Email dated 5/20/2005
Hello Prayer Team:
Thank you all for your prayers during last week's WV Diocesan Convention. They were much appreciated, and, though we lost a lot of battles on the Convention floor, I can report to you that things are looking up in WV for the orthodox cause as our group, WVAnglicans is re-organized, renewed and re-tooled!
In addition to the text below, I am attaching a [PDF file] that is a press release our group has sent to all of the newspapers and TV stations in and around WV (plus WV Public Radio and Christian Radio Stations). You may find the press release more "uplifting" because it talks about the positive results of our group's "re-organization" meeting. We now have a solid and motivated leadership team in place as well as a plan for outreach and growth, so things are looking up for WVAnglicans, even if we did lose the major fight on the convention floor.
The Diocese has finally posted the Convention results (it only took a week!). Thank God for the instantaneous Internet communication tools of the 21st century!
I think that the display of Resolution 4 on the Diocesan website just about says it all regarding the future place of WV in the Anglican Communion.
This is how the Diocese has displayed Resolution 4. It makes it perfectly clear that the Convention completed gutted a Godly resolution that would have signalled our humility and willingness to take the rest of the Communion seriously. Instead, it was turned into a smug "in your face" to the rest of the Communion by saying -- we want to be with you; we love you, but only on our own terms -- not yours; not the Bible's; not God's -- our terms or nothing at all.
Majority vote struck out: ". . . this Diocese should never allow itself to be put in a position of having to 'learn to walk apart' . . ."
Majority vote struck out re-affirmation of Lambeth 1998 1.10.
Majority thought the "Windsor Report" is simply for "study, discussion and exploration." Majority does not accept the findings of the report -- at least not those that say that "ECUSA caused offence" and "acted in a way that was contrary to the clear teachings of the Communion." The report says that stuff, of course. WV just doesn't accept it, that's all.
Majority wanted nothing to do with any sort of moratoria on same-sex blessings or election of gay bishops.
Majority does not want WV representatives to support the Primates' request to implement the "Windsor Report."
Instead, majority wants WV representatives to "continue their efforts to strengthen the bonds of affection."
That last part is most ironic. The Communion has already told us what we must do to strengthen the bonds of affection, and, what they asked us to do was in the sections that were struck!
At least now we know where the Diocese stands, do we not?
The final resolution is anything but "genuine" I believe. It certainly does not express our desire to remain in the Anglican Communion -- at least not unless we can be a part under our own (or ECUSA's) terms. It is pretty much as far from a Biblically sound position on the flashpoint issues of controversy in this crisis as one can get without being in the Diocese of Penn or LA.
You can find this for yourself at: http://www.wvdiocese.org/diocesanconventions/2005/default.asp
Click on "Convention Resolutions 2005 and scroll to the bottom.
Weeping with Christ,
Reaffirming Our Commitment to the Anglican Communion
RESOLVED, that this Convention affirms its deep and abiding commitment to the fellowship of the Anglican Communion, of which the Episcopal Church, USA ("ECUSA"), in the Preamble to its Constitution and Canons, has declared itself to be a constituent member; and the Convention further states that this Diocese should never allow itself to be put in a position of having to "learn to walk apart" (Windsor Report 2004, ¶ 157) from our brothers and sisters in the Anglican Communion; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention reaffirms its acceptance of the 1998 Lambeth Conference Resolution 1.10 as the standard of teaching on the issues of human sexuality addressed therein; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention accepts the findings set forth in the Windsor Report that the ECUSA, in consenting to the election of Gene Robinson as bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire and authorizing the use of liturgies
celebrating same-sex unions, "caused deep offence to many faithful Anglican Christians both in its own church and in other parts of the Communion" (¶ 127); acted in a way that was contrary to the clear position of the Communion on such issues (¶ 130); and "did not pay due regard?to the wider implications of the actions they were taking" (¶ 130); and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention accepts the recommendations found at ¶¶ 134, 143, 144 and 145 of the Windsor Report, including: the call for expressions of regret and invitations to persons described therein to consider withdrawal from Anglican Communion representative functions; moratoria on election and consent to consecration of persons living in same-gender unions; and the use of liturgies blessing such unions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention accepts the findings and conclusions, and supports the requests, set forth in the February, 2005 Communiqué from the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Newry with regard to implementation of the Windsor Report; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that in consideration of the mind of this Diocese as summarized in the preceding paragraphs, this Convention urges Bishop Klusmeyer and all others in positions of representational authority for this Diocese to take and support such actions by and within the ECUSA governing bodies as are consistent with advancing the positions set forth in the preceding paragraphs, and to oppose such actions as are contrary to same.
Respectfully Submitted by:
Rev. Philip Bottomley (Christ Church, Clarksburg)
Rev. Kirk Haas (Trinity Church, Morgantown)
Rev. Briane Turley (St Michael's Church, Kingwood)
Jack Crotty (Trinity Church, Morgantown)
Catherine Crotty (Trinity Church, Morgantown)
Rick Holt (St Andrew's-in-the-Village, Barboursville)
Christopher Power (St Matthew's Church, Charleston)
Richard Sutter (Trinity Church, Morgantown)
Linda Thomas (Christ Church, Bluefield)
Matt Vester (Trinity Church, Morgantown)
Mike Woodstuff (Christ Church, Wellsburg)
AMENDMENT. Beginning after the words "?to be a constituent member; and" in the first paragraph of the resolution, strike all remaining language in the proposed resolution and substitute in its place the following:
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention reaffirms its support of the Windsor Report as an important basis for study, discussion, and exploration of the issues which have arisen from, among other things, the consent by General Convention 2003 to the consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop of the Diocese of New Hampshire; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention urges the House of Bishops and other elements of the ECUSA, including our own Bishop, to prayerfully and genuinely respond to the Windsor Report; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Convention urges Bishop Klusmeyer and all other lay and clerical leaders within the Diocese of West Virginia to continue their efforts to strengthen the bonds of affection that hold us to one another, to the other Dioceses of this Church, and to the other members of the Anglican Communion as we show forth our love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
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