An Update from GC79: The House of Bishops

An Update from Bishop Benfield:

At the General Convention Tuesday, two important things happened in the House of Bishops. First, the House brought back into the fold of the Episcopal Church the Diocese of Cuba. For many years Cuba had been a part of our church, but in 1966, after the political revolution in Cuba, the bishops cut ties with Cuban Episcopalians. Since then, the diocese had been living independently, but faithfully. This fissure has now been healed.

Secondly, the House of Bishops approved its own resolution on the future of revisions of the Book of Common Prayer. This resolution differs substantially from the one passed by the House of Deputies and must be reconciled over the next three days. The discussion in the House of Bishops focused in part on the need to continue upholding the current Book of Common Prayer as normative for the Episcopal Church. We also realized that there continues to be a need for a variety of ways to worship in the church. We want to hold on to what we have and yet be creative and nimble in a fast-changing world. More details will emerge on the extent of liturgical work that will be done over the next three years as the two houses of General Convention work on a common resolution. Please be assured that the current Book of Common Prayer remains our church’s prayer book and what we use for worship as we gather as a Christian community.

From a personal perspective, I continue to work from early in the morning until late in the evening. About 160 resolutions have been dealt with, and another 330 remain. Today we hear the proposed budget of the church for the next three years, and then tomorrow and Friday will be devoted to legislative work in both the House of Bishop and the House of Deputies. Friday evening the closing gavel comes down, and we return home to do the more important work of the church, which is to proclaim the Good News of God’s love to a hurting world.