Tuesday, November 11, 2008


God knows there were a slew of resolutions - 7 in all, and that doesn't include the courtesy ones - at the recently completed 2008 Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont. I’ve always questioned the purpose of resolutions at these conventions. This was my first time as a delegate from my parish, but I’ve also been a delegate at conventions in another diocese. Mostly I find resolutions are just puffed up words that make the promoters and delegates feel good and think they’ve done something noteworthy. Usually these pithy expressions get hidden away in the diocesan journal and forgotten forever.

At this year’s convention “A Resolution to Help Prevent Phosphorous Pollution in Water Bodies” passed easily.
RESOLVED, That the 176th Convention of the Diocese of Vermont agree with Resolution D046 of the 2003 General Convention urging dioceses, parishes and communicants to regard water resources as precious, to encourage all to become active stewards of water resources, and to promote the education of congregants in faithful stewardship of Earth's resources; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the 176th Convention instruct the Diocese of Vermont, parishes and communicants to seek alternatives to phosphorous-laden fertilizers for use on diocesan, parish and communicants’ properties, and to use phosphorous only when soil tests indicate that it is needed for proper soil-plant health.
Resolution 6 was entirely in keeping with the bishop’s address and convention theme: "Tending God's World – NOW!" Bishop Tom Ely said
I believe it is imperative that we take seriously the crisis of global climate change as a spiritual as well as a practical matter, accept the sacrificial life style changes needed, and make our homes and churches a blessing for God’s creation.
Our Baptismal Covenant calls us to participate in this ministry - Christ’s ministry of global reconciliation - which is the missio dei, the Mission of God. The reconciling work needed in order to sustain the future of our planet is inherent in every dimension of our mission and ministry - locally and beyond.
If the bishop, clergy and delegates really took the keynote and forum speakers' - environmentalist/author Bill McKibben's and Middlebury College activist Sierra Murdoch - empowering words seriously - solutions to mitigate the effects of global warming - I hope that members of Vermont’s parishes will transform the words of the resolution into (sacrificial) action. Everything is environmental now.

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