15 June 2006

A Report From A Tennessee Delegate.

From Fr. Freddy Richardson (for Wed., 14 June):

Greetings to the Diocese of Tennessee from Columbus!
Things began to pick up a bit today.
During the afternoon legislative session, for 2 hours we attempted to cast one ballot to fill 12 positions among the trustees of the Church Pension Fund. For the first time, we are using electronic devices for voting, supposedly to speed up voting. Each deputy has a remote to cast votes. Unfortunately, many deputies cannot figure out how to use their remotes. Eventually a motion was passed by the House of Deputies that, should over 10% of the electronic ballots be invalid, that we would go back to paper ballots. When we finally did get through voting for the 12 positions, 96 of the 839 ballots cast were invalid. As you can imagine, the frustration level got pretty high! Thursday morning we will cast the first paper ballot for the Pension Fund trustees.
The main event of the day was the evening hearing for the Special Legislative Committee on the resolutions dealing with the Episcopal Church's relationship with the Anglican Communion. Over 1500 people were present, with 70+ speakers during a 2 1/2 hour hearing. All the "stars" were out! A highlight was the "coincidence" of Bob Duncan, Bishop of Pittsburgh, being immediately followed by Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire.
Other key speakers included Kendall Harmon, Canon Theologian of the Diocese of South Carolina, Susan Russell, President of Integrity, David Roseberry, rector of Christ Church, Plano, who presented a petition signed by over 1100 priests with over 23,000 years of experience in the Episcopal Church asking the Episcopal Church to comply fully with the Windsor Report, and Elizabeth Kaeton, a lesbian priest in the Diocese of Newark whom many think will be elected the next bishop there.
But the "big bomb" of the evening came from The Most Reverend Dr. John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, in attendance at the request of the Archbishop of Canterbury, who told the committee that the Anglican Communion is sick. He said that what must be asked of these resolutions is, "Will the medicine they offer make the Communion well?" He says no. He echoed the same thing said earlier Wednesday in a statement by The Right Reverend N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham and a member of the LambethCommission, which produced the Windsor Report. If the resolutions are not strengthened to reflect the language asked of us in the Windsor Report (paragraphs 134 and 144, if you care to look them up), the Episcopal Church will be telling the Anglican Communion that we have chosen to walk apart.
Please continue to pray for the Episcopal Church, the Anglican Communion, and your Tennessee
Again I thank you for the privilege of serving you in this historic event.
Humbly yours in Christ,
The Reverend Frederick Richardson
Clergy 4, Diocese of Tennessee GC06 Deputation


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