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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

How very Bonnie!

The Lead at Episcopal Cafe is reporting that Bonnie Anderson has announced that The Episcopal Church's House of Deputies, of which she is President, will discuss whether it wants to explore the revision of controversial Resolution B033 in a committee of the whole before the relevant legislative committee begins its work.

Here is her letter:

Dear Deputies and First Alternates,

With just a few days left before we gather together in Anaheim for the 76th General Convention, I want to inform you of a procedure available to the House of Deputies that we will propose to use to have a discussion, not debate, regarding resolution B033 that was concurred at the 75th General Convention. We will have this discussion in the context of a “Committee of the Whole”. The purpose of this discussion will be to exchange information and viewpoints among the deputies, and to inform Legislative Committee #8 World Mission, to which committee all the resolutions relative to B033 have been assigned.

What it is:

Committee of the Whole is a parliamentary process that enables a legislative body such as the House of Deputies, to discuss a topic in an orderly manner, without debate or taking a final action on a resolution on the matter. It is used primarily when a deliberative assembly wishes to have a discussion on a particular topic.

How it will happen:

The Legislative Committee on Dispatch of Business will present a special order of business to the HOD in the same manner all special orders are presented. The HOD will review the procedure presented by Dispatch and the House will vote whether or not to use or to amend the Committee of the Whole procedure as proposed.

When it will happen:

During the legislative session on Wednesday, July 8, Dispatch will present the special order for consideration by the HOD.

If the special order is adopted, on Thursday afternoon, July 9, the HOD will meet for one hour in the first session of the Committee of the Whole during the regularly scheduled legislative time; and on Friday morning, July 10, the second session of the Committee of the Whole will meet for one hour during the regularly scheduled legislative session.

It is my belief that the House of Deputies will benefit by having an opportunity to discuss B033 apart from the context of legislative procedure. Many deputies have indicated their longing to discuss B033 together as a House. The HOD Legislative Committee on World Mission (#8) has indicated their work will be aided by this conversation in the HOD prior to the committee’s open hearing on the topic.

I look forward to our work, prayer and deepening relationship.

Please join me in daily thanksgiving for our ministry together, as it is and as it is yet to become. Please join me daily in asking the Holy Spirit to be present with us in all our deliberations, celebrations and conversations.

Bonnie Anderson, D.D.
President, The House of Deputies

Smart. Very smart.

Politically. Theologically. Spiritually. Psychologically.

Nothing like an open, transparent, honest process where all sides can speak from their hearts and minds and listen to the hearts and minds of others.

This is a refreshing breath of fresh air, given the "secret theology committee" of the House of Bishops which is studying - in secret - the "issue" of LGBT people in the church and our full participation in all the sacraments of the church.

The constellation of the membership and the process they will use to 'study' LGBT people is also - did I already mention? - secret.

So, right from Jump Street, Bonnie scores a home run.

Will we - not just LGBT people but the entire church for passing something which is in clear violation of our canons - get an apology? Will B033 be rescinded?

Well, I think that's a possibility in the Senior House (of Deputies), but I'm not holding my breath waiting for anything like this to pass the Junior House (of Bishops).

++KJS has been pretty clear that she wants to move "beyond B033".

And, Bonnie Anderson has not been shy about saying that she holds the opposite opionion.

I only hope that +++Himself (Rowan Williams) will come and listen to the conversation. I trust he will find it quite illuminating.

Right. I'm not holding my breath for that one, either.

Hey, a girl can hope, right?

Meanwhile, Brava, Bonnie Anderson.

Now, THAT's what I call leadership.


Lapinbizarre said...

This is an excellent move, isn't it?

Elizabeth Kaeton said...

I think it's absolutely stellar and Most Excellent.

Anonymous said...

Yea, Bonnie! You go, girl! Right on!

KJ said...

Leadership on this matter? Who'd of thought? To date, actions and inactions have seemed to reflect little learning from the past.

Allie said...

I had been annoyed with her for a bit regarding her complete lack of consideration and inclusion for alternates 2-4 in her running of the HOD so far, but this totally over shadows all of that in YAY

Muthah+ said...

Bravo,Bonnie! I am glad to see that it will be addressed. I think that the HOB needs to listen to this discussion. Any possibility of getting the HOB to sit in--not comment but to listen to the discussion?

Comment moderation is a comment on Bonnie ---Sommetti! We don't need balls!

June Butler said...

A breath of fresh air. What a difference transparency makes. It's smart, too.

Show the bishops how it's done, Bonnie. Not meaning all the bishops. Some bishops know how it's done.

MarkBrunson said...

Apparently, Bonnie has begun to realize, as I have, that we're going to have run this church despite the bishops rather than with them.

Lindy said...

So many reasons this is a home run. No, wait, make that out of the park. A total grand slam. And, I do hope I've got all my sports terminology correct.

Lisa Fox said...

Bonnie's proposal is for the discussions to happen on July 9 p.m. and July 10 a.m. I can't keep up with all the schedules and events. Do you happen to know if +Rowan will be at GC during those sessions?

And I love the suggestion from Muthah+ that the HoB should sit in and just listen.