Addressing alcohol and drug abuse

The 38 members of Committee 22 on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse was a last-minute committee put together by the President of the House of Deputies and the Presiding Bishop to look from a wide perspective at the use of alcohol and other drugs by those in our churches – both clergy and lay, as well at as our use of alcohol within church activities.

Unlike most Committees that respond to resolutions submitted, we only had one to review but thought the moment warranted other possible resolutions. That one resolution was changed substantially with the expertise in our midst. The substitute resolution we created, along with two more, were ultimately submitted and made it through the process. All three passed the House of Deputies and moved to the House of Bishops with minimal change and good discussion on the floor of the House of Deputies. The House of Bishops also concurred.

The Bishop of Ohio, Mark Hollingsworth and the Very Rev. Steven Thomason of Olympia were most capable co-chairs, and I am honored to have been a member. The committee’s hope and desire is that each Diocese and congregation will now either begin or continue a conversation regarding our churches being a safe place for all: for those that do not use alcohol, those that may choose to do so, and those in recovery.

Since alcoholism and drug addictions all have biological, psychological, social, and spiritual dimensions, how can we as a church better promote lives of wholeness and holiness and be a positive ongoing support for each person’s journey? May the conversation continue in our Diocese of Fort Worth.

Also it is our hope that the Executive Council will consider a committee to look into other issues of misuse and addiction that may arise in the future. Possible issues are E-cigarettes now as well legalized use of marijuana, as in three states. What should be and will be our response to these “legalized” drugs?

What about other areas of addiction such as gambling, food, shopping, and sexual addictions? How do we now and how can we in the future be a place of support and recovery? While these were determined not under the Committee’s charge, they remain issues.

Let’s continue the conversation.

Evangelism in the digital age

On Monday, the House of Deputies adopted resolution B009, related to digital evangelism; now it goes to the House of Bishops. This topic seemed to energize several deputies and other Episcopalians using Twitter, to the point that their internet friends who are not Episcopalian started tweeting to ask about it.

Despite his wariness of technology, the Rt. Rev. Scott Mayer decided to try Twitter. This decision was met by a chorus of support from Episcopalians and his fellow bishops on Twitter, and he had coaching from the most qualified member of the Fort Worth deputation, @GodWelcomesAll, the Rev. Jordan Haynie Ware.

A glorious day

Saturday was a glorious day for the Episcopal Church. We, the House of Bishops and House of Deputies selected, with the guidance of God’s Holy Spirit, the next Presiding Bishop of our beloved church. As you know, the Bishops elected on the first ballot-something unprecedented in recent history. I believe we have elected one who is a true evangelist, who shares his love of Jesus freely with all of God’s children. He has certainly done that in his Diocese of North Caroline. I have known Bishop Michael for a long time and am a big fan of his as a champion of the Gospel. I can’t wait for our Diocese to get to know him in a very personal way. Please continue pray for us as we continue to do the business of the church.


Presiding Bishop Election Slideshow and Press Conferences

View a slideshow of photos from today relating to the election and confirmation of the Rt. Rev. Michael Bruce Curry as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church.

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Additional photos will be added later today and this week, so feel free to check back.

“We’ve got a society where there are challenges before us, and we know that; there are crises all around us, and the Church has challenges before us. But we’ve got a God, and there really is a Jesus – and we are part of the ‘Jesus movement,’ and nothing can stop the movement of God’s love in this world – nothing!” – Presiding Bishop Elect Michael Curry

Curry then  quoted Archbishop Desmond Tutu, who, he laughed, was “probably quoting Augustine or somebody” when he said about God’s movement in the world:

“By himself, God won’t; by ourselves, we can’t, but together with God, we can – and we will!”

Watch a press conference with Bishop Curry

Watch the daily press briefing with representatives from the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops.

PB Election

Up early to head over to a Church Pension Fund Committee meeting, worship then off to St. Mark’s to join with my sisters and brothers to elect the next PB of the Episcopal Church. Have been praying for the nominees, and I have confidence we will elect the person God will lead. Continue to pray for us…Had a wonderful dinner with the Northwest Deputation and our group from Fort Worth.


Bishops march against gun violence in Salt Lake City

The bishops and many others started early Sunday morning, with a 7:15 am march: “Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence.” The march was organized by Bishops United Against Gun Violence.

Watch more videos from the Episcopal News Service about the march, which was also covered on TV news in Salt Lake City.

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The convention is also voting on related resolutions, such as C005 – Decreasing Gun Violence, which is being considered by Committee 8 – Social Justice and United States Policy; Cliff Craig, a deputy from Northwest Texas, serves on that committee. The “C” in the resolution number indicates it was submitted by a diocese, in this case, the Diocese of Los Angeles.

The Diocese of Los Angeles’ Peace and Justice Ministries page has many resources related to gun policy and gun violence.

Supreme Court ruling on marriage prompts responses

Members of the Fort Worth deputation at General Convention worked this morning to respond following the US Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage.

Diocesan Communications Director Katie Sherrod stepped out of the morning’s community Eucharist service to draft a statement as soon as word came through of the decision. Following the service, Sherrod and our two bishops, the Rt. Revs. Rayford High and Scott Mayer, worked on their joint statement further before sending it to be published on the diocesan website and disseminated through our other communications channels.

Katie missed the sermon this morning, busy drafting a statement on the  US Supreme Court ruling on marriage
Sherrod missed the sermon this morning, busy drafting a statement on the US Supreme Court ruling on marriage
Katie and the bishops review statement on the US Supreme court ruling on marriage
Sherrod and the bishops review a joint statement on the US Supreme court ruling.
Carlye and the bishops talk about pastoral responses to the news from the Supreme Court.
Carlye Hughes, rector of Trinity, and the bishops talk about pastoral responses to the news from the Supreme Court.

Members of the deputation had a brief opportunity to talk about implications of the Supreme Court decision before moving into a Joint Session of the House of Deputies and the House of Bishops, for a conversation about the Presiding Bishop Nomination and Structure.

There is a tight schedule at General Convention, to cover a wide range of issues. The General Convention is also discussing marriage and will be voting on related resolutions sometime in the days ahead.