That the House of Bishops move in camera with the inclusion of Archdeacon Jim Boyles, General Secretary; the Rev. Canon Alyson Barnett-Cowan, Director of Faith, Worship and Ministry; the Rev. Dr. Michael Thompson, Principal Secretary to the Primate, and Ms. Jo Mutch, Executive Assistant to the Primate. CARRIED #HB-02-10-09
Bishop Phillips complimented the Agenda Committee on their work with the facilitators in designing the process for the sessions about the blessing of the unions of same sex couples, and the actions of the Diocese of New Westminster.
That the House express its deep and heartfelt thanks to the Agenda for their work. #HB-02-10-12
Bishop Phillips spoke to the House of Bishops about making an allowance for a diocesan alternative to the Advisory Committee on Postulants for Ordination (ACPO) process in discerning candidates for ordination. He reminded the bishops that he had previously raised the issue at their meeting in the Fall of 2001, and that he had done so because he had the impression that "there are emerging models and ministry contexts in our Church today that the present ACPO design could not have anticipated and for which different processes might be more appropriate". Since then that he had written a report, which had gone to the Provincial ACPO Secretaries. They responded by encouraging him to continue to work on the issue and then report to the House of Bishops. Bishop Phillips said, he had done so in consultation with Bishop Matthews, Provincial ACPO Secretary for Rupert's Land. He indicated that the intention of his proposal was to have a local option available as an alternative, and not as the norm. Bishop Matthews agreed that there was a need for a wider assessment model. She cautioned that it was important to avoid creating two completely different streams of discernment which functioned entirely without references to the other. Bishop Matthews proposed that one way of keeping the two connected would be for the local assessors to report to the Provincial ACPO secretaries in their regions. A discussion followed. The Primate said he felt the conversation had been very helpful and that he hoped there might be a motion about a local option put before the bishops before their meeting concluded. A motion was put before the House later in the meeting.
"That this House supports the proposal to permit the development of diocesan-level ACPOs by dioceses which are developing alternate ministry models of priesthood (e.g. "Total", "Local" ministry); that these diocesan-level ACPOs be linked to their Provincial ACPO, and that the bishops involved in this process make a progress report to the House of Bishops in three years time. Further, it is recommended that Diocesan ACPO's include Provincial ACPO assessors from outside the host diocese; that reports from such ACPOs be sent to the Provincial ACPO Secretary and that once in each triennium, the ACPO Secretary review the Diocesan ACPO process." CARRIED Res. #HB-03-10-01
Bishop Ashdown shared his feeling that the House of Bishops should be prepared to have some way of offering care to those who needed it following the discussion on blessing same sex unions at General Synod. Some discussion followed. It was generally agreed that the House of Bishops needed to be prepared to respond following the vote at General Synod, particularly to those who found themselves in a state of devastation (no matter which way the vote went).
The Acting Primate suggested that it would be prudent for the House of Bishops to give some consideration towards preparing a finely tuned conscience clause, as well as a pastoral statement prior to the vote at General Synod. Discussion about preparing a pastoral statement continued. Several members shared their feelings that more than one statement needed to be prepared in order to respond appropriately to whatever the outcome of the vote. There was some conversation about the various groups, as well as the content that should be taken into consideration when preparing a pastoral statement.
Bishop Young expressed his feeling that the House of Bishops had "missed the boat" by the way it had responded to the proposals of the Task Force on Alternate Episcopal Oversight. He said that the Canadian constituency was expecting a response from the House following this meeting of the House of Bishops. Once again, he said it would be seen to have done nothing. He concluded by stating that there needed to be a message from the House about alternative episcopal oversight. Later, Bishop Tottenham challenged Bishop Young's comment, saying that she thought that the House had done something by deciding that they didn't want a model of Alternative Episcopal Oversight which involved jurisdiction.
"That the Acting Primate be asked to appoint a group of five members of the House to draft:
A) conscience clause, and
B) pastoral statements,
that could be issued by the House of Bishops following a decision of General Synod." CARRIED Res. #HB-04-04-08
Bishop Harvey asked about the process for the bishops at the meeting of General Synod following the vote on blessing same sex unions. Archbishop Crawley responded that it was his understanding that the House of Bishops would meet together near the beginning of General Synod. Bishop Hiltz said that it would be necessary for the bishops to also meet together following the vote because their message could be altered by the nature of the debate at General Synod prior to the vote.