July 11th, 2012

[Episcopal News Service – Indianapolis] Applause and cheers erupted July 11 as Resolution C095, which calls for creation of a task force to re-imagine the workings of the Episcopal Church in the 21st century, sailed unanimously through the House of Bishops.

A day earlier, deputies also had passed the measure unanimously.

The resolution creates a special task force of up to 24 people who will gather ideas in the next two years from all levels of the church about possible reforms to its structures, governance and administration. Their work will culminate in a special gathering of people from every diocese to hear what recommendations the task force plans to make to the 78th General Convention. Its final report is due by November 2014.

Several bishops spoke in favor of the resolution.

Prior to the vote, Bishop Ian Douglas of Connecticut urged its passage. “I do believe the Holy Spirit is leading us forward,” he said, noting two previous moments when the church underwent sweeping change.

“I believe we are in exactly the same circumstance at this time,” he said. “I do believe the Holy Spirit worked through the General Convention in 1835 and in 1919, there were special committees that proposed the new structures. I believe the Holy Spirit is working through this resolution and, if I didn’t believe it, the fact that the House of Deputies voted unanimously is proof to me.”

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