This morning's plenary was a huge freaking mess.
Philo will cover it in more detail on the GA blog, I'm sure, but the jist is that this body wants a FAR stronger Statement of Conscience than the one that the committee put together with input from the 10 percent for congregations who gave enough of a damn to contribute.
I'm likely going to vote against the strengthened statement since under amendment 34 the statement asks for denominational leadership to lobby our American elected officials. That's kind of a litmus test with me, I'm afraid. That said, this resolution will pass anyway.
The whole issue highlights the importance of some of the procedural stuff we will vote on tonight. Tonight we will be looking at a proposal to put a quorum on denominational input on the Study Action Issue. If more than X percent of the congregations do not respond to the initial survey, it will be assumed that people don't care and we won't have SAIs that year.
This issue with the global warming statement of conscience illustrates why this procedural change is so important.
But we can also look at the issue another way. Various Chalicesseurs have long maintained that the GA delegations are full of hippies with too much free time and that their concerns are not the concerns of the congregations. The issue this morning would seem to support that premise as the work of the congregations wasn't nearly strong enough for those committed enough to come to GA. Since reading TheModoBlog's freaking brilliant the Ecology of Polarization post, I have frequently thought about the crucial balance between the activists and the moderates in various political environments. This issue today suggests that the Chalicesseurs are right and there is something wrong with that balance.
Perhaps this rule change on quorums for SAIs will be the beginning of restoring a balance.
All that aside, we were a messy, messy, body this morning and moderator Gini Courter handled it with asskicking grace, diffusing tension with humor and exemplifying a kind of professionalism that I frankly envy. This post was originally titled: "Gini Courter:Chaliceblog woman of the Year," and I will probably devote a later post to praising her.