Thursday, 14 June 2018

General Synod and Sexuality on Saturday afternoon

The Business Committee report GS 2091 contains the following:

Arrangements for the Saturday afternoon

25. The Business Committee has agreed that on Saturday afternoon the Synod will not be in session. Instead, members will be invited to attend a choice of seminars intended to update members on various important areas of work and to encourage our participation in the development of them.

26. The seminars will cover the developing work of the House of Bishops Teaching Document on Human Sexuality, the Pastoral Advisory Group, Digital Evangelism, the Evangelism Task Group and the Environmental Working Group, as well as Children and Young People. Each seminar will be 1 hour long and will take place 3 times on a rotating basis in order to allow those members who wish to attend up to three different seminars. There will also be workshops available on a number of these topics. Full details of these opportunities are set out in GS Misc 1188. This conference style session will be introduced at the end of the Saturday morning session by the Chair of the BC and some of those leading the different workstreams.

27. After due consideration, the Business Committee has come to a mind that the various PMMs and DSMs relating to the matters which are intended to be addressed by the proposed House of Bishops Teaching Document on Human Sexuality will not be scheduled for debate until that document has been published. This decision was taken on the understanding that the work on the Teaching Document will be completed by 2020. In addition, there has been an understanding that from the inception of the project there will be regular opportunities for members of the General Synod to engage with that work, as it develops at each group of sessions. This process of engagement begins with the seminars arranged for the Saturday afternoon of the July group of sessions.

The details of the arrangements for the Saturday afternoon are contained in GS Misc 1198.

The programme for the afternoon comprises

  • four separate seminars and three workshops relating to the four strands of work contributing to the Episcopal Teaching Document on human identity, sexuality and marriage;
  • a seminar on the work of the Pastoral Advisory Group
  • a seminar on mission among children and young people;
  • a seminar on the Church’s environment programme
  • a seminar on digital evangelism; and
  • a seminar on the work of the Archbishops’ Evangelism Task Group

The nine seminars will each run three times during the afternoon, for an hour, at 2.30 pm, 4.15 pm and 6.00 pm.

The three workshops are described as follows:

…organised so that you can visit them at your own pace and in your own time throughout Saturday afternoon. Each workshop space will have information about aspects of the work of the Teaching Document and offer ways in which you can participate in shaping its work.

One or more members of the Co-ordinating Group for the Teaching Document will be available to respond to your questions and tell you more about the work of the group. These workshops are as much for the benefit of the Teaching Document as to inform you about the project..

There is a lot more detail in GS Misc 1188.

Posted by Simon Sarmiento on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 3:16pm BST | TrackBack
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Categorised as: Church of England | General Synod

"Dear LGBTQ people,

Here is some nice long grass for you.


The Business Committee."

Posted by: Jeremy on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 5:30pm BST

So another two years of nothing - not even discussion is permitted.

Posted by: Kate on Thursday, 14 June 2018 at 6:43pm BST

We have an expression in New Zealand: "Anglican Fudge". Is this what's happening in Mother Church?

I suggest that every member of General Synod be required (as homework) to watch the excellent and inspiring videos linked on a recent thread on TA to the aftermath of Lizzie's suicide.

Posted by: Father Ron Smith on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:06am BST

Some ten years ago, when I was talking to our Mothers' Union Group, who wanted me to tell them what had happened at General Synod, I mentioned that the subject of same-sex relationships had come up. All hell broke loose. Would I marry a same-sex couple? I said I would not. All but one of the twenty women present thought it was a disgrace that we discriminated in this way and I had to say that I have publicly supported equal marriage since 1980, but it is illegal to conduct such a ceremony in the Church of England. It would not be recognized in law as a valid marriage. But I reflected on the fact that almost all of these people had family, or friends, or friends' children who are LGBTI. Even in a group that might be considered to be older and more conservative, this is no longer an issue. Or rather, it becomes a more and more embarrassing issue, as the Church's formal stance seems to increasing grate against what seems right and just and true. Further delay is deeply frustrating and it makes us seem more and more irrelevant to society at large, and the grass of the next two years does indeed seem very long. Yet 2020 will have to be a moment of reckoning for the CofE. General Synod will not put this on their agenda for debate before then, but the rest of us can talk about it. When equal marriage was going through Parliament, I wrote a detailed letter to my MP outlining the case for equal marriage, from a Christian and biblical point of view. She replied that she had found my letter really helpful, as she had had so many letters from Christians putting the opposite point of view and it was helpful to understand that equal marriage can be seen as a right and proper response to the teaching of Jesus. Far from not discussing these things until 2020, it will be important to firmly put the inclusive case over the next two years, not least because there will be elections to a new General Synod in 2020. I am reminded of the wonderful speech made by the Bishop of Uppsala to her Synod, when the Church of Sweden was debating equal marriage. She said that for centuries the Church had been proclaiming that all are one in Christ and how wonderful it was that society, in allowing equal marriage, had now caught up with that teaching.

Posted by: Nigel LLoyd on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:35am BST

LGBTQI inclusion won't be discussed until the infamous teaching document comes down from on high from mostly straight, male, and cisgendered people.

The teaching document needs to be deeply INFORMED by discussions in your GS and beyond!!!!

CoE, always putting the cart before the horse. If that document doesn't embody "radical inclusion" as defined by the excluded people (not people speaking for us, without us). Then it's a colossal waste of time. Which perhaps is the point of the exercise.

Posted by: Cynthia on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 9:11pm BST

Radical new Christian inclusion =
1. Tell TEC not to normalise same sex marriage any more
2. Block all discussion within CofE for 3 years.

Posted by: Kate on Friday, 15 June 2018 at 10:31pm BST

Calling this farce Kabuki theater would be to give it too much credit.

Given Canterbury's unity at any cost dogma, the content of the "teaching document" is a foregone conclusion: it won't recommend equal marriage, end imposed celibacy for priests in same-sex relationships, or accept gay relationships as being equal to straight relationships.

That being so, what possible reason is there to accept yet more delays? Change will have to be forced through against the English bishops' will, whether that's in 2020, or beyond: in which case, why not put all effort into that, instead of wasting time going through these empty motions?

Posted by: James Byron on Saturday, 16 June 2018 at 6:28am BST
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