When the Episcopal Church gathered for its COVID-delayed, abbreviated 80th General Convention last July in Baltimore, one of the resolutions on its agenda was entitled “Create a Task Force on LGBTQ+ Inclusion.” Proposed out of the Diocese of Los Angeles, the explanation for the resolution reads:
In 1976, the 65th General Convention of the Episcopal Church asserted in a resolution 1976-A069 that ”homosexual persons are children of God who have a full and equal claim with all other persons upon the love, acceptance and pastoral concern and care of the Church.“ In the decades since its adoption, faithful witnesses to God’s inclusive love have been working to make that resolution a reality in the Episcopal Church for all members of the human family, wherever they fall on the continuum of sexual orientation or gender identity. As the Episcopal Church continues the work of Becoming Beloved Community, it is time to bring that work from the margins into the center by archiving our history, auditing our present and recommending steps forward into our future.
The resolution was both adopted and funded — and the task force has now been constituted, with members preparing to begin their work in the days and weeks ahead. The first in person meeting will be held in March in Cleveland as part of the Joint Interim Bodies gathering.
“This is truly a watershed moment for those who have been working so long and so hard to make ‘full and equal claim’ for LGBTQ+ people not just a resolution but a reality in the Episcopal Church,” said Canon Susan Russell, who has been called to serve as chair of the task force. “While there is much work to do, the fact that the Episcopal Church has gone from arguing about whether to include us to strategizing about how to include us is a cause for celebration.”
“I am incredibly proud of the year-long efforts of the GC80 LGBTQ Caucus on top of the decades-long fight of LGBTQ Episcopalians and allies that have helped to make this happen” said the Reverend Charles Graves IV, chair of the Caucus of LGBTQ Deputies. “This new task force represents another major step in the direction of equality in the footsteps of Jesus”.
The full text of the resolution, including the scope of work of the task force is available here. A list of members of the Task Force on LGBTQ+ Inclusion is available here.
For more information, contact the Reverend Canon Susan Russell at firstname.lastname@example.org