As I see it, the 76th General Convention of The Episcopal Church:
1. Worked hard to try and stay focused on mission – to the poor and to our overseas dioceses and beyond – even while continuing to struggle with internal issues which tend to divide us.
2. Reaffirmed that the canons of this church make it clear that access to the ordination process (though not ordination itself necessarily — there is no “right” to ordination) is open to all the baptized.
3. Did not repeal B033 (last Convention’s resolution which asks bishops and standing committees to exercize “restraint” in consenting to the election of any bishop whose “manner of life” would cause additional strains on the Anglican Communion.)
4. Welcomed and enagaged scores of Anglican, ecumenical, and interfaith guests to participate in the Convention, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Secretary General of the Anglican Communion.
5. Authorized the Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music to work on designing rites for the blessing of same gender unions which would need to be brought back to the next General Convention for possible authorization in “trial use.”
6. Did not authorize any “public rites” for such blessings at the present time. The point of working on these for the future is so that we can get our theology right on these to know what we are actually doing as a church. This is crucial because the society is moving so quickly toward “gay marriage” and the church needs to be clear about what we think we are going when, and if, we bless such civil unions.
7. Passed a drastically reduced budget, due primarily to the global and national economic meltdown, in which 37 staff members will lose their jobs and program dollars will be reduced by approximately 25%. This was very painful, but probably inevitable.
8. Celebrated together in daily Eucharists, led by a rich diversity of all the ministers of the church – lay persons, bishops, deacons, and priests. The music was stunning!
9. Passed a full communion proposal for the Moravian Church (they must vote on it in 2010), a modest missional proposal with the Presbyterian Church, USA, commended ongoing dialogue with the United Methodist Church and encouraged involving the three historic Black Methodist churches in that, authorized opening a dialogue with the Church of Sweden, and accepted a theological statement/rationale for interreligious dialogue.
10. Got all its business done for the first time in many, many years. No resolutions died because there was not time to get to them. This was, in part, due to the skill of our two Presiding offiicers, Katharine Jefferts Schori and Bonnie Anderson.
It’s time to go home!