Dispatches from General Convention

Dispatch from General Convention 79

July 11, 2018

This afternoon The House of Deputies received and acted on a substitute resolution from the House of Bishops. The resolution in question, anticipated from our house, was A068, Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer. With appropriate debate, sometimes impassioned, both pro and con, the House voted to “concur” with this resolution. With this substitute resolution both Houses acted to “Memorialize” the 1979 Book of Common Prayer, our existing PB, and to work more deliberately to plan for and possibly implement changes to the 79 Prayer Book.  

Whereas the original resolution passed by the HoD a few days ago, the HoB’s substitute resolution gave the Church a way forward without a specific timetable for revisions, and at the same time giving heart to those who value our existing Prayer Book.

I thought this was a welcomed resolution that affirms the need for revision but welcoming a slower and more deliberate pace.

Added to that, A068 reduces the costs to the Church from $1.9 million over the next three years to $200,000 in that same period.

From my perspective this was a win-win outcome for our church. 

Sincerely in Christ,
Rick Lindsey, Rector
Deputy, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

Dispatch from General Convention 79

July 9, 2018

As I await a special legislative session of both Houses that will focus on Evangelism, I wanted to report that the House of Deputies passed resolution A 068 this morning. This resolution is entitled: Plan for the Revision of the Book of Common Prayer.  A similar resolution will be taken up with House of Bishops later this week.  

We needed to vote by “orders” for this particular resolution, meaning the lay and clergy voted separately by dioceses- with a majority of dioceses needed to vote affirmatively for this resolution to pass. It did so comfortably.

I will say the resolution garnered, as you can imagine, a great deal of thoughtful views and opinions about the need to move into Prayer Book revision. Given the use of our current Prayer Book over the last thirty nine years, and it’s place in our weekly and often daily lives, I had to pause to prayerfully consider the possibility of a “new” Prayer Book” in the life of the Church and in my personal spiritual life. After thirty nine years the BCP had become an old friend, and I realized that it will be over fifty years before the use of a “new” and “revised” Prayer Book.”

The House of Bishops will weigh in with their own resolution(s)about Prayer Book revision and it is almost certain both Houses will need to explore avenues of agreement about how to proceed in developing a revised Prayer Book for the church. 

I thought we needed to revise the Prayer Book and I voted to affirm that desire with this resolution. I did so trusting the process of deliberation that our Church will undertake over the next nine years. I voted “yes” to Prayer Book revision believing our Church will take painstaking care in all aspects of the revision process, especially the first three years as the Church finds itself in a period of listening and discernment throughout the Church.

I will obviously spend time with members of the parish later this summer to offer a fuller detailed account surrounding the passage of this important legislation, and offer perhaps a glimpse of the process for prayer book revision for the first triennium.

Sincerely in Christ,
Rick Lindsey, Rector
Deputy, The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

Dispatch from General Convention - Rally Against Gun Violence

July 8, 2018

Hundreds of Episcopalians gathered to witness the horrible reality of gun violence across our nation, especially the senseless and horrifying acts against our children and grandchildren in our schools. A family from Florida whose daughter died at Parkland High School and a young junior high school student from Waco Texas spoke eloquent and passionately that all of us must join together to speak and act to support sensible gun laws and to eliminate assault weapons from general and easy access.

Rick Lindsey, Rector
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina

Dispatch from General Covention 79 

“Buckle up”

July 3, 2018

I find myself sitting in a beautiful and cavernous empty hall that will be our legislative home for the House of Deputies beginning tomorrow for almost two weeks. The bishops of our Church will meet in a hall next to ours. 

I’m collecting my thoughts and imagining eight hundred plus Deputies and Alternates filling this space, with two hundred bishops meeting next door, representing the length and breath of the Episcopal Church.

Another deputy quipped earlier today, “Buckle up” and I understood what she was getting at, and today, on the eve of the 79th General Convention, my thoughts are about being part of a vibrant and sometimes messy church that collectively seeks to honor God in our all deliberations and actions. A lot of words, often impassioned, will transpire over the course of several days, but what will stand out will be the spirit of It all; Deputies, Alternates and Bishops as they undertake to live into the life and mission of our Church and the world.

This morning I pray for that peace that passes all understanding; a peace that will be tested with all the activity that comes with over a thousand people representing every diocese in The Episcopal Church, including several overseas dioceses. I pray for the gift of love and patience that I contribute to the greater good of a Church that I love and cherish. I pray that a spirit will prevail that reflects the transformative power of God to do infinitely more than we could have ever imagined, without whom we are nothing.

Indeed, I am “buckling up” for the “road” ahead, but I am prayerfully searching for those thin places where God speaks most profoundly. 

Sincerely hope in Christ,
Rick Lindsey, Deputy
The Episcopal Church in South Carolina