Friday, October 9, 2009

Executive Council May Not Meet In Utah

An extract from:

In action October 8, the council...failed to agree on a pattern of meetings for the 2010-2012 triennium and their locations. The council rejected a resolution that would have had the schedule include two more four-day gatherings (in February 2010 and October 2011) and six three-day meetings. It was requested that one of those three-day meetings be held in the Diocese of Fort Worth and the remainder in Salt Lake City.

The Utah location became the sticking point when the Rev. Winnie Varghese expressed concern that the state's constitution defines marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman, and bars recognition of any other domestic relationships. She said choosing Utah would go against the General Convention's stated commitment to protecting the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (GLBT) people.

Council member Anne Watkins of Connecticut said choosing to meet in Utah "is going to be another slap in the face" to GLBT people.

Jefferts Schori, saying that the Episcopal Church "has a remarkable presence in Utah," suggested that going to Salt Lake City might "be a way to the larger community through our presence."

The choice to meet in one place for a majority of the gatherings is meant to save money through negotiating a long-term meeting contract near a major airport hub. Salt Lake City was the second cheapest location (by predicted average meeting cost), according to bids received by the General Convention office. The cheapest location was the Maritime Institute in Linthicum Heights outside of Baltimore, Maryland, but council's Governance and Administration Mission committee rejected that choice because of concerns both about the workability of the meeting space and about holding most council meetings on the East Coast.

Maryland has a state law, but not a constitutional provision, limiting marriage to a man and woman. Council member Bishop Jon Bruno of Los Angeles noted that California, the site of the July 8-17 General Convention, has a similar state law.

"There is no perfect solution and that's what you're wrestling with," Jefferts Schori told the council, adding that the decision about a meeting location would be considered by the council's agenda committee because contracts needed to be negotiated soon.

Thanks, Winnie and Anne!


Leonard said...

Why not meet at Grace and St. Stephens Church in Colorado and later at St. James, Newport Beach, and later at Fresno, Ft. Worth, Quincy and Albany? Yes, a clear pattern of support rotation, and not gloating, for the ongoing and peace seeking Episcopalians whose quest it is to LOVE ONE ANOTHER and underscore that the EPISCOPAL CHURCH WELCOMES EVERYONE (that means everyone).

Unknown said...

Integrity Utah regrets the uninformed and unilateral manner in which the poster of "Thanks, Winnie and Anne!" acted. We ask for a retraction of that statement. And we feel you owe us an apology. You evidently know nothing about our Diocese---is that because it isn't in the Pacific or Eastern time zones?