All voices matter
The Deputations of Albany, Central Florida, Dallas, Springfield, and North Dakota have been excited about so much that has been accomplished in General Convention. We love this church and this House. After more than a decade of tensions, struggles, departures, and lawsuits it appears we are moving into a different season of cooperation and respect. So we are living together within our unhappy divisions. The resolutions we have passed concerning evangelism, church planting, and revitalization are such an encouragement and we pray for their success to see the church grow and the gospel preached in all the world.
Often when there has been a voice vote, we are part of the weak “No or Nay” that comes from the back of the House floor. We know there has been some provision for dissenting voices in some of the more progressive resolutions. However, at yesterday’s discussion of Resolution A037 (Continue Work of the Task Force on the Study of Marriage) we were disappointed when the amendment requesting a minority report was on the floor and with little discussion, with minimal time to speak to this, the call to end debate came very quickly. We understand parliamentary procedure and that this was done in order; we understand the need to expedite the business of this House.
Our understanding is that parliamentary procedure creates a forum for honest open discussion and debate. Many people know the rules better and can use the mechanics of the forum in impressive ways. However, when discussion of issues of grave importance are rushed or halted it stifles the process and leaves some feeling unheard and unappreciated.
We speak of a big tent, a table where all are welcome. If this is true then let our actions represent these images. We ask the House to consider the minority voice on these matters and rather than simply rolling along, leaving dissenting voices on issues silenced in the wake of the actions of this House, that you pause to hear from all.
With malice for none and charity for all.
Our Chaplain of the House of Deputies has taught us this chant …
Saubeno / Yebo
I do not know the plural translation, but We See You / We Are Here!