2005 Convention Endorses Justice for All
Report on the 2005 Convention
by Val Hymes
The 221st Diocesan Convention was marked by Bibles, bags, storytellers, yellow-shirted pages, and discussions of racism, “holy habits,” world hunger, prison ministry, “articulating our faith” and sexuality issues.
Nearly 300 clergy and lay delegates traveled to Hagerstown May 6-7 for the convention, “Hearing the Voice of God: Walking Together in the Light of the Word.”
In his vision statement, Bishop Robert W. Ihloff warned, “We may exhaust ourselves on issues of sexuality rather than address the truly essential issues of Christian faith.” But, he added, “We will continue to find unity at the altar and through liturgy” and “will emerge as a Communion stronger in faith, more able in evangelism, uniquely equipped to proclaim the Good News in a multicultural and increasingly diverse world.”
Calling for the “public voice” of the church to “sound the trumpet when there is a violation against God's good order, both in service to those in need and against the causes which harm God's people,” Bishop John L. Rabb said the “work we call social justice must minister to all” - the marginalized, children at risk, the addicted, ex-offenders.
When the vote came for four resolutions dealing with sexuality, they were adopted by a “substantial majority,” said Bishop Ihloff.
The resolutions support pastoral care and medical directives for gays and lesbians and couples living together outside marriage, and oppose constitutional amendments banning same sex marriages and discrimination based on gender, identity or expression.
Most of them had already been enacted by the legislature but had not been signed or vetoed by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich.
Some of the delegates said they felt issues like “Holy Habits” -a resolution calling for tithing, prayer, worship and study- were more important and deserving of more public attention.
The delegates also affirmed General Convention 2003 resolutions that endorsed adopting United Nations Millennium Development Goals, continuing the “anti-racism mandate,” and electing youth and minorities as convention delegates.
Some consider the resolution calling on Episcopalians to “articulate faith stories” to be “scary,” said the Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool, canon to the bishops. “The impression much of the world has is that it's easier for us to talk about sex than it is to articulate our faith clearly.”
The convention ended the Capital Campaign with pledges of $2.5 million from only 390 donors. The Rev. William H. C. Ticknor, clergy co-chair, urged the honoring of the pledges, saying $1.8 million of the total has come in.
In his keynote address, the Rev. Dr. Roger Ferlo, author of Sensing God: Reading Scripture with All Our Senses, said, the Bible is about “opening conversations, not closing them.”
Click here to read the Bishops' Convention Address
Click the links below to access the convention journals in Adobe PDF format.
WARNING: These are very large files and will take some time to download on a dial-up connection.
2005 Pre-Convention Journal (5.79 Mb PDF)
2005 Post-Convention Journal (570 Kb PDF)
Resolutions Adopted by the 221st Convention
- A135: Holy Habits
- D006: Supporting International Relief and Development
- A010: Continue Anti-Racism Mandate
- A079: General Convention Deputies
- A083: Articulate Faith Story
- Ms. Alma Bell
- Mr. Russell Reno
- Ms. Marjie Mack
- Mr. David Mallery
- Ms. Maggie Cullman
- Ms. Ann Bricker
- Dr. Marion Glasby
- Mr. Dan Muth
- The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool
- The Rev. Angela Shepherd
- The Rev. Eddie Blue
- The Rev. William P. Baxter
- The Rev. Stewart Lucas
- The Rev. Scott P. Bellows
- The Rev. Dr. D. Stuart Dunnan
- The Rev. David Stenner
- The Rev. Vicky Sirota
- The Rev. Mary Jayne Ledgerwood
- Ms. Lynne Graham
Diocesan Council At Large
- Mr. Steven Shore
- Ms. Erin Goff
- The Rev. Lawrence M. Womack
- The Rev. Sarah E. Lewis - 3 year term
- The Rev. Dr. Gid Montjoy, IV - 3 year term
- The Rev. J. Anthony Vidal - 1 year term
Compensation and Benefits Committee
- Ms. Molly Nussear
- The Rev. Christopher Tang