Many hours of talking today.
In the morning we tackled a paper by the Theology Committee that attempted to present the arguments for and against same gender marriage side by side. Theologians from both the conservative side and the liberal side were on hand to make their case and answer questions. The reception was less than thrilling. One bishop pointed out that there was nothing new in the arguments, stuff we have heard 20 years ago. Still, I guess that it is a good thing that we are still at the table exchanging views.
Henry Parsley, the retiring Bishop of Alabama, closed with a plea for "Comprehension for the sake of truth, not compromise for the sake of peace." I thought that was quotable.
After lunch we had a discussion about the Episcopal Identity Project and their report called, "At One Table." This is the result of many years study about how clergy and congregations perceive themselves, and what they consider to be the most important aspects of their identity. We focused this afternoon on two theological areas which congregations especially did not rank highly, "incarnation" and "salvation." The HOB has been criticized for not giving enough time over to theological conversation, so we had lots of opportunity to do that today, although, as you might expect, a couple of hours was not enough time to go as deeply as some would like.