching out to the "new
majority" - defined as persons who have felt unwelcome or alienated,
particularly those characterized by race, ethnicity, language,
disability and sexual orientation. The Congregational Development unit
of the Episcopal Church Center was urged to continue to expand its
resources in these areas, in keeping with the enthusiastic move to
strengthen evangelism of 20/20 movement.

Educational support addressed 

High debt for seminary students was the concern of resolution A064 on
which deputies concurred with the House of Bishops. This directs the
Standing Commission on Ministry Development to convene a partnership
with the Church Pension Fund, the Episcopal Church Foundation, the
Society for the Increase of the Ministry, the Episcopal Evangelical
Education Society, the council of Seminary Deans and any other
appropriate group to address debt and report back to the 75th General

Among numerous debt-reduction suggestions in the resolution include
encouraging dioceses and congregations to play a greater role in
supporting people preparing for ordination and lay professions. Another
targeted financial support for those working in underserved areas

The Education Committee presented resolutions on the church's role in
counseling and education on biomedical ethics (A013); use of survey data
to develop resources on the church's response to violence, poverty,
injustice and exclusion, particularly as these relate to women (A030);
assessment of ministry with the aging population (A007); and
commendation to Episcopal colleges and schools to include peace and
justice studies, education and training for service and careers in
nongovernmental organizations and civil society (A038).

War and peace issues

Deputies concurred with the House of Bishops on resolutions proposed
through the Ecumenical Committee. These include recommending that the
church speak out to end religious persecution on war and encourage the
church to observe, support and institute interfaith worship services in
all communities across the country and world (C031). 

The house concurred with bishops that the church continue substantive
Christian-Muslim dialogue and to cooperate in such dialogue with other
Christian bodies and support efforts to strengthen peaceful and secure
religious wtiness of other Christians around the world in ministry among
Muslim neighbors (A090).

Genetic guidelines endorsed

The house also adopted with amendment a statement on ethical guidelines
for genetic research and intervention. 

"People are looking to the church for guidelines," said Deputy Randy
Dales. The resolution states it is morally acceptable in principle to
engage in experimental somatic cell human gene transfer for therapeutic
purposes in an effort to treat or prevent disease, and experimental
genetic intervention in human beings must meet ethical standards of
research and not consider the use of germline procedures (A011).

Responding to a resolution on caring for children in the face of the new
genetics, the house approved that genetic testing can be an important
part of parental responsibility and may be carried out if it is clearly
in the best interest of the child to be tested. Treatments for genetic
diseases may be used if they are proven safe and effective, and new
genetic techniques may be used in some cases. The resolution stated it
is not morally acceptable to use reproductive cloning (A012).

Other actions

Deputies also acted on the following resolutions:

-- Adopted procedures for special order for election of members of the
Joint Nominating Committee for Election of the Presiding Bishop (X026). 
-- Adopted procedures for special order for election of trustees of
General Theological Seminary (X027). 
-- Adopted rules of order clarification for elections (D044). 
Referred to committee for more work on clarifying phrasing regarding
bishops' election and the timing before General Convention (D072). 
-- Passed a resolution from Committee on Structure that legislative
committee membership is helped when membership includes deputies and
bishops, and members of appropriate commissions and committees (A147). 
-- Discharged a resolution relating to parochial reports as it was
already acted on in another resolution (A043). 
-- Approved a resolution from Church in Small Communities addressing
resources and leadership programs for musicians to promote their use in
congregations working with the staff at the Episcopal Church Center
-- Rejected a resolution recommending that the Executive Council realign
leadership accountability to an executive director for administration
rather than the presiding bishop in some areas of business (D005). 
-- Adopted with amendment a statement regarding the protection of
animals from cruel treatment, including advocating legislation to
protect animals (D016). 
-- Approved a resolution that directs the Standing Committee on Domestic
Mission and Evangelism to develop strategic plans to accomplish
measurable goals of the 20/20 vision and urge all to accomplish those
goals and that the committee report to -- Executive Council and the
church at large on progress of the nine areas in which 20/20 is
impacting the church: leadership, spirituality, prayer and worship,
research, new congregation development, vital congregations, next
generations, communication, and funding and reporting (A084). 
-- Concurred with the House of Bishops to include Florence Li Tim-Oi,
the first woman priest in the Anglican Communion, to be in the calendar
of the church year for Jan. 24, and authorized for trial use 2003-2006
(A098). Also concurred with the words in the propers to be used in trial
use (A099). 
-- Concurred with bishops on a resolution on continuing education for
clergy and lay professionals to encourage dioceses to to make plans and
provisions for all clergy and lay professionals in its jurisdiction. It
also urged dioceses not having any such program in place to develop such
with resources available from the the church. 

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