Society News



The Compass Rose Society presented our organization to Episcopalians and their guests from around the world who met in convention from July 5 through July 13 at the Austin Convention Center to discuss and legislate major issues facing the denomination.


The Compass Rose Society display banner at our booth and the announcement of the Society’s Lambeth 2020 scholarship program now on the CRS website.


Material describing the Society and its programs was presented to attendees at the convention booth







Society officers Jan Cope and John Peterson with Archbishop Thabo Makgoba at a reception hosted by the Diocese of Texas and the Compass Rose Society






Some of the major work facing the 79th General Convention:

Marriage equality

An Episcopal News Service story on the marriage access issue is here.

General Convention’s Task Force on the Study of Marriage has monitored the two new marriage rites approved in 2015 for trial use by both same-sex and opposite-sex couples and became aware of concern about unequal access to these liturgies.

The task force proposed that the convention require all bishops in authority to “make provision for all couples asking to be married in this church to have reasonable and convenient access to these trial rites.” It also would have convention say that bishops will “continue the work of leading the church in comprehensive engagement with these materials and continue to provide generous pastoral response to meet the needs of members of this church.”

The task force asked to continue trial use of the liturgies as additions to the Book of Common Prayer, as well as amendments to the prayer book’s other marriage rites, prefaces and sections of the Catechism to make language gender neutral.

The task force also proposes two liturgies for blessing the relationships of couples who choose not to marry for legal or financial reasons. It also recommends that the church ponder new ways to minister to the growing number of people who cohabitate in committed and monogamous relationships rather than marry.

ENS coverage of those recommendations can be found here.

Revising the Book of Common Prayer

An Episcopal News Service story on the possibilities is here.

General Convention is considering how to orders its common prayer and why.

The Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music offered bishops and deputies a comprehensive plan for revision, as requested by the 2015 meeting of General Convention, as well as a way for the church to discern the future shape of its common prayer. The first option would move the church immediately into a full-blown prayer book revision process that would be completed in nine years. The second would call on the church to plumb the depths of the current Book of Common Prayer’s theology, as well as its usefulness as a tool for unity in a diverse church, for evangelism and discipleship. If convention agrees to the second approach, this would include new BCP translations.

The Episcopal Church and the #MeToo movement

related Episcopal News Service story is here.

Convention will ponder the Episcopal Church’s role in and response to the #MeToo movement with resolutions, reflections and the hope for reconciliation.

In an extraordinary session, the House of Bishops invited Episcopalians to “Liturgy of Listening” which has been called “a sacred space for listening and further reconciliation.”

Close to 30 related resolutions have been filed. The bulk of them are from the 47 members of the special House of Deputies Committee on Sexual Harassment and Exploitation appointed in February by the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings, deputies’ president.

A salary for the president of the House of Deputies

An Episcopal New Service story on the issue is here.

Presiding over the House of Deputies is just one of the canonically required duties of the president of the House of Deputies. This issue prompted a rare conference committee between bishops and deputies at the last convention – whether the currently unpaid position of president of the House of Deputies should be salaried – and it will return for consideration.

Supporters of compensation say making the office a paid job would broaden the pool of people able to consider running for election. Other disagree, some saying they fear “mission creep” in the form of an expansion of the president’s duties and authority.

Follow up on the church’s three priorities: evangelism, racial reconciliation and justice and care of creation

The discussion on evangelism at General Convention will focus on continuation of the church’s increased support for church planting and new regional ministries. There is a broad range of thinking about this fertile spiritual ground, including the role of social media and the ties between evangelism and stewardship of the environment.

A range of ugly incidents in the months leading up to the 78th General Convention helped fuel passage in Salt Lake City of several resolutions about racism. Resolution C019, called on church officers to develop a church-wide response to racial injustice. How to follow through with those efforts will be the core question before the Racial Justice and Reconciliation Committee

Supporting local food growers, carbon taxes and offsets, opposition to environmental racism and Episcopalians’ continued participation in the Paris Climate Agreement are some of the stewardship of the environment and creation care resolutions set for discussion. A list of environmental stewardship and care of creation resolutions is here.

Middle East peace

An Episcopal News Service story about those plans is here.

At least three resolution have been submitted so far, including one proposed by the Diocese of California that reintroduces a push for divestment from “those companies that profit from Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands or whose products or actions support the infrastructure of the occupation.”

Corporate engagement won’t be the only topic related to the Holy Land. Two additional proposed resolutions call for greater attention to the plight of Palestinian children, including those being tried in Israeli military courts.

A group of bishops and deputies who were asked to find a way to navigate the often-thorny discussions of Episcopal Church policy toward Israel and Palestine has announced its recommendations for fostering open and productive debate on those issues at this meeting of convention.

— This edited guide was compiled from reporting by Episcopal News Service editor/reporters David Paulsen and Mary Frances Schjonberg, ENS Managing Editor Lynette Wilson.  

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