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The Consultation Platform 2015
The vows of Christian Baptism call the people of The Episcopal Church to bear witness to compassion, justice, and peace. The Consultation is a coalition of ten independent organizations working to move The Episcopal Church ever closer to incarnating our baptismal vows as persons and as an institution. We are called to be the Body of Christ serving a culture in need of health care, valuing human labor, caring for the earth, and ending racism and domestic and international violence. Though we are aware of the several internal institutional transitions, elections, and proposals before the Church in 2015, let the moral and theological imperatives to seek and serve Christ in all persons and to strive for justice and peace be our first priority.
Therefore, the Consultation challenges The Episcopal Church gathered in 2015…
1. To continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread and in the prayers.
~ Amend Article X of the Constitution of The Episcopal Church to enable liturgical experimentation within common prayer, in a framework created by General Convention.
~ Encourage “Cloud of Witnesses” (formerly “Holy Women, Holy Men”) to encompass the full diversity of the Church and our humanity.
~ Adopt changes in canons to support marriage equality.
~ Promote lifelong formation in Christian practices of prayer, worship, the study of scripture, and service to the poor and powerless.
~ Affirm our baptismal ecclesiology and restore Confirmation as an effective pastoral response to significant turning points in the Christian life.
2. To persevere in resisting evil and, whenever we fall into sin, to repent and return to the Lord.
~ Call the Church to protect an endangered population - young, black men.
~ Work towards full awareness and the abolition of human trafficking, today’s modern human slavery, through strengthening laws,
toughening penalties and creating more supportive services while providing greater education and economic opportunities for vulnerable populations.
~ Advocate for a community-appropriate living wage to be paid to all who work, and promote pay equity between men and women.
~ Dismantle racism and all forms of prejudice and oppression.
~ Acknowledge the Church’s responsibility for reparations for slavery and our culpability in racism as the legacy of slavery.
~ Ensure Safe Church training includes responses to domestic violence, bullying, and addiction.
~ Advocate for an end to the death penalty in the United States.
3. To proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ.
~ Recognize the homogeneity of our congregations and its consequences and see inclusion as a tool for evangelism.
~ Increase support of the historically black Episcopal colleges, making accessible an affordable college experience for an underserved population.
4. To seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbor as ourselves.
~ Support immigration legislation: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Deferred Action for Parental Accountability, and the expansion of the crime victim’s visa program.
~ Restructure US financial institutions so their primary support comes from socially responsible community investments instead of fee-driven activity.
~ Reform the US tax codes to reduce regressive policies and promote economic justice for all.
~ Build and support structures that would topple the racist and violent tendencies of society and break the school-to-prison pipeline (the “New Jim Crow”).
5. To strive for justice and peace among all people and to respect the dignity of every human being.
~ Recognize The Episcopal Church’s complicity in the suffering of the Palestinian people during the brutal Occupation and take steps to remove Church investments contributing to the Occupation’s infrastructure.
~ Acknowledge that climate change has the greatest impact on the most vulnerable populations.
~ Promote changes to US budget priorities fueling the culture of violence at the expense of health and welfare.
~ Advocate for sane and sensible gun legislation to help end gun violence.
~ Support nondiscrimination statutes that include gender and sexual diversity.
~ Commit to environmental stewardship that will ensure healthy communities for future generations.