Article Archive

Video: Meet the #GC79 Deputies

Meet a few of the deputies gathered for the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.

Better translations, please

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us…” (John 1:14). This one verse in the Gospel of John reminds us, as we gathered in Austin for the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church, that we are invited to continue God’s movement toward people by all means possible.  What Resolution A070 proposes represents this…
Read the full article  

To Revise or Not to Revise: A Prayer Book Primer

Since January, when the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music (SCLM) released its Blue Book Report, the subject of Prayer Book revision has been a hot topic on Facebook, in clergy groups, and at gatherings of liturgy aficionados, For the last three years, the commission has been addressing Resolution A169 of the 2015 convention, which…
Read the full article  

The Case for Inclusive Language

I remember it like it was yesterday. A friend and I were walking from our high school, through a white working-class neighborhood to catch a bus home. This was often a perilous walk, as it was on this particular day. Within a few blocks of our journey a couple of young neighborhood boys began throwing…
Read the full article  

The Case Against Inclusive Language

It hadn’t occurred to me that the political methodology of Donald Trump would see daylight at the 79th General Convention! But, then, I hadn’t looked at a proposal for reconstructing how the church speaks of God and man. And of woman. Woman in particular. The Trump methodology: First you blow it up; then, with whatever…
Read the full article  

The Case for Prayer Book Revision

I am an eager proponent of prayer book revision, but we’re not ready. We’re not ready because we haven’t had the conversation well. There have been many forums for conversation about liturgy and liturgical change in the past few years. In my experience of sampling such forums, I’ve found them to be prickly at best…
Read the full article  

The Case Against Revision

As a parish priest, I see a need for Common Prayer revision, but I am strongly opposed to Book of Common Prayer revision. Lest you imagine I am preparing to found the 1979 BCP Society, let me explain. Certainly, parts of the Book of Common Prayer need to be revised and refreshed. From marriage liturgies…
Read the full article  

Demographics of the House of Deputies at #GC79

The House of Deputies at the 79th General Convention in Austin comprises 852 deputies, 53 percent of whom identify as women, 46 percent of whom identify as men, and slightly less than 1 percent of whom identify as gender queer. According to the Pew Research Center, the Episcopal Church’s membership in 2014 was 55 percent…
Read the full article  

Forecasting the Legislative Weather

Among the favorite pre-General Convention pastimes on social media platforms where Episcopalians congregate has been guessing what will be the most significant and sensitive legislative issue at the gathering, which begins with hearings tonight but opens officially on Thursday, July 5. At this convention, that game is a little more complicated than in the past….
Read the full article  

Pre-Convention Buzz: A Diversity of Concerns

There are 852 members of the House of Deputies at the 79th General Convention of the Episcopal Church and, even in these hyper connected times when you can find a Facebook group to discuss what is being discussed in other Facebook groups, it can be hard to know what is on deputies’ minds as they…
Read the full article  

Worship, Barbecue and “Soft Handshakes”

General Convention isn’t all committee meetings, open hearings and legislative sessions. Occasionally, fun is had, friends are made and hearts are moved in activities not dictated by the Committees on the Dispatch of Business. “I believe it was at the Anaheim Convention [in 2009] that I encountered people from every significant congregation in my journey—where…
Read the full article  

Task Force on the Episcopacy Considers Elections, Canons, Diversity

Like the insurance agent on television commercials who “knows a thing or two” because he’s “seen a thing two,” Lynn Schmissrauter, former deputy from the Diocese of East Tennessee, knows a few things about bishop elections. She’s been a consultant to bishop search committees for the past two decades. Schmissrauter is ready to retire, but…
Read the full article