Wednesday, March 30, 2011

House of Bishops--Day Five, March 3.29.11

We only had one session today--on the Anglican Covenant. We had three Archbishops with us from Congo, Korea, and Canada. They shared with us their thinking about the needfullness of the proposed Covenant. I was surprised that all of them had serious reservations about it, in varying degree.

My experience back home is that most folks in our pews either don't know or care about the Anglican Covenant.

Trying to keep folks back home up to date, I was actively tweeting from the sessions. I had misheard or misunderstood the mind of the house that there was to be no tweeting. I have apologized for this, although I still think that we need to explore more fully what it we ought to share outside the meeting.

We had the afternoon off, a good chance to catch up on emails and writing projects.

In the evening we reconvened to have discussion on how we can better recruit young people for ordained ministry. I am happy to report that Arizona uses many of these techinques. I am especially pleased that for the first time in our history, all four of seminarians are under the age of thirty.

Tomorrow we will hear from the seminary deans themselves.


Jeffrey Shy said...

Thanks for your news!
Some of us do care about the Anglican Covenant. I am vehemently opposed to a process that was "poison" from the beginning for TEC. Although the disciplinary wind seems to have gone out of the sails with the most recent draft, I see no reason to let it "coast" to a landing of approval. It is a really fundamental change to what Anglicanism is at its core. Even if it is largely "ignored" once it is passed, it could be ammunition for future battles. I would "just say no."
Re: Tweeting from HOB. I really think that the "hush" rule only serves to exacerbate prejudice against the HOB as a caucus of powerful white men doing secret business. Unless the HOB has something that really needs to be confidential for pastoral reasons (e.g. a disciplinary action), I see no reason for the blackout. The HOB really needs some sensible rules about media that are up to date. Banning tweeting as the "mind of the house" seems only too arbitrary.
Thanks for your leadership and service.


Ironic to me that having been asked to participate in a church wide process of discussing the proposed Anglican Covenant when a bishop takes that invitation seriously the "mind of the house" shuts that down.

I totally get the confidentiality of the table conversations. But just as there are sessions of the HoB meetings during General Convention that are open to all it seems to me the work of the church would only be enhanced by similar transparency from plenary meetings of the HoB between GC's. Just my two cents.

Neil Alan Willard said...

One year ago today, Wendy Johnson’s reflection “Tweeting the House of Bishops” was featured on the Daily Episcopalian at Episcopal Cafe. Here are the last three paragraphs:

“I suspect that in the past the ‘powers that be’ in the church would simply put a lid on these interactions. But I don’t think that is a realistic response and I don’t think the church is foolhardy enough to go there. So the question becomes one of how far the church will go in embracing this new media reality. 

“Will bishops be given limiting Twitter protocol or will we see the free and open use of hashtags at the next House of Bishops meeting?

“We will wait and see.”

It’s ironic to me that the prelude to an agenda for this meeting of the House of Bishops that included issues about young people in the Episcopal Church was a debate about shutting down Twitter. I thought of the cartoon that appeared on Scott Gunn’s blog “Seven Whole Days” on the meeting’s first day, which showed two old men trying rather ineffectively to attract “whippersnappers” and “to dispel the myth that we’re an elderly congregation.” Needless to say, I think that silence sends the wrong message to those outside the sacred walls of Kanuga.

John B. Chilton said...

@Neil "It’s ironic to me that the prelude to an agenda for this meeting of the House of Bishops that included issues about young people in the Episcopal Church was a debate about shutting down Twitter."


ChrisHuriwai said...

As a Young (23) Seminarian and an indigenous person I both care about and oppose the Anglican Covenant. I am a part of Te Pihopatanga o Aotearoa otherwise known as the Maori/indigenous part of the Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia. a section of the church in this province that has suffered through the effects of church backed colonisation, and almost 200 years after the Gospel first arrived in these lands we are still suffering the effects of that initial colonisation of both our country and our spirituality.
The Anglican Covenant, in effect, takes away the rights of each of the Provinces around the communion to be self-determining. Of course, we will still be able to operate as we see fit but if someone the other side of the world takes exception to what we are doing then we could face disciplinary action. That in itself is oppression, the result of which is marginalisation. I cannot in good conscience support any proposed covenant that would impose these evils on anyone. How can I, a victim of colonisation, be asked to support a document that effectively legitimises the evils of colonisation? I simply cannot.

Sorry about venting on your blog, I felt I just had to post something! Funnily enough I clicked on a link to this blog from Twitter!

Matt said...

Bishop, I was enjoying your tweets from Kanuga, and agree with the previous commenters that it allows for a greater degree of transparency for the activities of the House of Bishops. Recognizing that there are certain areas which should be discussed in executive/closed session - as with any parish vestry - can you shed any light on the reasons the HOB is so reluctant to allow the use of social media from within the meetings?